sna poems #123: oakfield ledge

oakfield ledge is a section of the niagra escarpment of dolostone that ranges from new york up thru canada down into wisconsin a bit west of where i live in milwaukee. here the outcroppings are not as dramatic as door county’s shoreline cliffs, but they’re quieter and more heavily colonized by life given that they’re surrounded by woods.

at this site in fond du lac county (not manitowoc like i put on twitter a few times!), deep fissures have formed in the dolostone’s fractures. b/c of this, we were able to get down into the escarpment, a first for me. usually the ledge is the side of a hill or a dropoff into water, so one can see it or walk on top of it, but not thru it. we spent a good amount of time down in the canyon. lots of life all over though, in the wood and in the little oak savanna on the edge of the site. late summer in the midwest.

the wdnr site says that a diverse snail fauna lives at the cliff base, but we sadly didn’t find any…

first id’s of white baneberry and pale-flowered leaf cup!

a.

eastern wood pewee’s

two-tone call,

serenading oaks

b.

red fungal body

on the ledge

going back to soil

c.

in the niagra

escarpment:

stone and wet and fern

d.

on the savanna—

chip-chip-chip—

we hear the redstart

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