Thursday, May 16, 2013

Redbuds along the river


Thornapple River
This is my 999th post!  I wonder how many of them have been about canoeing?  Any suggestions as to what I should write for my 1000th post?

Spring has been beautiful this year as all the flowering trees seemed to have peaked at the same time.  Last year, we had such unseasonable warmth in March and then after everything bloomed prematurely, which killed all the blooms and created an economic nightmare for apple and cherry farmers whose crops were wiped out.  This year, it stayed cold and the blooms came out at the right time and the past week we’ve been treated with lovely colors as the trees came back to life after a winter siesta.  Knowing that the magic time was here, it was time to get out in a canoe. 
Redbud Reflections

Last Friday was my first chance to get out on a river and it wasn’t looking good.  Rain had moved in Thursday night and the skies looked dreary.  Since the rain was supposed to diminish in the afternoon,  I decided to paddle a section on the river that I knew had lots of redbuds (which are more purple-like).  In the bow was an artist-in-residence from the Netherlands who is spending three months at a local nature center.   It was fun to be on the water and to watch this artist’s excitement at things like tree roots and the various hues of green.  We had a wonderful trip even though the weather forecasters lied and the rain continued.  But at times it would let up and fog would move over the water. 

Dogwood
I doubt anyone has been down this section of the river since the floods a few weeks ago and there were several tight passages as we squeezed through fallen trees and accumulated debris.  The only real problem was at the old trestle, one of five along the river.  The pilings had amassed all kinds of logs and brush.  We had to get out of the boat and work it over the logs and get back in on the other side of the trestle.    However, the banks along both sides of the trestle were dotted with trillium in bloom.   


Coffee shop parking
Another find is that the new Biggby Coffee shop off Michigan 37 is can be easily reached from the river. We were able to paddle up a creek a short ways, beach the canoe and climb up the bank, where we were able to enjoy a hot mug of coffee on a wet and cool afternoon.  

Redbud reflections
Trillum
Although there were many redbuds and dogwoods along the way, after the old railroad trestle, they became even more numerous.  Although the weather was lousy, the scenery made up for it.  We got to see lots of waterfowl and birds, several deer, two muskrats, and a beaver’s calling card.   
A beaver's handiwork

33 comments:

  1. that beaver has been at it...one ford does not sound too bad for the beauty you found along the way...pretty cool trip...i dunno, for 1000....maybe canoeing...haha...what about your favorite place you have adventured to...

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    1. I'm thinking about doing a post on the Faroe Islands... One ford wasn't bad, I was worried there would be more with the recent high water.

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  2. What a beautiful spot, J. I love the blossoms and beaver-bitten bark. And so nice that you were able to boat to the coffee shop for refreshment.

    Happy almost 1000th post. I don't know what you should write about but I do know it will be good.

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    1. The coffee shop was a nice treat--further up on the river, in Middleville, where I have to portage around a dam, I often stop at a bar for a burger and beer!

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  3. Replies
    1. It's amazing how industrial they can be--but they can also create problems.

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    2. Yeah but they work hard at being a nuisance where as I on the other hand can do it on a whim.

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  4. I sure do with I could spend some time in your canoe on that river. The
    scenery is so lush and beautiful, to say nothing of serene.

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    1. There are some nice rivers in NC, too!

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  5. I've got a plan to plant some redbuds and service berry trees in my backyard next spring to liven things up a bit in the spring.

    Just continue writing whatever you have for the next post. I'll continue reading and enjoying them.

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  6. Gorgeous. Would love to paddle that river.

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    1. it's nice because it is so close! But you're from the "River Runs Through it" country

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  7. Yes, it's the same with us. Spring is packed into a few weeks this year. Our dogwoods(garden)won't be seen for another month. 2nd week of June.
    Fishing, at least the type I do has been nil. No fly rising at all. Farmers are shipping fodder in from France here and in Wales and Scotland.

    I'd never seen what the beaver did to a tree other that in Tom&Jerry. I really didn't think they went about it like that.

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    1. Vince, if you look to the left of the tree, at the edge of the photo, you'll see a stump where a beaver took a smaller tree down, by eating around it like this. This is a pretty large tree for a beaver to tackle!

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    2. Wow, they really do turn it into a pencil. They must do it quickly in flat calm.

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  8. So beautiful - what a nice excursion. Congrats on almost 1000!

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  9. It looks so peaceful there! Love the pretty redbuds and dogwoods!

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  10. As always, Sage, a very nice journey through an interesting state!

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  11. Wow! You're still at it! Congratulations! You need to somehow connect to the Pure Michigan campaign--your posts remain beautiful and very positive.

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  12. 999? wow. Great images too. I've seen only a few beaver trees in my life.

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  13. Love the beaver tree! I'm no expert, but it looks like it would be ready to fall at any moment. I'm sure that's what the beaver was probably thinking, too.

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  14. Oh, I think you should use post 1000 (or as they say in Rome, M) to unveil the iSage app.

    I wanna be the first download.

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  15. a real sense of peace and beauty - and joy from your visiting artist. :)

    congrats on your POTW!

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  16. What fabulous shots. And wow - congrats on your 999th post!

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  17. Beautiful story and photos. I wish I was paddling down that lovely view.
    I'm here from Hilary's POTW.

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  18. Returned to make sure I read the coffee shop stop correctly. How cool!

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  19. Oh coffee shop parking is a stunning photo and should be hung on the wall so when winter and frozen lakes abound- you'd have that lovely reminder of what will be again! I'm thinking you have to do something very cool and announce it as being your 1,000 post! wow, that's all I can say is WOW! That's a lot of posts.

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  20. Congrats on your POTW and what a lovely place to enjoy spring. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. I haven't canoed in a coon's age, but I'd do it just to see that beaver-worked tree!

    Pearl

    p.s. You mentioned QueQeeg the other day. :-) I think you and I caught the same showing of Moby Dick on TV, didn't we?!!

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  22. For your 1000th post I think you should do a post about your trip to the Faroe Islands. Yes, I cheated! I'm going backwards to catch up. We don't have a canoe, but we do travel with an inflatable kayak. No room for a regular canoe or kayak on our RV, so although the inflatable is still pretty heavy and quite a bit of hassle, at least it allows us to have one handy. Of course, as we spend most of our time in the desert, we usually have no chance to use it.

    Your trip down this river looks and sounds so soothing and beautiful. We all like the wild places, but it was nice to have a coffee shop you could easily get to. Great post and very nice photos!

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