state natural area poems #39: peat lake a & b

brilliant ochre plumes

ride beneath oak, walnut

peat deepens under sun


small flowage

over peat and stone—

starlings, no cranes

peat lake is a very shallow lake with a mucky bottom, with sedge meadow and cattail marsh stretches. lots of birds, not many fish. a delightful walk all around. and the lichen growing on the iron bar of the gate near the wildlife refuge area was stunning.

this site and the chiwaukee prairie were our first s.n.a.’s in kenosha county—two more to go! thanks to the wisconsin dnr for preserving this site.

state natural area poems: #38: chiwaukee prairie a & b


east wind blowing

speaks in dried grass

straw and tan tones


blade and stem

anchor earth

bluestem charm

chiwaukee prairie is one of the largest prairie complexes in wisconsin and one of the state’s most intact coastal wetlands. it spans thru-out a series of streets and houses, but has large segments of unbroken land too. it sits on swale and and ridge topography where lake michigan’s shoreline has receded in stages since the last ice age. over 400 species of plants find a home here.

tho’ mainly dormant now in late novemeber, the plant cover is still lovely in its dryness, especially in the winds off the lake. thanks to the wdnr for caring for this land, and to uw-parkside and the nature conservancy with helping acquire the land from developers.