Lakes and wetlands are some of the most biologically productive and inspiring places on Earth.  Among humans, there seems to be nearly a universal love of the sight of water, and the price of lakefront property shows it.  Often people buy the property just for the view, and they may rarely venture out onto the lake.  Lakes hardly need a new defender, just careful and good management.  However, competing interest means that not everyone will ever agree on all management practices.

Shallow Marsh
A shallow marsh in NE Wisconsin with spatterdock, stiff arrowhead and bulrushes.

Wetlands are no less amazing but less appreciated.  Many of our last wild places, whether in cities or the industrial, agricultural areas, are wetlands.  I suppose I could go on about how wetlands clean the water, control flooding, etc., and make the standard case for protecting them, but I won’t.  Go stand in a natural wetland a mile from the road with rubber boots or preferably not, just get your feet wet.  Watch the wind blow through the sedge, keep your eyes below the horizon to avoid looking at power lines and buildings.  If you’re lucky, there won’t be too many invasive species around.  As you watch the wind play, you have stepped back in time a thousand years (provided the wetland has not been taken over by invasive species), you are in the equivalent of the long-gone tallgrass prairie, the old-growth white pine forests of the northern Mid-West and Eastern United States.

Marsh Milkweed
Marsh  or Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is rises above the sedges and grasses and announces it presence to bees, butterflies and other pollinators in Wisconsin’s wetlands.

The unutilized wetland is a time machine a water filter, a flood saver, and a home for wildlife.  It is worth protecting and it is worth knowing.   On this site, through words, photographs, I hope I can show the pieces of lakes and wetlands most won’t see, and those that love wetlands and want to increase their knowledge and appreciation of wetlands.  Not everyone will take a walk out into a sedge meadow or paddle a canoe among the water lilies, just like I will never venture into a rainforest, but I want it to be there, not only for the oxygen, carbon sequestration but because it is there.

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Bog Lake
Mosses and other bog plants creep out of the edge of a lake in northern Wisconsin.