This Description is taken from the website of the WDNR (Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources:
"New Hope Pines features one of the largest and least disturbed northern dry-mesic forests remaining in central Wisconsin and is reminiscent of the vast "pineries" found in this region prior to settlement. A forest of red oak, white oak, and red maple stands beneath the canopy of white and red pines. Though the stand is relatively "young" with only scattered old growth, the dominant white pines are more than 100 feet high and up to two feet in diameter. Shrubs include American hazelnut, northern bush honeysuckle and round-leaved dogwood. Common groundlayer species include bracken fern, wild sarsaparilla, American starflower, large-flowered trillium, Canada mayflower, partridgeberry, and big-leaved aster. The site lies on steep, irregular topography in ground moraine - a legacy of the last glacier. Two small kettle depressions contain sedge meadow and emergent aquatic species in wet years. Resident wildlife includes common raven, pileated woodpecker, and porcupine. New Hope Pines is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1983."
While we were hiking up one side of the lake, we heard this really loud and unusual sound. There was a tree that fell, and wouldn't you know that tree fell right in the middle of the path. Not blocking it or anything, but still just image if we had been right there at that exact spot that it fell. if we were about 15 minutes earlier we might have been stuck under a tree :-)
Interesting enough, we did not see or hear one single animal or bird.
Fall colors are already starting; seems a little early to me, not supposed to happen till October. But there are only a few stray colored leaves; I just saw this one and thought how pretty, can't wait till all the trees start turning. It's going to be incredible to see.