Arboretum Preambulation

A walk around the University of Wisconsin Arboretum is a pleasure.

But I confess to not taking the time to enjoy it up close very often since moving to Madison.  I've ridden my bike through the park several times and there was a short walk to the tunnel, but I was lacking on walking it.

This week I embarked through prairie restoration and natural woodland and savanna areas.

New in the last few days are the leaves.

Bright green jewels on bare branches drinking in sunshine.

The sounds are different in spring.

It's birds singing and calling.  Squirrels and chipmunks scurrying across the forest floor.  A low rumble and roar from traffic on unseen roads.

And drips.

The smack of liquid hitting leaves caught my attention.  I looked into the blue sky framed by tree branches to discern the source.  Tree sap was glistening on the needles of a towering pine.  I don't think I've ever heard the drip-drip-drip before.  It was captivating.

The trail wound from the prairie into the woods then back toward the prairie and a small pond.

That's where this pair crossed my path.  The one in front is the Tom. It briefly displayed it's tail, but it was down before I could click the shutter.

And they were gone, melding into the trees and browns of the forest floor.

The trail I was on came to a dead end by the pond where a stream empties into it.  There was no bridge or good way across, so I retraced my steps.

In this section of the prairie there were signs for different trails, including signs for skiers and runners.  What confused me where signs by some trails which read, "This is not a trail, please preserve the prairie."

I get that, but in two places it seemed the "Do Not Use" sign was on one side of the path and a sign pointing out where to ski and run were beside it.  I barely scratched the surface of the arboretum's wild world this time, I can't wait until the next visit.