A salt lick stump?

Here’s a strange looking stump. The soil was removed from around the roots, leaving the roots exposed. How did it happen?  I’m not sure, but I suspect someone put a a salt block on it, …

A hungry tree

This tree germinated under the ledge of a rock outcrop. As it grew, the tree had to accommodate the outcrop. Now it looks like a hungry tree trying to take a bite out of the …

Rot

Rot is everywhere in the woods, and we often don’t notice it.  Here are some pretty mushrooms and lichens. This red oak snapped off in a storm.  It’s nothing but a thin veneer of sound …

Tree Frog on a Milkweed

Paul and I were marking a timber sale in Juneau County, near New Lisbon.  The landowner built several small ponds on the property.  Not only do the amphibians like the ponds, but Anja the forestry …

White Pine Pollen and Cones

I was out on the Kickapoo with some friends recently, and the white pine got our attention. It’s that time of year with every branch is studded with new….. what do you call them? flowers? …

Ramps ARE UP!

The ramps are coming up on this north facing slope near Westby

Woolly Bear

I was checking on a timber sale that was finished up, and I saw a woolly bear!

Spring is in the Air

The recent warm weather is making it feel like spring. I found deer ticks on Anja the forestry dog, and a birder told me he saw a red winged blackbird. The plants are getting into …

Mushrooms and Soil Movement

This pretty cup fungus was out earlier in the summer. This lion’s mane was a fun find. And with all the rain, there’s been a lot of soil movement.  Here’s a mass of soil that …

Logging damage healing rapidly

These maple saplings were run over by a skidder, and they’ve had one growing season to recover.  The one on the left is still in good shape.  Its crown looks good and its wound is …

A woodcock nest

Paul and I were cruising a property for a Managed Forest Law plan a couple of weeks back, and while I was walking along the boundary between a young aspen stand and an old field, …

An eye in an outcrop

Here’s a pretty sandstone outcrop near the Kickapoo River in Vernon County.    

It was a birdy week

Last week was a birdy week.  I saw a female cardinal sitting on her nest. And I also saw a nest with chicks in it.

Tick biology

The Kickapoo Woods Coop hosted Phillip Pellitteri for a discussion of tick biology.  Philip is a Distinguished Faculty Associate Emeritus -UW Madison Entomology, and he is an expert on tick biology.   This talk focuses on …

Iowa County Lead Mining

Early lead miners dug caves in hillsides as temporary shelters and were derogatorily referred to as badgers, hence the Badger State nickname.   I read about early lead mining in Wisconsin, but I didn’t fully …

Stone Bridge Abutment and Gooseberry

Spring is definitely in the air.  Trees are breaking bud, and so are the shrubs.  Here’s a gooseberry that’s bursting forth. Here’s the impressive work of the pileated woodpecker.   And finally, an old stone …

The Ticks are Back

Paul and I set up a timber sale today in Richland County. The deer ticks are out in force, so it’s time to start checking for ticks again.

Spring Scenes

It’s spring in Southwest Wisconsin. A peculiar sound caught my ear as I cruised a property I am writing a Managed Forest Law plan for. It was the sound of moving water, but the sound …

What’s in a tree?

What’s in a tree? Some interesting things, it turns out. I took these photos on the log landing of a timber sale I set up. Here’s a rotten butt log that filled with water and …

Winter Logging Scenes

Here are some pictures from timber sale that I set up that the loggers are just finishing up. The loggers are using a forwarder to take logs from the woods to the road so the …

A logging video montage

The loggers were just starting the job when I took these videos this fall. The harvest is designed to release existing understory seedlings and saplings so they can become the next forest while leaving mature …

A video about oak and fire

KWC board member Scott Walter highly values the oak in his forest, and he wants to see new oak regeneration succeed. He’s using harvest and fire to promote oak regeneration, and he and his wife …

A Windmill Farm

I was working on setting up a timber sale in the bottomlands of the Black River, and got a real kick out of this windmill farm on the way.  

A Big Red Oak

I’m setting up a timber sale at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and I came across this exceptional red oak. It’s outside of the sale area, but even if it was in the sale area, I …

Harvest created canopy gaps

These photos were taken at an active timber sale near Richland Center. The loggers are doing a good job of avoiding damage to residual trees. While it does look messy, this harvest is creating gaps …

Maple carpet to maple forest

Most of the green you see on the forest floor in this picture are sugar maple seedlings that sprouted this spring. There are tens of thousands of seedlings per acre.  What happens to all the …

Attack of the Killer Grape

Grape vines are native and a part of our forest landscape.  Some people want to cut all the grape vines on their property.  If the grape is growing into a crop tree, then by all …

Dense Canopy in a Maple Stand

This two aged stand has a very dense canopy that blocks out a lot of light. Notice how little undergrowth there is on the forest floor. There are scattered sawtimber sized trees in the stand, …

A Barnyard Badlands

This barnyard was across the road from a property where I was setting up a timber sale.  It has had too many cattle on it for too long. I’m reading a fascinating book about soil …

Ravine Cascade

Crossing ravines is a normal part of marking timber in the Driftless region, and sometimes the ravines are beautiful.  This one was especially fun to see.  Water cascades over the bedrock in several small falls.  …

Turkey Chicks

A hen turkey burst from the cover of a downed tree less than 10 feet to my left, and her chicks scattered, peeping.  The hen turkeys are really sitting tight, probably since they have chicks …

Spring Scenes

I’ve been very busy cruising forests and writing Managed Forest Law plans, so I haven’t been keeping up with the blog.  Here a few spring scenes from the Driftless.

Black and White Sandstone

Here are a couple of picture of a beautiful sandstone outcrop I came across while I was cruising a property for an MFL plan. The ticks are definitely back in action. I picked about 20 …

The snow can’t keep the leeks down

The last 2 inches of snow we got didn’t seem to harm these leeks.  I plucked one and took a bite, and WOW, did it taste like leeks.  Fresh and strong, and full of spring …

A vole’s winter work

A vole, or some kind of small rodent had a cozy nest and a network of trails under the snow. I wonder where it took up residence since it’s been melted out.

A disappearing twig

The sun is gaining strength daily. I like to see the twigs, leaves and other detritus melt into the snow as they absorb heat from the more direct rays of the springtime sun.