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Sharon Hollow + Leonard Preserve: scouting for spring flowers

  • Apr 12, 2014 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

A couple of my nature photographer friends hit these spots three times a week in the spring in search of wildflowers and other new life on the old forest floor-- talk about a diversity of plant life! The River Raisin is a part of both spots, and one may see wildflowers and streams off the path, box turtles, snakes (cold and slow in the morning; I have seen them model because they were mostly paralyzed!), an occasional Sandhill Crane, and plenty of trees in the forest and by the river.

Wear boots, and when it is warmer I use bug spray to ward off ticks, mosquitoes, etc. (and I have a cheap bug net). Be prepared to walk 2+ miles at Sharon Hollow (round trip) and a mile or so in the woods at Leonard preserve. Hike and shoot, trying not to scare off the wildlife-- should be fun :)

Please read and answer the "Questions" for this event. I'll be organizing car pools for myself and others who can get to the Ann Arbor Starbuck's on Washtenaw by 7AM. Let's arrive at the Hollow by 8. Not much parking by the side of the road at Sharon Hollow (the Leonard Preserve has a larger lot), so let's cap this at 3 or 4 cars.

Stop #1: Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow

"The variety of wetland plant communities at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow reflects the amazing underlying geological diversity–from streams lined with silver maple, red ash and swamp white oak to swampy areas filled with black ash, American elm and yellow birch. Sandhill crane, chestnut-sided warbler, barred owl and dickcissel are a sampling of the birds you might see."

At the junction of I-94 and M-52 take M-52 south for 7.4 miles to Pleasant Lake Road. There is a flashing yellow light at the intersection.

Turn right (west) on Pleasant Lake Road, follow it for 3.2 miles to Sharon Hollow Road.

Turn right (north) on Sharon Hollow Road, and follow it to its end at Easudes Road.

Turn left (west) and travel 0.9 miles on Easudes Road. You will see the preserve sign on the left (south) side of the road.

Park on the south side of Easudes Road, between the preserve sign and Jacob Road. The trail into the preserve begins at the sign. Please be sure not to block any of the preserve neighbors’ driveways.

Stop #2: We'll move on to the Leonard Preserve, just 18 min. away from the Hollow:

(GPS: Leonard Preserve@[masked],[masked])

We'll walk through a field and see a great bend in the River Raisin (classic spot for fall shots too). Sometimes Sandhill Cranes taunt photographers from the river and fields nearby... on rare occasion you may get a shot off before they hide or fly off.

Wear boots or trail runners. Message me is you have multiple questions, or post a question if you need more info. These are nice spots-- I plan on going back, so if you can't make it this time, there will be other opportunities. I do not want to take twenty people, dogs, or other things that will distract from our interaction with nature in these woods.

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  • Lloyd B.

    Frank did a terrific job organizing and guiding us. It was great to meet everyone, learn a few things, teach a few things. Not only was it good to learn of a few new photo sites, but getting out a new time of year gives a different perspective of the woods than the usual late spring, summer, and fall jaunts. With no leaves on the trees, the forest opens wide.

    1 · April 12, 2014

  • Ginger K.

    A great introduction to two new locations for me. It was a beautiful day and we saw several kinds of flowers and a couple butterflies. I made a private visit to the river for a small break before heading back to the group.

    1 · April 12, 2014

  • Frank K.

    We are heading out, straight down the pathway.

    April 12, 2014

  • Frank K.

    Some good news... nobody apparently needs a ride from our list of attendees. A couple of folks did say they were interested in carpooling-- if you'd like to do that and have company and a navigator on the ride to these spots, post a note on the wall here. You can meet at Starbuck's or anyplace that works for you. I am going straight to Nan Weston Preserve... hope to see you all there! I have directions from Google Maps, will try to send a group email out to attendees. Frank

    April 11, 2014

    • Frank K.

      6. Merge onto I-94 W via the ramp to Jackson
      17.2 mi
      7. Take exit 159 for Michigan 52/Chelsea Manchester
      0.3 mi
      8. Turn right onto M-52 S/Chelsea Manchester Rd
      Continue to follow M-52 S
      7.4 mi
      9. Turn right onto E Pleasant Lake Rd
      3.2 mi
      10. Turn right onto Sharon Hollow Rd
      0.2 mi
      11. Slight left onto Easudes Rd
      1.6 mi
      32.2 mi – about 42 mins

      Nan Weston Preserve - Easudes Rd
      12. Head east on Easudes Rd toward Jacob Rd
      1.6 mi
      13. Slight right onto Sharon Hollow Rd
      0.2 mi
      14. Turn right to stay on Sharon Hollow Rd
      1.0 mi
      15. Turn left onto Sharon Valley Rd
      325 ft
      16. Take the 1st right onto Sharon Hollow Rd
      1.6 mi
      17. Turn left onto W Austin Rd
      2.2 mi
      18. Continue onto W Main St
      0.2 mi
      19. Turn left onto N Union St
      0.2 mi
      20. Turn left to stay on N Union St
      Destination will be on the right
      0.3 mi
      7.3 mi – about 16 mins

      Leonard Preserve
      N Union St
      Manchester, MI 48158

      April 11, 2014

  • Lloyd B.

    I am happy to bring someone or two along with me. I can meet you in SW Ann Arbor.

    1 · April 11, 2014

  • Pat B.

    Even though I have a Cannon T3i I am basically a point and shoot person who desires to become proficient by practice. I thought this might be a good place to begin by spending time in such a beautiful area with other people who enjoy photography. Are you looking for someone more experienced or is it okay if I tag along?

    1 · March 24, 2014

    • Frank K.

      Please join us! That camera has been a great one for many people and I'm sure it will serve you well. My main motivation here is to show people a great place-- areas with forest floors that are diverse and are good places to return to as the season changes and wildflowers come and go. As I mentioned in the description, my flower shooting friends used to troll through these areas a few times a week during peak wildflower growing season. The timing of this meetup is just a random spring date. I hope that people will return to these locations on their own down the road.

      March 24, 2014

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