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!


Rosalie said...


Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Rosalie!

Anonymous said...

So many cool places.

I was just lucky to spot that orchid. It wasn't in a place you'd expect an exotic orchid. That Centaury should be named after the gravel pits it grows in. Talk about a radically disturbed place producing amazing plants!

Liverwort really looks like reptile skin. The Downy Rattlesnake Plantain bud was "covered in a filmy sack." I wonder if anyone else has ever commented on that particular stage? Does it get less downy as it ages?

The rain - how could I forget? See how much I need your posts - very much. All those ponds, interesting place. Your photo of Virginia Meadow Beauty is perfection.

Those Indian Pipes in the Allegan forest! And you show the hugeness of the American Columbo! How I wish we hadn't missed their unique flowers. The Horsemint has such a complicated structure and the coloring is so varied, why doesn't it get acres of attention??? It's too plentiful. We should start our OWN scale!!! The Scale of Wowness. Your Blue Vervain is so pretty and that Tall Bellflower is scrumptious! It looks like it's trembling! From being so gorgeous.

Sorry my comments are so long, but your post is perfect and exciting and informative and fun!!! M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...


M :) Hey don't apologize for a long comment, that is how we figure things out. We talk about what we see, then research it. Like I said maybe filmy was the wrong word? Maybe it was hairy or fuzzy? Downy, that's good. I didn't touch the plant. I wouldn't would I.

Ha Ha - the Tall Bellflower trembling from being so gorgeous. Wasn't it something that we found Tall Bellflower right where we saw it years ago? Good luck trying to describe to anyone exactly where we see certain plants, it really is in my head. I don't remember other things but I sure seem to remember where we see plants.

I just can hardly wait to go out again! So many places! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Thanks for taking time to read this and comment.

Mary E. Stephens said...

Your photographs are breathtaking and so refreshing. They make me homesick since Michigan is my home state; I was born in Kalamazoo. I like Texas, but in August and Sept. it's pretty depressing. :-p

Mary E. Stephens said...

Oh, one more thing - Central Texas is the only place I've lived that actually has wildflowers in an abundance that compares with Western Michigan - particularly that there is something blooming from before last frost to killing frost. Even Eastern Tennessee didn't seem to have nearly as many as Mich. and Texas. I thought that was interesting and, as a wildflower fancier, it makes me like Texas.

Betsy said...

Wow, what fun adventures and beautiful photos! :-)

Plants Amaze Me said...

M. E. Stephens, Thank you. I'm glad you get to see a little bit of Michigan through my blog.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thank you Betsy.