Stop 10: The Sand Blow

Below is a section of a transcript from a 2003 interview between foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker, foundation Program Director Steve Swenson, and Dr. Carl Leopold, Aldo Leopold’s son. During this short part of the conversation, they were standing at the Sand Blow, perhaps right where you stood at Stop 10!

Buddy Huffaker: We’ve had some differing stories about this little spot here and whether it was intentionally kept open or not, and if this is where Draba was found.

Carl Leopold: Yes, both of those are true. In the photograph of that first time that we came here this was a nice big sand blow and there were no trees around it at all. Besides Draba, there was another little, oh what in the hell family? Anyway there were some unique plants here; unusual species. That was very special to Dad. He said we should keep all the trees away from it and keep it open and keep it a habitation for them.

Buddy Huffaker: What do you think about when you see it now? Obviously it’s not a sand blow any more.

Carl Leopold: No, and it’s too bad because now it really doesn’t fill the need at all as a site for unusual plants. It’s just sort of a blank spot.

Buddy Huffaker: One of the things we’ve talked about is coming in and clearing the Black Oaks out and opening it back up.

Carl Leopold: I would vote for it. I think that would be a good idea.

Buddy Huffaker: And we’ll see whether the Draba can respond just from the seed bank, or perhaps we’ll actually have to collect some and replant them.

Carl Leopold: That’s great. I can claim the responsibility for Draba because it was one of the plants I collected here. Dad had said that he had never even seen this. So I was very proud when the little essay on Draba came out. Because yeah, I had something to do with that!


The development of this self-guided tour was funded in part by:

The Community Foundation of South Central Wisconsin

Sauk County Extension Education, Arts & Culture Committee and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wisconsin Humanities strengthens our democracy through educational and cultural programs that build connections and understanding among people of all backgrounds and beliefs throughout the state.

Logo for Community Foundation of South Central Wisconsin. Shows the name of the foundation on plain white background. Wisconsin Humanities Logo. The title Wisconsin Humanities shown below an abstract collage of the outlines of three different faces that come together to form the outline of Wisconsin.

Logo for Sauk County Wisconsin. Shows the words Sauk County Wisconsin, established 1844, printed over an outline of Wisconsin with the outline of Sauk County highlighted within the state. Wisconsin Arts Board Logo. Shows Wisconsin Arts Board title with the motto Creativity. Culture. Community. Commerce. below.