2011 September 25 An extra adventure this week, Marie had the idea to go to the Allegan Antiques Market (150 Allegan County Fair Dr, Allegan, MI 49010, hours - last Sunday of every month, April through September) so off we go to Allegan.
It was raining and gray but we just had to stop off in Hamilton at
the George Schutmaat Park on the Rabbit River. There is a carry-down launching area here (canoes/kayaks), and a great wooden railroad trestle bridge, and waterfalls. Check out the post on Plants Amaze Me 2010 09 29 for the last visit to this park.
After the park we drove south to Allegan, paid $4.00 each admission fee for the antiques market. We parked in a field along the Kalamazoo River, then walked past tents and tables of stuff, many vendors had tarps over their goods since it was still raining. We wandered to the indoor area and shuffled along with people, elbow to elbow, booth after booth. This is a huge market, tons of different things. We were looking for books mostly, we both like books. The only thing we bought was one children's book, Plants Round The Year for $2.50. I guess antiques aren't my thing but they are definitely popular since so many people were here on this very wet day.
For me the best part of this place is when we walked near the river. My camera was in the car so no photos but this is what we found. The Kalamazoo River, Fringe-tip Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), Cardinal Flower, Turtlehead, Forget-me-not, and Great Blue Lobelia.
It was 11:25 a.m., we were free for the day, now where to go?
The fen in Barry County, of course. It wasn't raining anymore. And we saw something that surprised me, 101 (or more) flowering Fringed Gentian!
The first time I saw Fringed Gentian was a few weeks ago at Sarett Nature Center, at Sarett we saw just one blooming. Here we were seeing clumps of six to a dozen! Wow!
The Grass-of-Parnassus still had blossoms but they were looking rough. Oh, and the Brook Lobelia was everywhere! Very pretty.
Brook Lobelia (Kalm's Lobelia, Lobelia kalmii )
Ironweed, Nodding Ladies' Tresses, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Brown-eyed Susan, Forget-me-not, Swamp Lousewort, Heal All, Joe-Pye Weed, all still blooming.
We soaked in as much of the fen as we could, knowing this will probably be our last time here for the year.