Ellen came, and we did go for a short walk. My stupid leg was too sore to go any farther, and I didn't do it any good. Now I'll have to be really careful for a few days. We ended up just doing the loop along the Pere Marquette River that you've seen before. Above is the small creek one must cross to reach the trail section that is right along the riverbank. Some times of the year the bridge is underwater! But today we were able to hike the whole loop.
This picture shows another potential adventure. The river is running across the picture from right to left. The waterway coming toward you in the center of the picture is a small creek. It would be interesting to explore that gully some time. I looked at the local topo map, and it's just a short creek, no name, and probably all on private property. But I wonder if I could get permission to follow it?
These pictures are of a very pretty, but problem plant. It is Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii. The shrubs have very sharp thorns and it is often planted to create hedges for security, or under windows. However, in most of the northeastern US, it has escaped and is now listed by the US Department of Agriculture as invasive. It displaces native plants and reduces wildlife habitat and forage. Whitetail deer avoid eating it, which gives it a big advantage. It will grow almost everywhere, and makes the soil more basic, which can change the plants which will grow in an area.
Here's a closeup of the berries. They look so pretty for Christmas! But it's a really bad plant in our part of the world.
Writing? I did take a third place in the Accentuate Writer's fiction contest for October! I'm quite happy with that! It was a theme that I had to stretch a bit to come up with an idea for. The November theme was even "worse!" So I wrote a spoof. I'm not sure how well I pulled it off. That one is still in judging. I'm not sure I'll be able to get one done in December, but I have found another contest I may enter if I can find time, since that is due Dec 7. Anyway, here's "proof" of my win. First Love Contest Winners. Sorry, I can't share it; the contestants agree to allow the contest anthology to have first-time publication rights. But the title was "Invisible," and the theme was First Love.
|See A Walk By the River |
See National Park Service info on Japanese Barberry