state natural area poems #53: kettle moraine red oaks

kettle moraine red oaks is a 2nd-growth southern dry mesic forest that got its second life back in the 1880s. the oak-maple-hickory forest is situated on high interlobate moraine with lots of deep, dry kettles. dramatic topography.

thanks to the wisconsin dnr for tending this land!

a.

cottontail roads beneath the ash

cacao lingers on the tongue

our shadows blossom on snow

b.

glacial hands

worked this land—

our turn to tend

state natural area poems #51: clover valley fen

clover valley fen contains a series of 8-10 ft high peat mounds that began building around a set of springs 11,500 years ago(!). sedge meadow and woods surround the fen mounds, and whitewater creek runs thru it all. the iced-over wetland was a maze of frozen tussocks, some a foot over the ice. the fen mounds were spectacular, with spring water still visibly running off below the ice.

a.

i stand on 11,000-

year-old peat, massive—

morning sun casts long shadow

b.

bryophytes make a frozen home

on patchwork of tawny fen

the springs give them life

c.

stilting our way

over calcium-rich waters

deer have set blazes

state natural area poems #31: eagle oak opening

the wind scours treetops

and dances the kettle-lid

year’s first snow in the soul

eagle oak opening has kettle hole (the ponds) moraine (the hills) topography, along with open grown oaks that now mostly reside in mesic forest. though there are still a few open prairie sites. we had forgotten how pleasant and homey the kettle moraine state forest area is.