A good girl friend of fleurdetroit and plant enthusiast always manages to take me on the best day trips. Last week’s trip found us in Ohio at the Kitty Todd Nature Preserve. Our goal was to see the native lupines in full bloom and to catch a glimpse of the rare Karner Blue butterfly which calls these vast stands home.

The preserve is wonderful and worth the hour plus drive south from Bloomfield Hills. We were a week early for the main bloom of the lupines however, we did spot one elusive Karner Blue butterfly and saw fields of other rare and endangered native wild flowers.

The spring brings flooding to parts of the preserve that creates these marvelous waterways which countless bird species exploit (I suggest bringing a pair of Wellies). The bird watching nearly eclipses the discovery of the rare flora.  We saw many birds that I have only seen in books. With over 1000 acres of uninterrupted native habitat, Kitty Todd is a buffer from human colonization and a true treasure.

We of course were mesmerized for hours, wandering the trails and inadvertently blazing trails that were not trails. Our adventures always make us laugh.  To be in nature with a friend and see so many unusual things in such numbers was exceptional! The hike around this preserve is certainly one we will be taking this fall and, again, next Spring.

Please click thru the Kitty Todd link to get further detail on the mission and history of this magical place.

Kitty Todd Nature Preserve

As taken from the website….

“Ohio’s earliest European settlers found the sandy soils of the Oak Openings Region to be unfit for growing crops, but it didn’t take botanists long to figure out that this ‘sand country’ was unparalleled in the state for the propagation of rare and wild plants.

The 130-square-mile Oak Openings Region is a complex of oak savanna and wet prairie that developed on sand and clay deposited by glacial Lake Warren, the ancient predecessor of present day Lake Erie. The combination of porous sandy soils of the former beach ridges and an impervious clay layer beneath those soils creates an unforgiving environment that fluctuates from flooding in the spring to arid in midsummer.

The Nature Conservancy’s 1,000-acre Kitty Todd Preserve is a centerpiece of the Oak Openings Region and is a model of land management practices for the region.  The Nature Conservancy is very active in the Green Ribbon Initiative, an important regional partnership of conservation groups working together to protect the natural beauty and biological diversity of the Oak Openings region.”