Yesterday taking advantage of the warm weather (finally) in Michigan I went for a walk with my artist friend Sue Nimlin along the Polly Ann Trail. We didn't have to travel far to find local flora and fauna waking up from the long winter. It does happen though that spring in SE Michigan seems to arrive and then leave in a blink jumping straight into summer. Yes, the spring is late and short compared to my native Britain.
The Polly Ann trail by our local library runs alongside small lakes and wetlands. Yesterday we watched a huge turtle swimming towards us, it must have been a good twelve to eighteen inches long. Not sure but think it is a Snapping Turtle. The photos are not very good due to distance from my camera phone. But if any reader can confirm or knows what species of turtle it is please leave a comment at the end of this post. The shrubs and plants at the start of the trail were starting to bud, pussy willow well on its way producing yellow pollen.
We took our art journals intending to sketch and paint but only sketched a Red Winged Blackbird that obligingly stayed a while on a tree close by. Blue Jays and Cardinals flew in and out the undergrowth while Black-capped Chickadees landed on branches above our heads calling what sounded like "hello lady". We declined to sit and sketch alongside water when we realised we would be sitting on ant hills - lots of them! We saw a couple of Swifts or Martins flying low over a lake. Dragonflies and butterflies were out too, along with a garter snake that hurried across our path on approach and slithered away into the undergrowth.
One sound I thought was made by birds Susan informed me it was actually frogs singing! They really did sound birdlike. Well, after about three hours enjoying spring make an entrance in all her plumage of feathers, scales and buds, we headed back to the library for coffee and planning our next nature journaling walk now we had "done a reccy" of the area and know not to sit prior to checking for ant hills!