Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hog Island Point

One of the good things about traveling to do art shows is you get a chance to see things that maybe you wouldn't take the time to do otherwise. For us the show in Marquette is a long way from home (eight hours or more) and we like to break the drive up if we can. This year we left a day early so that we could do a little hiking and sight-seeing before the show.

Our first stop was Hog Island Point State Forest Campground (its namesake island is on the right). We found this place last year on our way home from Lori's Artist in Residence in the Porkies. It's a wonderful rustic campground off US 2, which runs along the southern shore of the Upper Peninsula. The sites are big and there's lots of space between you and your neighbors. The beach is rocky in places, sandy in others, and last year when we were there we saw coyote and weasel tracks in the sand.

The rocky beach is full of summer wildflowers, and the backdrop of cedar, fir and tamarack made for some wonderful contrast.
Black-eyed Susans were plentiful, as was Joe-pye weed, goldenrod, and many other low-growing plants able to withstand the battering waves on this south-west facing beach.
Harebells were blooming in some of the wetter, more wooded areas.

Even the rocks get in on the colorful action, hosting a wide variety of fungus and lichens--which I unfortunately know nothing about!

We heard loons calling from some distant inland lake, and coyotes yipping in the dusk. Three times bald eagles scared up the gull colony out on the island, sending 1,000 or more birds screaming into the air--and each time I was without my camera. We weren't able to stay long, only had a few hours of evening light and then left around 9am or so the next morning, on our way to Van Riper State Park, west of Marquette. But the short stay only makes us want to go back all the more.

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