Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Redbud

Redbud, photo by Stephen Thompson

The magenta flash of Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is one of my favorite sights in springtime. I used to think it was an exotic tree, but as Rick Meader of the Ann Arbor News shares, Redbud trees are native to southern Michigan:

…as a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae) it’s a cousin to the previous pod-producers we’ve learned about, Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) and Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioica). Let’s learn more about this colorful little native.

As mentioned before, Eastern redbud is native to southern Michigan, occurring naturally up to a line across the lower peninsula from Kent County to Genesee County. Nationally, it occurs naturally in an area extending from Maryland and the Carolinas west to eastern Kansas through Texas, including all of the southern states and northern Florida. Of course, because it’s a pretty little thing, it has been planted in areas beyond its native range.

If you want to use it in your landscape, it is fairly flexible in terms of where it will grow. It naturally occurs in rich soil along stream and river banks but is tolerant of a wider range of conditions. It likes sun or partial shade and can do well in most soils except waterlogged soils and dry, sandy soils.

Read on for more.

View Stephen’s photo bigger and jump into his slideshow for more great pics!

Sunshine, blue sky & lilacs for Michigan moms!

Buds On Blue

Walking on Sunshine, photo by Sue Fraser

Sue shared this with wishes of “blue skies & sunshine” back in 2007, and I’d like to join her in wishing all of Michigan’s marvelous moms a very Happy Mothers Day!

View Sue’s photo bigger and see more in her slideshow.

PS: To all you moms not of Michigan, a Happy Mother’s Day to you as well! ;)

Beautiful Blossoms

Cherry Orchard Aisles & Blossoms

Cherry Orchard Aisles & Blossoms, photo by Jess Clifton

mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa writes that the upcoming weather is looking normal, which is also fantastic for an extended time period of blooming here in Michigan:

Tulip Time runs from Saturday, May 7, to May 14 in downtown Holland. The Traverse City area cherry blossoms are also about to erupt with color.

Cool nights and near normal temperature days are just what we want for a long display of color from these two spring performers.

Gwen Auwerda, Executive Director of Tulip Time in Holland, MI says tulip blossoms can last up to 21 days if high heat is avoided. Auwerda says most of the tulips in Holland, MI are at peak right now, with some of the late bloomers expected to peak next week.

The cooler weather has slowed down the cherry blossoms in northwest Lower Michigan. Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension educator, says now the cherries are right on track to blossom at the typical time.

Rothwell says sweet cherries are only days away from blooming, with peak bloom in northwest Lower Michigan possibly on Mother’s Day. Tart cherries, which make up most of northwest Lower Michigan’s cherry crop, should start blooming May 11 or May 12, and peak around May 14.

Jess took this back in May of 2014 near Traverse City. View it background bigilicious, enjoy her Mother Nature in Michigan slideshow, and check out more of her work at jesscliftonphotography.com.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Time for Tulip Time

Yellow Tulips

Yellow Tulips, photo by E. Benson

Holland’s annual Tulip Time festival returns May 7-14, 2016. They have 4.5 MILLION tulips in Holland and are reporting about 30% of tulip bloom right now – just about perfect. Stay tuned through their Tulip Tracker.

Here’s a cool video showing how they plant Windmill Island with 55,000 tulips in a matter of hours.

E took this at Tulip Time in 2009. View her photo background bigilicious and see more in her Tulip Time Festival 5/2009 slideshow.

More tulips and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Paging Spring

Crocus bokeh

Untitled, photo by Brooke Pennington

Come on Spring, we know you’re out there.

View the photo bigger, view & purchase photos at brookepennington.com, and definitely check out more in Brooke’s slideshow.

Take a look around at Wagner Falls

So embarassing! I didn’t hit “Publish” this morning!!

Wagner Falls with Marsh Marigolds

Wagner Falls (n2c_112-2256), photo by Gowtham

I am totally ignoring the Snowy Unpleasantness outside my window this morning.

The State of Michigan’s page on Wagner Falls Scenic Site near Munising has a map and also lets you take a 360-degree look around with Google Trekker.

This scenic waterfall is nestled amongst virgin pine and hemlock trees. There is a small parking area and a half-mile trail with an observation deck overlooking the falls.

Gowtham adds:

Yet another can’t miss it thing in an area that’s filled with can’t miss it things, Wagner Falls lends itself to a very easy and short hike through the woods. While the picturesque falls take the cake, plethora of wild flowers along and off the trails (through Spring, Summer and may be even Fall; e.g., Gay Wings, Trout Lily) are an added bonus!

View his photo background big and see more in his slideshow.

PS: I’m pretty sure the flowers in the foreground of this May 2012 shot are marsh marigolds.

A big smooch for Spring!

Spring Smooches

Kisses…, photo by Julie

All signs are pointing to Spring arriving in Michigan!

View Julie’s photo bigger and see more in her Wildlife slideshow.