TPE has set in place new guidelines to enable us to begin holding our important field trips and work parties going forward while protecting our safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.Read more
Susan S. Chambers, Many Rivers Chapter member, explores the awe we can discover each and every day, and especially when we are isolated at home. A notable poet, she shows us how the comfort of a poem can touch us spiritually.
Happy May Day 2020! This may be one of the the most important days of the year. Symbolically, this day represents the return of life and fertility to the world. Astrologically, today marks the midpoint of Spring, half way between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.Read more
Please enjoy these beautiful Spring photos contributed by our members! Let go of the last bits of winter and take a virtual walk through Nature and witness the new beginnings of growth on the Prairie. Welcome back sunshine to our land and our lives!
Photo by Joe RisingRead more
This week more reptiles and amphibians are becoming active. The musical trill of American Toads can now be heard from some ponded wetlands. Toads typically breed when water temperatures are over 60⁰ F but may be heard singing from late April until mid-summer.Read more
The main theme of this series of posts is the sense of nature that gives us strength and healing. The poetry of Wendell Berry often does that. He was in touch with the earth, though often from a more agricultural standpoint. He once wrote a poem about stones, from a farmer’s point of view. They are obstacles, needing to be broken up and removed so that the land can be cultivated. But Berry also shows regard and respect for these stones, for what he calls their music, mute in them until he connects to them and they connect him to the ground.
Photo by Stephen WinterRead more
Spring is in the air! We are blessed to have so much native habitat nearby to enjoy. We want to encourage you to go see a prairie, oak savanna, or local park to look for signs of spring. The seasonal weather we are having is just what we need to bring life out on the prairie. This will help us find that welcome feeling of hope and health! As you can see in these photos, this is a special time to be out in nature.Read more
Undaunted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Empire-Sauk Chapter delivered its March 28, 2020 basic burn crew training workshop online. Teachers Rob Baller, Andy Sleger and Scott Fulton, together with moderator Grace Vosen, utilized Zoom to present the 6-hour program to 31 students, including a number from a Dane County Parks volunteer training class which had been cancelled.
Scott Fulton teaching the Empire-Sauk Chapter online burn class. Photo by Karen Agee
The 2020 TPE burn season was dramatically shortened but was not a complete bust. Just as the season was getting underway the COVID-19 outbreak hit, with stay-at-home orders issued in late March for Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. State, county and local authorities also issued burn bans in some places, and TPE made a recommendation to stop burning with volunteer crews on March 24.Read more
Introducing a new phenology series. Pat Trochlell, author of 'This Week in the Driftless Area' will bring us on a virtual tour of what is happening in our native habitat through her new column. We hope to post this series weekly on our TPE Facebook page, found at https://www.facebook.com/ThePrairieEnthusiasts/ Look for her updates on Thursday afternoons. Pat's inspiration comes from her career as a wetland ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR. Pat and her husband, Ken Wade, live near and are stewards of TPE's 30-acre Parrish Oak Savanna, a diverse woodland ecosystem of 240 native species.
Prairie smoke emerging at Moely Prairie, Prairie du Sac, WI. Photo by Amy ChamberlainRead more