Thursday, June 30, 2011

Olive Shores Ottawa County Park

2011 06 08 Olive Shores is a new 20 acre county park with 738 feet of Lake Michigan frontage located in Port Sheldon Township. Land acquisition for the park was completed in 2009. One of the parcels is the filming site for scenes from the movie Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks.

This is another new park in Ottawa County.  Right now all that has been done to it is a sign, trail, and posts with a rope attached to help pull yourself up the steep Mt. Olive.  Soon I'm sure it will become a popular place to access the Lake Michigan beach.  It is peaceful now. 

Park "improvements" will include a 50 car parking lot, barrier free trails through the backdune forest, and a main trail with a stairway leading park visitors over a large dune known as Mt. Olive and to the beach on Lake Michigan. The design of all park facilities will emphasize preservation of the site’s unique natural features.  Other park improvements will include modern restrooms, interpretive signs, barrier free picnic sites, viewing areas on the dune top, and a boardwalk along the dune ridge providing scenic views of Lake Michigan. A separate pedestrian and bike access trail will provide access from Olive Shores Drive. 

                                Pull yourself up Mt. Olive

Lake Michigan from Olive Shores County Park

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Ottawa County Places

2011 06 06 Fillmore at the Bend, Grand River Ravines, Grand River Park. 
We started at Fillmore at the Bend.

In the field we saw...
Showy Goat's Beard

                                     Fistulous Goat's Beard

See the difference between the two Goat's Beard?  Showy, the involucral bracts are equal to the petal rays.  Fistulous Goat's Beard, the involucral bracts are longer than the petal rays.  I never paid much attention to this and just call them
Yellow Goat's Beard.                          
                                     Orange Hawkweed

                   Ox-eye Daisy
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Maybe a Northern Crescent?  I'm not sure although I did just get a new field guide, Butterflies of Michigan.
We wanted to check out the new Ottawa County property, Grand River Ravines.  There is no parking available for this place yet but it is just north of Fillmore at the Bend so we walked north. 

              We came to a farmed field, we headed a bit east to make sure we weren't trespassing.  As we walked along we came to many intersecting trails or small two-tracks, and several small bridges,  Hm, are we still on the Grand River Ravines property?  I hope so.

  We spotted this American Bald Eagle fishing the Grand River.  Now we are close to the river and there I spy beautiful For-Get-Me-Nots.

When I look at them again I found this insect on one of the plants!  I learned he is a Weevil!  Isn't he interesting?  I wonder if he is a "bad"  bug?

We started off south for Fillmore at the Bend and came to these stairs going up the hill. 
 We found this curious plant on the way back, what is it?  We got to the car and drove a few miles down the road to Grand River Park.  There was flooding on the trails.

We saw a Green Dragon.

Green Dragon from the top.

                                       Green Dragon Arum Family

We also visited the Paw Paw trees.  They were just getting done blooming.  This is the back of the flower.

Well again this Blogger is having issues!!!  It can be fun to blog if the site works correctly!  This one is not and I lost my followers?   Any body out there have any suggestions?  Maybe a different blog site?  Please send help.  We will end the day there and see if this will post.  Really any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gale's Pond Nature Trail and Genevieve Casey Nature Sanctuary

2011 May 31  Gale's Pond  Oceana County...again. 

Gale's Pond
Trumpet Honeysuckle

       Liverwort!  (Marchantia polymorpha)  This is very small you have to put your eyes to the ground to see it but it was everywhere.

We saw many plants and yes they all amazed me.  This is a Purple Avens.  We also saw Blue-bead Lily, (Clintonia borealis),  Black Snakeroot (Sanicula odorata), and many different flowering shrubs.

 Bridge on the north side of the dam, don't miss this part of the loop trail.

                       We had lunch under this wonderful tree. 

Next we drove west of Shelby, west of US 31 to Genevieve Casey Nature Sanctuary, part of the Michigan Nature Association.  First time I was here.  It is a nice place to visit, although the trail was hard to keep track of and several times we almost turned back.  There is a loop trail that takes you around a large marsh.

We were greeted at the entrance by many Wild Columbine blooming.

Also Blue-Eyed Grass

Cool bridge over Hmm...maybe Cargill Creek I'm not sure.

                         Along the sometimes very wet trail.

                            The last of the Marsh Marigold

                     Pine in the dry area of the sanctuary.

      Several  Pink Lady's Slipper were looking nice in the pines.

Well I'm having trouble with this Blogger not working so I'll end the day there.  Another great day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hemlock Crossing

2011 05 26 At  Hemlock Crossing (Ottawa County Park) four sisters went for a walk.  A little rain, a little cool, perfect.
Pigeon River
Footbridge at Hemlock Crossing

So many Skunk Cabbage Leaves.

Yellow Goatsbeard just opening, side view
                                       then from the top.

                                                 Wild Lupine
                         Cool Leaf probably a Dock

Wild Columbine not fully open.
We are so lucky to have all these great parks right here in our county!