Friday, October 3, 2014

Ladies and Gents!

We saw so many Ladies' Tresses and Gentians this September, it was a good year for both.

          Nodding Ladies' Tresses Spiranthes cernua Orchid family
It is a native perennial orchid and it grows at Bass River Recreation Area by the dozens!  
Bass River Recreation Area, a 1,665-acre site in central Ottawa County, Michigan consists of open meadows, open brush land, mature hardwoods, small ponds and 300-acre Max Lake. It has approximately three miles of frontage on the Grand River.  Owned by the State of Michigan.

Along the trail there were groups orchids - Nodding Ladies' Tresses orchids!  Just in this one small space thirteen were  blooming!

My sister, Marie, and I made several visits to Bass in September, going places that we had never been to before.  One day we were out for seven hours exploring before coming back to the car.  We use Bing maps to identify places we want to try to get to, which isn't always possible -  due to high water or more growth than what shows up on the maps.
 Map of Bass River Rec. Area 
The red X marks one of our target areas.
  Bass River Recreation Area

We also saw Gentian.
             Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Gentian family
                                     Bottle Gentian 
                    We saw more of these than usual too!
 I found fifteen plants of Bottle Gentian blooming in just one small space! We found evidence of recent beaver activity at Bass. Trees freshly gnawed down and runways in the reeds at the edge of the ponds.
Views from the interior of Bass River Recreation Area in   Ottawa County, Michigan.
        Buddy's Pond

                      Max Lake at Bass River Recreation Area
 We saw some interesting critters.

      In Barry County we found Fringed Gentian.
 Fringed Gentian Gentianopsis crinita Gentian family
This native wildflower is a biennial about 1-3' tall. During the first year, it forms a low rosette of leaves, while during the second year it bolts, forming flowering stalks.
A group of Fringed Gentian in Barry County, Michigan.
  So that was some of the great adventures of September 2014. 


Anonymous said...

Great title! Your photos are so wonderful, they show the flowers just as we find them. The weather was so iffy that day but what beautiful clouds reflected in the water. You even make the bugs look cute. Ah, the Fringed Gentians, what a flower. Thanks again. Compiling a blog is not as easy as it looks. M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yes, aren't I clever. Things are pretty much over for the wildflowers this year. Now we can concentrate on all the research in the winter months, right? Then we will wait and wait for Skunk Cabbage, then hepatica, and all the other spring wildflowers. Relearning them as we go.
: )

flowerdave said...

We went looking for the Ladies last month and they were missing from where they were last year, Thanks for posting these

Plants Amaze Me said...

Hi Dave, so no Ladies Tresses? That's strange, we saw more this year than ever. You're welcome, thanks for stopping by.
: )

Anonymous said...

I love the rich, vibrant color! The cobweb photo is my favorite! 7 hours before return back to the car! You two are focused! Thanks for sharing! - S-I-L Diane

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me that I need to visit the Bass River area on foot. I've fished there from my boat before, but you can't see much that way.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Diane. Marie and I do have fun poking around in out-of-the way places, never knowing what we will see. At times we can be out for hours and it seems like we just got out there! It wouldn't be the same with any one else but Marie...she has such enthusiasm for all things.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Bass River Rec. Area is one of my favorite places to be. So many remote areas waiting to be explored! Now the state has put up better barricades to keep out 4 wheelers. Down side is hunting this time of year, so if you go, wear your orange.