I'm likely to become fairly shrill this time of year about how underutilized the well-mannered trails at Pin Oak Marsh are. For heaven's sake, folks, take a walk if you're able --- at least a short one. If needs be, you can navigate the paved trail in a wheelchair.
In a big hurry? The shortest walk is among the prettiest this time of year. Plant your vehicle in the north parking lot, near the pin oaks and the small shelter with view out over the water, and walk straight east, follow the mown path around those truly ugly abandoned floatation devices that must have seemed like a good idea several years ago and out onto the narrow spit that protrudes into the marsh pond.
It is lined with a veritable garden of fall flowers right now. Goldenrods are dominant, but there are New England Asters (top) and Heath Asters (above).
Varieties of Bonesets (below, with goldenrod in the foreground), too. and much more. The narrow inlet just south of the spit is filled with all sorts of water plants, some in discreet bloom. It's a tiny area that packs a big punch.
In just a few days now, the paved trail that winds out to the observation platform will become the sunflower walk as these mighty Maximilians burst fully into bloom.
Our well-watered summer and perhaps the fact much of this area was burned before spring growth began have inspired these somewhat weedy but gorgeous sunflowers to reach for the sky --- meeting and exceeding their supposed 9-foot maximum. It's going to be quite the show.
The streets of heaven are sometimes said to be paved with gold, but that's metaphorical. I guarantee you that the rural roads, paths and trails of Lucas County are lined with gold right now. And that's actual.