Posted on July 14, 2019
It’s that time of year again when we travel 6.5 hours north from our home in central Ohio to the Rifle River Recreation Area. Usually we enjoy checking out different areas for new adventures but this park’s unique beauty keeps us coming back. Whether paddling on the park lakes or hiking the trails there is always something to discover. From one week to the next different wildflowers can be seen. Spring warbler activity is complimented by the evening call of a Whippoorwill or Barred Owl and there’s always the distant call of a loon on Devoe Lake.
(click on images for a closer look)
This year’s late June visit meant that in addition to increased warbler activity we’d also see blooming lady slippers and pitcher plants. Of course there would also be more mosquitoes to deal with and they’re always particularly pesky when one crouches down to study a flower or take a photograph.
My wife was nice enough to contribute the bulk of the pictures for this post as much of my time was spent fishing. However, to start the post off on a curious note I did notice something interesting one afternoon while hiking.
When my wife wasn’t hiking and I wasn’t trying to catch a fish we did a fair amount of exploring by canoe.
One day as we drove back to our campsite after a morning paddle we came upon an unusual discovery in the middle of the road.
However, perhaps the most unusual thing seen during our week long stay was the bird spotted while hiking along Weir Road.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t give special mention to the Ovenbirds and Yellowbellied Sapsuckers that entertained us each day at our campsite.
While on the subject of birds, while hiking a park trail my wife was excited to see a Black Billed Cuckoo. It was a life bird for her.
Finally, below is a summary of other things seen as we explored the park trails.
As each day passes nature evolves. A wishful thought would be to spend one week each month in a place such as Rifle River Rec Area. Then one would truly appreciate it’s wonder. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Au Sable River, Central Ohio Nature, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, Nature Photography, Paddling and Nature Photography, Rifle River Recreation Area, Wildflowers Tagged: American Redstart, American Robin, American White Water Lily, Black Billed Cuckoo, Black Shouldered Spinyleg, Blanding's Turtle, Bunch Berry, Cedar Waxwing, Chaulk-fronted Corporal Dragonfly, Common Loon, Coral Fungus, Dead Man's Fingers, Delaware Skipper, Dot-tailed Whiteface, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Wood Pewee, Elfin Skimmer, Four-Spotted Skimmer, Green Heron, Hawkweed, Indian Pipe, King Bird, Large Mouth Bass, Little Wood Satyr, mink, Ovenbird, Painted Turtle, Pitcher Plant, Red-spotted Purple, River Jewelwing, Sheep Laurel, Showy Lady's Slipper, Spotted Thyris Moth, Trumpeter Swan, Walleye, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Columbine, Wild Geranium, Wood Frog, Yellow Goats Beard, Yellow Lady's Slipper, Yellow Pond Lilly, Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Posted on August 21, 2016
Every summer for the last number of years in the company of friends I’ve made a fishing pilgrimage to the Rifle River Recreation Area in Michigan. On this year’s trip, like most recently, many fish were caught and released. Only six hours north of our home in central Ohio, it’s a special place where nesting Loons can be seen. While paddling it’s not uncommon to have one surface nearby or to see other wildlife not far away. The Loons are unique in their nesting requirements and are certainly there because no motors are allowed on any of the lakes in the park. If you want to fish, or just explore, it must be under your own power.
Areas of the country that are privileged to have four seasons, unfold like a flower in spring and summer only to experience a fiery death during the shorter, colder, red, and yellow days of fall. Devoe Lake is such a place, where the beauty of spring and summer is not ours for long, where for a brief time under blue skys and puffy white clouds one witnesses the sights and sounds of birds, insects, and wildflowers as life is celebrated. A place where a quiet observer may see a Loon attentively feeding her young as dragonflies, or even a Bald Eagle, fly overhead and where a Kingbird and Green Heron may be seen perched in a tree at waters edge while somewhere further down the lake the raucous call of a Kingfisher is heard.
Return just a few months later and this unique beauty will be gone. No wildflowers will grace the shoreline of the lake. Rain, whether falling quietly or pounding to accompaniment of lightning and the sound of thunder, will have given way to the silence of the seasons first snow. At night the call of the Eastern Whip-poor-will will not be heard. The lake’s blue surface will not dance to the beat of an ever changing breeze and Painted Turtles will not cruise the clear depths below your canoe. It will be quiet except for the wind as it moves through now bare branches. The sky will more often be gray and the water now solid, unmoving, and partially covered in white, will reflect it’s color.
No matter the season Devoe Lake gives of it’s beauty sparingly and then takes it away leaving one to wait restlessly for another year. The fleeting days of summer are no exception.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, kayak fishing, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, nature writing, photography, Rifle River Recreation Area, Wildflowers Tagged: Bald Eagle, Bluegill, Common Loon, Devoe Lake, Eastern Kingbird, Grass-of-Parnassus, Green Heron, Hornbeck Canoe, Large Mouth Bass, Red-spotted Purple
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