• Standing water on all trails. The view of buttercups from the North Bridge is beautiful.

What’s Happening: Flowers, Hikes, and Pop-ups

Pop-up hikes with Crossroads naturalist Coggin Heeringa. Photo by Tawnie Perkovich

When you check the Events Calendar on the Crossroads at Big Creek website  (and we hope you do frequently), it looks like things slowing down at Crossroads. Looks can be deceiving! Our restoration efforts have ramped up into the planting phase.  And it really seems like  “Every Day IS Earth Day.” thanks to a full schedule of field trips and Earth Day events for students ranging from kindergarten to college level plus we are hosting a number of private events  as well.

But scheduling public interpretive programs is almost more daunting as assembling the May field trip jigsaw puzzle.  Spring is glorious, but unpredictable! When will the warblers be dripping from the trees?  when will the spring ephemerals bloom in the woods?  How long before the woodcocks stop dancing and the frogs stop their nightly choruses? It’s hard to predict even in a normal weather-year, which 2024 certainly has not been.

Short But Sweet

The word used to describe our woodland ponds and spring wildflowers—ephemerals—means “lasting for a very short period of time.” But when will that very short period be for each species?

When we are talking about woodland ponds, we are hoping they don’t dry up until the tadpoles go through metamorphosis. 

Woodland wildflowers must bloom, be pollinated, set seed and their foliage must collect energy during the very short period between thaw and the day unfurling tree leaves thrust the plants into shade.

Complicating predictions, wildflowers have evolved to stagger their blooming dates so different floral species do not have to compete for pollinators (and consequently, pollinators have a constant supply of nectar and pollen). Also, very brief blooming periods can become even shorter if driving rain or winds  strip the petals from the flowers.

Weather strongly influences the length of time migrating birds will use Door County  for their midflight stopover. If wind direction and weather conditions are favorable, birds might rest and feed for a very short time or perhaps even fly right over us. Bad weather may ground the migrating  birds for a week, sometimes even more.

Diving Into Hives

Watch our website—or follow Crossroads at Big Creek on Facebook, for Pop-Up Events—which will be published a day or so before the outings—- to learn the topics,  times and  meeting location.

The State Bee Inspector is coming! The inspector is from the Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. That sounds ominous. You might expect the Door County Beekeepers to be trembling in their Wellington boots, but the beekeepers LOVE State Bee Inspector Donna Stine who is remarkably helpful.  

On Tuesday, May 21 Donna will conduct a Hive Dive at the Crossroads Apiary at 5:30pm (bee suits recommended) followed by a lecture “What to Look for When Inspecting Your Hive”  at their 6:30pm monthly  meeting.

As always, our trails are open all day every day, free of charge. Check the Crossroads website calendar for upcoming events and details.

Sunrise Elementary Earth Day Field Trips

Upcoming Activities

Tuesday, May 21

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Door County Beekeepers Meeting & Hive Dive 

State Bee Inspector Donna Stiles will give her presentation on “What to Look For When Inspecting Your Hive.” And also report on the status of Wisconsin beehives for 2023-2024. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay

5:30pm Hive Dive with the Bee Inspector. (wear your bee suit)

6:30pm Door County Beekeepers May Meeting 

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