Friday, December 31, 2010

South To Allegan County

2010 12 20 Silver Creek County Park,  located on 134th Ave. about three miles east of Hamilton Michigan.

The most beautiful and unique thing about Silver Creek is that the entire park is primarily wooded and has 450 feet of frontage on Silver Creek, which is a spring fed trout stream.  Silver Creek Park is primarily an equestrian park,  320 acres in size, it connects to over 25 miles of horseback riding trails.
My sister, Marie and I walked the North trail, Foot trail, and Creek View trail.  It  was 26 degrees, we were out exploring for about 2 1/2 hours, we found Trailing Arbutus with its green, rough, beaver ear shaped leaves sticking out from the snow.  It was overcast much of the day, so not much for photos.  Still Fun, Fun, Fun!

Along the road in Allegan County Michigan

Farmland still beautiful on a gray day.

Tunnel under the Tulip City Airport Holland Michigan

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nice Day at Connor Bayou and Little Robinson

2010 12 13 Connor Bayou County Park was our destination for this day (142 acre property including nearly a mile of Grand River frontage and a diversity of natural communities, the property is open for hiking; however, there are no designated trails).

When we started on our walk the temperature was 17 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brr!  We tried to get to Connor Bayou but it is marshland all around it, with cattails and tall grasses. 

We walked to the east, the park goes east here quite a ways but no trails and you are between houses  and the marsh.  So we turned back to the west and walked the 7/10's of a mile to the other end of the property.  We saw a Pileated Woodpecker along the way.

The thin white bit of snow is Connor Bayou.
Next we got in the van and drove west on North Cedar Drive  around the corner to 132nd Avenue  (about 1/2 mile) to property owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                                                   
Years ago you could drive back through this property to a boat launch on "Little Robinson". We parked at the road and walked through the woods to the old     boat launch, about a half mile.  The sky was a vivid blue with some puffy white clouds. We walked another quarter mile to the area of an old ditch.  

What a beautiful day.  We wandered back through the woods, sitting in the snow for a rest. 

Winterberry also known as Michigan Holly
All that walking worked up a little appetite so we drove into Grand Haven for French fries and a shake at Ray's Drive In.


Friday, December 10, 2010

A Stroll At Crockery Creek Natural Area

2010 12 08  The snow and cold weather came to Grand Haven on December 1st,  late for Michigan.  We had a long lasting autumn and that was good.  It always takes a little getting used to the snow and cold.  The snow brings quiet, a certain tranquillity, I think.

My sister Marie and I went on a good adventure to Crockery Creek Natural Area  (Ottawa County)  located on the north side of the Grand River at Wren Drive.  This visit we were able to walk in new (to us) areas accessible because the water level is low.

Even though we have been here before it is like a new place.  This comes from a combination of things like, visiting in different seasons, exploring the park boundaries to the limit, and our somewhat poor memories.  Exploring is always fun with Marie.  Since we see no blooming wildflowers now, she is teaching me about trees.

Crockery Creek Natural Area

Field At Crockery Creek Natural Area

Crockery Creek
There was ice on Crockery Creek.   Temperature  was 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
 We also stopped by the Grand Haven Pier.
The lighthouse is on the south pier, you can see just a bit of the north pier in this picture.  We did some research at my house and called it a day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Lighthearted Day!

2010 11 29  Last week's adventure, dreary (except for the sister visit), this week's adventure, lighthearted.  I say lighthearted because I wanted the opposite of dreary.  Lighthearted =  free from care, anxiety, or seriousness.  Don't get me wrong, last week was still fun but we weren't outside as much. 
This week we played and explored in Little Black Creek (above), we found crayfish(below), some other unidentified squiggly creatures, a sort of quicksand, ice, and things to float down the creek.  All carefree FUN!

We went to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (6585 Lake Harbor Road Muskegon, Michigan)Approximate size 1200 acres, three miles of pristine beaches on Lake Michigan,  more than 10 miles of trails,  sheltered valleys between the wooded dunes and dense stands of hemlocks, 293 campsites each equipped with electrical service, Gillette Visitor Center, and Little Black Creek.  

Foot bridge on trail at Hoffmaster State Park
Goldenrod still Blooming!
Along the trail at P.J. Hoffmaster
Little Black Creek where it comes out of the woods to meet Lake Michigan.
              Beautiful Lake Michigan
After having fun at the beach we wandered into the woods and hills. We were up high on the wooded dunes.

Cool ravine we walked through.
We also added to our park/places list with a quick stop to Water Tower/Tank Park in Spring Lake Township.

We went back to my house, had a cup of lemon tea then went on a walk through our woods.  We saw three Great Horned Owls!  And what different calls they made!  The usual hoot - hoo-hoo hoooooo hoo-hoo we didn't hear, more whistles and a whaaa whaaaaaa-a-a-aarrk sound, Wow.
 I think the weather is going to change this week. It has still been 50 degrees here, that's warm for the end of November in Michigan.  We did enjoy this day!