Saturday, August 6, 2011

Young State Park / Stream Walking / Pathotones

(click on images to enhance your viewing experience)

Areas of Natural Disturbance... Forested Wetland. Many years ago, possibly hundreds or thousands, the lake's edge made its way this far inland. Less than one quarter mile from shore, this old lake bottom is now an intermittently wet and dry meadow on the edge of a forested wetland. The soil is tough, gritty, full of lime and littered with countless bones and skeletons of small freshwater creatures in various states of decay. in the open, wild cinquefoil, juniper and little blue stem struggle to maintain roots while the margin is well defined by the shallow-rooted arbor vitae with easy access to nearby groundwater. White pine, paperbark birch, yellow birch along with the White Cedars dominate the canopy.  

Stream walking is a good way to understand a watershed and how it works. One must behave like a deer when walking a stream or the system will be upset too much. One or two at a time and step lightly on solid ground. pay attention. And Don't kill bugs just because they land on you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Young State Art (remix)

click on thumbnail for larger image

A walk along the shoreline of Lake Charlevoix across the eastern boundary into Young State Park will lead you to this. A Neighbor claims her friends started this project earlier this summer. The water is particularly shallow here and the shoreline lake bottom contains a thin strata of white clay. Waterlogged and sunbleached arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) skeletons litter the beach. Since the initial two or three were inverted and planted in the clay a horde of impromptu artists have contributed to the piece.

the clay pits of glenwood

 standing stumps at the end of a field of sedges and bullrushes, 
beach grasses and tiny flowers
 the clay has been disturbed so many times the water here
is permanently milky... but not rich and creamy, more like skim
 detail of the standing stumps. is that a cross? yes it is
the raw material is continuously washed ashore and the next big storm will no doubt erase this work of art, returning the stumps to the collection on the beach.

next: stream walking to the source