Sunday, July 27, 2014

Adventures from the Second Half of June 2014

This is the second half of June, here are some places we went "wildflowering".
On June 16, 2014 my sister Marie and I visited places in Oceana County, Michigan.  Gale's Pond and also that same day - Doolittle Memorial Park, Genevieve Casey MNA Nature Sanctuary, Park Road (End) beach.

First Gale's Pond.

Next stop Doolittle Memorial Park 
Doolittle Memorial Park is a small wooded area belonging to Oceana County. The trail and park area was developed by Boy Scout Steven Miller as an Eagle Project.  There is a trail of about 3/8 mile- a simple loop with a cutoff across the middle.
Then off to Genevieve Casey Nature Sanctuary.

 We ended up stopping by Park Road end where you can access Lake Michigan, a nice little beach for swimming.
June 23, 2014 Marie and I went to Bass River Recreation Area in Ottawa County, Michigan.  We have several places here to hunt wildflowers and there are varied habitats from swampy areas to forested areas.  We checked a site where we have found Loesel's Twayblade growing and there it was - right where we left it last year.
It isn't easy to spot in all the green.  The orchid is in the center of the photo below.
 Loesel's Twayblade - Orchid Family
 Loesel's Twayblade - Orchid Family
Nearby we found another orchid, also green-yellow in color and not easy to spot.  We examined it carefully.  It was small and close to the muddy ground.  We determined it to be Platanthera aquilonis, with the help of  the guide "Orchids of the North Woods" by Kim & Cindy Risen.  As it mentions in this guide, "This trio (Plantanthera aquilonis-huronensis-dilitata) is a bottomless pit of confusion to most folks, even the experts". So all I can say for sure is that we found these orchids at Bass River RA growing on their own, they really are not the prettiest flowers, but they are special.
Northern Green (Bog) Orchid  Platanthera aquilonis
One of the super secret ponds, filled with so much water it was too deep to cross with our knee-high boots.  Neat place!
               We also saw Moneywort Lysimachia nummularia Primrose family.

                         Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa Milkweed family

June 30, 2014    We went southeast to Barry County Michigan.
 Here we saw a very showy orchid, beautiful and amazing,  growing in a wet area, a land of larch.  
Tuberous Grass Pink Calopogon tuberosus Some of the Grass Pink were a very blazing pink, some pale pink.  Most plants were over a foot tall, so easier to photograph than the orchids at Bass. 
 We saw some Showy Ladyslipper Cypripedium reginae Orchid Family.  These were already fading a little with brown on their petals, but still quite a sight.
We found Swamp Candles Lysimachia terrestris Primrose family growing deep in the tall grass.  Pretty flower. 

And below we have Death (White) Camas Zigadenus elegans
"All parts of this wildflower contain toxic chemicals (alkaloids) said to be more potent than strychnine."  I assume this is if you eat it but I leave most plants right where I find them because you just don't know what form of protection they might be using.
 Far across the water we saw a Great Blue Heron...
And here are a few other things we came across.
That was June 2014 a very beautiful month.  I also received a new camera from my very considerate husband!  The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3 1100D.  He really shouldn't have.  My brain is still working out how to use the last camera he bought me.  It is a whole kit with three different lens to attach and a carrying case.  I'm really more of a stick the camera in my back pocket type of person.  Well there is no sticking this camera in your back pocket, let me tell you. Okay now I say thanks, so much, Mike for the new camera, it was very thoughtful of you!


Anonymous said...

June was a great month! So many beautiful plants. Oceana County's secrets are a bit unsung. Bass River does have so much for an old gravel pit. Orchids and gentians and lobelias. Remember trying to reach the Monkey-flowers? That field was dry as a bone, now boot-deep. Amazing. You showed how hard it is to see Loesel's Twayblade! We are amazing. Your photo of Rose Pink deserves an award. Both of them, the second one shows another favorite of ours - Larch. I like that "a land of larch." I forget how much you have to do to get these pictures. I just hand lens and enjoy while you bend and stoop and kneel in the mud. Thank you for all your work. Where are we going next? M :)

Ron said...

Fantastic blog, wonderful photos and the orchids are stunning. My wife and I are both from Michigan, she from Holland and I from Grand Rapids, but we've been away from Michigan for 35 years (we now live in Washington State). My interest in wildflowers goes a long way back, but the interest in native orchids is more recent but has grown into an obsession. Our families are both in Michigan and we will be there next summer in June and possibly early July. Am wondering if you would be able to help us find some of the native orchids of the area. Here's a link to my blog on native orchids (have another hiking and exploring blog as well) that I hope will help you see that I'm not wanting to know where the plants are in order to dig them:
On another note, I'd probably identify the Platanthera as huronensis, though the complex is exceedingly difficult to work out. The longer spur, only slightly curved forward and lip the same color as the rest of the flower would lead me to ID it as the Green Bog Orchis.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Ron I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I visited your blog on native orchids, it is beautiful!
Like I have mentioned to others who have asked about location of native orchids, I don't use a GPS so the exact locations are just in my head. There is little info that I have ever found online about locations of any rare flowers. I read recently that some people even destroy wildflowers in order that others can not photograph them! I had never even thought of that, and it makes me upset to know of such things.
So I just keep my eyes open as I walk along the trails. Often times the orchids are right there at the side of the path. I visit state, county, township parks and open spaces in west Michigan.
Thanks for sharing your blogs with me.