Friday, July 29, 2016

Allegan County Michigan Wild Orchids and More

Allegan County, Michigan has wonderful places to explore!  Last year, Marie and I visited "Happy Boots" and found 19 Purple Fringed Orchids in the wet woods that we named Happy Boots. 

So after a very difficult spring and early summer, we finally had the opportunity to explore and Happy Boots was the place.  It is just part of Allegan State Game Area, used for hunting, hiking, skiing, and for us, wildflowering.

It felt great to be back in the woods, looking for purple among the ferns, Lizard Tail, Touch-Me-Not, Tulip Trees, so much green!  So many plants, such fun!  We didn't find 19 this year, I think it was 11 - Purple Fringed Orchids, but that was just fine.

 Also in Allegan County, we stopped by Goose Lake.  The water was way down this year, so we were able to walk where there had been water the year before.  It was very interesting to see the plants and frogs and butterflies that live here.  And, of course, we saw hundreds of Meadow Beauty!
 Funnel Web Spider

Beautiful day.  Thanks Marie for taking me!


Anonymous said...

You're welcome! I think Happy Boots is our favorite place. No trails, no people, just acres of green, growing things. How you manage to spy those orchids in all that is amazing. With the water so low in the creek, we got to see the Liverworts close-up on the vertical banks. Goose Lake was mind-boggling. Imagine all that water gone and now, a whole different set of growing conditions. To be able to walk up to a Pickerelweed and examine it was great. The Funnel-web Spider, the Buttonbush, and the fields of Meadow Beauty. Thanks for putting up with my slower pace! M :)

Anonymous said...

I love the color of the pickerelweed. So pretty!

Plants Amaze Me said...

Happy boots is a happy place for more than just our boots! I can barely wait to go out again. What slower pace?

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yes Pickerelweed is a pretty color, and is usually growing in water. Since the lake was dried up we walked right to the Pickerelweed. Fun!

Anonymous said...

Ooh how cool! :)

Unknown said...

I love your site. And thanks for the tips you gave last year. I was delighted to find Purple Fringed Orchid at Pigeon Creek in August of last year, so close to where I grew up. I wasn't able to find the Rattlesnake Plantain at Gale's Pond but supposedly there's a location closer to were I grew up. I also did not find the Nodding Ladies Tresses at Bass Lake Recreation Area but did discover them closer to home at the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway near Holland. I also did not find the Autumn Coral Root at the Ross Coastal Plain but maybe I was too early?

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks, Rob! Great that you found the Purple Fringed Orchid at Pigeon Creek Park.

Marie and I were at Gale's Pond mid August this year and found the Rattlesnake Plantain blooming, it is difficult for me to tell you exactly were it is because there is nothing to mark the spot. And every year I sort of find it again. Gale's Pond is the nearest to the Grand Haven area that I have found this plant. I'm sure it is here somewhere I just haven't seen it in Ottawa County.

We were at Bass Recreation Area on August 23rd and found a few Nodding Ladies Tresses blooming. I'm sure there will be more around at Bass in September. We usually find those along the two track at the boat launch end of this park. We also saw two at Port Sheldon Natural Area on August 9th, but they were not fully blooming.

Ross Costal Plain Marsh - we visited just last week, the mosquitoes were swarming! We found only two Autumn Coral Root but they were past blooming and very muddy and rough looking. It had rained hard that morning. The weather was so very hot and humid this August I'm not sure what that does to the orchids. One year at RCPM I saw bunches of Autumn Coral Root. It is so variable each year.

It's good that you were able to check out these places. I usually only get out wildflowering once a week and then not to the same places, so I miss a lot.

Good Luck to you! Chris