June 30, 2012
Yesterday I was talking with some folks about how tasty a daylily is. I’ve always called them tiger lilies, and last summer I learned that you can eat them so we stuffed the flowers and baked them!!
It’s important to note that these are NOT the poisonous easter lilies, and as with all wild food, know what you’re eating is of supreme importance. This article about harvesting and eating daylilies has some excellent tips and you might also enjoy dining on day lilies by Hank Shaw.
June 29, 2012
Gas prices are at an astonishing low – $2.99 at the Lambertville Kroger – and the weekend weather looks hot but amazing. It’s probably time to make a trip to one of Michigan’s great parks or beaches. While I’m guessing that most of you don’t have a sweet boat car like this, it’s a great weekend for boating too!
We interrupt this blog for a little commercial for a project that I and my co-workers have been hard at work on for the last several months. Like these grapes, it’s a long road from planting the vines to harvesting the fruit to crushing the grapes and making and bottling the wine. It all comes to fruition this Saturday June 30th from 3-10 PM at the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival.
The festival celebrates the wine, food & culture of northwest Michigan with a daylong party on the front lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City. In addition to 27 local wineries with over 150 wines, we’re bringing together 20 artists, 8 restaurants and some incredible music featuring Michigan’s own Orpheum Bell and national headliner Rusted Root! Click the link above for information
June 27, 2012
This feels like the perfect photo to feature one week from the Fourth of July!
Kevin, his son Aaron and his dog Charlie took a walk in the North Ravines on Grand River to see if they could see the eagles. As you can see, they were not disappointed! Check it out bigger and in Kevin’s awesome Birds of Prey slideshow.
More about the Bald Eagle in Michigan on Michigan in Pictures.
June 26, 2012
According to the oral stories and traditions of the Great Lakes Woodland Indians, the turtle is a powerful symbol. One legend details how the turtle’s back provided a base for the first land that was formed in the midst of the great waters. Mackinac Island takes its name from a word in the Ottawa language meaning “Great turtle”.
So begins the Michigan DNR’s Turtle page. I found it fascinating reading, and I hope you enjoy it as well.
The earliest fossil remains of turtles date back about 225 million years to the late Triassic period. For millions of years they shared the planet with the dinosaurs. Unlike the dinosaurs, turtles survived the ecological and climatic changes that caused the extinction of many forms of life. All this was accomplished with little change to their anatomy: early fossils still closely resemble today’s turtles. Soft bodies were covered by a bony shell, with an oval shaped skull and beaked mouth; however these early turtles had teeth and had not yet evolved a way of pulling their heads into their shells. Today some 260 species of turtles (including the terrestrial tortoises) are found worldwide in nearly all temperate and tropical habitats.
The protective shell is one key to the turtle’s survival. Unlike the turtles in children’s cartoons, real turtles cannot climb out of their shell: A turtle literally wears part of its skeleton on the outside of its body. A turtle’s shell is composed of two parts. The upper portion, or carapace, is formed from the flat dermal bones covered by broad scales (scutes) and is connected to the backbone and ribs. The lower shell is the plastron and includes the abdominal ribs and portions of the shoulder girdle.
The shape and weight of a turtle’s shell can provide clues to its lifestyle. Shells can be helmet shaped, like the Blanding’s and eastern box turtle shells, for better protection against predators. A further adaptation of hinges in the middle of the plastron allows these turtles to partly or fully close their shell, offering even more protection for the head and legs. Shells can also be soft and rubbery like the pan caked shaped shell of the fast swimming spiny soft shell turtle, which is covered by skin instead of hard scales. Snapping and Musk turtles have very small, cross shaped plastrons, probably adapted to facilitate walking on pond and lake bottoms. Land living turtles have heavier shells – while these shells offer extra protection from land predators, their weight makes it more difficult to move quickly. The shell of a turtle that spends most of its life in a water environment is lighter in weight and more streamlined in shape.
Read on for more. Regarding the Eastern Box Turtle, they say that its high, domed carapace is dark with a radiating pattern of yellow or orange. The plastron has a flexible hinge that allows the turtle to completely close its shell. Box turtles are Michigan’s only true land-based turtle. They prefer open woodlands and adjacent meadows, thickets, and gardens, often near shallow ponds, swamps, or streams and eat plants, berries, worms & insects and carrion.
Box turtles’ home range is less than five acres, and they routinely live for several decades, occasionally a century or more! One important note is that the turtle’s life in captivity is MUCH shorter, so please enjoy them in their natural habitat! The box turtle is uncommon to rare in southern and western Lower Peninsula and the southern & eastern UP, and they are protected by Michigan law as a special concern species.
Here’s a (pdf) map of Eastern Box Turtle occurrences and you can get some more info and photos from Wikipedia’s Box Turtle entry and also get some really great information & photos about the Eastern Box Turtle and conservation efforts from the Herping Michigan blog!
More of Michigan’s animals on Michigan in Pictures!
June 25, 2012
If duckies are your thing, view the complete Duckie collection at Michigan in Pictures.
June 23, 2012
Yesterday on Absolute Michigan I posted the disturbing news that Michigan is the 2nd fastest warming state over the last 43 years. This shot from April without the characteristic piles of ice on Superior’s shore demonstrates it pretty well.
June 22, 2012
Some days the photographers do all the work. Have a wonderful weekend folks!
The way is clear,
The light is good.
I have no fear,
Nor no one should.
The woods are just trees,
The trees are just wood.
Little Red Riding Hood from “Into the Woods”
The photo was taken in BiCentennial Park in Tipton.
June 21, 2012
June 20, 2012
I thought a cool photo would be perfect for this scorching hot summer solstice! The Summer Solstice is the yearly moment when the sun’s apparent position in the sky reaches its northernmost point. You can think about it as throwing a ball up in the air – when the ball reaches its maximum height, that’s the solstice.
In addition to being the longest day of the year, it’s also the first day of summer. It all happens today at 7:09 PM in Michigan! More about the solstice from National Geographic.