Although I’ve made the trip dozens of times before, I always see something new at The Seven Bridges Natural Area in Kalkaska county. During a particularly overcast July 1, I thought I’d get out of the house and explore the trails that cut over and around the Rapid River and several of its tributaries.
The ugly weather kept away the sane visitors, so of course I was alone. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by a nervous mink hopping toward me on a wooden bridge. My camera was powered on but was unfortunately set with a long shutter duration for taking pictures of the river’s rapids.
I managed to take a blurry picture of the little beast before he scampered under a root along the river. I wished I could have reset the exposure on my camera before taking the picture, but he was just too fast and I needed to snap the picture while I had the chance.
The park is truly a treasure, with water bubbling up from every corner feeding absolutely ancient cedars and tamaracks. Cedars and river birch stand on tall gnarled roots along the river’s edge. A small waterfall cascades downward from a small stream to join the river. The sounds of rushing water come from all directions, providing a most relaxing environment. Professional photographers spend hours taking pictures of the wildflowers, mosses, and wildlife.
The Seven Bridges Natural Area is just a few minutes from the Alden home, and worth every minute spent there.