First Rites of Spring: a Poem While Mountain Biking

Hepatica while riding at Pleasant Valley Park in Grafton, Wisconsin

Stopped and write this poem during my first ride of spring. Working at a nature center has the benefits of now beginning to recognize the plants along the trail.

WordPress being WordPress it didn’t retain intended line breaks, so I suppose I’ll let you imagine where they exist.

Grinning in the sudden fragrance

of last year’s Christmas pines

winding now scenic trails;

a lemonade of civil engineering

in the echoes of the town dump

bike tires lean past

Wild Leeks leafing amidst moss

as the auburn of Wood Betony

stretches it’s floral tentacles

nowhere near an octopus ocean.

I crouch down, saying hello

to the pinkpurple Hepatica.

Blood still thick with last month

body baffled by this new mercury

panting gladly for a breath

within the leaves of last year

Prairie Crayfish at Schlitz Audubon

Recent storms have allowed Schlitz Audubon staff to see a species not often observed on our land, the Prairie Crayfish (Procambarus gracilus). Read here about this interesting native wildlife species at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, often hiding in burrows just below our feet in the prairie.

Interviewing Great Lakes Author Dan Egan this Thursday

dan egan death cover

This Thursday, May 17 I have the pleasure of interviewing Dan Egan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Great Lakes Reporter, and author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. Egan will read excerpts from his book, participate in a discussion, and take questions from the audience. The event takes place at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, complete details here.

Beavers in the Milwaukee River Documentary

Here is a little teaser footage I shot this morning for a project I’m working on. Beavers have gradually returned to the Milwaukee River and this rehabilitated animal was released in the river this morning. By all accounts, Chip seems to be doing very well in her new natural river island habitat.