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Social Distancing and the Rail Trail

31 March

I hope this finds you all sheltering in place and staying well.  In Midland County, most of the trails are open for walking, running and biking with the caveat of social distancing.  The rail trail is available, but without the amenities of restrooms.  Same for Chippewa Nature Center and Pine Haven Recreation area.  I believe […]

Gentians are blooming!

15 September

We checked the area between 8 and 9 mile roads and sure enough, the Fringed Gentians are blooming.  They are in clumps among the many Stiff, Showy and Canada Goldenrod, the New England, Heath and Flat Top White Asters and the remaining Joe Pye Weed and Tall Sunflowers.  There are also still the occasional Black-eyed […]

Finding the Fall Flowers

27 August

The last week of cool mornings and lots of sunshine were too irresistible for walking the trail.  We trekked Duck Hunters to Stark, Averill to the Bridge, 8-mile road to 9 -mile road , and 10 1/2 mile road  back to 9-mile road.  Each, back and forth is 2 -3 miles–so pretty easy. As anticipated, […]

More summer flowers

20 August

I posted last week but the email failed–so be sure and look at the previous post. This week has brought lots of cardinal flower to my yard–and the hummingbirds have found it.  In addition, I have a cultivar of the native Rough Goldenrod, called Fireworks, and it is spectacular.  The bees and lots of swallowtail […]

Summer Heat and Rain

02 July

Summer heat and rain have really greened up the rail trail.  Some flowers have bolted to bloom and set seed.  More and more butterflies are joining the bees and flies in pollinating tasks.  We saw Swallowtail, Checkerspot, Monarch and many small butterflies on Sunday. The Ninebark is really setting seed fast–some are the bright red […]

Summer arrives

23 June

Well, summer is finally here. The past few weeks have been slowly changing the flowering picture. The weather has certainly played a big part in the succession of bloom and many of the standard spring flowers had very short bloom times and came all together instead of in succession. The summer flowers have been slow […]

And the trees leaf out!

29 May

Well, the ups and downs of the weather certainly kept us and the wildflowers busy.  Many of the Spring Ephemerals bloomed and were gone in record time due to record hot days when they started to bloom.  Late Spring flowers were slow to come out but they are making an appearance now. The week of […]

Pine Haven is in early bloom!

04 May

We took the green trails in Pine Haven today–not too much water to wade in, but lots of Trillium, Trout Lilies, Spring Beauties, Hepatica in all colors and a few Bloodroot, Jack in the Pulpit, Mayflower, and Cutleaf Toothwort.  The Lichen and Mosses, including Club Moss were spectacular.  They have lost a lot of trees […]

Finding the stealthy Arbutus

24 April

I went to the Arbutus Bog today, because the Trailing Arbutus should be blooming (even earlier than the now blooming Hepatica and Bloodroot). Shazam! Although the majority of the green in the bog area is Wintergreen (take a leaf and crush it–if it smells like Teaberry Gum from the 60’s and 70’s, that is Wintergreen–Has […]

Time for Spring Flowers!

15 April

If you look back through the posts from previous years, you will see that now is the time to start looking for the Spring Ephemerals–the lovely small flowers that come up before the trees leaf out and brighten the brown of winter ground, only to disappear when larger plants get growing. Hepatica are already blooming […]

Summer days, Coneflowers, Joe Pye, Asters and Goldenrod—-oh my!

14 August

Well it has been several weeks of dry heat and the Bee Balm/Monarda has finished blooming and formed it’s lovely bucky-ball seed-heads.  The seed heads of the last of the Meadow Rue are looking down on the new guys–lots of Orange Coneflower (looks like Black-eyed Susan but has a thin/serrate/smooth leaf), Joe-Pye Weed and the […]

Summer Heat / New Color

02 July

It is becoming a color bonanza.  These are great days to explore a park or trail. The past days of heat and humidity have changed the trail.  There are still some Oxeye Daisies and St John’s Wort along with the last of the Early Meadow Rue and some spectacular Tall Meadow Rue.  The abundance now […]