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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guess What- More Rain! - June 23


dark woods

This day was no secondhand wetting from the ferns and grasses! Oh no, we were wetted directly from the sky, starting out with a thunderstorm. See how dark the woods are? We began at the first place that the trail actually comes to Lake Michigan (walking east to west), but I was hoping for clearer skies for pictures. We walked into Wilderness State Park, a nice park with a confusing name.

National Forests have areas specifically called "wilderness." This designation means specific things about management and use. It limits the effects of humans significantly so that the resulting area is very much a primitive wilderness. By contrast, Michigan has two state parks with the word "wilderness" in their names. Although both are nice and wild, they aren't so limited in use and show much greater evidence of those uses.

calopogon orchid

I have to say that except for the wetness of it all, it wasn't a bad day at all. Not only did we find another new plant, it was a REALLY COOL new plant. This is another northern orchid, a delicate one called Calopogon, Calopogon pulchellus. It's only about 10 inches tall, and was just hiding in the grass beside a trail that is open to snowmobiles in the winter. It's hard to believe such a special plant would be found there.

green frog

On the other hand, it was really easy to understand why the frogs were out enjoying the wet weather. This is the common green frog, Rana clamitans. He was so happy he didn't even hop away when we walked past. He said to say hi to Lin.

twisted tree

We just liked this tree- it's shape and the wet trunk dark against the green leaves.

Lake Michigan

Well, now you know... by the time we got back to pick up the first car, the sky had cleared and here's Lake Michigan, shining blue for us!

We covered 13 miles today, leaving just 5 miles for the last day. We went from Lakeview Road to the French Farm Lake parking area. What do you think our last day was like?


Jen said...

I never knew that about "wilderness". How interesting. I love the orchid.

Lin said...

Oh, you know it's gonna be a good day when a frog stops to greet you!! I LOVE that shot, Sharky. Look! He's smiling at you!

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Every day seems to get better, love the frog, the orchid is a great find, our woods and forests have lots of trees that we give names to due to their shapes so you will have to name yours :)

RNSANE said...

Well,you have seen a lot of variety in this part of the trip. Beautiful flowers, forests, various animals, wet weather, etc! I'm sure you'll be glad to get home to your own bed again.

Ann said...

But of course the sky would clear by the end of the day :) That is a very interesting looking tree. Lin sure does have a lot of frog friends out there.

Luminaire said...

The tree made me instantly think of Neo in the Matrix as he dodged the bullets in bullet-time. :-)

Can you see it? Anyone? Probably just me! :-(

Sharkbytes said...

Jen- Don't worry- lots of people don't know that, but it makes a BIG difference to users.

Lin- He was both fashionable and cheerful- what more could we want?

Carol- Each hike seems to have a special treat. For this one it was botany, for sure.

Carmen- yes, I DO like my own bed a lot. And of course, I have a red dog there to nuzzle my ear.

Ann- Well, we decided that we'd rather start wet and end dry than the other way around!

Luminaire- It does look like that twisted track. You really get a 3D perspective effect.

Ratty said...

I think I like walking through a dark forest. Not so much if it's raining too much though. Finding interesting trees is the best at those times.

chubskulit said...

Love to join you in your trail adventure. I love that frog!

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