October 2022 Monthly Update

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Help Us Out

We are looking for about five volunteers to call lapsed members. This will take each volunteer about an hour, and a script will be provided.  Email us at info@bdlia.org or call (920) 356-1200 to sign up or to find out more.

Two New Members of the BDLIA Board of Directors

Steve Hughes and Jennifer Duke

I am married with three children and three grandchildren. Patrice and I have been married 35 years; we both have spent most of our lives in the Beaver Dam area.

My professional life has been working in the food industry, having been in the food processing machinery design and build industry for the last 32 years with the last 20 years as CEO.

We have lived on Beaver Dam Lake for the last 21 years. Our family has been involved with the Beaverland Must-skis for over 22 years. A typical summer weekend is on Beaver Dam Lake with our family enjoying the views and watching the sunsets on Beaver Dam Lake from our deck.

It is my hope that my life experiences and passion for recreational use of Beaver Dam Lake can be useful in helping support the vision of the BDLIA.

I am recently retired from teaching Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences after 28 years. We relocated from Oakfield to Beaver Dam 7 years ago after living there for 10 years.

Ben and I have been married 28 years and have 3 college-aged children. We currently love spending time on the lake, exploring new wines and traveling together. Ben runs a boat manufacturing company for Polaris Corp in northern Indiana.

We have always loved being on and near the water whether swimming in the ocean or boating on a lake or river. We’ve lived near the Ohio River in Indiana, the Chesapeake Bay on an island in Maryland and Christmas every year at Ft. Myers Beach.

My desire to be a part of BDLIA comes from a belief that you cannot want something to change or improve without getting involved. After the first meeting, I realized there were so many things I didn’t know were being done and also knew many fellow neighbors on the lake also didn’t know. I hope I can help to get the message of the improvements being done by BDLIA out there as well as using my connections at the school district to involve students.

October Skies

by Carolyn Aita

Early October tiptoes around claiming its place in the calendar as Autumn.  By offering a brisk, sunny and enjoyable dawn, it’s trying to fool us into believing that the weather won’t turn cold and unpredictable.  But as the day progresses, the mercurial October sky shows how foolish we are to think that summer is not at an end.  One moment blue and clear, it turns grey and turbulent in the blink of an eye. 

Our birds of winter know what’s coming.  We are beginning to hear lots of dee-dee-deeing in the evergreens.  Black capped chickadees are forming winter flocks for foraging and from which they will choose the bird-brain equivalent of next season’s soul mate:  the partner that they will nest and brood with in the spring.  (For more about a chickadee’s social but not sexual monogamy, see the BDLIA February 2022 Newsletter.)

The stunning bright yellow male goldfinch isn’t here anymore.  He has molted and his dull winter coat is almost complete.  That’s good because he is losing seasonal hiding places as deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves, and he is safer from predators in less conspicuous garb.  How nicely he blends with the seed heads of coneflowers as he feasts on what they offer (A).

How do we enjoy the garden in this changing season?  By looking for gems, of course.  Here is an Autumn Meadowlark dragonfly resting on a gravel path that is warmed by the sun (B).  The Autumn Meadowlark is one of many dragonfly and damselfly species native to Wisconsin, and is easily identified by its red body and orange-brown legs.  The flight season of Autumn Meadowlarks is from July to mid-November; they are the last dragonflies that we see before (or coincident with!) the first snow.

Native bees are finishing up for the season.  Look at this lovely bumble bee foraging on a New England aster (C).  She is likely to be one of next year’s queens, a gyne, who has not yet hibernated for the winter.  Gynes are the only members of a bumble bee colony whose lives span two flight seasons, first as queens-in-waiting and then as monarchs themselves, the founders of new nests.

New England asters are everywhere, showy plants that stand three to six feet tall with blossoms in vibrant shades of fuchsia to deep purple. Less flashy as individuals are “the chorus girls.” But when grown en masse, these smaller asters form sheets of soft color that are truly breathtaking.  Two personal favorites for shady spots are the heart-leafed aster and the white woodland aster.  The tiny flowers of heart-leafed asters mature to blue-purple around a deep purple eye (D).  The bright flowers of white woodland asters rising above dark green glossy leaves look, at a distance, like freshly fallen snow (E).

Oh my, the “S” word.  We won’t have to wait long.  A record of the weather history at the Dodge County airport tell us that snow in October is likely, although it may be just a dusting, or meteorologically speaking, “snow grain” precipitation.  But not to be minimized:  this first trace of snow has a transformative effect on the October garden, ushering in a new season.  Look at a stand of Fireworks goldenrod from a past year (F), in full bloom at the beginning of October, gone to seed near month’s end and decorated by snow grains, glistening in the autumn sun.


Critter photos by Mike Aita

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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