The bird is entirely black aside from an orange and cream colored patch on its shoulder.

2021 Bird Migration

Amy Alstad Care for the Earth, Natural Resources, Prairie Notes Leave a Comment

September is the peak month for bird migration in our area. Some species including early migrators like Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers are already mostly departed. Many species who spent the summer in our area now gather in mixed flocks in large numbers to feast on berries, insects and seeds as they store energy for their journey. They are joined by other species who pass through WI on their migration down from their northern breeding grounds. Soaring birds like hawks, eagles, pelicans and swallows usually migrate during the day. Songbirds often migrate at night when the wind subsides, and spend …

Endangered Butterfly, Regal Fritillary Spotted on Wisdom Prairie

Amy Alstad Care for the Earth, Natural Resources, Prairie Notes Leave a Comment

We were thrilled to learn that a sharp-eyed visitor to Wisdom Prairie spotted a Regal Fritillary last month. Regal Fritillaries are a state-endangered species. There have only been a handful of confirmed sightings in Dane County in the past 20 years. Regal Fritillaries are famous for being fussy about their habitat; the fact that one came to visit Holy Wisdom is a wonderful endorsement of the quality of our prairie. This sighting, which we learned about after it was reported to Wisconsin Butterflies, also serves as a strong endorsement for the importance and role of citizen science programs. It is a …

Reducing Phosphorous in the Lake Mendota Watershed

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Care for the Earth, Natural Resources 1 Comment

This morning, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Yahara Lakes Community Breakfast, sponsored by the Clean Lakes Alliance. There were a thousand people in attendance, from business leaders to elected officials to people who enjoy using the four lakes in the Madison area. Everyone there was concerned about the water quality in our lakes. An article in the Wisconsin State Journal describes in detail the Clean Lakes Alliance’s ambitious plan to reduce the amount of phosphorous in the Lake Mendota watershed by 50% in ten years. Holy Wisdom Monastery is doing its part to be a part of …

Take A Stake in the Lakes Days

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Care for the Earth, Natural Resources, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Holy Wisdom Monastery is pleased to participate in Take a Stake in the Lakes Days, an event of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, in partnership with Clean Lakes Alliance. We are hosting a group of employees from Lands’ End on June 1, 2012 in our 100 acres of restored prairie so that we can continue to do our part to reduce run-off into the Lake Mendota watershed. One of the things that the Lands’ End group will be helping with is removing invasive species (such as garlic mustard and honeysuckle) from our naturally restored prairie. Restoring land, that used …

The Prairie Never Hibernates

Greg Armstrong Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Natural Resources, Nature Notes 1 Comment

The cold and snow of winter dramatically changethe landscape at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Snowy days have a soft beauty about them as nearly everything gets covered with snow, and the plants and landforms become smooth and round. The softness even muffles sounds. When the sun comes out, these subtle forms glisten in the light. How different from the warm, sometimes steamy scenes of summer. Although cold, it is a very beautiful time to visit the prairies, woodlands, and wetlands of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Come and enjoy the beauty and calm of winter by participating in a personal retreat or walking on the nature trails. The …