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Fall Flowers on the Lodi Marsh Trail

Some weeks I’m not sure what I’m going to write about in this space. And then I go for a walk on the Ice Age Trail and it’s all right there in front of me, waiting to be expressed in words. This was one of those weeks.

On this first day of fall (which felt quite summery)  Bill and I took a walk on the west Lodi Marsh Trail. For those of you not familiar with that segment, you park at the Robertson Kiosk on Riddle Road and the trail starts right there. As some of you know, that segment has some low spots that can be wet and muddy, but that wasn’t the case today.

As we hiked up to the oak savanna I found myself wondering why I don’t hike this segment more often, since it’s only ten minutes from my house and it never fails to delight. The majestic oaks, the views out to the Lodi Marsh, the sound of sandhill cranes calling….amazing.

While our original purpose was to check on a possible tree down across the Trail (which turned out not to be a problem) we were also hoping to see purple gentians in bloom…..and we were not disappointed! In fact, we saw more gentians than we’ve ever seen and they seemed to be growing taller than they have in the past. Other plants that were in visible included purple asters, white snake root, fleabane, rose hips, yellow flowers that resembled black-eyed susans, and lots of tall, waving grasses. We also saw a number of monarchs, including the one pictured here.

I think I’ll have to make a point of hiking up to the prairie on the east Lodi Marsh Trail segment soon, as I expect that the grasses and prairie will be looking good there as well. Every season has it’s charms and fall is no exception….Along the Ice Age Trail.


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