In case you were wondering why The Buckthorn Man got so upset about the sweetheart deal the Village of Hartland secretly gave to JD McCormick, LLC to develop the Riverwalk apartment complex that I reported on last time, it’s because I happened to be reading Gustavus Myers’ fantastic History of the Great American Fortunes. In the fine tradition of John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Marshal Field, Jay Gould, J. Pierpont Morgan and Edward H. Harriman, Joe McCormick is getting rich at the taxpayer’s expense and that bugs me. I had hoped to work with the Village of Hartland to help them formulate a plan to restore, preserve and protect their environmental corridor but I found that Village Administrator and Board have no integrity and cannot be trusted. The taxpayers of Hartland gave “Poor Joe” $1,615,000 to acquire the land for the Riverwalk development and they don’t know or care, or they don’t care to know, or they know and don’t care — I don’t know.
I’ve been trying to carry on at the Scuppernong Springs, but with a heavy heart, and I even organized a workday with the Ice Age Trail Alliance at the Hartland Marsh despite my disgust and disillusionment with the Village leadership. Here are a few recent pages from The Buckthorn Man‘s diary .
June 23, 2016
A large patch of poison hemlock had sprung up out of nowhere near the old hotel site and I carefully mowed it down with my brush cutter.
It’s been three years since I became enlightened with “organic consciousness” and I don’t spray weeds with herbicide anymore. Now I just mow and pull and try to stop the weeds from going to seed. I mowed this patch of crown vetch near the Hotel Springs.
The Emerald Springs are a lovely little pool of springs but half of them were hidden under a blanket of watercress. Here is a gallery of before and after shots of my weed pulling exercise. I’m not done here and plan to open up this pool and make it more accessible to ducks in the dead of winter.
June 25, 2016
Last February we got a big assist from the DNR when Don Dane and Mike Spaight donated two days of forestry mowing to our restoration project at the Hartland Marsh. The Friends of the Hartland Marsh and members of the Waukesha/Milwaukee chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance joined forces in hand to hand combat with buckthorn seedlings on a very hot and steamy summer day.
June 27, 2016
Back at the Scuppernong Springs, there was one last area of springs called The Hillside Springs that really needed some attention. The springs were choked with watercress.
I spent the afternoon pulling Canada Thistle and I really appreciated DNR Conservation Biologist, Jared Urban, sharing the following information about native and invasive thistles.
One thing that makes working at The Springs so much fun is when other people appreciate it. The Keepers of the Springs, John and Sue Hrobar sent me these fantastic dragonfly pictures that Sue took there.
June 29, 2016
Back at the Hillside Springs there were 4, 8′ deck sections laying directly on the ground near the springs blocking the natural flow of water down the hillside. One of the decks had been damaged by fire and they were not arranged in a way that provided the best view of the springs. I had a general plan to reuse 40′ of boardwalk that had been high and dry on the main trail nearby for years, and bring the 5, 8′ deck sections over to the Hillside Springs and use them to build a better viewing platform. This would require pedestals to support the decks, like we have done in other locations, and there was a handy large dead aspen tree nearby that I planned to take down and cut up into building material. Listen as The Buckthorn Man explains his plan.
I spent the afternoon pulling Canada thistle.
July 2, 2016
I mentioned to Ben Johnson that I had one goal for the year and that was to fix the decks at the Hillside Springs and he immediately responded and suggested we get after it pronto — so we did. Thanks Ben! Lindsay Knudsvig joined in the fun and we had a deck raising party!
July 5, 2016
I spent a peaceful and meditative day pulling thistles. It was a very satisfying feeling to weed gardens of bee balm, aster and goldenrod of their prickly invaders.
July 8, 2015
More Canada thistle pulling along with any white and yellow clover I could find.
I mowed the weeds near the marl pit bridge and pulled thistle and clover the rest of the day.
Another day spent pulling thistle. I really enjoyed the solitude.
The week of July 19-25 I went to Ann Arbor Michigan to help my good friend Chris Belleau present his glass artwork at the their famous street fair.