this weekend i went to wisconsin to check out locations for a cabin* shared with my sisters and to visit jenee. on the way back, i dropped in to st. croix state park.
when i started in april, there was snow on the ground, and on the drive through st. croix, the leaves were changing and starting to shove autumn right on in. i got stamp # 70 in my passport, another display that time has just slipped right on by this summer.
i have stopped at st. croix before on the way past. there’s a section of the park that sustained some pretty severe wind damage in 2008. the last time i was there, i drove past and kind of poo-pooed the landscape because it wasn’t very appealing. but NOW i know: what’s really super interesting is that the wind damage started an unintentional restoration of a pine-barren oak savanna habitat, which is really rare in MN and other areas. wildlife and birds now have habitat opportunities that they haven’t seen since settlers came in and started plowing and restricting the wildfires that maintained the oak savanna. the oaks are kind of scrubby and there aren’t a lot of big, old-growth oaks, but they are here and there across a wide expanse that have no other trees. red-headed woodpeckers have reemerged in the state with this new old habitat.
the st. croix is a lovely part of the state, from stillwater up to duluth, all the state parks i’ve visited on the st croix have been especially nice.
just two parks left, which i will pick up in early october.
before then, you’ll hear from me on RAGNAR and also i’m heading to the black hills the first week of october (YAY).
*we decided on the minong area! now to save up enough for that down payment.