Summer has returned to the shores of Great Lake Michigan! Our 185-acre nature center is bustling with life and color from beautiful native wildflowers. The ponds and wetlands are brimming with a multitude of aquatic life. Bird calls can be heard throughout the forests, ponds, and prairies. Butterflies, moths, and bees flutter, waft, and buzz from flower to flower, providing a soundtrack to our Milwaukee summer.
During the hot days of July, venture through the shady forest to Mystery Pond to catch a glimpse of reptiles and amphibians basking in the sun on logs. The pond is busy with new life, such as Green and Bull frog tadpoles, baby Snapping Turtles, snails feeding on aquatic plants, and predacious dragonfly nymphs hunting other aquatic insects. Visitors such as the Great Blue Heron or the Blanding’s Turtle with its distinguished dome-shaped shell visit our ponds and wetlands.
August is a marvelous time to visit the trails west of the main building. The prairie is painted with the greens, yellows, and purples of native flowers in full bloom. Barn Swallows zigzag across the tops of long grasses, looking for insects to feed the hungry mouths waiting in their nests. Toward dusk you can catch crepuscular animals beginning to emerge, such as Brown Bats, bioluminescent Fireflies in search of mates, and Great Horned Owls scanning for prey.
The Lake Michigan Shore in Summer
September is perfect for visiting Lake Michigan, especially near dusk once the sun has gone behind the trees and the breeze drifts from the surf. You can make an unending array of geological discoveries in the various rocks along the beach, and driftwood logs smooth from water and sand are fun for children to climb on and explore. Make and photograph your own ephemeral art from rocks and driftwood, or build your own driftwood shelter each time you come.
In Milwaukee summer is the time of year when nearly every plant, insect, and animal is most active. Plan your visit to find something new in nature to discover and explore this summer. Take advantage of our longer summer hours, we’re open 9:00am – 8:00pm Monday – Thursday.