March 31 2014 My sister Marie, and I went for our weekly outing to wherever we want, within reason. We headed for Allegan State Game Area, planning to walk the Swan Creek foot trail. Here in Michigan we have had a long, cold, snowy winter so as we suspected there was too much snow to hike this several mile trail.
We made many stops - starting with Hamilton and the park there with the beautiful wood railroad trestle over the Rabbit River. Always a cool sight to see, and a crew came along the tracks to make repairs. We would have stayed and watched but we had places to go.
On down the road we went to Happy Boots Corner near M-40 and M-89 in Allegan County. We have been stopping here for several years now, it's just a bit of wet woods along the road, and it is public land.
Here we did find Skunk Cabbage blooming, okay that's nice but just wait until later in the day! It is a beautiful Skunk Cabbage.
We wandered a bit here. We saw several green cotyledons of various plants coming up, most too small to identify. I like this place.
Back in the car we traveled past dams and crossed several bridges. We ended up in Otsego, Michigan and stopped at the township hall for information and a map. Marie talked to three very helpful people there, and came out with a nice map.
We visited two of their parks and their library. The Otsego library has a wonderful children's section, with a bridge and a large tree filled with birds, bats, spiders and other creatures. It also includes a "house" complete with a roof, windows, and door! I'd like to take my granddaughter there but it's 55 miles from home.
We drove too a site where a dam had been removed and work was being done there too. I really don't know much about Otsego, but it seems like a nice place.
On our way home we visited Allegan, stopping in at their library. It was the first warm day that we have had in a long time so we walked on the boardwalks here in Allegan.
It was getting on in the day but we decided to check on one more special place, 133rd Avenue. This section of 133rd Avenue has a south facing slope so it catches the sun. It is a dirt road and has lots of wildflowers. This is what it looks like.
I wasn't seeing any green, - none, zip, zero. My lip starts to drop but then wait - I spot the old leaves from last years hepatica! Marie backs up, I pick my lip up and jump out of the car to get a closer look. And there just for us is our favorite spring wildflower, Round-Lobed Hepatica! Life is good.