A walk in the Wilderness

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A week’s camping in Wilderness State Park at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula was highlighted by warm days, cool nights and virtually no biting bugs.

The large stands of mature red pine and hemlock in the park are linked by lightly used hiking trails and abandoned logging roads. The dune terrain is gently rolling and for the most part unblemished by public access.

At the western end of the park a peninsula of conifers, sand and gravel beds extends far into Lake Michigan and is reserved for pedestrians, birds and its native species.IMG_0087

Looking up into the canopy of mature pines, oaks, firs and a few maples reminded me of the future of the Bluecircle trees, a forest in its early days. IMG_0094

Beauties and the Beasties

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First, the beauties of mowing in midsummer include the scents of flowers and cut grass. The Queen Anne’s Lace is beginning to fade with goldenrod soon to come. The garden beds are overgrown with tomatoes ripening faster than they are needed and a few summer squash are still filling in the ground level. We’re impatient with sweet corn that isn’t quite ripe enough to pull.

And then there are the risks of the field when the weeds have grown tall. A hidden groundhog den neatly trapped the rear wheel of the Snapper mower, bottoming the deck and adding a
“tow out” break to the afternoon chores. Another good assignment for the Gator.

A hornet's nest on a maple seedling lurks in the weeds

A hornet’s nest on a maple seedling lurks in the weeds

The pink tree flag in this picture marks a second-year maple seedling in the weeds. Just below it, and with its bottom nearly touching the ground, is a very active 10-inch hornet’s nest. The photograph fails to capture the path the lucky author used to speed away from the beasties, leaving these weeds (and the nest) to the frosts of October.