Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Indian Lake State Park

Summer Colors

Sweet Corn

Indian Lake Park lies at the edge of the un-glaciated or 'drift-less' area of southwestern Wisconsin. Here, features of both glaciated and un-glaciated land are prominent. The steep slopes of exposed rock indicate that this valley was never completely covered with ice. Yet the large boulders found in the draws and on the valley floor could only have been brought here by a finger of ice, which fanned out from the main body of the glacier.

Indian Lake is one of many shallow kettle lakes in this area, created when the glacier retreated. The out-wash plain by the lake was formed when glacial melt-water carried large quantities of silt and sand into the valley.

Plant life at Indian Lake is very diverse. The cool north-facing slope along the lake is dominated by paper birch, while on the hilltops ancient gnarled oaks are being crowded by younger hardwoods. An abundance of brambles and aspens indicate logging and grazing once took place in the woods.

For several hundred years Indians camped at the southwest end of the lake. During that period, the slopes on the hills above were quite open and covered with prairie grasses and wildflowers. Frequent fast-moving prairie fires helped keep these areas free of trees. When settlers stopped the fires, trees began to fill in the open spaces. Today only a few small patches of prairie remain on the very dry southwest-facing slopes.
- Description taken from Dane County Natural Historical Marker (see photo in set)

1 comment:

Doria said...

Thanks for writing this.