Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To Paris, and Finding Harbinger-of-Spring!

April 11 2011 For Marie's and my adventure this week we thought to go to Blandford Nature Center (1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan), this is a cool place but lots of elementary field trippers visit here, which is nice for them.

So on we went down the road to a new park Marie had made a note card on.  It is called Stanaback Park located at the end of Whitebud Drive, off of Pfeiffer Woods Drive, between Breton and Shaffer Avenues in Kentwood Michigan.

This too seems like a nice park and we did walk here a fair distance.  We found a hepatica trying to bloom, it was a cool 54 degrees but windy.  So off we go to find a place more out of the way, not so city.

Marie suggests Paris Park Nature Reserve (3213 60th. St.) in the City of Kentwood.  Ok I'll play along though I'm thinking we are still very close to the city of Grand Rapids, big city to me.  We found Paris Park to be the jackpot.  Nice wetlands and forest,  Plaster Creek winds through this almost 70 acre park. Currently Paris Park is owned by Kent County and leased to the City of Kentwood.

It should be called "Snakes in the Grass Park" since we saw six snakes here.  Four of these snakes were big, long, dark, slithery, and liked the water.  I haven't identified them. 

                                      We also met this frog!

                    Plaster Creek at Paris Park Nature Reserve
We saw a few wildflowers blooming, False Rue Anemone, Spring Beauty, Purple Cress... we did the wildflower dance. 
                                            Spring Beauty

We left this park and quickly headed for Grand River Park in Ottawa County. 
Grand River Park has a variety of environmental niches so you will find everything from ephemeral spring wildflowers to long blooming summer wildflowers (of course not at the same time right).  Wet, dry, woods, fields this park has it all.

We first found beautiful groups of violets blooming, lots of Spring Beauty, some Cut-leaved Toothwort, but best of all we found Harbinger-of-Spring (Erigenia bulbosa), also known as Pepper and Salt.  This was the first time we found this spring ephemeral this far north, we have seen it in southwest Michigan.

More wildflowering adventures soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow!