Today (first Saturday in June) was National Trails Day, and the Spirit of the Woods group took a hike on the North Country Trail. We headed south from 5-Mile Road and crossed the Vince Smith Bridge.
The floodplain was filled with cinnamon fern.
We were 13 hikers, and quickly spread out into various groups based on hiking speed.
The fastest people walked about 8 miles. I was the sweep at the rear, and our group did about 5.5 miles. Since it was an out-and-back hike this worked fine.
We wanted everyone to finish at about the same time, because a cabin belonging to members of our group is close by, and we met there for a finger-food picnic lunch. Lots of yummies!
There were a number of interesting finds for the day. Leafroller moths have been at work on both the oak trees and the witch hazel. I had to look these up, and it seems to be different moths for each species of tree. The Dichomeris ligulella is the one that rolls witch hazel, seen here. They don't do much damage overall. We did also see oak leaves that had been rolled, and those moths can be quite destructive.
Here's a big patch of scrambled egg slime mold. It's the most common one there is. I love slime molds, but finding any of the unusual ones is rare.
Caught a halfway decent picture of one of our bigger woodpeckers, the yellow bellied sapsucker.
The weather was perfect. The bugs weren't bad. Can't beat a day like today! Hike 100 Challenge for this year is up to 20 miles. Maybe it's time to get a little more serious!
North Country Trail south from 5-Mile Road about 2.5 miles. Lake County, MI
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