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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


December 14, 2002 - Issue 76


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Rock Creek Felsenmeer State Natural Area

Thanks to Timm Severud (Ondamitag)
credits: This sign is located to the south of and overlooking Gundy Canyon - Hardscrabble Falls - Rice Lake Pipestone Quarry

On the hillside ahead lies a large Felsenmeer, a German word meaning 'sea of rocks.' This natural feature was created by the freezing and thawing action during the last glacier that broke the bedrock into smaller blocks. The sharp edged rocks have space for the water movement and airflow that permits cool air to remain throughout the summer. This condition allows plants living much farther north, such as squashberry and Canada gooseberry to thrive well south of their native habitat. - (The recognition and management of this significant natural feature is a cooperative venture between Barron County Forestry and the Department of Natural Resources.)

The Wisconsin Archeologist - 1937 - Myths and Legends of Wisconsin's Waterfalls

Hardscrabble Falls. This attractive waterfall tumbles down a rocky incline in the wild and rugged hardscrabble area of Barron and Rusk Counties in northwestern Wisconsin. It is the least known of our falls. This region has been proposed for preservation as a state park. "Besides swift running stream and unusual rock formations, there are many acres of virgin maple forest, with unspoiled floor cover with wild flowers and ferns. In past years Indian fairy folk or "Little Indians" have been seen by Chippewa near this waterfall. It has been said that these dwarf aborigines were the first to discover and make use of the red pipestone found at various places in the Barron quartzite range and that from them the Chippewa people learned of the quarry locations. In some of these places Indian hunters have heard the noise made by their stone hammers when parties of these little folks were engaged in quarrying the stone for pipe and ornament making.



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