See the sights
WALWORTH COUNTY They’re not always marked on any map, but Walworth County has its share of quirky little spots. They come in all shapes, from a bit of living history to a slice of unexpected natural beauty. Some of them are hidden in out-of-the-way places. Others are in plain sight, but so familiar they can blend into the landscape unnoticed. All of them are worth a look.
These days, when most available land has been developed into a subdivision or paved into a strip mall, finding a patch of nature that still looks, well, natural, isn’t easy. That’s what makes Beulah Bog, a 78-acre site situated near the town of Troy, special. Designated a Wisconsin Natural Area by the state’s Department of Natural Resources in 1975, the bog has been kept undisturbed, giving it a primordial look, as if visitors there are the first ones to ever see it.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
“The bog probably began to emerge in its present state 14,000 years ago,” said Maggie Zoellner, program manager for the Kettle Moraine Land Trust, which adopted Beulah Bog in 2009, and partners with the DNR in its care.
It was then when ancient glaciers that once covered southeastern Wisconsin started retreating, and as they did, they carved out holes, or kettles, in the land. Beulah Bog has four kettles, with a shallow lake that’s a study in contrasts: delicate calla and water lilies that attract dragonflies, floating mud flats and bushy cattails. The bog is also home to a forest of old oak and tamarack trees and a collection of unusual plants, including some that catch insects.
“It’s the variety of habitats, the diversity of plants and animals -- from rare orchids and insectivorous plants to migrating songbirds -- there’s just so much going on on that piece of property,” Zoellner said. “My favorite part is just the different landscape textures -- the reflection of the water, the tamarack trees and lichens. Everywhere you turn, there’s a different beautiful view and it never gets old. It’s such a gem in our community.”
The bog gets help from volunteers in keeping invasive plants at bay, and it is accessible to visitors with paths and a boardwalk. See http://kmlandttrust.org/bb1.htm for more information.
See more backyard gems online:
Monday: Portal to a park
Tuesday: Muster tree
Wednesday: P.O. art
Thursday: Ever-flowing well
Friday: A sacred spot
Have your own suggestions for this little unusual spots? Send them to email@example.com.