A Few Days Along The Rifle River

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.

Overlooking Grousehaven Lake, early morning.

<<<>>>

We could spend hours watching loons. A quiet paddle on Devoe Lake allows one to observe them as they go about their day.

Adult Common Loon, Devoe Lake

In the middle of preening this adult seems to be sneaking a peek.

Testing it’s wings, (Donna).

The young are almost always begging for food.

The adult comes through. How does a bird as big as a loon chase down such a small fish under water?

One more picture.

<<<>>>

A view from the canoe.

Devoe Lake

<<<>>>

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!

A Bald Eagle looks over Devoe Lake.

Bald Eagle, Load Pond, AuSable river.

Take 3, (Donna).

Other birds of prey also frequent the area.

An Osprey takes a break along the shoreline of Devoe Lake, (Donna).

<<<>>>

Early morning solitude near our campsite.

Looking across the Jewett Lake.

<<<>>>

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.

Baltimore Oriole, Devoe Lake.

A Kingbird, the dragonflies worst enemy, waits for it’s next meal along the shore of Devoe Lake.

Three Caspian Terns circled overhead, occasionally landing, as we made our way back to our launch site on wind swept Loud Pond. A few reasonable sharp images were obtained.

Trumpeter Swans, Grebe Lake.

A Kingfisher actually stays put long enough for a “usable” picture, Devoe Lake.

A Green Heron is caught preening, Devoe Lake, (Donna).

Spotted Sandpiper, Loud Pond.

<<<>>>

While hiking, especially this time of year, birds usually give way to the wildflowers and interesting types of fungus.

Coral fungus near our campsite.

Turtlehead.

Bridge across the Rifle River.

Grass of Parnassus

Ontario Lobelia

An exotic looking mushroom near our campsite.

Knapweed, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”)

Indian Pipe

Donna enjoying the ferns.

Doll’s Eyes

Asters

Broad-leaved Arrowhead

Great Blue Lobelia.

Fringed Loosestrife, (Donna).

Just after this picture was taken this tree got a big hug!

Hawkweed.

Cardinal Flower was quiet common in the wet areas of the park.

Mushroom family near our campsite, (Donna).

Picture Plant and flower. Tough to get a good picture of.

An attractive group of mushrooms along the trail.

An attractive flower that has eluded identification. Some type of lobelia?

St. John’s Wort, (Donna).

Another example of some of the interesting fungi seen, (Donna).

Virgin’s Bower. (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”)

<<<>>>

Dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies were seen as we enjoyed the wildflowers included one butterfly not typically seen in central Ohio.

Ruby Meadowhawk, (Donna).

The very small American Copper, not a butterfly we’ve seen in central Ohio, (Donna).

Monarchs mating.

Pelecinid Wasp

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna).

Mating Robber Flies. Robber flies are one of the insect worlds more ferocious looking subjects. An appearance that is not unwarranted!

Mating Spreadwings, (Donna).

Bad-Wing Moths mating.

Spotted Spreadwing, (Donna).

Katydid.

Red-spotted Purple, (Donna).

Vesper Bluet, (Donna).

Dragon Hunter, (Donna).

A Crab Spider ambushes a bee, (Donna).

Canada Darner

Common Wood-Nymph on Spiked Blazing-star.

Appalachian Brown, (Donna).

Great Spangled Fritillary, (Donna).

<<<>>>

A sense of place.

The Rifle River as it flows through the park.

Exploring a quiet backwater.

The quiet shoreline of Loud Pond, the AuSable River.

<<<>>>

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!

Scaup Lake, Rifle River Rec Area.

Pickerel Weed and Lilly Pads, Grebe Lake.

Pickerel Weed, Grebe Lake.

American White Water Lily, Grebe Lake.

A closer look.

Meadow Sweet, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”),  (Donna).

Swamp Smartweed

Water Shield, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”), (Donna).

Yellow Pond Lily, (Donna).

Burr Reed, (ID c/o “NH Garden Solutions”), (Donna).

<<<>>>

Sometimes when hiking you don’t have to look real close to be overwhelmed by the beauty.

Gamble Creek, Class 1 trout stream, Rifle River Rec Area.

<<<>>>

No post would be complete without touching on some of the reptiles and amphibians seen. Seeing the skink was a surprise.

Bullfrog.

Wood Frog.

Painted Turtle

Five-lined Skink.

Garter Snake.

<<<>>>

While fishing along the Au Sable River upstream of Loud Pond, a Mink is sighted!

A Mink scurries along the bank, (Donna).

Au Sable River, catch and release, Small Mouth Bass. The river is one of the best Small Mouth Bass fisheries in the Midwest.

<<<>>>

We spend a lot of time looking and exploring but sometimes there’s a lot to be said for just being there.

The end of the day, Devoe Lake.

.

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.

