Views Near and Far

From the top of Cactus Bluff, within Ferry Bluff State Natural Area, there is a view that no one can resist photographing.  I could probably do a series of posts just on the many views of the Wisconsin River that I’ve taken there over the years!  That’s probably proof that I have more than enough pictures already and don’t need to take any more, but I always do.

Of course, even when you’re not standing on the edge of the 300-ft cliff, there are some amazing things to look at.  As a 400-acre State Natural Area, Ferry Bluff has been preserved as habitat for the rare plants and animals that inhabit it.  It is an important Bald Eagle roost, and is closed from November through mid-April to allow the eagles undisturbed access.  Dry prairie remnants dot the cliff tops, showing some of their best colors when I was there last week.  Recent management, including several prescribed burns, has helped to restore the oak savanna and woods on the south and west facing slopes, and the steep north-facing slope at the back is full of woodland ephemerals.  When I was there, one of my favorite plants was beginning to bloom – Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepius tuberosa), so that’s what I’m showcasing here – both from Ferry Bluff and from another dry bluff-top a few miles to the north.

 

…And don’t forget that it’s your last chance to voice your opinion about this week’s Mystery Photo, from the previous post!

Butterfly Milkweed mid-bloom

Looking east…

Looking west…

Butterfly Milkweed near the top of Cactus Bluff

Why it’s called Cactus Bluff

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