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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Walk in the Woods

Forest Exploration Center, Woodlands, Woodland Flowers, Native Plants

How many of you remember the fight to save the County Grounds?

How many of  you recall when the state purchased land from Milwaukee County to preserve and protect it from development?

The other day I took a stroll through there.

Contrary to some local beliefs the woods is not old-growth forest - 'pristine since the ice age'.  The woods is dominated by ash and maple.  It is second - maybe third - growth and was probably pasture land back in the day.  It has its share of invasive plants - buckthorn and garlic mustard to name the ones I saw most frequently.  It could benefit from some woodland management practices.

To give you an idea of the possibilities there is some pretty cool stuff in there too.

Tall snags that provide a home and feeding station for cavity-nesting birds.  And plenty of rotting dead falls on the ground to shelter snakes and smaller mammals.

The gems are the spring wildflowers.

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

This location is also home to the non-profit Forest Exploration Center - which has a governing Board, an Executive Director and some ambitious plans to educate urban children and adults about the ways of the woods.

Learn more about it here.

And if you have a question -  look me up.

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