Spring Treasures Hidden Under the Snow

This photo collection is being shared with you by Boreal Forest Citizen and Brickyard Creek community member, Zina Harrington. You might find Zina and her husband (Shad) with their two girls (Nya & Lola) skipping rocks at the beach, roaming the community trails in Wellies or eating ice-cream downtown Bayfield.

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It’s said that the Saturday and Sunday after Apple Fest is supposed to be the most beautiful weekends of the year in Bayfield. After our autumn visit this year, I’d say the rumors are true.

Did you have the opportunity to hike the Brickyard Creek Community trails this fall?

I want to share a few treasures (now hidden under the snow!) that will reappear this spring, in case you didn’t get a chance to see them…

On the meadow trail, you’ll find freshly planted saplings striving to reach the sky, young pines hugging the path and a new handcrafted bench along the way.

Collage of Brickyard Creek photos showing vegetation, a waypoint bench and a cottage

If you head into the woods, you’ll find new handrails and bridges as you walk.

Take a moment to hear the sounds of the forest on one of these inviting chairs (below) and then head down the stairs. You’ll discover a new listening point on the edge of the babbling creek. The sign reads…

“Everyone has a listening point somewhere, some quiet place where s/he can contemplate the awesome universe.” — Sigurd Olson

Collage of photos from along Brickyard Creek walking paths

Quick Facts: Sigurd Olson (April 4, 1899 – January 13, 1982) grew up in northern Wisconsin, where he developed his lifelong interest in the outdoors. He became an active conservationist in the 1920s and fought to protect wilderness areas through his lifetime.

He helped draft the Wilderness Act, which became law in 1964, and established the U.S. wilderness preservation system. Among his many other activities, he played key roles in the establishment of Alaska’s Arctic Wildlife Refuge, Point Reyes National Seashore in California and Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota.

In recognition, four of the five largest U.S. conservation organizations — the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the Izaak Walton League — gave Sigurd their highest award. [full source] Click here to learn how BYC partners with the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.

Another new find on the Sigurd Olson Trail is a marker showcasing a unique evergreen growing in our forest, the Canadian Yew (Taxus Canadensis). If you head over the bridge to the opposite side of the creek, you can see very TALL patches of Canadian Yew lining the trails.

Collage of signs found along Brickyard Creek walking paths

Quick Facts: Because of the loss of old growth forest and browsing by a very large deer population, Canadian Yew is now in decline and listed as a species of special concern.

The “berries” are edible but the seed is highly toxic. Eating the berries even with the seeds removed may be a risky venture and is not advised. Birds eat the berries of Canada Yew and pass the seeds without damaging them. This keeps the birds safe from the toxins and aids the yew in seed dirspersal.

Due to the evergreen’s extreme longevity and toxicity, yews came to symbolize life & death and were considered sacred in many traditional European cultures. Yews contain a variety of compounds called taxanes which have been the subject of much research for cancer treatments. [full source]

As you follow the creek to the lake, you’ll also find small artistic details on the trail: You’ll see the arch of a fallen Hemlock branch complimenting a turn in the path. You’ll find trail gaps filled with beautifully cut pieces of wood. And you’ll notice the edge of the path moving in sync with the flow of the creek and forest (more photos below).

Log Borders found along Brickyard Creek trails

When I look at the way our Community Manager (Jeff Garrett) is maintaining our trails, it reminded me of a statement that Dave Culberson (Architectural Control Committee) made in a previous blog post:

The ACC looks at all man-made structures within the environment as guests, guests that need to be respectful of their host—Mother Nature. Residents should understand that our community is about the peaceful co-mingling of humans and nature…

Two cottages found in Brickyard Creek

Just like the buildings in our community, Jeff curates the trails in a way that radiates a sense of belonging.

The autumn forest floor in Brickyard Creek

Of course, all the aforementioned treasures are quietly waiting under the snow to be discovered in the spring again.

Winter “officially” begins today, but Jack Frost has been visiting Bayfield for a while now. Keep this quote in mind as we head into the season.

Katrina Mayer Quote set on a backdrop of winter in Brickyard Creek - Winter reminds us that everyone and everything needs some quiet time.


Write for the Boreal Forest Citizen

The BYC Vision Committee invites you to Check Your Pulse, consider these guiding questions, and share your responses with your neighbors on our BYC Community website.

  • What makes Brickyard Creek special?
  • What is the draw?
  • What is the hold?
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Do you need some inspiration? View the work shared by other community members found in the BYC Library.

If you are willing to share your responses to these original guiding questions with your neighbors, please send them to the BYC Manager, Jeffery Garrett for posting here on our BYC Community website.