Sunday, July 6, 2014

Holly State Recreation Area

We have moved now to Michigan.  Most fortunately we are now enjoying cooler temperatures, for awhile we feared that most of our summer would be spent in sweltering heat and humidity.  There is no reason to avoid a hike in the woods,  or so I thought until we were greeted by numerous flying little critters when we started out on the trail at Holly.  The park is southeast of the the Birch Run/Saginaw area and this area located in lower of Michigan has had a fairly wet summer so far.  Add to that the fact that Holly is the site of many lakes - you have perfect conditions for a plague of mosquitoes!  Fortunately once our trail took us from the wetlands up through rolling woodlands and prairies the insects became less of an irritant.
On longer hikes I dislike carrying binoculars and camera.  For some strange reason I had both of them with me Saturday and, as you can see by the picture above, it paid off.  A scarlet tanager swooped in front of me and perched on a nearby fence.  He stayed still only long enough for me to snap his picture.
Pictured above is a nest of barn swallows.  They were not hard to find, in fact a crowd of onlookers caused us to look up at them in a pavilion near a lake where we had our picnic lunch.  Judging by the size of the little ones, my guess is that their parents will soon be kicking them out of the nest.  They all do not seem to fit well in the nest anymore, one of them usually ends up half-way hanging out of the nest!
Our hike took us mostly through shady pine forests, we did not see a lot of wildflowers except for patches of orange jewelweed, that tiny flower is pictured above.  And I have here the rest of the story regarding may apples.  Several postings back I had pictures of that flowering plant.  On our hike in Holly we saw the fruit of the may apple.

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