Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chippewa Nature Trail

This nature center is located in Midland, Michigan at the confluence of several rivers which eventually flow into Lake Huron. We enjoyed our hike here along the Chippewa River Trail, but we did wander off it at a several points to see several other places of interest. There is a replica of a log cabin and school house from the 1870s at the site of what had once been a homestead farm. The original well, some lilac bushes and many apple trees are all that is left now from that old homestead. The garden is pictured below. Wildflowers are in abundance at this time of the year.  This area is used a lot for local day camps.
It was at the Peepers Pond that we found a lot of wildlife activity. A blue heron arose from the water as we approached the area. We also espied a kingfisher sitting on a branch over the water. The presence of the green frog could be heard by its single noted sound (aptly described,as I later found out, as a loose banjo string). Turtles were out sunning themselves on logs in the pond.
A photo of the pond is in the picture above. All the white dots are the pond lilies. We had to move fast and get away from this area because of the presence of many mosquitoes. Back along the Chippewa Trail we just barely caught a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker as he flew away from us. We also chanced upon a lone deer peering at us from behind a thicket of trees. We found a lot of wildlife around the bird feeding area at the visitor's center. We saw a couple more different kinds of woodpeckers, pine grosbeak, goldfinch and nuthatches. On the ground below the feeders there were numerous black and brownish-red squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. Those critters all scattered as soon as the wild turkey came on the scene. It was interesting to get such a close viewing of wild turkey,  I never realized that the male has a long breast tuft.

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