Secret Swampy Woods
We visited one of our secret swampy areas at the intersection of M-40 and M-89 in Allegan County. We stumbled across this place just last year (2010 04 12). There is no parking area but wide enough shoulders to get safely parked along the road. It is Allegan State Game Area property so we weren't trespassing, we wouldn't would we.
Marie did find one pathetic Hepatica blooming here, no picture but YES she found the first blooming wildflower of the year. We saw so many Skunk Cabbage, and a few new green leaves, maybe violets or saxifrage.
Walking to the west, we also came to Sand Creek and saw two American Woodcock. We were in this mucky woods for about two hours, every minute was fun!
I know this is a bit silly but I circled the Skunk Cabbage in this picture.
Next we went north to Mark Cassino's "Hepatica Hill". This Mark has a website (http://www.markcassino.com/b2evolution/), a photographer's journal, that I visit sometimes to get info on what is in bloom to the south of us. He has many places in the Allegan Forest that he wanders, Hepatica Hill is one of them. It is a south facing hill along the Kalamazoo River so the mostly Round-lobed Hepatica tend to bloom here earlier than north facing hills, well they would, wouldn't they.
Marie had to stick one of the petals back on this flower
and I might have pressed it gently open with my finger.
And even though our hopes were not up to seeing blooming hepatica... there they were blooming on that cold blustery March day! Wow! They were a bit soggy and dirty from the rain the night before, poor sad little things. (I rinsed a few off with water from my water bottle).
My new camera, as I anticipated is not good for close-up shots of wildflowers. Not sure what I am going to do about that. I really don't want a big complicated camera - just my old, lens errored, point and shoot, Canon SD 1000. Well I'll keep trying with the new camera for a while. Anyway...
Maple tree starting to wake up for Spring
We had a really nice walk along the Kalamazoo River to Bear Creek and back. Sat in the van where we enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and some glazed cake. I know I always say how fun it is to go on these adventures, it was fun. Great to be outside, free from worries, enjoying the out doors.