Posts in Nature
The Amish Way of Communicating with Nature

A way of living is more important than communicating it in words. The ultimate message is the life. -- An Amish person will have no doubt about his basic convictions, his view of the meaning and purpose of life, but he cannot explain it except through his life. - John A. Hostetler, Amish Society, 1993  

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NatureNicole Porter
Forest Bathing: Do I Bring a Towel?

The healing way of Shinrin-yoku (森林浴), or Forest Therapy, and is the medicine of simply being in the forest. The term Shinrin-yoku means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” Forest Bathing was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing

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Coo coo ca choo. The Barred Owl.

Barred owls, Strix varia, are a treat to see because they spend most of their lives hidden from view in deep shadowy forests. Although we seldom see them, we hear them often. Barreds are fairly vocal with a repertoire of barks, hoots, yells, shrieks, moans and groans that penetrate the darkness. Their most familiar call is a low, mournful rhythmic eight-hoot often transcribed as "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for y'all" with the final drawled-out note sliding down the scale. On a still night, the haunting owl talk can travel a mile or more.

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Cows, Country Mice, and Clover

Originally Posted by The Prairie Ecologist by Chris Helzer on January 12, 2011

Several years ago, I was walking through one of our restored (reconstructed) prairies in early August, scouting for prairie clover seed harvest sites with one my technicians.  About a week earlier, we’d seen an abundance of prairie clover blooming in the same prairie, so we were coming back to see whether it was going to make seed or not.  

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Cerulean Warbler Habitat

The Cerulean Warbler breeds in large blocks of mature upland and lowland hardwood forests (Hamel 2000) and, in Wisconsin, occurs most often in oak-hickory and maple forest types (Mossman 2006). It is considered to be area-sensitive, but appears to possess a degree of plasticity in its habitat affinities (Jones et al. 2001). Habitat measures such as extent of canopy, tree species composition, stand age, and tract size vary considerably across its range (Hamel 2000).

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Violets, violets and more violets: Plant a flower, Feed a Fritillary


Regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia), a butterfly presently listed as a Federal Species of Concern and Endangered in Wisconsin, has been found in large grassland areas with tallgrass prairie remnants or lightly grazed pasture lands containing prairie vegetation. The larval food plants are violets, primarily prairie violet (Viola pedatifida), birdsfoot violet (V. pedata) and arrowleaf violet (V.sagittata). Adults are present between late June and early September with peak flight usually the first part of July.

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Milkeeed: Plant a Flower, Feed a Monarch

Asclepias species produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom, comparable to orchids in complexity: Whorled, Purple, Prairie, Antelope, Horse tail. All members of the genus Asclepias are appealing to Monarch butterflies and caterpillars. Nine species grow in Crawford County but only four are available at local nurseries. I’m going to show you six more today.  

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What Are Prairie Enthusiasts?

Prairie Sky Sanctuary is a member of the Southwest Chapter of the Prairie Enthusiasts, in the heart of the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. The area contains dry hill prairies, river terrace sand and wet prairies, and oak savannas. There are many Prairie Enthusiast-owned properties that require our care in managing and restoring. Our chapter was one of the first chapters formed, and we have a rich history! 

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NatureNicole PorterFeatured