Saturday, October 20, 2007

Light through the leaves

A stained-glass effect of light through the maples hanging over the Portage River this morning. A powerful storm blew through this week, tornado sirens wailing as the wind whipped the trees around. Fountains of greenish flame pouring out of great slashes in black clouds. But today is sunny and beautiful.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Skunk cabbages sprouting?

This doesn't seem quite right. Usually I first see my skunk cabbages (Symplocarpus foetidus) coming up through the snow in January (see January 20th.) Why are they sprouting now? Or is this something I've missed in other years? Here is one with it's big pineapple-ly seed pod:

And another:

The spicebush by the river is turning yellow. It has tiny green buds at the tips of the branches.

A lichen and a mushroom on the bank.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

High Banks and Small Flowers

Not much fall color yet; silver maple and poison ivy hanging over the water are red and peach. The water-willow "islands" in Hoffman Pond and upriver from the dam are all red, slowly fading to brown. Some viburnum growing in the shade is also bright red. Downriver on the high banks all is mostly green. Leaves are falling from the maples. Little asters in purple and white are still in bloom.

On other rivers Indian Mounds are found on high banks like these next to the Portage. I wonder who lived here long ago.

This little aster is decidedly purple. Peterson leads me to "bush aster", Aster dumosus, it's something similar. This one has hairy stems.

This one has much longer, white petals. And longer leaves, leaf edges also smooth and flowers growing out of the joint with the leaves. It also is pretty much in the water of the marsh. I have a feeling that there are a lot of asters... possibly Seriocarpus linifolius?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The "Celtic", Portage River steamboat

"The Dentler Steam Boat in the foreground built by Frank Dentler to transport grain, wool, and lumber from the three mills east and west to the rail stations. The boat was also used to transport people up the river to dances. During the election of 1860, the Wide Awakes, a political group, used the boat for a trip up the river and on the return held a torch light parade through the town. On its first trip they knocked the smoke stack off going under a bridge. Mill in back had laminated 2x4s for grain bins. Burned on the first day of Prohibition. The mill workers stocked up, got drunk, burnt the mill, part of the steam boat. The boat was named "Celtic"."

From "Park Township Sesquicentennial", Township Officials, Eds. (1988)

(Prohibition began on January 16, 1920)