Eight JAS members and guests joined Michigan Nature Association steward Stewart Goldman for a tour of the Trillium fields of southwest Michigan. We've not been to these properties since before the Covid pandemic so we were excited to return. The weather looked like it might not cooperate but we had just a bit a drizzle. And who wants that nasty full sunshine thing when you're trying to take pictures of spring flowers?
After a fortifying breakfast at Mr. Wahoo's in Dowagiac, we met Stewart at Dowagiac Woods. This is MNA's largest and one of it's oldest properties. It is near the Dowagiac River and is quite wet, especially in the spring. The Woods have never been developed and the diversity and quantity of spring ephemerals shows it very clearly.
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Common Violet (purple & yellow) (Viola sp.)
Trout Lilly (Erythronium americanum)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
False Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina racemosa)
Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullatia)
Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)
Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)
Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Wild Leek (Allium tricoccum)
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictrodes)
Bloodroot (Sanguinatia canadensis)
Large -Flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)
Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia)
Broadleaf Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla)
Baneberry (Actaea sp.)
False Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum)
Purple Cress (Cardemine Douglassii)
Swamp Buttercup (Ranunculus septentrionalis)
Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna)
After the Woods, we drive over to Berrien county to visit the Trillium Ravine. This smaller property is also rich in spring ephemerals and, well, Trilliums. In many parts of the short walk your entire view is Trilliums. While predominately the Large-flowered Trillium, there were also Toadshade and Prairie Trilliums. I even got a picture of a trio of Trillium.
Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)
Trillium Toadshade (Trillium sessile)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Celedine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
The spring ephemerals were the priority and it's really hard to see birds when you are looking at all that beauty on the ground. But we are Audubon, so the eBird trip list was dutifully posted.