Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lo and Behold It Glowed

Some campers at Perrot State Park woke up in the middle of the night to find their campsite glowing. What would be your first response, radiation fallout, toxic waste, or a visit from the other side or other worlds.

You don't have to go far to see some of natures most beautiful events, this phenomenon was due to a luciferous fungi. It's so much fun to say.

There is said to be a white rot fungi found in decaying wood. When conditions are just right the luciferin causes light to be emitted.

A dark nights trip to the campsite and a moment to let your eyes adjust to the darkest and lo and behold it glowed. I tried to take a photo, silly me, the flash goes off and it's just ground scattered with wood chips. But actually it looked like the milky way covering the ground. Thousands of tiny speckles scattered around, their accumulation lighting up the earth.

I've seen the glow worms of New Zealand, the glowing lights of the Aurora Borealis, our summer fireflies and now I can say I've seen glowing fungus among us. Just had to say it that way. Still on my list is the bioluminescence of oceanic plankton that activates when you go swimming or kayaking. Love to know if you've seen some yourself and where?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The Mississippi River can be quite exotic. During a venture out on our new boat we came across fields of Lotus. It kind of felt like we were on the Nile. I know I am a bit in denile since I've been craving a far away getaway, but as we rediscover our own backyard, we find it has some pretty cool locations.

This adventure took us out to Goose Island about 10 miles south of La Crosse, where we put into the backwaters of the Misissippi. We cruised around along the canoe trail and had a nice picnic lunch just floating in the middle of the river viewing the local flora and fauna.

The lotus plant really caught my eye on this trip. A symbol of purity and beauty in many cultures, the plant loves to grows in the muckiest, muddiest bottoms of slower and warmer waters. I'd say the mighty muddy Mississippi offers this member of the water lily family an ideal setting.

From the bottom of the river bed, the leaves and flowers lift themselves out of the water forming perfect, unsoiled pinkish petaled blooms. You can tell the difference from other water lilies since they lay on top of the water. Here in the photo the blooms are done but the seed pods remain.

My latest gourd inspiration features the lotus leaves and blooms plus a few frogs.

Note: I purchased my seed pods from a craft store since they are not suppose to be picked in nature.

Monday, September 7, 2015

S'More Fun

 Labor Day at Perrot State Park is filled with fun activities for the whole family. For the past 8 years they have been celebrating the last big weekend of summer with the S'More Extravaganza.

Note: Some Mores (S'Mores) date back a hundred years.  

Let the fun begin

On Sunday, hopefully after their dinner time, everyone gathers by the Nature Center to toast the end of the season.

Kids of all ages welcome

Fires are lit and the goodies are spread out (needing two eight foot tables) to begin the creative culinary assemblage of the perfect, most delicious s'more. Over 30 different items to make your sweet treat even sweeter.

Mmmm Chocolate graham crackers

Have you ever tried oatmeal cookies instead of graham crackers? Or a peanutbutter cup instead of just plain chocolate. This is not an activity for marshmallow purists. You can even try fruity flavored marshmallows.

Caramel layering

Of course you can't eat just one, because the choices are calling everyone back to the table to see if they missed the sprinkles, frosting, a layer of caramel or even a little European twist with some Nutella.

Thanks to the Friends of Perrot, who sponsor the Nature Center events at Perrot State Park for another wonderful summer.

Check out the latest in t-shirts offered for sale. From kids to Adults 2X Love that they glow in the dark. Sales of shirts go towards the Friends activities.