In Milwaukee With Anna & Family

I spent most of the last weekend with Anna & family in Milwaukee. There was no special occasion, not big plans – we just wanted to get together. 

Also, after a long wait and anticipation, I was finally able to take Amtrak to Milwaukee. It’s tons better than it used to be taking the Van Galder bus to Madison! The ride is about 1.5 hours and very comfortable, with WiFi and electric plugs by every seat 🙂

The thing I enjoyed most was the water quality monitoring. Anna is involved with the Milwaukee Riverkeeper project, and she asked me whether I would like to go with her and Nadia to do the measurements. 

It was so interesting! She has a whole case of scientific instruments and chemical reagents and the instruction book from the program. The monitoring includes measuring the water temperature, transparency, oxygen level, and more. 

I enjoyed this experience on many levels: 1) it is super cool that volunteers can participate in a real scientific project, 2) it is so important for the environment 3) I enjoyed doing something important together with Anna and Nadia 4) I was in a forest preserve, which I really miss!

I need to figure out how to get out to nature even when I am in the city!

Biking To The Shakespeare Garden

I tried it once, and got lost :), so I was looking for an opportunity to bike early in the morning so that there will be no traffic, and on a day when I won’t have to go somewhere. Last Sunday, I decided that it’s now or never. The potential forty-minute round trip took over an hour, but at least I found the Garden!

The catch is that you can’t “bike to” that garden, you need to walk your bike on the last stretch. And Google was bringing me to the parking lot “under” the garden from where there was no way to get to the garden itself.

Some pictures from my bike ride to the North:

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Deer Grove – For The Last Time

I still hope to make one last work day with Friends of Deer Grove, but one thing for sure – today was the last time I scouted my spring area as a Weed Scout.

I took mom with me, so that she could also see the part of the forest preserve she usually does not see. I l spotted beautiful spring flowers.

And I performed my last act of service to the Forest Preseervee – pulled out a dozen of garlic mustard plants!

Also, I educated several passerbys about invasives and why we are fighting Garlic mustard, which I guess was also an act of service.

I will miss Deer Drove, and all the people with whom I volunteered there for seven years…

Deer Grove Natural Area Volunteers

On Saturday, I was invited to a special gathering of the Deer Grove Forest Preserve Volunteers. We celebrated the twenty-five years of Deer Grove Volunteers. It would be a huge celebration at the times of peace, but because of the pandemic, it was a really small group.

I felt honored to be invited because most of the people present at this meeting were there from the start, or almost from the start, and I have been with DGNAV for only six and a half years.
There were lots of stories told, and a representative from the Cook County Forest Preserves told us how we are the best group of volunteers and how they are not telling us what to do because we are self-guided and only need to coordinate with FPCC.

And it was a beautiful day, just like this whole week, and it was 75F, and I do not even know what it was in the sun 🙂

Summer In November

Last week, I wore boots and gloves, and just last weekend, I moved all outdoor furniture into the basement and folded the big outdoor umbrella. And then, the Universe gave us this incredible gift: not just one day, but three days of summer in November, and three more days to come!
Yes, I pulled my sandals back from storage, and I biked, and I had my kitchen door opened for the whole day. How much of summer those who above is going to give us, I will take it all!

Trump bridge stays open – a view from a distance
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Havenwoods State Park

This park is very close to Anna’s house, and on Sunday all five of us went there for a nature walk. I thought that Sunday was cold, but turned out it was way warmer than Monday :).

I am so glad we went there! It is beautiful, and it is so different from Deer Grove, although it also has some prairie, wetland and woodland. Lots of pictures 🙂

Community garden
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