Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The day of nineteen Purple Fringed Orchids!

A fun day in July 2015, in Michigan.  Marie and I visited some wet and muddy woods in search of the Purple Fringed Orchid.  We walked through the woods about 20 feet apart from each other and soon started to find this orchid. 
So what is it about walking through mud and woods - filled with mosquitoes that are hungry for new blood - that is so fun?  I'm not exactly sure, but it has something to do with the discovery of all the things we find. 
This time we counted nineteen individual plants of Purple Fringed Orchid!

We went to some new places on this outing finding more interesting things.  Here is what else we saw that day in July.

 Swamp Rose
 Indian Pipe
Kalm's St. Johnswort

After identifying some plants we realized that this place was special.  Most likely one of the Coastal Plain Marshes here in Michigan.  Look here to learn more about coastal plain marshes, http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/communities/community.cfm?id=10670
 Maryland Meadow Beauty
We saw hundreds of these!
 Hyssop Hedge Nettle with bee

 Lizard's Tail
             Just a pretty leaf Mike shared with me.

That about wraps up the month of July as far as wildflowering.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 7, 2015

July 2015 Michigan Wildflowering Adventures

Here are just some of the fun places we explored in July.  
July 2nd - Pigeon Creek - an Ottawa County Park
 "Pigeon Creek Park is 282 acres with another 130 adjacent acres of County Open Space land.  Over ten miles of ski trails and snowshoe trails wind through old pine plantations, mature deciduous forests and through bottomland forests along the Pigeon River. The park is a popular cross country ski destination with groomed trails for both classic and ski skating. Ski trails are groomed, tracked and reset as needed throughout the day. A sledding hill is also provided. Three miles of ski trails and the sledding hill have are illuminated for evening use. The Pigeon Creek Lodge provides ski rental, a food and beverage concession and serves as a warming house."

 Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense) in bud.  And below in bloom.

 Common Buttercup was blooming along the trail.  So bright and shiny.

July 3rd Hofma Preserve, a Grand Haven Township park in Ottawa County.

Boardwalk and float bridge at Hofma Preserve and park.
Swampy area and Michigan Lily, below.

July 6th, a visit to an Ottawa County Natural Area, also Bass River Recreation Area with Marie.  Right at the start of our walk Marie found an orchid blooming!

 We explored around several ponds.  Last year we found Bartonia here among the moss. And we did find Bartonia again but not blooming.  We also saw Virginia Meadow Beauty (Rhexia virginica) here last year and found it again but it was only in bud.
Virginia Meadow Beauty in bud.

We met this colorful guy along the way.

Then onto Bass River Recreation Area.  We walked and waded back into one of our very super secret wetland areas.  We saw many of these beautiful pink flowers, we have seen it before.  We identified it again using Newcomb's wildflower guide.  We determined that it is a type of Centaury (Centaurium)
Another plant commonly called Rose Pink (Sabatia angularis) looks similar but has a small 5-sided star in the center of the flower.  We did not find the star.  So we decided it is a centaury, both plants are in the gentian family.

A type of Centaury

 Fun wet area!

July 7th was a "buggy" visit to Riverside park, another Ottawa County park.  Mike and I visit this park often.

July 9th, We went north to two places in Oceana County.  The first stop has many wet areas and a creek, also lots of liverwort!


 We found this orchid which wasn't quite blooming but was in bud.  The bud was covered with a filmy sack.
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) Orchid Family
Rattlesnake plantains get their name from their broad, rounded leaves, which are similar in shape to those of plantain, a common lawn weed. They are not actually plantains.  They are orchids.
We also saw skullcap, perhaps Mad Dog Skullcap.  It is in the mint family.  I think it is so pretty with those purple lips, it should be an orchid.  We moved on to the northern section of the sanctuary and found waist tall ferns covering the trail.  We skirted these and came to the marsh.  Turned back at this point, so we had time for another park.

On to the east to an Oceana County park.  A nice quiet place. 

July 13 Marie and I ventured out in the rain to a natural area in Ottawa County.  This place has become a favorite of ours in the last few years.  So through the rain (downpour at times) off we happily go into the wet woods! 
 We came to a new pond.  (New to us)
And another new pond.  Along the way we found several Ragged Fringed Orchid blooming in these dark damp woods. 
 A very ragged Ragged Fringed Orchid.  And below is just the sort of place it grew.
 More ponds.
This time the Meadow Beauty was blooming!

Some other things we saw that day...pinwheel mushrooms.
We made a stop at Palomita Reserve in Ottawa County.
July 17th 2015 It was off to places in Allegan Forest!  Another of our favorite places.  We walked far into the woods towards Ottawa Marsh, south of the Kalamazoo River.  This is what we saw ...
                                   Butterfly Weed 

                                         Indian Pipe

 We stopped and visited the Columbo plants.  They had done their blooming since we were here in early June. 

We drove down to Highbanks Dam and saw Blue Vervain.
Tall Bellflower
This post is going to end here in mid July.  Marie and I did have one more very exciting find in July, I will include in the next post.  I hope you enjoyed the adventures!