Open To Nature’s Possibilities

Now that the spring migration is tapering off expectations need to be adjusted when visiting a local park or taking a walk in the woods. For birders it’s all about avoiding the big letdown after several weeks where each outing meant wondering what new warbler the day would bring. On a recent hike at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, even if one was lucky enough to catch a glimpse, many birds soon disappeared into the leaf cover.  Perhaps it’s time to diversify and look for other things, fungi, flowers, and non-warbler type birds.

.

With this in mind we headed for the aforementioned park remembering that it’s a good place to see Indigo Buntings.

P1110217

Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110263

Take 2.

.

A few other Battelle Darby birds were also cooperative, if only just.

P1290724-2

Common Yellowthroat, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110205

Female Yellow Warbler? Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110305

Eastern Spotted Towhee, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

P1110268

White-eyed Vireo, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

.

It was hard not to notice the early summer wild flowers along park trails whether at Battelle Darby or closer to home..

P1110292

Appendaged Waterleaf, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1110308crop b

Spiderwort, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

P1290718

Miami Mist, look but don’t touch! Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290637

Hawkweed, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290721

Blackberry blooms, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

P1290817

Common Cinquefoil, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

 

P1290911-2

Sweet Cicely, Griggs Park, (Donna)

 

IMG_5262c

Angelica, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

 

Purple Rocket -native flower 1 052616 Griggs south cp1

Purple Rocket, Griggs Park, (Donna).

IMG_1362

Forget Me Not, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

IMG_1359

Blue Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1110324

Philadelphia Fleabane, Griggs Park.

P1110311

Multiflora Rose, Griggs Park.

P1110314

Yellow Flag Iris, Griggs Park.

P1290895c

English Plantain, very common but with it’s own unique beauty, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Once thought of as an alternative when we weren’t seeing birds insects have now become fascinating in their own right.

P1290779

Mating Golden-backed Snipe Flies, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290808

Six-spotted Green Tiger beetle, , Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290816-2

Silver-spotted Skipper, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna)

P1290830

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Battelle Darby Metro Park, (Donna).

Eastern-tailed Blue 3 best 1 051616 Griggs PM cp1

Eastern-tailed Blue, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Not a flower, insect, or bird my wife nonetheless noticed this very small but beautiful fungi.

P1290996

Scarlet Cup, Griggs Park, (Donna).

.

Closer to home there were also things to see, the first humming bird of the year at O’Shaugnessy Nature Preserve and a hawk with prey at Griggs Park.

IMG_5278

Certainly not a National Geographic quality pic but it was a FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area.

 

IMG_5291

Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).

P1110335

Take 2.

 

P1290956

Nesting Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto below Griggs dam, (Donna).

P1290920

Cowbirds, Griggs Park, (Donna).

 

P1110116

Great Crested Flycatcher, Griggs Park.

P1110182

Female Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.

P1110369

Northern Flicker, Griggs Park.

 

P1000660

Baltimore Oriole seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1110091-2

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with squirrel, Griggs Park

.

And a few other creatures also caught our attention.

P1000630

Eastern Spiny Softshell seen while kayaking on Griggs Reservoir.

P1290858

Leopard Frogs, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

.

That’s about it for this post. We always wonder if we’re going to run out of things that fascinate and enchant. Fortunately in nature the more you look the more you see.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

IMG_1532

Quiet afternoon, Griggs Reservoir.

.

XXX

 

 

 

A Little North of Ohio, Part 3 of 3, Hiking in Algonquin

As mentioned in an earlier post, our time in Algonquin Provincial Park was split pretty much evenly between paddling and hiking. The trails we hiked, Beaver Pond, Mizzy Lake, Lookout, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Bat Lake  were all a short drive on Hwy 60 from our campsite at Pog Lake along the park’s southern edge.

.

Most of the trails go through very biologically diverse areas with fascinating flowers, fungi and forest floor creatures. While the trails are not especially difficult, good hiking shoes, lightweight slacks and a long sleeve shirt, and insect repellent, especially in the early summer, will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. To fully appreciate these places it’s a good idea to allow enough time so you can really look around otherwise you’ll be missing most of what’s going on.

.

Below is a record of some of the things we saw:

.

On you way to hike there’s always the chance you may have to rescue something.

Rescuing a Snapper

Hwy 60 Snapper

.

The trails were varied with the woods often opening up into some beautiful views.

P1030571

Mizzy Lake trail.

P1030529

Wetland, Mizzy Lake Trail

.

