Today’s post is 1220 words, 22 photos, a 6 minute read. Enjoy!
Thanks for all the comments about last weeks post that I titled “I’ll Never Look at Trees the Same Way Again.” If you missed that article, click here for the link. I wrote that article after reading “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. IMHO, a powerful story about the value, strength, and importance of trees on human existence.
This week, I continue my regard for trees by bringing you a few stories and photos of trees I encountered in 2022.
I’ll start with a look at trees in the late spring before the leaves emerged. The end of April found us in Door County, one our many favorite places in Wisconsin and world, if the truth be told. We were on a four-day scouting mission for our month-long July stay for our fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration. The spring weather was cool, clammy, and gray. We didn’t see the sun much at all during our stay but that didn’t stop us from see some of the sites.
This photo is from Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park looking toward the village of Ephraim. The trees were bare but budding, waiting for warm weather to release those leaves.
Here’s the same view in late July. A lot more greenery and brighter, warmer weather.
And this is a photo from Eagle Tower in early October as the leaves were beginning to turn. Regardless of the season, these trees show their beauty. In the winter and spring, we see the branches and limbs. They are hidden away by the leaves in the summer and fall until they drop for the winter.
This photo was taken in late April from the Old Ski Hill Overlook in Potawatomi State Park near Sturgeon Bay. On this day, the clouds were a little higher and let in a little light for the scene.
This is what it looks like in the fall. Actually, this photo was taken in 2018. The Overlook is very popular to watch the sunset, it can be spectacular.
More Door County
The following two photos were taken at Newport State Park, an officially certified Dark Sky Park, near the tip of Door Peninsula. The top photo was taken on a July evening just before sunset. We were attending a dark sky viewing program to take a look at the solar system, things like stars and planets. Before dark, I was wandering around with camera in hand. I saw these trees along the shoreline silhouetted against Lake Michigan and the pinkish clouds in the sky. They too were waiting for the stars and the Milky Way to appear.
In October, we returned to Newport while touring around the county. I took this photo from a slightly different angle but there were those trees hugging the shoreline. Same trees, a different look just three months later.
The next pair of photos were taken at Cave Point County Park of two plein air painters at work. Both were painting a stubby tree that hangs on the edge of a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. That tree is buffed by wind and waves but yet it persists. Probably this tree’s greatest stress comes from the thousands of tourists that visit Cave Point and trample its roots. It’s miracle that has lasted this long. One tough tree being immortalized in a painting. Now that’s everlasting satisfaction.
Here’s the scene they were painting taken in April.
Near the artists stands this tree with exposed roots. Look at the intricate web those roots weave to secure and feed the above ground tree we see above the surface of the earth. Don’t you wonder what goes on “down under?”
The next two photos are the delicious fruit of cherry trees that populate Door County. These are sweet cherries whose fruit matures in early to mid July. Sour cherry varieties mature later in the month. While cherry trees are not native to Door County, these trees flourished in the mild weather and moisture moderated by Lake Michigan. They quickly adapted to the shallow, rocky soil present in Door County.
When early settlers came to Door County, the peninsula was covered in trees, with white pine, balsam fir, cedar, and birch the most prevalent. A large portion of those trees were harvested and shipped to build Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Chicago as well as other communities. Some of the forests recovered but other did not after stumps were removed and fields were plowed. More recently, land owners have planted trees for shelter from the winds and privacy from nosy passersby. Below is an example from our July stay in Door County. After an early morning rain, a robust rainbow appeared above tree belt (junipers, I think)across the road from the farmhouse where we stayed. I think it’s ironic, the utility pole in the middle of the photo used to stand tall in a forest before being harvested and put to work holding up energized wires.
I took these photos during our October camping trip to Door County. The trees were just beginning to turn with the peak about a week to ten days away. But there were some beauties to behold.
During our two-week stay in west central Minnesota, we came in contact with a lot of trees. In the photo below, we walked one of the many paths in Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar. While the sun was warm and breezy the day of our visit, our walk among the trees was cool and a shelter from the wind. This mixed forest with several varieties of trees is an example of what much of Minnesota and Wisconsin looked like before lumberjacks, pioneers and homesteaders arrived on the scene.
We camped in Sibley State Park near New London, Minnesota. The park was covered in trees of many varieties. We enjoyed walking the trails through the tree and offered us a peek at the lakes, bogs, and marshes.
Late August found us in our home state of North Dakota to visit family. One morning I snuck away before sunrise to visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The top photo is from the park’s South Unit. Every time I visit, I make a stop at the Wind Canyon Overlook. After a short walk from the parking lot, visitors can look down into the narrow canyon below with an animal trails leading to the Little Missouri River. I’m looking west so the trees on the middle left of photo are growing on the north slope of the canyon where they are protected from the hot summer sun. Note, there are a few shrubby plans on the south facing slope on the right. Very common in the Badlands.
This photo was taken in the North Unit shortly after sunrise. Cottonwoods, elm, boxelder, and ash trees cling to the river bottom along the Little Missouri.
For the last photo in this post, I selected one that I took on a photo scavenger hunt I organized for a small group of young autistic men. From where I was standing, all but the sixteen foot statute “Forward” was visible above the large trees that populate the State Capitol grounds. The Capitol is the tallest building in Madison at 285 feet, just three feet shorter than the U. S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
This does for this week. I hope you enjoyed another edition of tree photos. I promise I’ll move on to a new topic next week!
Until then, happy travels!