A Sunny Morning in Late October

The early morning sun was shining and there was a combination of dew and frost on the ground when I arrived at Detroit’s Eliza Howell Park on October 28, 2019. Here are a few images from the next three hours.

Bittersweet on Oak Tree

Bittersweet vines grow high on some trees in the park, most noticeable when the leaves of the vine turn yellow.

20191028_142441

Dew Drop on Sumac

In the blow up, one can clearly see the reflections.

20191028_083716

20191028_141258

Three Hundred Year Old Bur Oak Tree

I stopped by a massive Bur Oak that has been estimated to be over 300 years old.

20191028_143009

Rouge River from Footbridge

I often take a picture from this spot, looking upstream. The look of the river changes with the season, the sunlight/clouds, and the water level.

20191028_144245

A Walk in the Woods

20191028_102021

20191028_104348

Sugar Maple

Several Sugar Maple trees, seen from the park road, have inspired park visitors to pull out their cameras.

20191029_092717

A Favorite Cottonwood

There are some trees, friends, that I stop by to visit to see how they are doing. This Cottonwood tree is one.

20191028_122116

In my records, this is Walk # 1351. Another good one.

 

Seasonal Changes: The Same View over 12 Months

One way of noting the seasonal changes in Eliza Howell Park is to compare pictures of the same landscape taken at different times of the year. The 12 photos here, one from early in each month in 2018, were all taken from the footbridge over the Main branch of the Rouge River, facing upstream (north).

I think they speak for themselves, no commentary needed.

January 5, 2018

20180105_124815

February 5, 2018

20180205_132030

March 9, 2018

20190123_111613

April 4, 2018

20190123_113524

May 5, 2018

20180505_080357

June 5, 2018

20190123_113317

July 4, 2018

20190123_112001

August 4, 2018

20190123_112120

September 4, 2018

20180904_095020

October 3, 2018

20181003_100022

November 3, 23018

20181103_084723

December 4, 2018

20181204_100603

 

The Flood of 2018

On February 18, 2018, Eliza Howell Park still had the snow-and-ice look that has been typical this winter. This is the view upstream from the footbridge on that day.

20180218_131715

Then the heavy rains came and the snow melted. When I returned to the park on February 21, the Rouge River was at the highest flood level that I have ever seen. This is the very first time, in my thousand visits to the footbridge, that the water was actually over the bridge.

20180221_132305

Normally the bridge is perhaps 8 – 10 feet above water level, as can perhaps be seen in the next picture (taken December 1, 2017).

20180221_153854

It was not at all surprising that the river this week flooded the bottomland that gets covered whenever the river overflows the banks. What was unusual was the depth of the water there, greater than the typical depth of the river within the banks.

20180221_150852

In addition, most of the large wooded area from the footbridge to the southern end of the park at Schoolcraft was under water (the next picture). The entire area of the park flooded was the most extensive that I have witnessed.

20180221_151042

After a heavy rain, the Rouge River rises quickly in the park and reaches its peak within a day or less. It recedes quickly as well. The next day, February 22, it was much lower, though still over the river bank. This picture was taken about 23 hours after the one above showing the water flowing over the footbridge.

20180222_135707

It will be interesting to see how the Flood of 2018 has affected the park – the flow of the river (and the downed trees in it), the vernal pools, the spring woodland flowers that bloom in April, and the walking paths through the woods. We will see.