I wish I did not go, but I am glad I went. I took much less joy in my trip to Mauthe Lake because of all the dead ash trees all along the road on the way up and then all around the lake. The emerald ash beetle and killed almost all of them. I did not appreciate how many ash trees there were until I saw all the skeletons.
What to do about it? Last time I was here, I wrote about possible solutions using GMOs. Maybe we could develop ash trees naturally resistant. But maybe it is just the impermanent. I also wrote about the vastness of geological time last time I was here. The ice day did not end very long ago in the great scheme of things. The ash forests are recent. This kind of geography would be dominated by tupelo and bald cypress if they were farther south. Global warming has made most concepts of “native” almost meaningless. Maybe it is time for tupelos and bald cypress in anticipation of the “new” climate. I don’t know about tupelos, but I know that bald cypress can survive and thrive in Wisconsin, although they are not native to the state. They tend not to reproduce is the cooler climate, but if the climate becomes less cold, maybe that will change.
I like the woods and fields familiar from my youth. Mauthe Lake was where I learned to love nature. We were in a day camp up there when I was in 5th grade. We took the path around the lake that I walked today. It is only a couple of miles, but for us kids it was a true adventure. I don’t remember details, but I the feeling abides. I don’t want change, but change is what we are getting, so we can adapt and make things better or let them get worse.