Saturday, July 30, 2011

Manistee - Day Two

June 28 2011 We were up a 6 a.m., no hurries, no worries.  Coffee and breakfast on the front porch.  We left the cabin around 9, heading for the Manistee River Trail.  We are going to start at the "waterfall" going north on South 1 Road then west on Forest Road 7120.
I had to brake along the road when I saw purple, right away I knew it was Viper's Bugloss.
From the gate we walked to the river then south, looking for some river flats.  There are many small footbridges along this trail. 

 We  identified Shinleaf (Pyrola Family).

On a very steep hillside facing the river we saw Showy Lady's Slipper.  Totally inaccessible.
Soon we got to the flats and I showed Marie the Indian Paintbrush that Mike and I had seen here in mid June.
Then I was right on the edge of the river when I found an orchid.  It was pale green and slender.  Marie used her wisdom and her Newcomb's Wildflower Guide and dubbed it a Tubercled Orchid!

A kingfisher chattered down the river, frogs were jumping, butterflies flitted about.

I think this is a Pearl Crescent, going by my recently acquired
 Butterflies of Michigan by Jaret C. Daniels. 
Here are a few other things we found on the river flats.

A rough looking Showy Lady's Slipper
                                     Black-eyed Susan

                             Webs with dew
            Harebell, getting ready to open.
                              Common St. Johnswort

Our old friend, Prunella vulgaris, commonly known as Selfheal or Heal-all.
What a cool place, so many things to see!
We needed to head for home, about a two hour drive,
back to the real world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Manistee County - Day One

June 27 2011  Off we go again, yes we are lucky to be able to wander Michigan.  This time Marie and I go for a two day adventure, spending one night at my very generous brother-in-law's cabin.

We were on the road before 8 a.m. looking for a historic bridge over the Big Sauble River on La Salle Road in Mason County.  We found the bridge had been totally redone in 2010, and from photos on the website, it looks like there was a major erosion problem at this bridge.  Still an interesting stop.

              Rabbit-foot Clover,  always nice to see.

                     Big Sauble River

Next stop was the US Forest Service Ranger Station in Manistee, we picked up lots of maps and a few books.
On to a place that I doubt has been visited in a while by anyone, the Woodland Management Trail.  It is in the Pere Marquette State Forest off Lamont Road (which is just a sandy two-track) just a bit east of Bear Lake in Manistee County Michigan.
Here is the sign we found after pulling off the road.
The next photo is a little closer shot, it says on the sign there are guide pamphlets available in the town of  Bear Lake.

Soon we came to this pond, then through a field of very tall ferns.
I spied some cute little critters.

Along The Woodland Management Trail

After wandering through these woods for almost two hours
we got off the trail (or maybe the trail was no longer there) when we popped out of the deep dark woods and onto a dirt road.  I checked the compass and realized we needed to go east then north to the car.  We don't really ever get lost.

We left this place and went on through Kaleva and drove by the bottlehouse.
On we went to Brethren, I've been here several times for the Spirit of the Woods Music Association Folk Festival which happens in June.  It's a great family music festival.  Marie and I stopped in at a park in Brethren, at Lake Eleanor
We had our lunch here while it rained some.  We saw Moneywort, (no cash value) which has yellow flowers and paired leaves, and is vine-y, Swamp Milkweed,  Blue Flag (Iris), and Baby's Breath.


Blue Flag

East we go on Coats Highway to the Red Bridge over the Manistee River, another favorite stop.
It was still cloudy, we saw many flowers blooming, but things were a bit gray.

We traveled on to the cabin, did  research in our books, had a nice dinner, and relaxed.  I think I could live at the cabin, always. 

Next time, day two of this exciting adventure!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fen, Prairie Fen, and More

June 20 2011 A special day.  My sister, Marie, and I drove approximately 60 miles southeast to a fen in Barry County Michigan.  Not big in size but filled with amazing plants.
             Fun boardwalks...

This is one of the wildflowers I came to see, Showy Lady's Slipper.  It's an orchid of course.  They were growing deep in the grasses, we were careful not to disturb them.  The leaves surprised me with their fuzziness.   

We also found, Yellow Star-Grass,
 White Camas,

and some kind of Indian-Plantain.


The last two photos are of a Dogbane Tiger Moth. 
Then a large snail. 

  and a Daddy longlegs (or Harvester) with red Mites.
I really liked this fen maybe we should visit here again? 
After this place we went on to the Maher Sanctuary managed by the Grand Rapids Audubon Club.  This is in Irving Township, Barry County, Michigan with parking area on 108th Street.  Another interesting place! 
Cain Creek flows through this sanctuary and we found the bridge out, but being repaired.  We managed to cross with no problem.
Cain Creek
 Along the way we saw Wild Onion,
 Marsh Skullcap (Scutellaria epilobiifolia)

And a Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Wow!  Fun places I wonder where we will go next time.