Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Fun

Thanksgiving week included all of the family, even the son from Texas and two other Texans, quad rides for all, walks in nature, an airplane ride piloted by Texan son, a yummy turkey dinner with all the trimmings, treasure hunts for the kids, and more.

A walk on the Grand Haven south pier.

The airplane ride from Grand Haven Memorial Airport with son piloting the plane, follow his blog here http://sabkha.blogspot.com/


Grand Haven Michigan east side of the city 

 Spring Lake at the curve on Leonard Street

Bridge on Mercury Drive at  Pottawattomie Bayou and the Grand River

Flying over Grand Haven looking north
                                               Quad Riding

        Next a hike at Rosy Mound Natural Area

 Lake Michigan

The weather has still been mild here in Michigan. 
Much to be thankful for!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hawthorn Natural Pond Area and Farview Nature Park and Horse Trail

2011 11 01 Back to Hawthorn Pond Natural Area, a 40 acre site, south of Adams Street on Black River Court in Holland Township.  It contains a five-acre freshwater pond that is ringed with a path, also has lookout sites, a kayak launch ramp and fishing stations.  
We were here on August 22 of this year, then there were machines working to make this place into a park.  Things are still scarred from the machines but next spring it will look better. 

We walked counterclockwise part way around the pond until we came to a bit of a trail heading over to the Macatawa River.  I have to say I'm not overly impressed by this river, the water is brown and cloudy. 

Of course we came to a deer trail and continued on it along the river, heading south then west towards highway
US 196 also known as the Gerald R. Ford Freeway, near exit 52.  Along the way we found some great trees, sycamores, paw paws, maples, oaks.

We walked north toward the pond and went through some very wet woods.  We even found smartweed blooming.

We came across this old car, Marie did some research and found out it is probably a 1955 Pontiac Chieftain.
Here are some maps, first map Hawthorn Pond is at the number 1.

The red line is where we walked, sort of, about 1 mile total.
Next we drove down the road southwest 13.5 miles to Farview Nature Park and Horse Trail (6257 138th Avenue Allegan County Michigan).  We were here last on August 23, 2010.
               Horse trail sign.
                More signage.
Historic Wait-Station for Electric Interurban Railroad.
Entrance to Farview Park

Bench at the pond.
Through the woods...
to the lake, Farview Lake.  The shrub with red berries is Winterberry (or Michigan Holly).  We found Nodding Ladies' Tresses but the petals were brown, far past their prime.

A few wildflowers still blooming!  Queen Anne's Lace, goldenrod,  and Spotted Knapweed  were blooming yet, along with this aster.
At the "top" of the lake we rested in a sunny, sandy spot.  Did some research in the tree books, Marie had a red dragonfly land right on the open book.  Nice.
Walking around the lake, we saw a Common Buckeye butterfly, a pintail duck, a yellow butterfly, Bayberry bushes, Blue Jays, and sunfish.
Top is the first Common Buckeye we saw, then 20 minutes later down the trail, another one.
Back to the car at 2:12, it was 62 degrees beautiful day for this late in the fall.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cabin Adventure - Day 3

The last day of our outing we did the usually morning things, shower, dress, breakfast, walk the dog, then packed up for the ride home.  We decided to take the Six Mile bridge way home.  Back to the Michigan County Atlas book, I see just SW of the bridge is a place called Links Pond, I have no idea what this thing is so we checked it out. 
Little Manistee River at Six Mile bridge

After stopping briefly at Six Mile bridge and walking along the shore  in a fruitless search of dead Bottle Gentian, we got back in the car, crossing the bridge (south) then turning right (west) on Old Stronach Road, the road marked Weir. 
One and a half miles down the road we came to a sign, Links Pond, OK.
There is a good two-track through the woods, 1/4 mile to an area to park.  We got Tilly out of the car and started to walk.  This is a cool and curious place.  There are lots of marshy areas and ponds, also the Little Manistee River.  We find lots of cedar trees, probably a great place for wildflowers earlier in the year.  But what was this place?  There is a small dam with a footbridge.
 We saw several numbered posts along the path.  I could contact the ranger station in Manistee, they must know what this was used for.  Maybe it is an old weir.  More research is needed. 
This sign was at Links Pond, hm...Michigan Wildlife Habitat Foundation.  It helps to take pictures of signs then I don't have to write this info down.  Links Pond is a cool place, I definitely want to go back there.
 Little Manistee River at Links Pond, notice the Larch turned yellow soon to lose its needles.

Mike, Tilly, and I walked ~one mile around the big pond and off into the woods, we crossed a small stream, but turned back not having a map and not quite sure where we were going. 

Back in the car and continuing west, less than a mile down the road, we came to the weir.

We ended up driving to Old Stronach Bridge.

There was a paved parking area here with a picnic table and grill, maybe a port-a-potty.  The bridge, I think, was recently redone as was the little park area. 

Now we went north over the bridge and turned east to get on Little River Road.  We are on the north side of the Little Manistee.  There is an overlook marked on the map, we got out to look.  It was a steep drop to the river, lots of beautiful trees blocked the overlook view.  
We traveled on until we again crossed Six Mile bridge then drove on to stop in at Hoag's Lake.
Hoag's Lake
After this we jumped on US 31 getting off in Hart for La Fiesta.
Crossing the bridge over Hart Lake in Hart Michigan.
The rest of the way home, the sky was full of wonderful clouds.  We got home and again it seemed like we had been away a week instead of 50 hours! 
It is always good to be home.