Winter Walk in the Altona Forest: December 2022

I drove out to the Rouge Hills area hoping that the Twyn Ridges parking lot, which has been closed for months, might now be open. It isn’t. Plus the entrances to some of the trails have been fenced off. The lot is closed to vehicles and pedestrians to accommodate work to improve access and public safety which includes construction of two new pedestrian bridges over the Little Rouge River.

I continued on and had a walk in the nearby Altona Forest.

evidence of beaver
Pileated Woodpecker drilling

Some botany:

Spinulose Wood Fern
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Virgin’s-bower (Clematis virginiana)
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)
Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
White Pine bark detail
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
White Pine (Pinus strobus)
White Pine sap


Hi Miles,

A very smart young (40s) friend of mine works for Google and is working on the project linked below.

She and her husband (both engineers) have worked at Google for over a decade in Palo Alto.  They’ve now moved back to France.  

Separating Birdsong in the Wild for Classification – Google AI Blog (


Our seasons have no fixed returns,
Without our will they come and go;
At noon our sudden summer burns,
Ere sunset all is snow.                        – James Russell Lowell (1819–91)

Miles Hearn

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