sna poems, #129: south bluff/devil’s nose

just under 3,500 acres in the baraboo hills abutting the southern shore of devil’s lake, south bluff/devil’s nose is (by southern wi standards) a huge swath of oak and maple forest. according to the dnr’s website, it’s home to a number of rare birds and plants, and pine glen and messinger creek are found here, though we didn’t encounter these this trip. devil’s nose is the eastern end of south bluff, along where the railroad curves out and away from devil’s lake.

our trip was up the first, northwestern-most bluffside in the site, as the kids were along. but they had already hiked the east bluff and gone to ski-hi (apple orchard) by this time, so i was immensely impressed by their stamina and eagerness on this gorgeous, off-trail, up-bluff, windy, sometimes a little rainy hike. it was a fabulous time, and my first time on the south bluff after nearly forty years of visiting devil’s lake. will be coming back.

p.s. my camera was struggling w/ our starting to lose the light on an overcast midwestern day, so photos a little rough. i’ve taken a few sharper images from my wife’s too.


the maples blowing

are the bluffs’

evening offering


the yellowing oaks

keep secrets

above the south shore


under fall shower

the plantain

seeds stand just waiting


a quartzite fern-stand

lovely at none

over dead bear cone

sna poems #89: parfrey’s glen (first sna created!)

parfrey’s glen is a sandstone conglomerate gorge thru which runs the appropriately named parfrey’s glen creek. located on the south flank of the baraboo hills, a precambrian monadnock ring in southcentral wisconsin and one of my favorite places on earth. the glen, due to the cavernous shade and seeps of the walls, supports plant species usually found more northerly in wisconsin, as well as rare plant and insect species.

the end of the formerly well-groomed trail was destroyed by a flood several years back, but the sure-footed are still permitted to press on up the stream to a small waterfall and pool. the enveloping of stone and water is something else.

parfrey’s glen was also the first designated state natural area in wisconsin, so it felt even more relevant visiting this time, as this project has drawn on over the last year+. my first spottings of solomon’s seal, false solomon’s seal, and goat’s beard in the field to boot!


grasshopper spray


new forb friends

goat’s beard


we haven’t

enough words

for water