Good Oak News

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Report from the first wildflower walk of 2009

We had a wonderful early-spring walk in the UW Arboretum on Thursday. Though there is little other apparent plant activity this early in the spring, we found mosses, ferns and wood avens all green and actively taking in energy from the sun along the side of the trail. And as we hiked along we listened to the soundtrack provided by dozens of species of singing birds, ranging from red-bellied woodpeckers to sandhill cranes to the common cardinal.

When we finally made it to Skunk Cabbage Bridge, the skunk cabbage was in full bloom and their unique fragrance filled the air along the gentle stream where you can find them. For those not familiar with the plant, here is a photo I took last year of some flowers that melted their way through the heavy snow cover:

Our next wildflower walk will be in mid-April. We'll post our full schedule for spring and early summer here soon, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First Good Oak Wildflower Walk, Thursday March 26th

Spring is finally on its way, and so we announce our first wildflower walk of the season. On Thursday March 26th at 6pm, join us at the UW Arboretum and explore some of the first signs of spring. Chief among these will be a visit to a patch of skunk cabbage. This unique plant is the first to bloom each spring with flowers that can even melt away snow above it as it sprouts.

We'll meet at the Wingra Springs parking lot. From the Mill street entrance take Arboretum Drive past the residential area and up the hill through Gallistel Woods. The parking lot is at the top of the hill.

Hope to see you there!