April 14, 2017. After two weeks of house/kitty sitting, I needed my ‘nature fix’ so we immediately headed out to Reid Lake, one of my favorite places, for a day hike. The weather was chilly, but since I still have all of my winter clothes out, donning many layers was easy. After all, it’s April in Michigan and we never know what kind of weather Mother Nature is going to throw at us!
On previous spring hikes, I remembered seeing some daffodils just before getting to the lake, and I was earnestly searching for them when we spotted some clumps of lavender and dark purple crocus. It’s the first I’ve seen them out here, and I was very glad to spot them. Upon seeing the crocus, I knew the daffodils wouldn’t be blooming yet, but after some searching, we spotted their leaves poking up through the leaf litter. Maybe I’ll make it back out here to see them this year.
Further down the trail, we spotted some Round lobed Hepatica just off the trail and these little beauties also brought a smile to my face. They are like little jewels amongst a drab, brown/grey environment.
We brought two seed bells with us to hang for the spring birds who are returning and might need some quick energy. We found nice secluded areas to hang them and will return later to remove the netting.
While eating lunch on a downed tree, we kept getting circled by a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks and we thought they wanted our jerky or nuts. But then we spotted the hawk’s nest not far from us. I assured the hawks that we will not invade their home, but I think they were not having any of it.
While rounding Big Marsh, I noticed some turtles sunning themselves on a log, I could only imagine how cold that water was, I think I’d want to get out of it also!
It was great to get my ‘nature fix’ on such a beautiful day!
April 18, 2017. A few days after the hike, we decided to do a portion of the North Eastern State Trail, Posen to Hawks. We thought for sure the path wouldn’t be muddy, after all, it’s pretty dry here. Right??? It was another sunny day, chilly, and unfortunately a little windier than we like, but we set out anyway.
I’ve never biked with three layers of clothes on, heavy winter mittens, and a knit hat over my visor, but I’m always up for an adventure. Not far down the trail we encountered two red fox, separately, but not far apart. Being the sly fox they are, they did not stop and pose for a photo op, but they were beautiful nonetheless. We were surprised to see them since we have so few due to the high coyote population. Again, I spotted some painted turtles sunning themselves. I felt bad when we rode by and they slipped into the freezing water, they probably had some choice words for us!
While the trail was in good shape, we did encounter some areas that were very mushy, and it felt like riding a bike on beach sand, peddling like crazy, but not getting anywhere! We ended up walking them through the worst of it, thankfully it wasn’t too long of a stretch.
A short ways up the trail, we spotted a couple of eagles being harassed by some crows, and then we spotted their nest. It is huge! I was surprised the smallish tree could support it and that it was as close to the farm as it was.
We had planned on going to Hawks and then returning to Posen, but when we encountered the mud/soft trail and the wind ‘freshening’ up, we decided to stop in Metz, eat our lunch, and then return to Posen. We had never been to Metz, so we didn’t know what to expect and we were pleasantly surprised at the brand new (2016) trailside park that was there. It is considered a historic park commemorating the great fire of 1908. Very interesting place.
After a nice break, we peddled the 5 miles back to Posen against a very ‘fresh’ headwind, which slowed us a bit and ensured I received a good workout. Again, another wonderful day to be outside!