June 30 FNBWA Barrens Nature Walk
Submitted by Mark Nupen, FNBWA President and Nature Walk Leader
Thank you to all who attended. We had a great nature walk! We started at a favorite spot, which is the Forest Home School on St. Croix Trail road just west of the Barrens Cabin. Lots of flowers of course and we talked about the old school house and how this originally was a farm community with its own school and farmers. Of course it all failed but it is part of the story of the Barrens. Native Americans successfully used the land for its plants and especially the blueberries which grow best in the fire-impacted lands of the Barrens.
We walked north from the school along the small trail just west of the school house. Then we headed out on Gomulak Fire Ln and Clemens Road. We could hear the calls from the Uplands Sandpipers nearby. When disturbed, the Uplands put on a spectacular broken wing act to lead divert attention from their nest area. We could also hear the Sharp-tailed grouse nearby.
I wanted to show one of my favorite plants, the Sweetfern. I love its fragrance and appearance which is quite densely located in some areas but other areas hardly any. So we went east and south of Clemens road and found lots of sweet fern plants. Sweet Fern was an important herb used by Native Americans. I love this plant because it is like ‘perfume’ on the Barrens. Where it grows thick it’s fragrance is all around you.
We all had a great day on the Barrens.