There is just something refreshing and rejuvenating about visiting what I like to call the Circle. I’m surrounded by nature daily and love it. I walk around our 2-acre prairie almost every day and love seeing all the flowers… what is blooming now and watching the evolution of our work. Everyday I notice something and while it can be fantastic, I am always in the shadow of my life… of things that need doing. Weeds to pull, brush to clear, gardening, harvesting fruits and vegetables, getting ready for work… you get the idea.
When Lilly and I walk out onto the wildlife area next door, part of the Southwest Wisconsin Grassland & Stream Conservation Area, and out of site of our home it can be freeing. Some of this can be the newness and the chance to explore. I walk and Lilly bounds across fields of mostly grass in the direction of the Circle. Lilly is just happy to be exploring, while I am enjoying the vistas. As we walk a clump of trees comes into focus… there a clumps on the horizons, but this group of trees is special. This group of trees is composed of ancient oaks.
As we get closer I can appreciate just how majestic these trees can be. There are 10+ trees (really I’ve never counted them) that make up the Circle. Most are open grown oaks with sprawling branches.
There are at least 2 shagbark hickory trees in the Circle. As I wander from tree to tree looking at their structure and marveling at their height I get lost in the their beauty and rarity. It’s not that common to find a cluster like this. I suspect these trees once were part of a great savanna that rolled into the prairie we’ve been restoring. After wandering the Circle and enjoy the trees Lilly and I head home. Trekking over the grassland on the way back to our prairie I’m refreshed and at peace. Can it be that visiting the Circle (and taking photos) has brought this feeling? I like to believe so.