Thursday, September 30, 2010

Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and Muskegon State Park

2010 September 20.  We met at Muskegon Lake N. P. due to construction on U.S. 31. This is a nice little preserve with lots of boardwalks along Muskegon Lake just near the causeway. 

From the Boardwalk at Muskegon Lake N. P.                    

                              Blue Vervain
                  Bur Marigold

Next we went to a special place at Muskegon State Park, Lost Lake.
                        Cross-leaved Milkwort

                          Sand Jointweed
(noticed the green dots on two of the five petals, how curious! And this flower is tiny 1/8 inch) 

Yes another great day!

Back to Bass River Rec Area

2010 09 16  We decided on Bass River again because there are open areas here, with Gentians and Ladies' Tresses (Ladies Tresses are orchids).

Fringe-tip Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)

Nodding Ladies' Tresses

Bass River Rec Area

Yellow Aphids

Turtle Shell Marie Found, Cool!

Inside of the Turtle Shell

Caterpillar Feet

Top side of the caterpillar
Monkey Flower Still blooming!

Even though it rained while we were on our adventure it was fun, and still so many plants blooming. Cardinal Flower, Everlasting Pea, Chicory, Gerardia, White Campion, Eyebane, Hoary Vervain, Sleepy Catchfly, Bouncing Bet, and More.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great Northern Adventure

Mike and I left home for six days on a Great Northern Adventure, mostly to check out Bryan's Canada cabin. We decided to stop off at Mackinac Island and be tourists.

We stayed overnight on the island at Inn On Mackinac, a five story Bed and Breakfast.  I really liked it there, it was very clean and comfortable.  Ryan rented us an alcove room (for only $50) and it was perfect.

Inn On Mackinac
We rode bikes, toured the shops, ate pizza and carmel corn, then watched the sun set just near the Mackinac Bridge.

There was a quaint movie, filmed on the island, "Somewhere in Time (1980)" starring Christopher Reeve, on TV at the inn.
 In the morning we had a delicious breakfast at the inn then off on the ferry to Mackinaw City,  here we stocked up the cooler before heading into Canada.

The scenery along Trans-Canada Highway 17 was rocky, with many small lakes and waterfalls, surrounded by fir trees.  I was on this highway years ago, I didn't remember it.  Before long, great views of Lake Superior are there until you near the Wawa area.

 We continued to highway 519 (~200 miles north of Mackinaw City Michigan), the nearest town to the cabin is Dubreuilville Ontario.  We traveled 8 miles down a gravel road to find the cabin waiting for us.

Bryan's Canada Cabin
Magpie River
We went on a 3 hour hike through bear and moose infested woods!  Oh MY!  We saw large bear and moose tracks along the trail. 

Trail we hiked.

Along the trail

Later near here we saw a moose at the edge of the road.
   Yup that is a very real wild Canadian moose along  Highway 519!

And I'm sure you are wondering about what wildflowers we saw. Well many of the same kinds we see here, also lots of Fireweed everywhere, most still blooming, and some gone to seed with white fluffy down.
  We kept seeing bunches of a small flower I thought was a lobelia of some sort.  After consulting "Wildflowers in the Field and Forest" by Steven Clemants I found this flower wasn't a lobelia but an European Eyebright.
 After our hike we decided to pack up and drive to Saute Saint Marie, Ontario to catch the Agawa Canyon Train Tour.  We were on this train tour 34 years ago.  The colors of the leaves were already changing, nice scenery.
                  Agawa Canyon Train

View of Lake Superior from train
Dining Car
 We had breakfast on the train.  When we got to Agawa Canyon we toured all the waterfalls.

Back in Sault Ste. Marie we jumped in the car eager to head into Michigan and be in touch with family.
                                Mackinac Bridge

That night late we pulled into Bryan's other cabin on Peterson Creek in Manistee County, hiking the Manistee River Trail the next morning.
Suspension bridge across the Manistee River below Hodenpyl Dam 
 Sneezeweed along the Manistee River

 View of the Manistee River from trail

Then a leisurely drive home, stopping in Hart for dinner at La Fiesta restaurant.
It's good to be HOME!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bonus Adventure to Muskegon, Casnovia, Tom Bolt Highway

September 2, 2010 We took a little adventure to find a memorial boulder for Bolt Highway (M-46).  We found one in the town of Casnovia, Tom Bolt Highway.  History, cool - interesting, so are wildflowers, trees, rocks, insects, ...! 
                                                    In Casnovia

 We also visited a few parks along the way.  Quarter Oak Park, North Sheridan Road boat launch site, Casnovia Township Park, Moore Park, and Patterson Park.  We do get around and we do have fun.

New England Aster

We had our boots so we got to walk in the Little Rio Grande Creek at     
                                                                    Patterson Park.