St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

St Croix River Open Near Nevers Dam

Rambling up the River Road north of St Croix Falls we were pleased to see open water along the edges from Spangler's Landing (Wild Mountain area) gradually opening up until a mile or so south of Nevers Dam it was all open. 
 Springs along the St Croix add micro-climates with over-wintering plants and early green shoots of Skunk Cabbage and other wetland plants. 
Springs along the St Croix
 The spring banks just north on the River Road off of Hwy 87 already showed some green shoots and some of the red skunk cabbage leafs poking out of the soggy boggy hillside.  Always the first place to start--the spring water keeps things from freezing all winter long.  

The river above St Croix Falls is opening along the edges and by the time you get to N

 The River is open for a mile or two below Nevers Dam attracting all sorts of water birds.  We saw geese, trumpeters, ducks and heard their wonderful sounds of returning spring.  A sandhill crane added his distinctive squawk.   The snow is still deep in the woods, but spring is coming!

Where ever farmers feed their livestock, turkeys, deer, pheasants and all sorts of other wildlife share.  The farmers don't mind.  

The snow is too deep to wade down to the river, but stopping to take photos, we could see trumpeter swans, geese, ducks and here the wonderful spring racket of their calls.  The first robins have been here a few days, puddles are forming, and the muddy season has arrived.    Under the snow, according to the electric linemen digging in posts along the River Road south of Evergreen Av, there is no frost at all--so we are hopeful the water will soak in this spring.  

Although we tapped a few easy-to-reach maple trees today, they are dripping every so slowly.  With the snow dropping fast, we hope to tap the rest this week.  My family has made syrup in Wisconsin at least since the 1860s when they homesteaded in Maple Grove Township, Barron County WI. 
Hanson's syruping -- 1920s or so.