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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tempting Hartman Creek

Hartman Creek State Park is a new one for me, it's not on the way to anywhere in particular and is 3.5 hours north of my home which is why it's taken me so long to check it out.  I was afraid I'd get there and be bored, but I found out that in addition to the IAT there is plenty of other hiking in and around the park.  Much nicer than fighting the crowds at Devil's Lake!

Hartman Lake

Ten miles of hiking trails give many opportunities for fall color viewing, including walks around some small spring fed lakes.

Before being established as a state park in 1966, Hartman Creek was a fish hatchery, where dams were built to create Allen, Hartman, Grebe and Middle Lakes.  The campground is located next to Allen Lake, but yesterday morning I walked around Hartman Lake and caught some great morning light.

Ducks and geese scattered on my arrival, used to having the lake to themselves at this time of year.

I scanned the water in the lake and the adjoining creek looking for some reflections or leaves to photograph, but the shore of the lake was lined with cattails and the creek was mostly shaded by the overhanging trees so I only got one shot.

After my short walk along the lake I made my way to the Ice Age Trail, picking it up from Winfeldt Lane which runs right by the campground.  There is a kiosk with information about the Ice Age Trail at the parking area, including explanations of the glacial topography in the park.

The picture below shows the outwash plain from the melting glacier in the foreground.  The higher ridge in the background is where the glacier paused, depositing sediment and forming the Elderon Moraine.

The spur to the IAT crosses a field and makes its way to the moraine, sharing the route with a bike path.

Before entering the woods it skirted a field full of Milkweed.

I try to resist getting a Milkweed shot every fall, but I just can't.

Nearby was a colony of British Soldiers that finally photographed the way I want.  I used the zoom lens that I had on the camera for the Milkweed shot instead of extension tubes and got a much better result.

In the woods the maples put on a great show with color in the trees and on the ground.

As I walked toward Emmons Creek Barrens State Natural Area the trail rolled gently up and down the moraine passing from deciduous forest to pine.  The sandy soil was springy no matter what part of the forest I was in, but the pine needles were a fragrant bonus.

I walked all the way to Emmons Creek Road and turned around for a round trip total of about 5 miles.  I was pretty tired after all the weeks I've spent lying around recently, but the views were worth it.

I worked 20 hours a week since we've come back from our trip, and with being sick and all the chaos surrounding the remodeling and Katrina moving out I'm a month behind on blog reading again.  How is it possible that someone who only works part time doesn't have enough time to get things done?

Any chance Judy will tell me what bird this is?

Maybe because I just can't resist the temptation to drive all over the state for days at a time?  In addition to hiking the park offers access to 12 miles of off road bike trails, places for horse riding, fishing, and even a beach on one of the lakes.  There is also Pope Lake State Natural Area to the east and Emmons Creek State Natural Area to the south. I think it's a pretty safe bet that I'll be back again.

Today it's more remodeling on the agenda.  While I was driving around earlier this week Wayne got the basement room we've been working on for Cory finished enough to start moving him down there.  We have walls, a ceiling and lights, now it's time to go shopping for a new bed and TV stand and get him all set up in his roomier digs!


  1. That looks like a wonderful place to spend some time in the fall. Quiet and colorful and no crowds! Thanks for the information.

  2. Gorgeous! I guess this is the time to be there. My favorite picture is the close up of the multi colored leaves and the tree trunk. Isn't that a bluebird?

  3. Looks like a male Eastern bluebird to me. I miss the north woods in the fall. Well, in the spring and summer too. ;)

  4. Nice pix today; they reflect a beautiful time of year.

  5. Love that Hartman Lake photo!! That is fall to me:)

    I've never heard of or seen British Soldiers. Very cool!!

  6. Gorgeous series of photos and the reflections in the lake photo are captivating! I was very happy with the election results on Monday and wish Justin Trudeau all the best. We needed a change. Warm greetings from Montreal! :)

  7. Lovely post. I agree with Judy on the bird ID.