sna poems #91: devil’s lake oak forest

devil’s lake oak forest is a southern dry-mesic forest of red oak and red maple, with some older open-grown white oaks. all situated on terminal moraine that had likely blocked the gorge thru which the wisconsin river used to run and which now is the home of devil’s lake. the forest is flanked by devil’s lake access roads, which was different for a sna, but i’m glad it’s protected.

this was when the day started getting really hot, though the part of the forest that butts up against east bluff and the grottos trail was mercifully cool. the biggest discovery of the walk was american cancer-root (or bear cone), a chlorophyl-less plant that is parasitic on oak roots. very cool.

i’ll once again link to my brother’s “sna soundscape” from the last post (east bluff), as a couple of the field-recorded sounds were from this forest as well. (by the by, funny story: the long title of the audio track comes from the thwarted third hike of the day we attempted. the road into the last sna was closed, so we walked in, but then we saw that there were a large number of caterpillars hanging down from the canopy on silk threads, secreting some kind of white, frothy substance and clearly doing something important for their life cycles. we abruptly abandoned the hike after the realization that they were, in fact, all around us, though we had initially stopped because we saw only a few. it was strange.)

a.

moss fronds drape

the dry creek’s banks

cool in the grotto

b.

bear cone inflorescence

forcing the forest floor

root kissing root unseen

see the caterpillar?
…this is the caterpillar road…

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