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Fall is here!

01 October

Well, there is still some color on the rail trail–late asters are still blooming and the occasional Goldenrod is blooming. Most plants have set seed and are ready to disperse with fall winds and rain.  Many have very interesting seed heads, so still lots to view.     The red leaves and white berries of the […]

Early fall color

11 September

Well the rail trail is looking pretty fallish right now.  Many of the Maples and Sumac are changing to scarlet, red or burgundy.  The Michigan Holly has bright red berries. There are Goldenrod and Asters as far as you can see.  So many different Asters, so many different Goldenrods.  Here are a few of the […]

And another aster

21 August

I forgot to mention the most fun find this weekend. I saw an aster that was kind of like a calico aster, kind of like a woodland or flat top aster–but with lots of whorled leaves. My best ID is that is must be a Whorled Aster–which the botanists at Averill Preserve had identified a […]

More late summer flowers

21 August

Well, the weekend was good for finding more flowers.  The Hog Peanut and Groundnut were both blooming near the Meridian bridge.  Both are ambitious climbers, twirling around any nearby plant.  Both are edible: the nut of Hog Peanut and the root of the Groundnut. Here is the Hog Peanut, whose small flowers seem to hang […]

Summer is fading into fall

15 August

The cool evenings and cooler days are having an effect on the rail trail.  Some of the shrubs like the alternate leaf dogwood, trees like the Maple and vines like the Virginia Creeper are beginning leaf color change.  Most of the berries on the Grey and Silky Dogwoods have colored up (white and deep blue) […]

Flower time!

25 July

Well the last two weeks have seen hot, dry weather and the summer plants are loving it.  There are sweeps of Black-eyed Susans, Wild Bergamot/Bee Balm, Yellow and White Sweet Clover, Crown Vetch, Everlasting Pea and Spotted Knapweed.   Along side them are the beginnings of the Goldenrods (Early, Sweet and Late as well as […]

Summer time flowers

12 July

It is always a slight shock and pleasant surprise when I see Michigan Lilies blooming.  My friend Mary has the perfect sunny spot for them and some of her lilies have 15-20 lovely hanging flowers.  My yard is shadier and the deer found some early, so mine are just 5-8 flowers.  Depending on deer predation […]

City Forest exploration

18 June

We went to City Forest this week to see what there was.  It is a remarkable set of trails for the summer.  the south side of the bridge especially is surrounding wetlands and the feeders for the creek.  It has some wonderful woodland wildflowers, including Moccasin Flower, Blue Bead Lily, Rattlesnake Plantain, Golden Alexanders, Canada […]

Summer green is here!

04 June

Walking along the trails this week showed lots of green.  It is punctuated with some color, but green is what you see predominately–especially speeding by on a bicycle.  There are still the pink/purple of the Wild Geranium, white of the Canada Anemone and the occasional blue of Blue-eyed Grass (if you look closely) and yellow […]

Pussytoes and Polygala, Oh My!

14 May

Well, the cool nights and warm days have slowed the bloom, but there is ever more to see.  This week, the Polygala (Gay Wings) are open everywhere, mile 4, mile 9, Pine Haven.  At Averill Preserve the Pussytoes are spreading in the sun and sending up their dainty flowers. The many Bedstraws are blooming and […]

More Spring flowers

08 May

As the Birches and Oaks begin to bloom, we start to see more spring flowers.  Along mile 3 and in Averill Preserve, the Pussy Toes have started to bloom.  These mat forming colonies are enchanting and since the seed heads are as hairy as the flowers, they continue to live up to their name for […]

Pine Haven and Chippewa Nature Center

30 April

We took a stroll through Pine Haven (main loop–green route) on Friday and through CNC (Sugarbush, River, Oxbow and WoodDuck trails) on Saturday.  Although the greater shade and cooler temperatures have some of the flowers a little behind the bloom on the Rail Trail, there is still plenty to see. At both, the Bloodroot is […]

Trout lilies and Dutchmen’s Breeches

25 April

This is the week for Trout Lilies and Dutchmen’s Breeches.  Along mile 8-9 the White and Yellow Trout Lilies are starting to carpet the steep trailside.  Nearer the top of the slope, the Dutchmen’s Breeches are really putting on a show.  Catch these ephemerals now,  before the rapidly growing Geranium, Canada Anemone, Meadow Rue and […]

Things are changing quickly

20 April

The abundant moisture and warmth have really sped up the spring flowering.  Along with the grass weeds like stitchwort and creeping charley and dandelion and the escaped garden flowers like daffodil and grape hyacinth are the first Spring ephemerals.  Spring ephemerals are the dainty, often abundant, flowers that emerge, bloom and fade within days or […]