Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ross Coastal Plain Marsh and Farview Park

Ross Coastal Plain Marsh in Van Buren County, Michigan is where Marie and I were able to go for a long walk, through the woods, on the first day of October 2013.  I had my eye out for Autumn Coralroot, which is an orchid and blooms into autumn, I have seen here before.

Parking on 44th avenue it is about one and a half miles  to  Mud Lake which is the largest lake at Ross Coastal Plain Marsh.  There are some house foundations here from the previous owners.

Remnants of a house at Mud Lake.

 At first I thought this vine was Poison Ivy but a closer look showed it was Virginia Creeper.

Then we saw an odd tan pile of something on the ground.  Directly above this pile we noticed hundreds of aphids on the branch of an American Beech tree.  Closer inspection told us it was a big pile of  aphid secretion.  We saw these piles a few times always under American Beech trees.  I guess these aphids are even called Beech Woolly Aphid or Beech Blight Aphid. I wonder why I never noticed this before? 
 We did find some nice looking Beechdrops.

We walked more than 3 miles, got back to the car and drove north.  In Allegan County, Laketown Township, we visited Farview Nature Park.  Another couple miles to walk, bringing our walk total to ~five miles for the day.
 Farview Nature Park
 That was it for this adventure, another fun time.


Anonymous said...

Mud Lake is a pretty spot. Next time, we should have a real picnic there. Aphid Honeydew was way too nice a name for what we saw. I didn't see the yellow stigmas on the Beechdrops! Farview was wonderful, no wonder I always want to call it Fairview. Thanks for the photos. M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Mud Lake is a pretty place and a good spot to rest. Okay next time I'll bring a real picnic. I read about the aphid honeydew, ew, why haven't we noticed this before? Beechdrops remember my camera is like a hand lens. :-
I looked Farview up to be sure, I think I call it Fairview by mistake sometimes. Oh I forgot to mention that at Ross we didn't find Autumn Coralroot, and at Farview we did see a Nodding Ladies' Tresses.
Thanks for noticing my blog, sister.

New Hampshire Gardener said...

More great shots of the beech drops. I've never seen any yellow on these flowers like your photos show. I've seen a lot of wooly aphids but never on a beech tree, so that seems kind of odd. Here they are often on alders.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Allen. I think the yellow on the beechdrops is part of the pistil? This was the first time I saw the aphids on a beech tree, and I never saw a pile under them like that.