December 5, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

The heat is overwhelming, and I’m out of herbicide. I head over to the lone bur oak tree where I had cached my supplies earlier, remove my backpack sprayer, and feast in the comforting shade. Minutes pass as I attentively mix a new batch of herbicide, oblivious to the...

November 14, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

The crunch, crunch, crunch of brittle snow underfoot is all I hear as we make our way along an agricultural ditch. In the southeast sky, the orange ball of the sun is breaking the ridgetop’s crest, but the frigid January air robs us of its warmth. I’m inspecting rows o...

October 24, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

It’s steep, I think, as I scan a faint overgrown path that leads straight up the bluff. “We’re going to go up that?” I hear another say in apparent disbelief. Single file, 10 of us embark on a struggle against gravity as we slip, slide, grab and lunge our way up the wo...

October 3, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

Crap, I think. How am I going to get to that sweet clover plant? I’m balancing on about a 55-degree slope below a chest-high vertical sandstone bench, and the plant is located on a second sandstone bench roughly eight feet above my head. It’s going to take too much tim...

August 29, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

It’s hot, and my clothing armor against the sun just makes it worse. I take a slow, deep breath through my nose, balancing my need for oxygen with the burning sensation of the humid air. I’m standing on an open sandstone ridge in a huge patch of blooming bergamot. Sudd...

August 8, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

It’s a depressing sight. We’re looking at a sea of reed canary grass in what was once a vibrant sedge meadow and wet prairie. Like nearly all the remaining wetlands in southern Wisconsin, nearby agriculture and development altered the area hydrology, setting the stage...

July 18, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

A cute little bird with a candy corn-like beak emerges from under a tuft of woolly sedge, and then nervously scampers by, flicking its tail wildly, just feet from my boots. A sora rail, I grin, my first sighting of the season. I see a spotted sandpiper teetering by the...

June 27, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

It’s one of those rare August days with low humidity and a cool breeze blowing from the north. I’m driving up a narrow, paved driveway lined on both sides with Colorado blue spruce. After a considerable distance, the rows of spruce end, giving way to an expansive yard....

June 6, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

The fog hangs evenly in the morning twilight as I make my way across the soggy soil. Steam from standing pools of water rises in the cold air in undulating waves, then disappears into the haze as it cools. I hear the winnowing of a Wilson’s snipe and look skyward. To m...

May 16, 2019

Ecologically Speaking|

The spring morning air is filled with the delicious sweet fragrance of American plum tree blossoms. I slowly inhale, savoring the pleasing aroma. The wild plum thicket is aglow in white, its dense flowers seemingly floating like clouds just above the ground. Suddenly,...

Please reload

Recent Posts

December 5, 2019

November 14, 2019

October 24, 2019

June 27, 2019

May 16, 2019

April 4, 2019

March 14, 2019

February 21, 2019

January 10, 2019

November 29, 2018

November 8, 2018

October 18, 2018

September 25, 2018

September 6, 2018

Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Environmental Returns llc

473 Peerless Road

Belleville, WI 53508

608-225-4467