One of the natural Wisconsin places I frequent is Kettle Moraine Forest located in southeastern Wisconsin. A 56,000 acre forest divided into two large and three small units, spread out across a hundred miles. Each unit includes a portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
The 'Kettles' were formed 15,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, when our area lay under the grip of colossal ice sheets. It is said that nowhere is the glacier's mark upon the land more impressive than in Wisconsin, namely the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
I tend to frequent the the Northern Kettles .There is something there that speaks to my soul more than any of the other areas.
The Northern Kettle Moraine Unit is comprised of about 30,000 acres stretching 30 miles across Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Washington Counties. The forest is managed for multiple use, including recreation management, sustainable forest products, water quality and soil protection, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, native biological diversity and aesthetics.
Once you spend a significant amount of time in an area you come to know the spirit of the place, its essence. Growing up (mostly) in Wisconsin I have had a lifetime of visiting this magnificent forest. Sensing my feet on the ground; earth that was carved out over a decade ago. Attuning to the energies of the fauna and flora, listening to the stories carried on the winds. Observing the wild life and losing myself in the lazy rhythms of the river that runs through a part of it.
Over time, anyone who spends time in nature, in a particular place will start to connect and form a relationship with that area. You become present to the miracle of 'now', of that particle time and space as if all else has stood still. Over many of these 'now' moments you begin to find yourself in relation to the land, to it's inhabitants. It not only brings out a sense of well being in yourself, but also a bond between you and the earth. You become rooted, strengthened and centered in the dynamic geography of your soul.
A Glimpse of the Northern Kettle Forest
Back in 2011 I lived in a small neighborhood, just eight blocks from Lake Michigan. On January 25th I had just started out for a walk with my then 10 year old son. A block down from our house he noticed a hawk flying and so I started snapping shots. The hawk circled once or twice closer and closer to a tree across the street from us. I continued to take photos and was fortunate to be able to document the hawk rousing the squirrel from the tree and the subsequent meal afterwards. There are a few shots missing of him diving down immediately after scaring the squirrel out of the tree. The images came out blurred and unusable. The rest is what I have, in order in the slide show below. This spontaneous moment is what led my interest in conservation photography.
After returning home to download the images, my son and I did a bit of research online of the hawk. We were able to identify it as a red shouldered hawk. As a home school family, this was also a wonderful opportunity for self-directed learning and we studied, through online resources everything we could find about these stunning birds.
The images below were taken with a Sony Cyber‑Shot DSC‑H10/B 8.1 MP Compact camera. This was my first camera that I had begun practicing with as a hobbyist photographer.
© Gloria Lynn Photography
Visual storyteller using conservation photography as a way to bring the stories of Mother Earth to the people, thereby inspiring others as Earthkeepers in nature.