Fred Russ Forest and Dowagiac Woods
First the Fred Russ Forest, this is a new park for us (my sister Marie and me). We left my house at 7:20am, it was 44 degrees. It took two hours to get to Russ Forest from home.
Along the way
Russ Forest Park on Dowagiac Creek
There are huge Tulip Trees here at Russ Forest. This is part of one that blew down in a storm but there are many more alive and well in the forest.
Dowagiac Creek has Brown Trout, I don't know much about Brown Trout but I do know how to fish for Bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus).
Skunk Cabbage leaves
Newton Woods (Fred Russ Forest) is a Registered National Landmark.
Below is a flowering shrub we came across and didn't know what it was, so Marie booked it. She identified it as a Red-berried Elder (Sambucus pubens).
We were a little surprised to find Paw Paw over head since we were in the forest not along the creek.
A lady came riding a horse down the trail and asked us about some blue wildflowers she had seen farther south on the trail. Later we found what she was talking about, Blue-eyed Mary.
Eastern Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna) Figwort Family
We found some of the huge Tulip Trees, Tulip Poplar.
We met some one on the trail they told us there were the leaves of the Puttyroot Orchid near the trail by the big trees, we found the leaves.
Puttyroot Orchid Leaves
At the edge of a field we found Flowering Dogwood blooming.
Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
New green leaves of a Black Cherry covered with red pointed galls? We have seen this before.
This sign reads, Black Walnut White Ash Black Cherry Red Oak Tulip Poplar Machine Planted 1945-1946
Near the parking lot we found English Daisy (Bellis perennis) a cute little garden escape.
So we found ourselves back to the car at 1:45 so ~ 4 1/2 hours in the forest.
Fred Russ Forest was a great choice for the day. The forest was wonderful.
Now a bit of a sticky wicket, it is about time to go home, 2 hours to my house and then another 35 mintues for Marie to get to her house. Husbands waiting at home for dinner but...we are only 8 miles from Dowagiac Woods (Michigan Nature Association) one of our very favorite places to wildflower.
So we head west to Dowagiac then over to Frost Road, we arrive at 2:14pm. Luck thing I had the cell phone along (and that we both have very understanding husbands) so we called and let everyone know we were going to be very late, now if we can still walk (which wasn't a problem at all) we can relax and enjoy the woods and wildflowers.
This is the old sign, it's gone now. Below is the new sign.
Many, many, trillium
Bellwort, I like the way the stems seem to pierce the leaves (Perfoliate).
One late hepatica
Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius)
A whole bunch of Dwarf Ginseng, with their balls of white along with Mayapple.
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) tree
Through the pines and we are back to the car. We got home exactly 12 hours after we had left that morning! What a long and wonderful day!
Some info about Fred Russ Forest that I gleaned online-