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Guided discovery hike


By Ranger Steve Mueller

Brad Slaughter, from Michigan Natural Features Inventory, will be at Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Drive, to lead a walk on September 19, 2015, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Dennis Dunlap will be leading a part on mushrooms and Ranger Steve will contribute regarding ecological relationships. Come have an enjoyable time learning with family members and friends.

Mark calendars to explore the sanctuary with the Michigan Botanical Club that is hosting the discovery hike. Park at V&V Nursery and we will depart on the walk at 1:30. We appreciate them hosting parking.

The ecology walk will examine mushrooms and plant identifications, and their associations with birds, insects, mammals, amphibians and more. The 61-acre sanctuary includes “the big woods,” field/shrubland, wetland forest, stream and ponds. Trails traverse wetland over two bridges that cross Little Cedar Creek and upland habitats. We will examine plants with a 10 Co-efficient of Conservatism. That almost always indicates plants restricted to an undisturbed/pre-settlement remnant.

Come see what might be the largest American Chestnut of your life time. One of the sanctuary’s chestnuts has a diameter of 3 feet. We found a young two-foot tall chestnut so the large tree is reproducing. There is at least one other large chestnut.

Recently a mink crossed the driveway and a weasel was seen twice during mid July. Mink and weasels usually stay hidden. A Great Blue Heron and Green Heron are often seen. Pileated Woodpeckers are working the trees. There are always new discoveries every time one ventures into nature niches and most are related to plant communities. This guided walk is free. Donations to support the sanctuary management are welcome. This will be wonderful opportunity to become familiar with the Michigan Botanical Club. They welcome new faces to enjoy the outdoors with them.

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.

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