OK, maybe they didn't help much, but there was nothing serious to do, so they didn't hinder, either. We did basic lopping and sawing of small branches, and clearing the treadway. I replaced some stickers on posts. There was one tree down that will need a chain saw, so I reported that. I repainted all the blazes last year, so those are all in good shape.
Leaves are just beginning to pop out. Caught leatherwood, Dirca palustris, at just the right time. It's beautiful and distinctive. I was pleased to see how much of this shrub is in this swampy area. It's very difficult to spot among the other vegetation later in the year.
Even got the flowers!
This is why botanists should carry a hand lens. This is a little blue violet, but which one? Even though it was small, I thought it might be great-spurred violet. But a very close look reveals that the two lateral petals are bearded (fuzzy), which means it's just common blue violet. Viola papilionacea. But now, I'll know to check for which petals are bearded to help with the ID.
I got to do one of my favorite things driving home- take a really back road. This is Townline Road at the south side of Gun Lake.
And I'm ending with my back yard from last night. The sun came out, and it's hard to believe this is spring colors rather than fall, but it is. I just love the shades of the trees as they get their leaves.
Five miles of hiking. North Country Trail miles for 2021 ia at 237.
North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, Freesoil Trailhead to Tyndall Road and back. 5 miles
In other news: I edited, I did some odds and ends, and I was interviewed for a podcast about my books. I'm ready to relax.