Friday, April 3, 2015

Hawthorne Hills County Park, WI (9 pictures)

A day off of work from the new job means a day for exploring. After looking around online at county parks and nature centers in the area, I decided to check out a place that intrigued me- Hawthorne Hills County Park, located just past the town of Cedarburg. What was cool about this park was just the diverse amount of terrain you came across while hiking. Rising hills dotted with tall pine trees that swayed slowly back-and-forth in some choreographed dance, the cold Milwaukee River running along the edge of the park, swampy, damp marshland underneath a boardwalk and a small creek running through ice and rocks. I went in the end of March, a few weeks after the start of Spring rolled around. It was almost as if the winter season's last remnants were fighting to stay. A dark, gray sky and fierce...

 winds made wood above creak and crack and the nearby current rumble. An interesting thing I noticed almost immediately when hiking in Wisconsin for the first time since I moved from Colorado recently, was just how much more diverse the forests are here. In many places in CO I passed through, it was all one or two main types of trees, and that was it. Even in this smaller natural setting just up the road from my house, I came across ferns, pines, maples, oaks, birch and cedars to name a few. There's a crazy observation I made between the nearly-identical Colorado Aspen and a regular Birch Bark tree you'd see here in the Midwest. Out west, Aspens grow together in bunches, with all their roots inter-connected underneath the dirt, whereas out here, it's not unusual to see just one Birch Bark  standing solo in a diverse mass of other trees. So while the weather was a bit mopey, it didn't detract from how beautiful this quiet place was. See the photos below, which can be enlarged by clicking on them: