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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 […]

April Showers!

11 April

Well the warmth and rain have done the trick. Poplar, Alder, and Pussy Willow have bloomed and produced seed, Maple and Birch are blooming. Buds on viburnum and dogwood are growing, ready to bloom. The Wild Strawberries, Blue Iris, Cattails, Spring Cress, Buttercup and other early plants are jumping up.  Sedges and vines are showing […]

Always a surprise!

17 August

Well, I was wandering the trail today, seeing only the regular flowers:  the emerging Goldenrods, Sunflowers, Slack-eyed Susans, Flowering Spurge, and Thistles and the seedheads of  Beebalm, Horseweed and Tall Blue Lettuce. Suddenly I noticed a plant creeping up the stems of the taller older plants.  It had a pinkish/brown pea like flower and rounded […]

And now the Aster family…

01 August

Well, the Early Goldenrod, Canada Goldenrod, Lance-leafed Goldenrod are all starting their blooming on the trail.  The early Wood Asters are opening and the taller asters are making ready. Soon, we will be questioning which goldenrod and which aster is blooming.  And many times they are so similar it is impossible for a non-botanist to […]

Hot days along the trail

27 July

The heat is bringing out the late summer wildflowers now.  I saw a Ruby Throated Hummingbird sipping from the Bee Balm.  Red Dragonflies are keeping insects down. More Black-eyed Susans and Woodland Sunflowers are popping up among the Bee Balm, Bouncing Bet and Crown Vetch.  The large leaved Burdock is 4 feet tall and covered […]

Color popping up all over!

06 July

This is the season for color contrast! The Crown Vetch and Everlasting Pea displays are beautiful, especially at Averill Rollway.  All along Saginaw Road, large stands of the  pale pink/purple Crown Vetch can be seen. Black Eyed Susans and Bee Balm are starting to bloom and the first Michigan Lilies started blooming this week.  The […]

Hot and Dry days

26 June

The hot and dry days have dried up the sides of the Rail Trail.  The Canada Anemone and Thimbleweed Anemone have stopped blooming and made their interesting seed heads (prickly ball and short to tall thimble respectively).  There are still a few Oxeye Daisies and now a few more Black-eyed Susans.  The Meadow Rues and […]

Moving into summer

19 June

The rail trail is moving into summer mode.  Indian Hemp Dogbane is ready to bloom along with the Common Milkweed.  Oxeye Daisies and early Fleabane continue to bloom with the Yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil eclipsing the daintier yellow of the Golden Alexanders. The first Black-eyed Susans and Yarrows are blooming and Crown Vetch is covering the […]

Checking out MidMichigan Wellness Trails

19 June

The two woodland trails at MidMichigan Medical Center total about 1.3miles.  They loop along the east side and northern boundary of the property. The paved trails are mostly shaded and quiet as they meander along side the Sturgeon Creek flood plain.  There are Daisy Fleabane, Oxeye Daisy, Beardtongue, Mayapple, Mayflower and Hepatica along some of […]

Veterans Memorial Park

01 June

If you haven’t visited Veteran’s Memorial Park in Sanford, you are missing a beautiful wooded park, right off the Pere Marquette Rail Trail between 7 and 8 mile roads. (That is mile 9 of the rail trail).  The bird song was continuous and varied as we walked from the South Entry over the small creek […]

Glory of the Shrubs

26 May

Along with the Black Cherry, Pin Cherry, and Choke Cherry, there are other white spring flowers on many of the native shrubs. Red-twig Dogwood, Alternate-leaf Dogwood, Black Haw Viburnum have all started blooming.  They each have a rounded cluster or umbel of white to ivory flowers.  Soon the Silky and Grey Dogwoods will also be […]