Monday, December 29, 2014

Trail Camera Photos - Bucks, Fox, and More

It has been a very busy few months since I have done a post.  The biggest and best news is that we have another granddaughter, born November 21!  In mid December, I was able to fly to Texas and visit her.  She is perfect!

Also, an article about this blog was in the online Grand Haven Tribune (!  And, on the Ottawa County Parks Facebook page.   Now the pressure is on!

So, as always, my Truth Cam was busy while I was out of town.  It's been about 4 years that I have had this trail cam and it is exciting to see what's out in our woods, here in Ottawa County, Michigan. 
Yep, that is the deer looking right into the camera.
We had lots of snow in November!  I put the pumpkin from Halloween in the woods and some sunflower seeds.

 That's about it for the Truth Cam for now.  I hope you enjoyed seeing what lives in my woods. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Colorful Month Of October!

Fall has been an amazing season in Michigan, the color of the leaves have lasted all the way through October.  There have been many cloudy days but the golden glow from the trees seems to brighten up everything around them.  I visited many parks and places in October, here are a few highlights.  I hope you enjoy them.

Hofma Preserve in Grand Haven Township, Ottawa County - October 10, 2014.
Hofma Preserve has 324.77 acres with approximately 4.5 miles of trails, an 885 foot floating bridge, 17 space parking area and a restroom.
Next, Long Lake in Kent County, October 13.  It was very foggy the day we were here.  The trees were colorful if only you could see them through the fog.  It did clear up a bit later on in the day.
Marie found Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens Madder family) blooming!  This small vine is slightly woody, forming a low mat of evergreen leaves up to 4" tall and 1' or more across. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer.  This plant was blooming , October 13!
The same day we also went to Pickerel Lake.  The fog had lifted some, the colors were great even on a cloudy day.

    I found this guy near the boardwalk at Pickerel Lake.
Along a trail at Pickerel Lake Park.

October 17th Betsy and I went to Kirk Park in Ottawa County along Lake Michigan.  The wind picked up and we had acorns almost the size of golf balls (well they seemed that big at the time!) raining down on us!  There are many stairs at Kirk Park so we really got some exercise.

October 21st, it was Aman Park in Ottawa County with Marie.  Again it wasn't sunny but still very yellow gold everywhere.  We walked the trail to the north, and then all along Sand Creek to the southern bridge.
 We also stopped at Bass River Recreation Area that day.  The trees at Bass had lost most of their leaves, so it was brown and gray there.  Except for the few wildflowers hanging on - like this Red Clover.

October 23rd, I had a long walk with Betsy at Pigeon Creek Park in Ottawa County.  There are many American Beech trees (and maples) here and their leaves were golden!

We also saw um, ah, well dinosaur legs?

 Mike and I made a trip to the cabin in Manistee County for our 37th wedding anniversary.
We took a ~7 mile hike on the Manistee River Trail.  Starting at Red Bridge on Coates Highway, going north to the Slagel Creek bridge and back.  It was an absolutely perfect day!

 Driving home there was much oohing and aahing from me over the beautiful trees.  It isn't easy getting a shot out the car window but this one is kind of nice. 

And probably the last outing of October, Saugatuck Dunes State Park.  A day-use park along a secluded strip of Lake Michigan shoreline, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 1,000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of shore line.  The park has fresh water coastal dunes that are over 200 feet tall. The park's terrain varies from steep slopes to rolling hills. The park, located in Allegan County, is relatively undeveloped.

Marie and I walked the southern part of this park, the South Trail and Livingston Trail.  The day started cool and cloudy, then changed over to blue sky and sunshine.  Here is our walk.

This walk leads you to Lake Michigan...

We walked south along the beach to the trail back up through the dune sand high above the lake.  The sun came out and the lake turned a beautiful blue.  The trees brighten with the sun.

  Then back through the woods to the car.
We walked at Macatawa Greenspace in Ottawa County this same day.  " This 122-acre park encompasses the union of the Macatawa River and the Noorderloos Creek. The restored wetland is a birders delight, home to many waterfowl including Great Blue Herons. The bridges, boardwalks and observation decks take you beside the river, offering treasured, scenic views of the natural world within the City of Holland. Enjoy a game of disc golf or explore the park via foot or bike on paved and natural surface trails. During the winter months, appreciate winter serenity in snow shoes or cross county skis."
We saw 20 different types of plants blooming today October 28, 2014!
 I hope you enjoyed the photos from these outings as much as I enjoyed being out there!