My husband has been sick for about a month. I was sick about a week of that. Either scenario meant no hiking for the sickies. (Oh, just rip out my heart and lay it on the table.) Finally, on May 3, a Friday, and therefore DH’s day off, the air was dry after raining all week, and the temp, cold (mid- to lower-40’s), meaning we wouldn’t be hiking on a muddy woodland trail. We put on our winter jackets (yes, I know: it’s May) and decided on a tried-and-true boardwalk along the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, MI, about 20 minutes from home.
This past week, tree leaves started to pop out around here. I usually give trees about two weeks each spring to go from first bud to full leaf, depending, of course, on precipitation and temperature. It’s a very delicate time of year with the woods appearing like a green lace cloth has been draped over the canopy. There’s also a lot of pollen in the air and on the ground with the tree blossoms acting like flower girls for the coming leaves.
If I knew this before, I’d forgotten: The Riverwalk in Marshall, Michigan, is part of the North Country Trail. Hurray. We’d found ourselves on it once again! (The week before we’d taken our grands on another part of it, at Bridge Historical Park. The entire National Trail is 4,600 miles. We’ve got a bit more of it to walk yet.)
We had the boardwalk to ourselves, but across the way, we waved to others in the area. First, was the Great Blue Heron. Can you spot it in this picture? Jeff did. (Closeups and more to the story further on.)
Wilderness-eyed Jeff also spotted deer across the river (how many do you count?), and two turtles (not included here).
I kept hoping for an otter sighting like on our previous visit, but no such luck this time with spotting that delightful creature. I called out for it — just ask Jeff — but it must have been underwater or too far away to hear me. Along our walk there were also an abundance of serenading birds. Not too bad at all for a boardwalk.
And…the rest of the Great Blue Heron story is that we had the privilege to watch it fish and then eat a meal. I’m only guessing, but I’m thinking that fish was at least a foot long. Big bird. Big fish. Nice meal. Thank you, Heron, for allowing us watch.
The NCT is one of my favorites too… It’s simply an amazing stretch of trail, taking one through such an incredible variety of terrain across Michigan! Happy hiking and hopefully warmer weather will be upon us soon!
We are fortunate to have such a trail trough Michigan. I look forward to exploring lots more.
I would be mesmerized by that heron. Love watching the birds. You guys are driven to be outdoors and having fun together. Good for you!! Looking forward to your next hike report, hopefully among the spring flowers and milder temps.
It was amazing to watch. What a privilege.
What a beautiful day you had! I love watching herons sneak up on their prey. With that huge fish, his tiptoe, tiptoe, snatch! must have been fun to see!
For me, Carol, any day in the out doors is a beautiful day. (Yes, it was pretty amazing to watch.)