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Glorious days on the Rail Trail

12 October

The Goldenrod and Asters are still blooming in some areas but most have puffs of seeds along the flowering stems and the leaves are turning gold and tan with some brilliant red.  The Sumac has been gorgeous and the basswood, cottonwood and poplar have been golden and have dropped their leaves quickly.  The flush of […]

Fall and a new flower find!

21 September

Teri found what we think is a Stiff Gentian (Gentiana quinquefolia) this week on 6.5-7.0 mile.  While it has been verified in Michigan, the MSU website doesn’t show Midland County as one of the verified sightings.  So if it is, this is exciting, since it is rare in Michigan.  Great work from Teri, who also […]

Goldenrods and Asters galore!

17 August

With the late summer heat, the goldenrods and asters are starting their show.  Canada Goldenrod, Lance-leaved Goldenrod, Showy Goldenrod are already beginning to bloom.  Zig Zag Goldenrod should be blooming soon.  And there are so many similar goldenrods that it is almost impossible to differentiate them.  Differences in size of leaves, how toothed the leave […]

Hot days of Summer

25 July

Well, the rail trail is heating up with these days of over 80 degrees.  That really pops the summer flowers.  At the Averill rollaway, there are Cup Plant over 7 feet tall blooming.  The Grey-headed Coneflower beside it is dwarfed at 6 feet.  There is also Blanket Flower and Black-eyed Susan in this bed right […]

Flower Flash: Michigan Lily

10 July

Michigan Lily is in full bloom now.  I have seen a few on 5 mile.   Remember, Michigan lily is a small orange turk’s cap lily on a long stem emerging from a palmate leaf pattern.  1 to 3 lilies hang like chandeliers from the delicate stem, opening with straight petals and recurving as they age.  […]

Time to review our Spring wildflower sightings

30 June

Well, Summer is finally here and the summer flowers are popping out all over.  Clovers, Crown Vetch, Hawkweeds, Black-eyed Susans, Monarda, Milkweeds, and Dogbanes are all blooming. It’s time to summarize the spring and early summer flowers you have spotted on the trail.  If you have some that you can’t identify, ask for help.  We […]

Transition time

15 June

On the trail after the rain was cool and clammy all at the same time.  Ninebark and Grey or Silky Dogwood is blooming exuberantly all along 5 and 6 mile and in Averill Preserve.  Multiflora Rose is abundant as well–this one is invasive, but lovely in full bloom.  It looks like lots of individual apple […]

Summer begins

04 June

Riding along the Rail Trail gives a great view of the Blue Flag Iris in the ditches.  They are in full bloom on Mile 4.  And there are great views of the blooming Wild Geranium en masse along Mile 5.  Golden Alexanders continue to bloom. Soon most of the spring foliage will be covered by […]

Late Spring update

27 May

On 5 mile, the Round Leaf Ragwort was blooming–cute constellation of daisy-like flowers on stalk above round basal leaves.  Of course the Wild Geranium is continuing to bloom and the Canada Anemone is just starting to bloom.  There should be a carpet of white and pink for a while.  Golden Alexanders are blooming along both […]

Here come the flowers

20 May

I walked 5 and 6 mile and Averill Preserve today.  Still plenty of trillium, looking like planned bouquets.  The Mayapples are just starting to bloom.  In Averill Preserve, there are still lots of pussytoes blooming.  Unfortunately, you can see the autumn olive blooming among the honeysuckle–too much and too many large specimens on mile 6.  […]

Warmer weather –more flowers

16 May

Warmer weather will give us more flowers fast.  Look for the Canadian Lousewort, Bunchberry, Canada Mayflower, Baneberry, Canada Anemone, Wild Geranium, Blue Bead Lily, Moccasin Flower, Wild Columbine, Wild Iris, Golden Alexanders, Gaywings, Spiderwort and Mayapples to burst into bloom and some will not last long.  Bellwort and the False Solomon Seal along with True […]

Pine Haven update

13 May

Just came back from the main trail at Pine Haven.  Lots of Trillium blooming and the Star Flower and Fringed Polygala are blooming. Mayflower is starting to bloom, Mayapples are budded and ready.  Swamp Buttercup and Wild Geranium are starting to bloom and Toothwort is budded. Canada Lousewort and Starry False Solomon’s Seal are budded […]

Late spring blooms

13 May

The Starry False Solomon’s Seal and Swamp Buttercup are blooming now.  They really jumped up in the cool, wet weather.  The Ginger flowers can be seen if you look under the leaves.  Ginger plants are carpeting a lot of slopes beside the rail trail, especially at 9 mile and beyond. Wild Geranium is starting to […]

More blooms

02 May

The trout lilies are starting to bloom as well as the dutchmen’s breeches, spring beauties and wood anemone.  The bloodroot are still blooming in some areas as are the hepatica and twin leaf. I saw one blooming trailing arbutus on 3 mile, so the arbutus bog should be in bloom now or soon.  Let us […]

Wildflowers that bloom in April

27 April

Wildflowers we have seen on the rail trail that start blooming in April or early May include: Wood Anemone, Rue Anemone and False Rue Anemone Bloodroot, Dutchman’s Breeches, Yellow Trout Lily, Trailing Arbutus, Early Meadow Rue, Field Pussytoes, Barren Strawberry, Wild or Wood Strawberry, Indian Strawberry, Common Blue Violet as well as the Downy and […]

Bloodroot are blooming

24 April

Checked mile 6 today and the bloodroot are blooming.  A few more days and the trout lilies will bloom.  On mile 3 the polygala have formed bud, so I expect them to bloom shortly.  Aquilegia and anemone and canada mayflower are up at Duck Hunters–blooms to follow in a few weeks.  Looks like the early […]

Keep Believing in Spring!

22 April

The cold weather and “snow” has slowed the development of the wild flowers but they are still coming.  Trout Lilies are up and ready to send up flower stalks.  Buds are on the polygala.  The trillium are showing their buds.  Spring Beauties are putting out buds. Bloodroot is sending tentative blooms up above the cloak.  […]

And the flowers keep coming!

18 April

Just checked the garden and the hepatica are still blooming but they are eclipsed by the shrouded bloodroot, coming up out of the soil like dracula in a cape and then producing the most perfect white flower.  They reshroud at night, too cool. The mayapple are up 2 inches in a day and the virginia […]

Hepatica flower

16 April

The hepatica (liverleaf) has 3 lobed leaves that are mottled and often a liver color with green.  Leaves stay on all winter but are very often crispy in the spring.  The flowers come out before new leaves form and are about the 1st wildflowers we see.  They are often along streams or low-lying vernal pools.  […]