Nearby Nature staffer and Master Naturalist Martina Patterson led an enthusiastic group of 30 on a Fall Color Walk at Havenwoods State Forest on Nov 17th, 2021. Martina’s connection to nature is a very personal, and she provided a unique perspective. Nature writer and photographer Eddee Daniel shared this photo essay of the walk, prefaced by Martina’s presentation. We gave away our new water bottles to those willing to take the no-plastics pledge.
Martina began the walk by acknowledging the original stewards of the land, the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Menominee peoples. Starting with some deep breathing exercises to acknowledge our senses, we walked, talked, smelled, and heard the forest around us.The deciduous trees going through their senescence provided a visual symphony. It was a beautiful warm fall day. Participants came from disparate parts of the city, some visiting Havenwoods for the first time. Some new friendships were made and old acquaintances were rekindled. It was not surprising that the most probing questions came from the youngest in the group, and the young man shared some of his unique knowledge of trees. We were blessed with a hawk soaring and calling overhead. We identified trees and plants in their autumn disguises and talked about the staff and volunteer stewards of Havenwoods battling with invasive plants to restore prairie and woodlands to near their original glory. The history of Havenwoods is nearly as colorful, with marshland becoming farms, becoming a military prison, becoming a Cold War missile site, and now a place where neighbors can come to reconnect with their senses surrounded by natural beauty. Please take a moment to view the rest of the photos in Eddee Daniel’s beautiful photo essay on his blog, “A Wealth of Nature.”