Early in September Mike and I were able to get up to the cabin in Michigan's Manistee County for a couple of days. We left on a Thursday after work and stopped for dinner on the way. So it was getting dark as we drove, and the clouds and wind started to build.
The sun was low and the light from it hit the clouds. Then a band of very dark clouds moved in. See at the top of this next photo the dark band. It rained that night. Record rain for the area. Twenty miles away - 6.5 inches of rain in 12 hours was reported! And there was wind, some straight line winds in the area.
It rained into the morning, but around noon it started to clear up. We planned to hike the Manistee River trail, so we got ready and hoped we could get to the main road. We did make it to the main road but had to stop several times to clear branches from the seasonal road.
We tried to start our walk from Red Bridge along Coates Highway. A half mile from the bridge an officer was parked in the middle of the road and told us there were trees and power lines down near the bridge. So off we go to find a different starting point. We decided to drive up No. 1 Road to the Hodenpyl Dam. Soon we came across a pine tree down across the road. It looked like a dead tree, probably not heavy, we both jumped out to move it. We gave the tree a good pull but it wasn't budging - not even an inch.
So back in the car and we made our way to the dam on another road. We parked near the Hodenpyl Dam and started down the trail. The sun was out but it was also raining. We saw more trees down too.
Trees down along the trail
This is suppose to be the trail not a stream. Where are my boots when I need them!
Then Mike made an exciting discovery. White gentian. Bottle Gentian. And a bumble bee was working to get inside the flower.
Bee half way in...
Now the bumble bee is all the way inside the flower!
It isn't long before you come to the pedestrian bridge when you head south on this trail from the dam. And it isn't long before you are up high looking down at the Manistee River.
Each time there was a low, flat area near the river, we would go and check it out for wildflowers. Here are a few that we found.
Nodding Ladies' Tresses Spiranthes cernua Orchid family
native perennial orchid is usually 4-12" tall. While
rather small in size, the bright white spike of flowers provides a
striking contrast with the background vegetation and is fairly easy to
spot. This one is just starting to open.
Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Gentian family
native perennial plant is 1-2' tall. The blooming
period can occur from late summer to early fall, and usually lasts
about a month. There is no noticeable floral scent. Bumblebees are the primary pollinators of the flowers, as they are one
of the few insects that can force their way past the closed corolla.
Gentian is a beautiful plant with a striking appearance. The
adorable flowers are often deep violet, although other shades also
occur, even in the same cluster of flowers.
Grass of Parnassus Parnassia glauca Saxifrage Family
This one was a little roughed up, still a very pretty flower.
We walked to the waterfall. Then up through the pines back to the car.
It is difficult to get a good picture of the waterfall. The edge is unstable so I wasn't getting any closer. At the top of the picture you can see the footbridge.
On Saturday we headed for home, that way we still have Sunday at home and makes the weekend seem longer. We stopped at Ludington State Park in Mason County. We did the same walk that I was on last month, around on the islands. Since it was a Saturday and beautiful weather, the park was packed. It was still an enjoyable walk.
Hamlin Lake at Ludington State Park
From the trail at Ludington State Park.
We went south after Ludington, and made a quick stop at Gale's Pond in Oceana County.
Barn along the way.
On home we go, enjoying the blue sky, no more rain.