carver-roehl woods is a dry mesic wood with limestone cliffs cut by spring brook creek. (this spring brook feeds into turtle creek and is not to be confused with the spring brook that feeds into the rock river directly in janesville.) the cliffs support less common plant communities, while the woods have mature oaks, hop hornbeam, ash, and ironwood, with red and white pine on the high ridge above the eastern bank’s cliffs. the site lies on ground moraine from a glaciation before the last. gorgeous.
swenson wet prairie is now a part of the avon bottoms s.n.a. but it was established as its own site, so i’m counting it. it’s a wet prairie in the floodplain of the sugar river near where the river meets taylor creek. there’s also a sedge meadow and river bottom savanna(!), and a number of oxbows. its frozen state this december is gorgeous.
magnolia bluff is the second highest point in rock county, in the county’s western uplands area. the undisturbed cliff-side reveals the two primary forms of bedrock in the county: st. peter sandstone and dolomite limestone. the western ridge also harbors a population of the endangered plant, kitten tails(!).
kessler railroad prairie is just what it sounds like. an old rail line was ripped up and prairie restored out between hanover and afton in rock county. it’s a fun 13-acre strip of land along massive power lines, and how great that the corridor was made back into a place that could shelter so many species of native plants, rodents, and voles. bass creek runs thru. a welcome, windy visit to the grasslands this afternoon.
fair meadows is a delightful patch of land with savanna, wet prairie, shrub-carr, and marsh communities. the land is well tended, especially with an eye toward increasing an endangered plant’s population. a fabulous walk, complete with getting “marshed” in ankle-deep water—completely worth it!
a special ‘thank you’ to the private owners of this sna for welcoming us onto their earthy treasure.
lima bog is a four-acre hard water bog lake surrounded by forest. tamarack and muskrat lodges greeted us as we came out of the wood to the open wetland area. early morning in the bog with the lowing of cows in the distance: can’t beat it.