web analytics

Tag Archive | "spring flowers"

Wildflower and butterfly field trips

Ranger Steve

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Spring flowers are on the way. Already Skunk Cabbage flower spathes with spadix are up on the flood plains. Other flowers will brighten the landscape soon. Daffodil leaves have broken ground but are still less than two inches tall. Even iris leaves have broken ground on the floodplain. Exciting events are growing.

Among the first flowers are hepaticas, speckled alders, and hazelnuts with male staminate and pistillate flowers.  Many blooms will come early including bloodroot, spring beauties, and trout lilies. Soon to follow are baneberry, nodding trillium, large-flowered trillium, starry Solomon’s-seal, jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, wood betony, mayapple and enchanter’s nightshade.  

The trout lily is a early spring flower. 

Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary will be a carpet with many flowers before trees fully leaf out. It requires a lot of energy to produce flowers and fruits. Adequate sunlight is essential. Many plants have the adaptation to bloom before canopy leaves block too much sunlight energy from reaching the understory. By the time tree leaves fully expand, many plants have completed their reproductive blooming cycle. 

Trout lilies have not only completed flowering in spring but their leaves wither by the end of May. Their flowers and leaves are only present during a few weeks in spring. The plant is dormant the rest of the year. 

Plan for spring and summer events and mark your calendar to participate. 

On May 15 at 2 p.m. the Michigan Botanical Club White Pine Chapter will host a wildflower walk at Ody Brook. Parking will be at V&V nursery 1.25 mile south of traffic light in Cedar Springs or 1.75 miles north of traffic light at M-57 on Northland Drive. Park close to the road at V&V nursery. Come early to shop for plants at the nursery. Ranger Steve will meet you there.

We will walk across the highway to Ody Brook’s entrance south of the bridge. Mark your calendar for wildflower discoveries to learn their ecological adaptations. Botanical club membership information will be available for those interested. Other botanical outings are planned during the warm season. Donations to support Ody Brook’s mission of “biodiversity enhancement” are not required but are welcome. 

Consider participating in mid-summer butterfly counts hosted by the West Michigan Butterfly Association and the North American Butterfly Association. Summer flowers will be peaking. Details are available on the WMBA web site: http://www.graud.org/wmba.html

Butterfly counts begin at 9 a.m. and end by about 5 p.m. but participants can come for shorter time periods if desired.

5 July – Rogue River State Game Area 

7 July – Allegan State Game Area 

10 July – Greater Muskegon 

12 July – Newaygo in the Manistee National Forest

Butterfly counts are great opportunity to become familiar with summer butterflies and their habitats with help from butterfly association members. Mark calendars and plan to participate. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

Posted in Ranger Steve's Nature NicheComments Off on Wildflower and butterfly field trips

Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!