Posted on August 19, 2017
Last week we spent a few days in Michigan in the Rifle River Recreation Area not far from the town of West Branch on the northeast side of the lower peninsula. With a number of excellent hiking trails, and lakes that don’t allow motors, it’s an excellent place for nature viewing. The lack of boat generated wakes on Devoe Lake means that Loons nest there. To the best of our knowledge it’s the closest location from central Ohio where nesting Loons can be seen. There are also Bald Eagles, Osprey as well as other birds to enjoy. When out exploring one is also treated to dragonflies and butterflies, as well as a number wildflowers not seen in central Ohio. Not far from the park is the AuSable River and the adjacent National Forest create even more opportunities for paddling and outdoor adventure.
We could spend hours watching loons. A quiet paddle on Devoe Lake allows one to observe them as they go about their day.
A view from the canoe.
Bald Eagles are sometimes seen flying overhead as we observe the loons with their young. If they get too close the adult loons create quite a commotion!
Other birds of prey also frequent the area.
Early morning solitude near our campsite.
Most birds were seen from the canoe as we made our way along the shoreline of Devoe and Grebe Lakes, as well as Loud Pond on the Au Sable River.
While hiking, especially this time of year, birds usually give way to the wildflowers and interesting types of fungus.
Dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies were seen as we enjoyed the wildflowers included one butterfly not typically seen in central Ohio.
A sense of place.
Shall we go for a hike or paddle? The decision is often made based on the weather conditions. Wind and choppy water make canoe photography with long lenses almost impossible. However, should conditions permit we’re usually not disappointed be the flowers seen as we paddle!
Sometimes when hiking you don’t have to look real close to be overwhelmed by the beauty.
No post would be complete without touching on some of the reptiles and amphibians seen. Seeing the skink was a surprise.
While fishing along the Au Sable River upstream of Loud Pond, a Mink is sighted!
We spend a lot of time looking and exploring but sometimes there’s a lot to be said for just being there.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this very incomplete sample of things that can be seen and experienced in the Rifle River Recreation Area.
The beauty is, the more time spent in nature the more you will see, the more you see the more you will want to understand and soon you’ll be carried away by the wonder and magic of it all.
As always thanks for stopping by!
Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, Paddling and Nature Photography, Rifle River Recreation Area Tagged: American Copper, American White Water Lily, Appalachian Brown, Bad-wing Moths, Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, Belted Kingfisher, Broad-leaved Arrowhead, bullfrog, Burr Reed, Canada Darner, Canon 60D with Sigma 18-300mm, Canon 80D Sigma 150-600mm lens, Cardinal Flower, Caspian Tern, Common Loon, Common Wood Nymph, Coral Fungus, Crab Spider, Doll's Eyes, Dragon Hunter, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Five-lined Skink, Foam Flower, Fringed Loosestrife, Garter Snake, Grass-of-Parnassus, Great Spangled Fritillary, Green Heron, Hawkweed, Indian Pipe, Katydid, Kingbird, Knapweed, Meadow Sweet, mink, Monarch Butterfly, Ontario Lobelia, Osprey, Painted Turtle, Panasonic FZ200, Panasonic Lumix G7 100-400mm, Pelecinid Wasp, Pickerel Weed, Picture Plant, Red-spotted Purple, Robber Fly, Ruby Meadowhawk, Small Mouth Bass, Spotted Sandpiper, Spotted Spreadwing, St John's Wort, Swamp Smartweed, Trumpeter Swan, Turtlehead, Vesper Bluet, Virgin's Bower, Water Shield, Wood Frog, Yellow Pond Lilly
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