Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Port Sheldon Natural Area

January 5, 2012 Port Sheldon Natural Area is Ottawa County park property, located in Port Sheldon Township. There are two small parking areas on 160th Avenue between Port Sheldon and Van Buren Streets.  This open space land is 440 acres including gently rolling terrain, woods, wildlife ponds and Ten Hagen Creek. 

More info  http://www.co.ottawa.mi.us/ParksVI/Parks/portsheldon.htm

The first thing I noticed when we parked were all the larch (tamarack) trees.  Larch are conifers in the genus Larix. Unlike other conifers, larch lose their leaves during autumn and winter.

Let me back up, we first stopped at the Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center.  It is just a few miles north of these open space areas, there is a nice gift/book shop here and helpful park employees.  Especially Kristen Hintz, Park Naturalist, she was very patient with us while we spent an hour and a half, rummaging through the books.  She took, in stride, Marie's squeals of delight as Marie discovered one book after the next.  I, of course, never squeal.

We finally left the park employees, with maps in our hands, and answers to our questions.  OK back to PSNA.

There are trails here but they are unmarked, we knew this ahead of time so we did research.  We had visited this place a few years back but just briefly, we really dug in this time.  Here is what we saw...


 Snow Flea or Springtail -  They are very tiny so the picture below just shows they are insects and not pepper on the snow.
 One of the many small creeks we crossed.

 Witch Hazel

 We sat out in the woods and had a snack, I just laid back and took a picture straight up, with the trees and blue sky, I could have stayed here a long time.
We made it south to Ten Hagen Creek, then went west looking for 160th Avenue.
This part wasn't easy, but it was fun, as we went west the woods got darker and wetter. The area was thick with hemlocks and wet, muddy areas.  We don't like to turn around and back track.  So we bravely sloshed on.  
Finally, we saw 160th and walked north to the parking area, then drove the short distance to the south part of Port Sheldon Natural Area. 
160th Avenue in Port Sheldon Township
It was getting late but we wanted to see Ten Hagen Creek at this point.  So off we go north into the woods not far to the creek.  Here we got to the edge of the creek then right in the creek. 

 Ten Hagen Creek
Happy Boots.


Anonymous said...

Oh, we are explorers! I like how you are always willing to just go see what's over there. We see so much that way. Your photos take me right back to the moment. Happy Boots indeed. Thanks for all your work on this.
M :)

Anonymous said...

I'm loving your blog! I hope you don't mind if I post a link to yours from mine?

Plants Amaze Me said...

M :), Thanks for taking me places, I wouldn't get to go without you. Yes we really are explorers aren't we!

quietsolopursuits, I'm so glad you enjoy my blog, I just found yours recently. I like your humor, especially about the mallards. A link is great, I did add your blog to my reading list, I hope that was OK? Have fun. :)