Monday, July 10, 2017

Deer River State Forest, Martin Road - Part 1

It was too nice a day, slipped in between days of rain, for me to stay home. So I took the dogs back to Deer River State Forest, a place I'd recently discovered and only been to once. This time I took Martin Road and, when I saw a dirt lane heading off into the forest, parked the car and let the dogs out:

The sandy lane was easy walking and I could have driven it easily - but we were supposed to be walking, not driving. The forest was lovely, alternating between light and dark, young and mature, hardwood and conifer. The dogs didn't care. They just wanted to run:

I had to keep hollering at the dogs to bring them back, but they're so used to my loud voice that they are not phased by it. Their feelings aren't hurt, it's all just part of the fun:

I began to see occasional road signs, indicating to me that these were not hiking trails, but access roads - and there were many of them, requiring me to make a choice at each intersection (and try to keep in mind the way to return to the car when we were done):

I never saw a single wildflower, but I saw lots of leaves where there had been flowers earlier. These twin leaves in the mossy carpet were Pink Ladyslippers:

The forest was dark, interspersed with bright sunlight where there were holes in the canopy:

And it was cool and quiet, with Ovenbirds singing all around. Notice the road sign up on the right, a squiggly arrow indicating a winding section of road just ahead:

Look at the expression on Fergus' face. He looks like he was just about to pee but saw me with my camera and was saying, "Can't a fella have some privacy around here?"

The forest floor was mostly open and easy to walk, so we did some exploring. I found a section with several kinds of club mosses, such as this Fan Club Moss:

And Tree Club Moss, or Princess Pine:

This one was more difficult to identify, but I think it was Running Club Moss:

Trillium, with its flower long gone and beginning to develop fruit at its top. But there was much more to see here, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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