Monday, April 25, 2011

Sable River Hike

On Saturday, friends and I hiked from Sable Falls into the dunes and along the west side of Sable River, before we doubled back into the dunes. There was very little snow and ice left along the side of Sable River.

Along the path, I spotted this Striped Maple tree. I just love the bark on these young trees. Other information about this species:

Leaf: Opposite, simple, orbicular, 5 to 8 inches long, 3-lobed (resembles a goose foot), serrated margin; green above and paler below.

Flower: Dioecious; yellow-green, bell shaped, 1/4 inch long, appear in long, hanging slender clusters in late spring.

Fruit: Paired, wide-spreading samaras, 3/4 to 1 inch long, in hanging clusters, ripen in late summer and early fall.

Twig: Moderately stout, green changing to red or reddish brown, smooth; reddish buds narrowly ovoid, stalked, valvate.

Bark: When young, smooth gray-green with prominent white lengthwise stripes, older bark becomes reddish brown.

Form: Small tree or large shrub up to 30 feet tall.

The range for this tree is shown on the map below.

 As we walked along the river, we spotted this partially completed beaver dam.

We approached the bluff over looking Lake Superior just west of Sable River.  Here is a close up shot of part of the river's mouth, as well as a couple of shots of a guy who was fishing the river's mouth.

More shots from the bluff....

Now that all the beach ice has melted, agate hunters are showing up.

There is almost no snow left in the dunes at all.  Below you can see one small area of dampness with a bit of white snow showing in the top center part of the picture.

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