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Seven Lakes State Park

Seven Lakes State Park is located north of Pontiac Michigan, just east of the Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary.  Home to around 17km of trails encircling two, main lakes (and many smaller ones), Seven Lakes State Park is also home to a number of uncommon fens, a large massasauga rattlesnake population, and the closest thing we get to a waterfall in southeast Michigan.  The two main lakes, Big Seven and Dickenson, both have boat launches, and are undeveloped, aside from the launches, and the beach on man-made Big Seven Lake.  A developed campground is available at Sand Lake.

Visit the official Seven Lakes State Park page.

This page is just a small part of the Seven Lakes State Park mobile app.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Fens

Fens, like bogs, are home to very unusual ecosystems.  Always wet, with nutrient-poor soil, fens are a horrible place for most plants.  Finding an available ecological niche, however, a few plants have managed to thrive in fens.  The two, main plants found here include stunted, twisted tamarack trees which look more like bushes than trees when they grow in fens and bogs, and also carnivorous plants, most visibly the pitcher plant.

Fens form in areas where you have a large number of springs coming up through soft, porous soil.  The soil is saturated nearly year-round with this water, preventing the decay of plants which die and fall into it.  Those plants, especially the needles of the tamarack trees, turn the soil very acidic, preventing many plants from growing.

DANGER: Fens, being full of springs and porous soil, are occasionally home to quicksand.  Even where there isn’t quicksand, walking through a fen can still be dangerous, as they routinely form muck several feet deep or more.  Stepping in either one probably will not kill you (that’s limited to the fictional “lightning sand” featured in some movies), but will be very, very hard to get out of.  Also, finishing up your hike covered in smelly muck to your waist is only topped by having your hiking companions throw you in the lake to avoid getting that muck in their car.  If you find yourself in either quicksand or deep muck, just move very slowly, and, if needed, gradually lay back onto your back and “swim” backstroke out of it.  You’ll be wet and dirty, but you’ll probably get out ok.

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June 1, 2011 Posted by | | , , | Leave a Comment