Sunday, May 29, 2011

May in Milwaukee County Parks

May has been a month of transition. With a much delayed spring this year, it felt more like March, coming in like a lion, out like a lamb. Most of the natural areas in the parks were still very brown at the end of April. June is going to arrive with its usual exuberant greens. Although this is my first post in over a week - end of the school year is always busy - I have been out walking throughout the month. So I thought I'd share a selection of my picture takings over the past month.

A single shoot of marsh grass manages to poke its way through the mud-matted residue from last year in the Root River Parkway in Franklin.

The Root River, like so many others in the Milwaukee Basin, has suffered from the effects of increased runoff caused by continued development in the watershed. Once-stable banks held fast by riparian tree roots have been deeply eroded.

As storm clouds clear over the lake in Jackson Park a lone goose glides over the water.

The statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko that gives Kosciuszko Park its name is the only green so far.

The grass has greened up in McCarty Park, West Allis, but the concrete channel that lines Honey Creek remains eternally drab.

Flowers finally bloom! An unlikely hillside full of bluebells slopes down towards the Menomonee River underneath the looming Highway 41 overpass in Doyne Park.

The overcast sky didn't keep crowds from gathering on the lakefront yesterday for a kite fly-in at Veteran's Park.

I finally found myself immersed in rich green foliage this weekend on a long walk through a swampy section of the Little Menomonee River Parkway. Here is the view upstream from the Hampton Avenue Bridge.

Perseverence - and boots - rewarded me with this find. I approached it with reverence and left it intact. The adult redwing blackbirds that hovered in trees nearby didn't even create their usual clamor while I made the shot. The nest is about chest high in last year's dried cattails. New green shoots will soon rise up around it.

To see additional pictures from this month's forays into the urban wildernesses that grace Milwaukee County Parks, go to my flickr page.

May isn't over! After posting the above last night, I went for a bike ride up the Little Menomonee River Parkway this morning. Hot! Feels suddenly like summer. Where did spring go?

I discovered a flooded section of the path and in it a swarm of tadpoles! Cool. Yet more pix on flickr.

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