In the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest they've been busy cutting and piling up logs since last fall, which made the Eagle segment of the Ice Age trail look completely different. Hopefully the resulting openness in the forest floor will lead to more wildflower growth like these early Hepatica I found on Saturday.
Down by the State Forest headquarters I found some Pussytoes on another segment of the IAT.
Lots of folks were out with their families and their dogs using the trail. There is a shooting range nearby and it was quite loud over that way so I won't use that section again. The turtle I spotted was doing his best to escape all the ruckus but I doubt he was successful in outrunning it!
On Sunday I drove out to Texas Island, part of the Rome Pond Wildlife Area in Jefferson County. It wasn't in Texas or Italy, just an hour north of home here in Wisconsin. The parking lot was located .10 mile away from the intersection of County Hwy E and Herr Road and was easy to see from the road.
The "path" is a service road that starts to narrow as it gets closer to Texas Island. I overheard the ranger on a hike two years ago mention this spot so I've been meaning to check it out.
Not truly an island the land rose above a marshy area and provided good habitat for Mayapples and Trillium. It is open to hunting and I did spot lots of deer tracks in the mud!
Little clutches of Wood Anemone were scattered around too.
The trail ended kind of abruptly and from there it was just a series of vague game trails marked by the occasional spent shell casing (why do hunters not bother to pick these up??) so I just wandered around for an hour enjoying the views and the sounds of the birds in the trees.
I wasn't worried about getting lost since the views were so open it was easy to keep track of the direction I had come from and head back when I had enough. I would have loved to see big patches of Trillium but I made do with the few that were opened up since most were sporting buds only.