January 2023 Monthly Update

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Puckagee Springs Update

Preliminary work continues at Puckagee Springs with a site walkabout and completion of permitting.  Prior to initiation of work, the documentation of the property is important to detail the proposed work and verify the current benchmark for 2023.  This current data was reviewed with the DNR with a work plan agreed upon.

The layer of ice on the lake has allowed us to see areas along the shoreline which were difficult to access previously by land or water.  The current conditions were measured with GPS location points confirmed for the remaining barrier location and reach of the wetland.  This data was then entered on the attached map to outline the scope of the project.  The two photos below are a good representation of the current extent of erosion.  As the inshore wetland is pulled into the lake, important habitat is lost with organic sediment drawn into the lake. 

Our paper chase continues with permits received from the various regulatory organizations which will authorize this work.  Current science and results from lakes in Wisconsin and Iowa has found that plant-based armoring of shorelines have a greater overall beneficial result than only stone rip-rap.  When low energy shorelines require maintenance, it is evident that the stone is not as stable as plant and tree cover.  This is shown on our photo history of Puckagee which depicts that the trees have survived with the rock breached and pulled toward the lake.  The Corps of Engineers has issued their permit for shoreline repair with biologic revetment (energy absorbing material to resist erosion).  Dodge County has provided their permit, and the DNR is making the last revisions for the Chapter 30 lake permit.  Our plan is to initiate restoration in April with placement of coir logs followed by live plant staking in mid-spring.

2023 Fundraising Banquet

Monday, April 17

Planning for the annual fundraising banquet that will be held at the Bayside Supper Club in the evening is underway.  Donations of items and/or cash are welcome!  Stay tuned for more information.  We hope to see you there!

The Sunflower Tribe

by Carolyn Aita

Looking out on a frozen January garden, I watch a white breasted nuthatch and a dark eyed junco have a conversation over some birdseed  (A). The first arrivals of this year’s garden catalogs spread out before me are both delighting and confusing.  So much to choose from!  Well, I like to watch pollinators in action (during their flight season, not now) and with this in mind, I look for descriptions in these catalogs that include the symbol of a butterfly or bee below the plant picture.  I notice that often these adorable symbols are found under the pictures of plants with daisy-like flowers, that is, a ring of petals surrounding central (sort of) flat disc.  These plants are heliantheae! What? In ordinary speech, they are members of the sunflower tribe.

Botanically speaking, a tribe is a plant group above genus and below family. Setting aside this tidbit for Trivia night at the tavern, let’s consider some common garden perennials in the sunflower tribe that pollinators love, namely, “eyed” susans, coneflowers, and (yes, perennial!) sunflowers.  These plants have composite flowerheads made up of many small flowers of two types: ray flowers and disc flowers (B).  The petals are part of the ray flowers. The eye or cone is made up of disc flowers.  Like traffic controllers in a busy airport, the petals direct an incoming pollinator to the disc flowers where nectar and pollen are stored.  (Fascinating!  See Heather Holm at www.PollinatorsNativePlants.com for a bee’s eye view of landing on a composite flower). In addition to being laden with easily accessible goodies, the central disc is physically sturdy and provides a firm resting place for pollinators between snacking.

Native susans, cones, and perennial suns are abundant in our garden from early summer to the frost.  (Aside:  I’m giving the Latin name of each plant below because they all have multiple English names.  Check the Latin name when you order from a catalog or in the nursery and you’ll get the plant you want.) Pale Purple Coneflowers (Echinacia pallida) and Ox-eye Sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides) greet the summer solstice.  By midsummer, stands of Purple Coneflowers (Echinacia purpurea) and Orange Coneflowers (Rudbeckia fulgida) support a myriad of pollinators including a Common Eastern bumble bee with full pollen baskets on its hind legs (B) and a lovely American Lady butterfly (C).  Yellow Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) mingle with switchgrass in our prairie plantings.  Brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia triloba), technically biennials but mega self-seeders, volunteer prolifically on any open ground (D).  Late blooming Sweet Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) stand over four feet and provide bright yellow-orange late season color. 

It’s not only the sunny spots that get the attention of the sunflower tribe.  Volunteers from a stand of Woodland Sunflowers (Helianthus strumosus) planted at the edge of a grove of uplimbed oaks and hickories fill in the bare earth in the light shade under the trees’ high canopy.  Green-eyed Coneflowers (Rudbeckia laciniata) thrive under the canopy of black walnut trees (!) in the moist earth at our lakeshore (E).  And after the flight season is over and pollinators are gone, the sunflower tribe provides food for winter birds.  Look at this American Tree Sparrow on top of a snowbank eating the seeds of our Orange Coneflowers (F).

Happy New Year to all of you, gentle Readers, and a wish for joy and contentment from our family to yours and all you hold dear.

Photos by Mike and Carolyn Aita


Key to Manure Spreading Restriction Maps

Check out the restriction maps posted on our website at bdlia.org under Resources.

BDLIA Mission Statement

We strive to engage the community in recreational activities; generate long-term

restoration projects working with like-minded, but diverse partners; and educate

the community on improving the quality of Beaver Dam Lake.

BDLIA Vision Statement

We envision a clean, restored, resilient Beaver Dam Lake with

gorgeous sunsets, recreational activities, and abundant wildlife for future generations.

Donate to BDLIA

Email us at info@bdlia.org or call us at (920) 356-1200. 

More information can be found on our website at http://bdlia.org

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