Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ross Costal Plain Marsh

2013 04 22  We made several stops on this outing, not quite sure where to go.  Favorite places in Ottawa County are flooded, and with a slow spring not many wildflower were blooming.  So south
to Allegan County.
We checked out the train trestle in Hamilton, Michigan.  The Rabbit River was high but the falls/rapids were unimpressive because of that high water.  The water just doesn't fall when the river is so full of water.

Hamilton, Michigan

We went on one of our favorite roads in Allegan County, 133rd Avenue. 
Train bridge on 133rd Avenue

 We saw some white Trout Lily, but it was too early and cold for this wildflower to be open.
                                                    Trout Lily
 On to New Richmond Park, Fifty-seventh Street bridge.  This is on the Kalamazoo River and Rabbit River joins the Kalamazoo just upstream.
 Half of the parking area was under water.

New Richmond Park

Our next stop was in Van Buren County, Ross Coastal Plain Marsh Preserve.
Not much was flowering here but it was a wonderful day to walk.  First we walked to the pond where we found Meadow Beauty blooming one year.  We were able to walk all the way around this water, no signs of flooding.

 About 1 1/2 miles from the parking area is Mud Lake.  We sat and enjoyed this place.

Geese on Mud Lake

Not far on the same road (county road 376) is Barvicks Sand Dunes Nature Sanctuary.
Here the little creek had been flooded, we found just a few wildflowers.
 Barvicks Sand Dunes Nature Sanctuary
Spring Beauty

Many stops on this adventure and we walked four miles, a good day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dowagiac Woods April 15, 2013

Road Trip to southwest Michigan!  Marie and I visited Robinson Woods, near Lakeside, Michigan, about 100 miles south of my home. 
"One of the earliest properties in Michigan protected by The Nature Conservancy, the 80-acre Robinson Woods Preserve in Chikaming Township features steep slopes cut by streams that run through virgin and second-growth forest on former agricultural lands and floodplains."
Near the parking area there were trillium, not blooming.
Leaves of the Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)   Orchid.  We should come back here in July- August to see these bloom!

A brand new False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum) 
Buttercup family.

So even though Robinson Woods is an interesting place, I think we were a bit early for spring wildflowers.  I was excited when Marie suggested we go to Dowagiac Woods next, my favorite place for spring wildflowers.  We traveled through Three Oaks, then Niles, Michigan.  We came across Losensky Park (452 Pucker StNilesMI ), we were here a few years ago.  Nice little park next to a dam on the Dowagiac River, but the footbridge was closed.  Still we saw wildflowers (weeds to some) blooming!

 Persian Speedwell  (Veronica persica)  Figwort Family.

Common Dandelio(Taraxacum officinale) 

Next Dowagiac Woods...

 Located in Cass County, Michigan and owned by  Michigan Nature Association.

Sharp-Lobed Hepatica  (Hepatica nobilis acuta or  Anemone acutiloba) Buttercup Family.  Although Skunk Cabbage blooms earlier in the spring, hepatica is more like what we think a spring wildflower should be, - small, delicate, and pastel colored.

These are all hepatica, we actually saw hundreds of them, different colors, and shapes, from 5 to 12 "petals".  The petals are actually sepals. 
For me the hepatica was the best part of the day, or month for that matter.  They were standing so tall, and were very delicate, and colorful.

We also saw Purple Cress (Cardamine douglasii) Mustard Family.

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)  Fumitory Family.

 Dowagiac River

 We saw just a few Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) Purslane Family.

 Harbinger-of-Spring (Erigenia bulbosa) Carrot Family, we saw hundreds of these blooming too, they were everywhere!
 We saw a handful of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) Poppy Family.

Trout Lily Erythronium americanum) Lily Family,  we saw only a few blooming.

 Just two Marsh Marigold  (Caltha palustris) blooming, beautiful color.  Buttercup Family.
 Trail through Dowagiac Woods, below a bumble bee...

 The bridge along the trail at Dowagiac Woods...

Never have I seen this many hepatica blooming at the same  

time, it was a real treat.  Thanks, Marie, for taking me there.