Different types of fungi were everywhere.

mushroom family 1 062315 Mizzy Lake Trail cp1 csb1

Mushroom Family, (Donna)

Ling Chih P1030301

Unidentified Fungus

Finger Fungi P1030625

Finger Fungus

Cup Fungi P1030527

Cup Fungi

Butterscotch Mushroom family 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Butterscotch Mushrooms, (Donna)

Red Mushroom 062115 Algonquin

Red Mushroom, (Donna)

yellow-orange fly agaric 062115 Algonquin   csb1

Yellow-orange Fly Agaric, (Donna)

Yellow tongue fungus 062315 Lake Mizzy Trail cp1

Swamp Beacons fungus, (Donna)

witches butter 062315 Algonquin cp1

Witches Butter, (Donna)

Sphagnum-bog Galerina 062315

Sphagnum-bog Galerina, (Donna)

P1030514

Ling Chih Fungus

P1030546

Slug on Comb Tooth Fungus

P1030512

Pinwheel Marasmius  Mushroom

P1030612

Unidentified shelf Fungus

.

.   .   .  and lichen too!

P1030621

Lung Lichen

P1030525

Common Button Lichen

P1030513

Unidentified Lichen

P1030509

Pixie Cup Lichen

British Soldier Lichen 1 062315 Mizzy Lake Trail cp1

British Soldier Lichen, (Donna)

.

By late June many of the orchids have already come and gone. However, we were fortunate to see a few.

P1030534

Lady slipper along the trail, Mizzy Lake Trail

P1030580

Lady Slipper, showing leaves.

P1030585

A nice group.

.

There were other flowers and plants to fascinate.

P1030620

Blue Flag Iris

P1030608

Lilly Pads

Corn Lily P1030476

Corn Lily

Coralroot 062115 Alqonquin cp1

Coralroot, (Donna)

Common Wood-Sorrel 2 better 1 062015 Algonqun hike   cp1

Common Wood-Sorrel, (Donna)

Yellow Parasitic plants 1 062015 Algonquin csb1

Yellow Parasitic plants, (Donna)

Twinflower 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Twinflower, (Donna)

Spiral Ferns 1 062015 Algonquin hike csb1

Spiral Ferns, (Donna)

P1030533

Moss fruiting bodies

P1030523

?

P1030522

Leaves

P1030356

Pale Laurel Fowers like very wet araes.

P1030461use

Bunch Berries

P1030295

Hawkweed

P1030305

Pale Corydalis

.

It doesn’t seem like you can go anywhere in Algonquin without seeing Sundew.

sun P1030617

Sundew

sun dews 2 better 1 062415 Costello Creek cp1

A closer look, (Donna)

sun P1030419use

Closer yet.

.

We had high expectations of seeing and photographing warblers. Birds were heard, especially Winter Wrens, but because of the leaf cover few were seen (we did manage to see Magnolias, Northern Parulas, and Yellow-rumps)  but few were photographed.

Red-eyed Vireo 062415 Algonquin Pog Lake campground    cp1

Red-eyed Vireo, (Donna)

.

Along the trail we were never far from the “handiwork” of beavers.

P1030576

Beaver dam, Mizzy Lake Trail

P1030467

Beaver dam, Beaver Pond Trail.

.

.   .   .   and the beavers themselves.

P1030594

Beaver family, Mizzy Lake Trail.

.

Moose are also fairly easy to spot in late June.

Moose P1040783

Bull Moose along Hwy 60, (Ben)

.

We were always on the lookout for dragonflies, moths and butterflies. Sometimes they cooperated.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2 on flower 1 062115 Algonquin   cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

P1030447

Catching sunlight in a pine, a White Admiral catches our eye.

Common Wood-Nymph 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Common Wood-Nymph, (Donna)

P1030487

Snail on the forest floor.

.

With flowing water everywhere .   .   .

P1030465use

Reflections, Bat Lake Trail

P1030507

Flowing towards a larger stream

P1030508

Water, moss, leaves, rocks

.

The trails could be wet.

P1030574

Mizzy Lake Trail

Ben at Bat Lake boardwalk 1 062115 Algonquin cp1

Bat Lake Trail Boardwalk, (Donna)

.

The toads and frogs didn’t seem to mind.

Toad Emily

American Toad, (Emily)

P1030548

Wood Frog

P1030302

Green Frog

P1030516use

Waiting for lunch.

.

If no flower, insect reptile amphibian or other creature caught our attention there was always the scenery.

P1030575

Pond, Mizzy Lake Trail

P1030573

Beaver Pond

P1030656useuse

Hiking around Pog Lake

Bob on top of Lookout trail 062115 Algonquin csb1

Lookout Trail overlook, (Donna)

P1030611

Stream, Mizzy Lake Trail

P1030488

Fallen tree,

P1030481

Campsite, Pog lake

P1030479

Wetland, Spruce Bog Boardwalk

P1030459

Beaver lodge, Beaver Pond Trail

.

Thanks for stopping by.

P1030654

Pog Lake

 

 

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

My Best Short Nature Poems

Ellen Grace Olinger

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Montana Outdoors

A weblog dedicated to the world outside the cities.

Cat Tales

Mike and Lori adrift

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

Exploring Nature in New Hampshire

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog

Quiet Solo Pursuits

My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Seasons Flow

Everything flows, nothing stands still. (Heraclitus)

Central Ohio Nature

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!