Turned out it was pretty slow going- no loping. This was my section, which I had cleaned up a few weeks ago for spring, but the greenery has gone nuts in the past week. So we took the loppers and trimmed back encroaching branches. There were a lot. We got 2 of my 2.5 miles done, but then we were out of time. Made it to FR 5514, where we fixed the stickers on those Carsonite posts. Note the consistency with what I showed you yesterday at a small road crossing. Then we turned around.
This is pretty interesting. After having such an exceedingly wet year last year, this year things are very dry. The bottomland hardwood swamp isn't usually this dry till late summer. There was almost no water there today. I could go exploring for sedges without getting wet.
Nice looking cinnamon ferns.
I had never seen this patch of rattlesnake plantain, Goodyera pubescens, on my section before. There is a LOT of it, so maybe I can find some in bloom later this summer. You may remember it's a wild orchid. I love the leaves.
Best find of the day- Indian Cucumber Root, Medeola virginiana. I see these from time to time, but this was a big patch, and I hadn't noticed it in my own section before. This is a high quality plant. Coeffiecient of Conservatism is a 10- the highest number on the scale. Woo hoo! You may think it looks a lot like starflower, and you are right, but the leaves of this tend to be wider, and starflower does not grow in two tiers like this plant. This also gets larger than starflower.
There is a bud! Maybe I'll be able to catch it in bloom next week. I've never seen the flowers. I do have pictures of the berries somewhere.
And I'll end with a trail alert. Over the last two years, there has been a relocation of a snowmobile trail. It now cuts across Freesoil/8-Mile Road at the same place as the trail. This has been a total mess, but it looks like they have finally finished. However, they have made it quite difficult to find the trail if you are crossing from south to north. I'll get a Carsonite post in there next week, and a couple more blazes. There is a small laminated sign, but the burst of greenery has made it hard to see. The trail continues across the snowmobile trail and enters the woods at the yellow arrow.
In other news: It was a productive day. I cleaned up the kitchen, did a load of laundry, did some editing, wrote about 400 words, did some other volunteer work, and then the trail work.
North Country Trail miles for 2021 is at 320 for me. Cathy's Hike 100 NCT miles are at 46.5.
North Country Trail, Lake County, MI. Freesoil TH to FR 5514 and back. 4 miles
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