Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Late Winter Woods - Mission Creek Woodland Park

Last year on March 11th, I wrote a blog post about the ability of Skunk Cabbage flowers to melt the snow around them - a process called thermogenesis. This ability makes them the first flower of Spring in Mid-Michigan.

Today, after finishing two school presentations, I was able to spend a little time in the woods at Mission Creek Woodland Park in Mt. Pleasant.  I was hoping to find Skunk Cabbage poking up through the snow and ice.  This was not to be... The snow and ice cover in the swamp along Mission Creek is still too thick for any emerging Skunk Cabbage blooms to melt.  With temperatures over the last two day reaching as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the snow is very slushy, but it is still nearly two feet deep in some areas.  (More snow is in the forecast for tonight!)

Despite my disappointment at not finding and blooming skunk cabbage it was still a nice day to be in the woods.

Poplar at Mission Creek Woodland Park

North Hiking Trail at Mission Creek Woodland Park

Cow Parsnip seeds

Green Ash - killed by Emerald Ash Borer

Bark at the base of dead Green Ash - the bark is being stripped by woodpeckers to access insect larvae (including Emeral Ash Borer)

Mission Creek

Cedar leaf on ice at Mission Creek

Forest reflections

Mission Creek flows through a Northern Hardwood-Conifer Swamp

Woodpecker holes in Northern White Cedar

Eastern Cottonwood bark

Raccoon tracks in snow

American Beech leaves - these leaves stay on the tree throughout winter

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