Saturday, April 27, 2013

KRVT wildflowers

Another week of April rain, hail, snow, and work kept me inside, but Saturday was glorious: sunny and warm.  I was torn between a trip to the Kalamazoo Nature Center to see wildflowers or my first bike ride of the season.  The bike ride won, but it turned out to be a good afternoon for wildflowers as well.

I think of the northern leg of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail as the most scenic and the most likely section for nature but today I took the western segment that connects to the Kal-Haven Trail.  This part of the trail runs from Westnedge Avenue near downtown Kalamazoo to the 10th street trailhead with lots of street crossings, light industry, and it includes nearly a mile on the edge of Ravine Road.    
The westernmost part of the KRVT  (around trail marker 1.5 mi) had several nice patches of yellow Trout Lilies and a large number of Toothwort.  They continued nearly all the way to the trailhead parking lot. Mixed in, were a handful of Dutchman's Breeches in bloom.  (Apparently it's still before their peak.)
The highlight was the most impressive display of Bloodroot that I can remember seeing.  There were several large patches of brilliant white Bloodroot flowers, including one with more than 100 blossoms together.  The Bloodroot flowers were so bright and so big, relative to other Spring ephemerals, that I thought the first patch was some kind of domestic flower that escaped a garden.

Individual Bloodroot flowers don't last long so I was happy to have seen them at their peak.

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