Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adventure Day Without An Adventure?

Marie started out on the 33 mile trip from her house to my house, it had snowed and was still snowing.  She came upon accidents along U.S. 31, which snarled the traffic so she decided to head back north to her home.

She stopped off at a nearby grocery store before heading home and after shopping found the roads had cleared so she completed her trip to my house. 

We visited our "sweet" sister, Sugar, in Spring Lake.  That's always nice.  Then Marie was starving apparently so we headed to Grand Haven for fries and a shake.  Nope nothing yet that you can call an adventure.

Get the best French Fries in Grand Haven here.

Driving south into Grand Haven.
We headed for my house and worked on our "Parks and Places" list.  Just some random list I start in 2006 when we started going on, mostly weekly, wildflower outings.  More on this list next time.  (Oh, suspense!)

We did walk here around the woods loop, we saw trees, snow, and more snow, that's winter. 

In about two months, maybe a bit more we will see this!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just a Glimpse from Last Summer

There was no adventure this week, so here is a glimpse of last summer, this is only a peek.

Insect,  I haven't identified him yet, if you know what this is let me know.  Maybe of the Pelidnota family?  No maybe not.
Red Clover

This morning it was 8 degrees above zero.  No wildflowers blooming out there today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where, oh, Where are we going?

January 10 2011
Marie observed that the temperature was 2 degrees on her way south to my house, so we decided to stay in the van until the temperature outside warmed up a bit.

Marie with her endless interests and hours of research had a few places to check out.  First we went to a road end, it was just the end of a road that didn't connect to another road but we were there.

Next we went south then east, not far to see, another road end.  Where are the plants, where are the wildflowers!  I like winter I really do, it's cool and fresh, quieter than summer, but sometimes I feel like I can't wait until spring and blooming wildflowers.
                                       Our route for the day
We went south to Holland, then northeast on Chicago Drive to find a part of some bridge Marie had read about on the  website.  We were going to find Chicago Drive Buttermilk Creek Bridge, and we did find it. 
Yep that's it, yawn.  After this we went on to seek out our original destination - the mouth of Bass River.
OK this might be another yawn, the mouth of the Bass River where it drains into the Grand River.  Everything was iced up so it is hard to see in this picture what is Bass River, or the Grand River, or just a field.  But it was a fun walk, we had to cross a rushing stream on logs.
Well this is where we crossed, doesn't look like much of a rushing creek. Hm.  But the sun was shining.
                               Bass River Rec Area Parking
                             Dried Queen Anne's  Lace 
Dried Teasel

Frozen Bass Lake (or Max Lake, I've always called it Bass Lake although Bass River doesn't flow directly into this "lake" which was dug when this area was mined for gravel). 

The last two photos are from the van as we drove through the countryside.
Maybe two more months, probably three months until we see wildflowers bloom here in Michigan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


 January 3, 2011
The snow has melted so the roads are clear and not slippery,  today we will go for a road trip!  Marie did the research and found some old bridges to check out and two Michigan Audubon sanctuaries.
Sounds like fun!
            On the road we go, heading east of Martin, Michigan.

                    Portal View of the 2nd Street Bridge (North)
This bridge is camelback style built in 1926 over the Gun River in Allegan County, Michigan.  For information on historic bridges in the US and Canada visit this interesting website.
    Some sun and blue skies, temperature around 24 degrees.
The first sanctuary we visited, Ronald Warner, had a well marked trail that took us through forests and wetlands.  Below is Glass Creek with a footbridge and boardwalks in the marshy places.  Very nice, maybe we will come here in the spring.

Just down the road a mile or so is the Robert and Mildred Otis Sanctuary.  The Michigan Audubon has a nice website with lots of information.  This should take you to the page to find sanctuaries to visit.
If you are member of Michigan Audubon Society you may launch a canoe or kayak here on the Glass Creek, a wild tributary of the Thornapple-Grand River Watershed.  You need not be a member to stroll about the sanctuaries.
That's the Otis farmhouse, barn, and tile silo, looking back from Glass Creek.

We wandered at bit on our way home, through Dorr, and North Dorr, along here we stopped at the Dorr Township library, a friendly place.  Then right on across a tri-county confluence, the counties of Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa. 

So this day we really had an adventure and road trip, it was the first time we had been to these sanctuaries.  Unfortunately the snow started when we were south of Grand Haven and Marie had to drive back on slippery roads to Montague.  Thanks Marie for your excellent driving skills(You drove ~ 222 miles)!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adventures at Riverside and Bass

To end the year, 2010, and to start off the new year, 2011, I enjoyed four visits to the Riverside Park and Bass River area.  We broke ice, hiked, identified trees, found a cocoon, and had fun. 

Combined there are over 1,700 acres here to play on.  So when we walk at Riverside Park, this is in Ottawa County Michigan, we usually walk to point A (see on the aerial photo below). 

On January 2,  Mike, Tilly, and I walked at Bass River Rec. Area all the way to point B, that is a long walk about 3.75 miles and there is much debris here from flooding the last few years. 
Even in winter there is so much to see.
This picture is taken from what is called Fishermen's Point  (B on the aerial view photo).

American Bittersweet

Cocoon on a Black Ash tree