Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dolan Trail, Maher Sanctuary, Barry County Fen

2013 05 13 Last week we drove about 60 miles from Grand Haven to the Dolan Trail in southeast Kent County.  Dolan Trail,  a 1.1 mile loop trail, property of Trout Unlimited, is along the Coldwater River.  We have been here before and, as last time, we were careful not to go too far on the North Country Trail, which is also here along the Coldwater River.

 Coldwater River in Kent County, Michigan

     Dolan Trail

This is the back side of a Wild Geranium...

There were signs of severe flooding, we did see wildflowers and the weather was cool (32 degrees) and sunny.

We enjoyed the Dolan Trail but I got in a bit of a hurry to move on.  Usually our day out together seems to go by fast.  We do try to savor the moment.  The weather was very nice and we walked more than a mile but then we moved on down the road into Barry County to Maher Audubon Sanctuary.

We saw trillium,
Two-leaved Miterwort ( Mitella diphylla),

   Cain Creek,

Marsh Marigold.

 After Maher we went west to a small fen.  Along the way we saw beautiful spring green trees and grasses.

Since it was a cold day we saved the fen for last, but still didn't find much blooming...
We did see that someone had cut down bunches of shrubs along the path and throughout the fen, including Nine Bark, which they left in piles everywhere.
                Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) Carrot Family

                Swamp Valerian  (Valeriana uliginosa) Just buds...
Still some Marsh Marigold...

A beautiful day at the fen.


New Hampshire Gardener said...

That was worth a 60 mile drive. I like the mitrewort and swamp valerian-I've never seen either one. It must still be too cold for them there but these look like good places for orchids.
The shrub cutting doesn't sound good.Should they be doing that in a protected area?

Plants Amaze Me said...

It was worth the trip, and even starting off at 32 degrees it was perfect weather.
Miterwort is in the saxifrage family, it has a pair of leaves at the base of a long stem which in that picture doesn't show. The flower reminds me of snowflakes if you look close at it.
The Swamp Valerian wasn't actually blooming but we have identified it here in years past. It is somewhat rare around here.
Yes these are good places for orchids, at the fen (in June)we have seen Showy Lady's Slipper, but I saw no sign of their leaves yet. We even checked over some Skunk Cabbage leaves to make sure they were not Showy Lady's Slipper leaves.
The fen is in a small town, so I'm not sure who owns it, but someone cut large areas of shrubs and just left what they cut on the ground. Some was piled up. I realize some things may need to be cut to maintain the fen, but I don't think that was the case.
We should be seeing orchids soon, I have a sister in Minnesota who grows orchids, she's a gardener too!
Thanks for stopping by Allen.

Anonymous said...

These 50 degree temperature swings are something else, aren't they? I love the flower photos, but even better is all the green! I do love Michigan spring, especially the way that you've captured it.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Jerry. The weather has been crazy but it looks like a cool down for the Memorial Day weekend, so that's good.