Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hudsonville Nature Center, Sunrise Park, Aman Park

July 8, 2013
Hudsonville Nature Center is located at 2700 New Holland Street, Hudsonville, Michigan. It is our destination for this adventure.  The Nature Center is a 76-acre nature preserve of woodlands, prairies and wetlands that offers hiking trails, lookouts, wildflowers and picnic areas.

Since it was starting out to be hot day we decided to go to the prairie first.  Right off we were seeing the prairie flowers.

 Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) Figwort Family
 Culver's Root

                                White Wild Indigo

     Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) Carrot family
Rattlesnake Master

Alumroot  (Heuchera Americana)  Saxifrage Family, is a small (under 2 ft. high and wide) perennial native to Central United States.  Loose racemes of insignificant green to cream flowers bloom in early summer.
                           Leaves of Alumroot

Thimbleweed  (Anemone cylindrical) Buttercup family

We saw many flowers but I really need to catch up on this blog so I will cut this short, or try to.  Here are a few more things we saw.
                         Flowering Spurge

    Bull Thistle

Robber Fly with lunch

 Okay really I'm almost out of the prairie...
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) Mint family
The flowers begin blooming in the center of the head, gradually moving outward, forming a wreath of flowers.  They smell sort of like oregano.

Marie and I especially like the smell of Wild Bergamot because it reminds us of our childhood and our Dad.  It is a native perennial plant so I hope someone doesn't go pulling it out, thinking it is Spotted Knapweed!

Next Marie found this giant silk moth down in the grass.  We didn't want to disturb the moth so the picture really doesn't show its size.  We put the hand lens in the photo for size comparison.
It is a  Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus).  The large spots on the wings of the Polyphemus Moth look rather similar to eyes and it uses this intriguing adaptation to confuse potential predators.  Its wing span can be 6 inches. 
Believe me it was big.

Now out of the prairie. Yes, we are still at Hudsonville Nature Center, and off into the dark woods.  Clouds had moved in which cooled things down and there was a bit of a breeze.

 Michigan Lily  (Lilium michiganense) Lily family
Another native perennial plant, the beautiful Michigan Lily.

There is more to this park than just the prairie.  There are hills, ravines, and  a creek.

After this park I think we might have stopped by a Mr. Burger and got a chocolate malt (not a shake but a malt).  I'm not sure if this really happen or I just thought about a malt.
Anyway next we stopped in at Sunrise Park  (to eat the malts), 
located at the end of Springdale Street, it offers playground equipment, a tot lot, open shelter, ball diamonds and a picnic area.

   Part of the Sunrise Park Rain Garden

 Believe it or not we also stopped at Aman Park!  This is a park we go to in the spring to find spring wildflowers.  It's fun to see what things look like here this time of year.
 Trail at Aman Park in Ottawa County, Michigan
 Pointed-leaf tick-trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum) Pea Family        
These are the fun plants that get sticky seed pods on your clothes when you go for a walk in the woods.                          
                                 Hepatica Leaves

 Indian Pipe

   Sand Creek
We didn't have time to walk the trails much.  We walked to the north bridge and back.  Then headed home.
Slowly I'm catching up on this blog.  Marie and I have had some great adventures recently and I can hardly wait to post them.  But they have to be in chronological order, right?
Next time is more Barry County, including Hall Lake.


New Hampshire Gardener said...

Awsome photos! You Michiganers are lucky to have so many beautiful parks. I've got one coming up about one in my area, but it's nothing like what I've seen in your area.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Allen. Michigan is a beautiful place, and parks galore. Your area has all the cool rocks, and slime molds. I don't see much or any slime mold here.
I look forward to your post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of the Hudsonville Nature Center, I went there a few times in the fall and winter, but never when any of the flowers were blooming. After seeing your lovely photos, I'll have to go back.

Plants Amaze Me said...

You're welcome, except for the highway noise it is an interesting place, not too far away. After your post about Pickerel Lake I want to go there, so many places to go, but that's good.