|PLANTING THE TRAIL HEAD, 8:30 AM...|
|...COMPLETED, 11:30 AM|
|PRETTIEST DITCH IN TOWN|
Sunday, 9:00 AM. 65 degrees F, wind calm. The sky is clear with some haze in the east. The humidity is 69% and the barometer is up, at 30.06". It is a gorgeous day, but the pollen count is increasing, and both Joan and I are snuffling and sneezing a unexpected moments.
The new east entrance to the Brownstone Trail was planted to native wildflowers and grasses yesterday. The planting itself was done quite quickly. The volunteer group (seven women and lucky me) met at 8:30 AM and 750 plus plants were in the ground before noon, and that included a coffee and muffin break. The plants are native prairie and northern meadow wildflowers and Little and Big Bluestem grasses. The site is well suited to the xerophytic and mesophytic species planted. The planting site had been tilled and topsoil and some well-rotted manure added on Friday. The plants were grown by Wildflower Woods Nursery of Washburn, and the project funded through The Bayfield Regional Conservancy, which manages the two-mile trail along the lakeshore. I designed the landscape last year. It still has some other elements to plant but it looks quite good even at this stage of completion.
Even though the plants are in the ground and well watered, they still have to be mulched with wood chips and monitored for water, and of course weeded. Untended, they will not thrive. There is no such thing as a "no maintenance" landscape, native or not.
The Brownstone Trail is unique in that it is mostly private property on which the Conservancy has negotiated easements over a period of years. It is very popular, and is heavily used by residents and visitors alike. It is on an old railroad right-of-way so the gradient is very amenable to walking and biking. It is also quite scenic, starting at the downtown marina and boat launch and progressing along the lake bluffs and its cliffs and their beautiful views of harbor and lake. It gives everyone the opportunity to take a hike or bike ride in what I like to describe as the "friendly wilderness"of Bayfield. On less busy days it is not unusual to catch a glimpse of deer, bear and eagles as well as other wildlife.
The "prettiest ditch in town" is on Ninth Street, just south of Washington Avenue. It is blooming with lupines and wood lilies, and is inspiring me to do something similar with the drainage ditch in the front of our house. The projects never end (and that's a good thing).