Black Creek Park

July 25, 2007

Kyle spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house last night, so the girlies and I decided to go to a park this morning. I found a website listing all the parks in the county along with maps and descriptions of any trails at each park. Since we’ve been on this hiking kick lately, I thought a trail through a local park might be fun. We chose a park fairly close to our house and set out. We were quite pleased to find that the trails at this particular park are actually grassy paths, about 5 or 6 feet wide, mowed, and relatively well marked. We chose a wetland trail because I really like wetlands. As we walked along the path started out in a meadow/forest type area with fairly young trees and lots of flowering weeds.

For a perspective of the width of the path, here are Sarah and Erin strolling along.

I am going to attempt to identify the flora I photographed today…please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! I believe this is a thistle, or at least related to the Aster family. I searched an online wildflower ID site for the better part of 2 hours trying to figure it out, and finally gave up. If anyone knows what this is, please let me know, for now I am curious. The closest thing I could come up with was either spotted knapweed, which I don’t think is correct, or showy aster, which is much more likely. Unfortunately, this is not a better picture. The tiny viewing screen on my camera makes it very difficult to tell how clear the picture is!

Queen Anne’s Lace Daucus carota

One of my favorite wildflowers, Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta

Milkweed Asclepias syriaca, which I remember liking to play with when I was a kid.

I have no clue what this is but it is more of a grass than a flowering thing. I just thought the little seed pods, or whatever they are, were pretty. It was absolutely gorgeous blowing around in the gentle breeze with the sun shining on it.

There were tons of bird berries in the trees! Red, orange, and green.

Here is another flower that has me stumped. I thought it looked like something that would be easy to identify, however, nothing seems to have that kind of flower and those toothed leaves…hmmm! Help, anyone… Now, mind you, I am a rock and mineral identification kind of person, not a flower kind of person. Even in the realm of rocks and minerals I wasn’t that adept at identifying them. I tend not to pay close attention to the finer details. I guess I am a “big picture” kind of gal. These were very pretty anyway, and they really stood out against all that green.

As we walked along on our 3 mile jaunt, the landscape changed many times.
It went from young deciduous forest…

…to coniferous stand.

This picture shows the transition from deciduous to coniferous. It was such a sharp contrast that we stopped for a minute and just took in the view.

Almost immediately upon leaving the conifers, we found ourselves in a relatively dry boggy area. There was a raised platform to walk on, as the ground was mushy, but there was not standing water. It has been pretty hot this summer, so maybe it is usually more wet than it was today.

After walking through this boggy area, we did some more transitions through young forested areas, meadows, and finally we came to a true swamp. I can’t say that I have ever been in such a surreal place. As we were walking along the path adjacent to the swamp, we looked over and noticed what we thought was a road. Then we thought perhaps it was a stream, then the girls thought it looked like snow (in July when the temp is 80+? yeah, right!). Turns out, what we were seeing was all the green algae on top of the water. This picture is from another floating bridge/path thingy like the one above.

This is the view of the road, stream, snow?, swamp before we realized what it was.

I have a gazillion more pictures and lots of other stuff to share, but I am very tired and it is getting late, and this post is getting long. I will try to post the rest tomorrow…or maybe the next day as we are planning another adventure for tomorrow.

One comment

  1. Wow, Carly, that looks like it was a terrific place to visit! I love the photos and the coniferous area is so very beautiful. Since we are a deciduous woods, I love visiting the coniferous woods. They are so cool when the wind is blowing, but ultimately, they are messy, leaving lots of needles and pitch on anything that comes into contact with them. Guess I would prefer my hardwoods!!! What a great tour. Thanks for sharing!

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