Friday, May 31, 2013

Free Weekend

Trempeauleau Bay
Fishing with Steve- Saturday, June 1st from 3-5
Learn tips and tricks and some secrets too from Steve at the Nature Center. They will have the supplies needed.


Night Hike-Saturday, June 1st from 8:30-10pm
Watch the sunset and begin to discover the night life.
Listen  for the creatures of the night, see without a     flashlight and learn the magic of sniffing spiders.

Whoo you gonna call?

Again sponsored by the Friends of Perrot,
who are these wonderful people.

Blue Birds of Happiness

Those beautiful bluebirds are back in the park and happy to report 5 eggs have been seen in the house next to the Park Headquarters.

Fred and Mary Craig, who came to park last week to talk about Bluebirds, are members of and They are doing great work tracking the success stories of bluebirds and are monitoring the boxes in Perrot.

Modern Bluebird House in Park Headquarters

The Eastern Bluebird (sialia sialis) a fine singer is also related to the American Robin and Mountain Bluebird. These two other thrush song birds are visitors to the park or should I say it's their home and we are the visitors.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wisconsin State Flower

The Wood Violet (viola papilionacea) beat out the wild rose, trailing arbutus and white water lily for the title of State flower in 1909 chosen by school children. This sweet little spring flower and it's leaves are a tasty treat in salads, candies and jellies. The Viola is also related to the pansy and viola from area garden centers.

Bird's Foot Violet-Top of Bradys

At Perrot I found several delightful Violets. The Common Blue, White Violets, Yellow Violets and the Bird's Foot Violet. Some love the prairies and others moist woodlands.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sunday Fun Day

If you haven't ever been to Perrot State Park or if it's been awhile plan on a visit this weekend. The Wisconsin  DNR is offering free admission to the park as well as free use of the Great River State Bike Trail, Sunday, June 2nd. The bike trail conveniently runs along the northern edge of the park.

Entrance early May snow

 You can also fish without a license. So give it a whirl.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Trails

Ever wonder, how'd they do that. You can learn about trail building and be a part of the process by volunteering this Saturday, June 1st at Perrot State Park.


It's National Trails Day 

Local trail builder Willie Bittner of Great Lakes Trailbuilders  will be leading volunteers to help rebuild part of Brady's Bluff Trail. Learn what it takes. Contact Willie Bittner at 608-799-2389 for more details. There are also great prizes, food and a day park pass is included.

Brady's Bluff West Trail

Step by Step

Wood, Stone and Platforms


Guess how many?

Over 500


How cool is that. 


Flaming scarlet with jet black wings, sounds like a super hero. Bird enthusiasts are excited to be seeing the Scarlet Tanager  (Piranga olivacea) in the park this season.

Just like the snow birds of Wisconsin they head south for the winter. These birds head to Columbia and Amazonia. Miss Scarlet is not so dramatic in appearance wearing a coat of dull greenish feathers with brownish wings and yellow underside.

Perrot Forest-Bird Habitat

They are hanging out in the
oak trees of Perrots forest.
They have just arrived so
stop in the park to see because
they leave midsummer
for the long flight back.

Sorry didn't get a photo of this bird.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hunger Games

The word is out, they are here. Morel mushrooms have remained elusive this season. The first appearance is rather late but then everything seems to be out of whack with the weather.  Trying to find them is somewhat of a game. Those that know where they are, tend to be reluctant to divulge the location. Rightly so because they are so delicious. A mushroom hunters efforts are rewarding but also have risks. It may take hours of searching to find a spot getting up at the crack of dawn before everyone else. They may pick up a tick or two and be exposed to lymes disease. So when you ask someone where, don't be surprised if you don't get the answer you want.

Morel Mushroom

Here's a few clues to finding the morel mushroom.

Look for hunched over figures sporting camouflage colors. They are always taller then they appear.

They may be waving long sticks passing over the forest floor growth. Appearing to conjure them up.

Approach quietly, once they hear you they may freeze or appear smaller.

Listen for the rustling of plastic bags.

FYI If you find the hunter you may find the hunted.

Please remember you may only harvest mushrooms, berries and nuts at the park. Many plants are protected such as ginseng and may not be gathered. 

Morel Mushroom Meal
Morel mushrooms two different ways.
Dredged in flour and browned to a crisp in butter,
over a bed of spinach and soft boiled eggs.
Sauteed with onions and garlic in butter of course,
served on toasted baguettes.           

