Monday, May 30, 2016

Review of springtime in Milwaukee (Yes!)

Great blue heron, Greenfield Park
Okay, Memorial Day is over and it actually feels like summer here in Milwaukee, after what felt like an interminable and frustratingly frigid spring. Well, for the most part. We did have a few nice days now and then, however fleetingly. I managed to take advantage of those nice days by visiting as many Milwaukee County Parks and natural areas as possible.

Greenfield Park
I made it to more than I usually do, some of them familiar and others for the first time.

Greenfield Park
I've selected a few shots from each, which I offer in no particular order.

Greenfield Park
Wild strawberry blossoms, Lincoln Creek detention basin
Julia Robson, Mke Co Parks Dept.
I even tagged along with a team of scientists, including Julia, who works for the Parks Department as assistant natural areas coordinator. Here she is using a loudspeaker to call a lesser bittern (if I remember correctly) in the hopes that a real one will call back. None did. But we did successfully call other species that evening.

We visited the Lincoln Creek site, above, and this unnamed (and as yet unprotected) wetland where, although there were no bitterns, we discovered other creatures, including rails and a killdeer that had hatched a brood in the middle of a gravel parking lot.

Woodland trillium patches, McGovern Park
McGovern Park
Kletsch Park
Kletsch Park
(Sadly, that luxuriant ground cover is all garlic mustard. Pretty in spring. Soon to be very ugly.)

Doyne Park
Flowering crab, Doyne Park
Jacobus Park
May apple, Jacobus Park
Falk Park
It was earlier in the spring and I'd never been to Falk before. What looks a bit like lingering snow are a carpet of tiny flowers called spring beauties.

Falk Park
Here's a close up of them. They are beautiful enough up close, but it was the sheer numbers that filled the forest floor in many parts of the park that I found astonishing. Such tiny flowers!

Ephemeral pond, Falk Park
Falk Park
Marsh marigolds, Falk Park
Violets, Falk Park
Falk Park
Most of these were brief excursions. Three of my adventures, however, merited blog posts of their own. Click on the links to go to them:
Cudahy Nature Preserve
Riveredge Nature Center (World Fish Migration Day!)
Mangan Woods

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