Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A bug captures and eats a bird! at Sarett Nature Center

2011 09 06  We chose Sarett Nature Center (http://www.sarett.com/) in Benton Harbor, Michigan because we were seeking the Fringed Gentian which was said to bloom in Sarett's fen.  And we did find the beautiful Fringed Gentian.

I would definitely suggest visiting Sarett, it has a wonderful nature center with live displays, snakes, turtles, a rabbit, and more, The Earth display with so many examples of rocks all neatly identified, a kids area to do fun nature-y things, and a gift shop with a large selection of books. 

There are lots of trails, boardwalks, also the treetop trail and walkway which is a boardwalk that is 55 feet above the swamp forest floor, impressive. Here is what else we saw...
Grass of Parnassus

We found this plant and sat down to identify it.  I thought the flowers looked like some sort of lettuce but the leaves didn't, hm...  Marie discovered it to be a Smooth White Lettuce, Prenanthes racemosa, also known as  Purple Rattlesnakeroot.
Close up of the Prenanthes racemosa flower.  First we just saw one of these plants then we found many more.

 Along the trail at Sarett Nature Center
This is the fen at Sarett, where the Fringed Gentian was growing.  It is also where I found something that surprised me...those of you reading this who are a bit squeamish might want to skip this section of the post.  It is somewhat gross.    

This is a Chinese Mantis eating a hummingbird!
At Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center recently they had on display a Chinese Mantis and while we were on our walk there we saw one in the meadow.
This was the first time I saw one of these, they are bigger than your average Praying Mantis.
After the fen we walked all the way to the Paw Paw River along the, yup, river trail, well it would be wouldn't it.  Oh we saw more Liverwort. Funny when you learn about something it seems like you see it more often? 
Shadows of Water Striders striding the water.

Also in the fen we saw the orchid, Nodding Ladies' Tresses!  I have to say it, what a wonderful day!  :)


Dave said...

Wow you sure saw alot of beautiful flowers. Last week was the very first time i have ever seen a Nodding Ladies tresses it took a few days for me to identify it and i was so excited.

Anonymous said...

That was a special flower day. Thanks for the blog! M :)

Anonymous said...

flowerdave, Yes it was a great day for flowers! Good for you, finding and identifying the Nodding Ladies' Tresses, it's fun when you figure them out.
Marie, Thanks for another wonderful adventure! We sure have been lots of places. :)