Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Boots

April 25 2011 We got an early start with Marie arriving at 7 a.m., we were on the road at 7:10.  Driving all the way to Warner Sanctuary in Barry County Michigan.  Gas/gallon $4.14.  The first and last time we visit this sanctuary was in January of this year.

It was 50 degrees and 8:52 when we parked at the Warner parking area off Erway.  It was also raining lightly.  We didn't see much blooming here, Spring hadn't sprung here just yet.  We walked for three hours, all the way to Hart Road then turned around and walked back.  Marie did find her binoculars case that she had accidentally left here last time.

Here is Warner Sanctuary.

                                                                           Glass Pond

Trail at Warner Sanctuary

   Nice Group of Skunk Cabbage, easy to see no circles needed.

                                              Foot Bridge over Glass Creek

                              You want to wear boots at Warner
 Located in an area of glacial moraines, this sanctuary contains rounded ridges, seasonally flooded ponds, a stream, and lake. Most of the 108 acres is wooded and contains old-growth beech, oak and tulip trees. Large evergreens provide additional woodland habitat. The sanctuary is botanically quite diverse and includes a number of threatened and endangered plants. The sanctuary is adjacent to the Barry State Game Area Global Important Bird Area and is home to Cerulean Warblers.  This is from
                                    Old bridge over Glass Creek
Glass Creek

After Warner we went west into Allegan County to our favorite intersection, M-40,M-89.  Ahh nice wet woods. 
Happy boots

We could see the Marsh Marigold before we got out of the car!  Wow.

Marsh Marigold

Spring Beauty

Hispid Buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus) If I identified this one wrong let me know.

False Rue Anemone
So this was great, wildflowers blooming finally.  We saw trillium here but it had only a bud.  One more stop before home, 133rd Avenue still in Allegan County.  Here we found many spring wildflowers blooming.
White Trout Lily

Yellow Trout Lily

                                                    Yellow Violet

                                                     Spring Cress

Large-Flowered Trillium

Squirrel Corn

Dutchman's Breeches

                                                     Spring Beauty

                                               Round-lobed Hepatica                  
We left here happy, it was a good day.
133rd Avenune train bridge built in 1908

Through the Holland tunnel to home.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Riverside Park in Robinson Township

2011 04 24 The weather has been a little warmer (55) and we have had rain, so the wildflowers are coming out a bit more than last week.  We found some minor flooding at Riverside Park, we crossed some of the flooding on logs.  Some of the trails were impassable.

We had a nice walk almost to the point, but then saw two dogs on the loose.  So we turned back to avoid them.  Just after this, we ran into a man and a teenager with guns, they were trying to shoot frogs in the puddles.  This is the problem with the nicer weather, out comes the riffraff!

Some things we saw.
                                         Minor Flooding along the trail
                                                         Tilly Swimming
                                  Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

                                                           Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

                                                       Along the trail at Riverside Park

         I call this Purple Cress, some might call it Spring Cress (Cardamine bulbosa)
                          Lots of sweet little Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
                                    Stork's-bill (Alfilaria) (Erodium cicutarium)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time Warp?

2011 04 18 I've mentioned before we have had a slow spring, just one or two days with temps in the high 70's and not much rain. Monday was our adventure day, I got up out of bed, ready to go off gallivanting with Marie, we planned on Aman Park. Of course Tilly dog wanted to go out, I opened the door to 4 inches of wet snow!

                                           Our driveway, April 18th

I wondered if Marie would cancel, I heard on T.V. there were many accidents on the roads. It kept snowing and blowing like a January day. Just after 7:30 I could hardly believe I saw headlights coming down the driveway! Marie arrives.

Marie's house is 33 miles north of mine, there was NO snow at her house, as she drove through Muskegon she started seeing white stuff on the hills. Remember we haven't had snow for over a month. Then she said the pavement was wet? Huh. Next came the snow, and more snow, that's when she thought she must have traveled through a Time Warp! Ha Ha, she went from April 18 back to January! Just in her mind, of course.

Our adventure started out with a few hours of reminiscing in front of the wood burning stove, and some book research, a spot of tea. There was no sense in driving to Aman, which is a 45 mile round trip from my house (gas per gallon is $3.95 right now). So we drove around in the nice warm van and landed at Hofma Park.  Temperature outside the van 31 degrees.


We crossed this bridge, it is back in the woods, not on a main trail, it might not actually be in the park.  We did find Marsh Marigold blooming!
                                    Not the prettiest ever but this Marsh Marigold was blooming.
                  We were off the trail here skirting the wetlands in search of wildflowers.
                 The creek is part of  Pottawattomie Bayou, does it have a name?
There are new map signs at Hofma (oh oh looks like the screws are already rusting?).  I like how they added dogs permitted if under immediate control.  
Now it is 2 p.m. we stop off at Pottawattomie Park, a Grand Haven Charter Township park. 
                                                                    Pottawattomie Bayou
                                 Pretty Pussy Willows doing their blooming.
That was about it for the day.  Exactly a year ago we were seeing all sorts of blooming wildflowers, trillium, buttercup, lousewort, hepatica, Trailing Arbutus...  Every year is different, so we will keep waiting to see what blooms this year.

Nothing New at Riverside Park

2011 04 17  Mike, Tilly, and I went for a cool walk at Riverside.  The flowers were still closed up, it's cold (32 degrees) and dry.  Oh well, Mike picked up lots of trash and we all got some exercise walking to the point.  Maybe we will have a cool summer too.
                                                 Tilly The Oreo Princess
                                                             Tilly at Bass Lake
                                   Where Bass Lake meets the Grand River
                                         No more trash here, thanks to Mike
          This was my fourth visit to Riverside Park in six days, wow, how lucky am I.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Wildflowering on Friday

April 15 2011 My third trip out to wildflower this week, it's that time of year.  Marie came down, we went to Riverside Park to see the Bloodroot blooming.

 We got there before 8 a.m., only 35 degrees, and it was windy.  The Bloodroot was closed up tight.

We went on to Pigeon Creek Park, I wanted to see if the Marsh Marigold were blooming. 

Nope just buds.  Lots of Skunk Cabbage.  Scary wet areas, almost looks like Louisiana.

Near the parking lot at Pigeon there are some nice Larch growing with new cone growth.

On to Grand River Park, we were here on Monday this week, we checked out the Trout Lily but they were closed up like the Bloodroot. 
                                               Trout Lily

Still only 43 degrees at 10:30, and even more wind.  Some violets.

We cut through one of our favorite swampy places and saw Spicebush almost blooming. 
We found some beautiful Spring Beauty, and Harbinger-of-Spring that we found earlier this week.  We walked here for three hours!  Part of that time we sat on a log in the middle of nowhere having a snack and just enjoying the day.

                                               Spring Beauty

After Grand River Park we went back to Riverside to see if those Bloodroot were open.  They were.

  We had a nice walk around a loop trail.  Found the Purple Dead Nettle blooming and the first dandelion of the year.