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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Shadbush Shines

  Took another 10.5 mile hike today, continuing north in Newaygo County. The primary feature of the day is that the shadbush (serviceberry, juneberry) is nearly in full bloom. This is one of our early signs of spring. Although it has bright white blossoms, shadbush

the trees themselves are usually small and the blooms sparse. What that ends up looking like is little white lights sprinkled throughout the brown woods. shadbush

The temperature hovered around 40 degrees, and I kept my gloves on all day. But it was comfortable for hiking. The big surprise of this section was how hilly it was. The rest of Newaygo County has been gently rolling. Today, I got quite a good workout!
trail on hillside

Again, there were several kinds of wetlands. This is an acidic bog- full of leatherleaf and sphagnum moss. I looked for pitcher plants, but didn't find any. The MI Plant Atlas shows it growing in Newaygo County, so it's probably there somewhere. bog

This wetland has filled in to the point where it has become a wet meadow. It's filled with grasses, and probably sedges. I didn't have time nor footwear to go swamp-stomping today. Interestingly enough, there is one big shadbush on the opposite shore. In the understory they usually have multiple stems and remain small. But if they have sun and little competition, they can become nicely shaped trees. And, I might add, they produce luscious fruits. However, it's pretty hard to beat the birds to them.

Note the top of a tree to the left of the shadbush is getting red. Probably a red maple. And a smaller tree to the right is turning orange. I am guessing another shadbush. wet meadow

The third wetland is, I suspect, also acidic. However, it does have permanent open water in the middle. It even shows on maps although it has no name. The geese have made this one their home. It was nice to see something moving around. The sudden cooldown made all the other critters hunker down. Canade geese

This section also has a small but nice stream, Mena Creek. Appropriately sized trail bridge over it. Mena Creek

Got some other pix, but I'll save those- maybe tomorrow. I did see a red-shouldered hawk. Got a really good look at it, but had no chance to get the camera turned on in time to get a picture.

North Country Trail, Newaygo County, MI, 6 Mile Rd to 3 Mile Rd and back, 10.5 miles

North Country Trail Miles to date in 2021 is 200.

In other news: I have a meeting tonight. That is all.

See 10 More Newaygo County Miles


Bruce Matthews said...

Thanks for sharing this, Joan!

Sharkbytes said...

HI Bruce- This was a nice section. The hills made it interesting.

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