Short but spectacular walk shows off flowers
The Tuesday walk was a short trek around Lake LaGrange for me as I had a meeting to attend, but the other hikers continued for a longer hike. I never get tired of this walk as the scenery and bird watching is spectacular. Much of the invasive underbrush has been removed and planted with desirable seedlings, so the views in all directions have improved immensely.
The long walk this week started out as a once annual event including some off trail hiking in the Bluff Creek State Natural Area. We started from our meeting place, went south on the Ice Age Trail to near the power lines where we went off trail through the natural area to look for fringed and bottle gentians.
Our goal of finding gentians, both varieties, was successful, but with the wet spring we had the brush had become impassible so we had to alter the last part of the walk. It was a strenuous, but delightful hike with most of us getting our feet wet or muddy. It really was enjoyable as the area is a wonderful mix of streams and vegetation. The only bad vegetation we saw was a small patch of Asian bittersweet located a short distance north from the stream crossing with an iron rail along the west side of the trail to the power lines and Bluff Creek.
The short distance walkers carpooled elsewhere for a less strenuous hike.