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hike It You'll Like It

Nature Center
Besides what nature has to offer there's lots more going on at Perrot Park. It's a memorable weekend with free programs and events, courtesy of the Friends of Perrot. They help support the Naturalist programs.

Fri., May 24th

8:30am "Friday Night, Fire Bright" at the Nature Center. Cozy up for stories, songs and social time.

Shelter at Brady's Bluff

Sat., May 25th

9:00am "Meet Me On The Bluff" At the top of Brady's Bluff Naturalist John Carrier will discuss what makes Perrot so special.

2:00pm "Ole Fashioned Nature Hike" At the Nature Center get update on blooms and critters.

6:00pm "Dutch Oven Cooking" At the open Shelter Sue Crisp will demo tips and tricks.


Sun., May 26th

10:00am "Beautiful Bluebirds" Find the White Tent and hear Fred and Mary Craig talk about bluebird nest and raising the young. You can even purchase a nest box to take home.

8:00pm "Torchlight Night Hike" Black Walnut Trail, self guided by tiki-torches.

FYI you will need a state park sticker or day pass for vehicles entering the park-well worth it get an annual and you won't miss a thing this year.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Spring in my Step

Yellow Bellwort
I begin traversing the trails at Perrot in early May. Not wanting to miss a thing. Some of my first flowers to see -- the Yellow Bellwort sometimes called the wood daffodil. The drooping yellow bell shaped flowers. Also known as, here it goes Uvularia grandiflora another in the lily family. I'd like to see her family reunion.

Speaking of blood lines, checkout the really cool looking Bloodroot. One of the earliest spring arrivals emerging from the snow. It opens and closes with the sun and lacks nectar. That's okay I suppose because most birds and insect aren't even awake yet. The latin name Sanguinaria refers to the bleeding red juice in the stems and roots. Once used for dye and insect repellent by cultures. Go buy one from your local nursery if you want to see for yourself.

Pasque Flower on Perrot Ridge
There's another good reason to get out early in the spring and walk the paths just to see the Pasqueflowers. It was my first sighting. Often found during the Easter (Paschal) season, better than finding eggs. This crocus like bloom is found on sunny slope prairies. I spotted mine at the top of Perrot Ridge. The plants are designed with soft hairs that help trap the warmth in cool springs. .

Knows to the Ground

Wild Ginger
Some flowers get your attention, others you have to really look for, and are worth the effort. Wild Ginger-Asarum canadense in the family of Birthwort (Aristolochiaceae). Love the real names. Your gonna have to bend over and put your nose to the ground to see this one because the flowers are at ground level.

What was mother nature thinking, you ask, Hannah knows. The flowers are pollinated by ground insects like beetles. You'll find them by looking for the big heart shaped green leaves. This plant is not for stir-frys but they say the root when crushed has the ginger fragrance.

Please do not try this since you must not dig or pick wild flowers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stalking the Woods

All paths lead to something special. From Brady's Bluff to Perrot Ridge, its not the view from atop that's only special. As I keep my head down there are waves of white flowers. The Trillium dot the woods. Watch and visit them again as the flowers fade to pink. A lovely flower in the family of lily (Liliaceceae).

If you go now you'll be Just in time. The single red berry's seeds are carried off by ants that take them to their underground abode and don't even eat them. What are they thinking, a little red to liven up the den over the winter months.

From the Ground Up

Shooting Star
Where does a person start. Obviously from the ground up. It's spring and the ephemerals are having their moment in the woods. The first jewel to impress is the Shooting Star or for those latin lovers Dodecatheon meadia. Shown just beginning to open up into a star shaped flower arching on a long stem, then a full showing of amethyst jewels on the forest floor. FYI- Part of the primrose family. Also commonly called Prairie Pointers. Insects force their tongues between the stamens to sip the nectar. Flowers start out downward and rise upwards after pollination. Sounds a bit backwards to us I suppose.

Field of Shooting Stars-Bradys Bluff West Trail

She Emerges

Perrot Ridge
From the soil of Mother Nature and the seeds of Father Time, Hannah Dove begins her existence.

Born in a little Burg in Wisconsin where Cedar Trees abound in the Glens and Dales.

Join me as Hannah grows in the knowledge of Perrot's secrets, Bloom Blog Reports, Tails from the Trails and Campy Stories.

Please remember the names have been changed or just made up to protect the innocent and those that know they are not. To shield family and friends from any embarrassment and retribution.