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Watershed Wheel

The Yahara Watershed Wheel is intended to show how the interaction of space and time serves to organize the variety of life and activities in the watershed on an annual basis. Many kinds of life forms appear to show some of their seasonal associations—frogs calling in spring, crickets chirping in summer, geese in migration in fall and spring, human activities evident in the corn growing, the pumpkins ready for harvest, and the skater skimming the winter ice.

(A. Forbes, Yahara Watershed Journal 1997)

watershed wheel

The wheel of the year is divided into four quarters, or the four seasons, as indicated in the outermost ring.

Each quarter is separated by marks at winter solstice, spring equinox, summer solstice, and fall equinox.

Although new seasons begin officially at each mark, the height of the season occurs at midpoint, where a tree is outlined in its seasonal garb.

The average daily temperature, ranging between 16 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, is graphed as the dotted line weaving through the two outermost rings.

The lakes and streams also have seasons of open and frozen water. The narrow third ring of the wheel is white during the time of surface ice, black during open water, and shaded during the variable times of ice-in and ice-out.

The map in the center of the wheel outlines the 360 sq. mi. watershed with its emblematic chain of lakes and network of waterways.

Design Concept: Anne Forbes and Jim Lorman
Design Contributions by: Carol Lynn Benoit, Robert Bohanan, Susan McMullen
Graphic Art: Carol Lynn Benoit
Map elements courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources