Natureland is a county park on Whitewater Lake in Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA. It has great hiking trails that take you through some very pretty country. I visited recently with my granddaughter, Natalia, who came along primarily to keep me out of trouble. We had a wonderful time walking in the forest and prairie ecosystems. I recorded these images. I hope you’ll enjoy them. You can click on an image to see a larger version.
This is a view from the shore of Whitewater Lake. The birds are Great, Common or Large Egrets (Ardea alba).
This is one way to look at tall pines; straight up. See how everything seems to converge to the middle? I was sitting on the ground when I made this image. These trees are mostly around 100 ft (30 m) high. They make quite a racket when a gust of wind sets them swaying in the breeze. They smack into each other, and they creak and groan as the wind knocks them to and fro.
I like the strong (more or less) vertical lines when I look at the tall pines a little more horizontally. I get a sense of the majesty of the forest. Except for the bird songs, there is no sound.
This is early goldenrod (Solidago juncea). If you’re sensitive to pollen, you probably don’t like it very much, but it’s such a bright pretty yellow.
Leaving the lowland pine forest, the trail climbs up into the hardwoods.
I just like the light and shadows in this one. It is the top of the hill though.
This view is from the edge of the highland hardwood forest (just up on the hill, really) looking out at the tall pines in the lowland as we, once again, approach Whitewater Lake.
As we steadily descend, the forest begins to thin.
A Dragonfly posed for a picture.
Sorry, I don’t know how to identify the scientific names of butterflies, but this one asked to have its picture taken.
This is the little cove at the end of Whitewater Lake.
This little stream drains into Whitewater Lake.
This scene is on the banks of the feeder stream. The flowers are yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). I tried to get Bambi for this one, but his agent said he was already booked.
Eutrophication is the process by which a lake turns into a bog, and eventually into dry land. It is caused by heavy concentrations of nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, which are abundant in agricultural runoff. This little pond is cut off from Whitewater Lake. It is located in a marshy area, which is already rich in peat, and there are no farms in the immediate vicinity. I don’t see how agriculture could be to blame here. I’m pretty sure it’s just nature at work.
Please allow me to introduce yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).
Most of these blooms are yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). The purple mop-top is
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), and the white flower, of course, is Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota). Queen Anne’s Lace is not native to Wisconsin, but it’s a polite and unobtrusive immigrant from the old world, so nobody is very upset by its presence.