In Honor of the Vernal Equinox, photo by Cherie
SORRY FOLKS – STILL GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS! THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO POST YESTERDAY, SO I GUESS WE HAVE A 2 FOR 1 SALE GOING ON!!
The vernal equinox heralding the start of Spring happened at 11:50 PM Thursday night. EarthSky editor Deborah Byrd’s article on the vernal equinox has a ton of great information, video, and illustrations and explains:
…there’s nothing official about it, it’s traditional to say the upcoming March or vernal equinox signals the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This equinox does provide a hallmark for the sun’s motion in our sky, marking that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north … At the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally. Night and day are approximately equal in length. The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).
Read on for more including how you can mark due east and west from any location on the equinox!
You can see lots more from Cherie in her Flora & Foliage set on Flickr & see tons & bunches more flowers on Michigan in Pictures! Happy Spring everyone!
Around the Bend, photo by Daniel E. Johnson
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the number of Michigan honey bee colonies is on the rise:
The number of honey bee colonies in Michigan rose about 16 percent over the last year. About 25,000 colonies existed at the beginning of 2016 in a census of operations with five or more colonies, according to the National Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The comparable number on Jan. 1, 2017, was 29,000 colonies.
Varroa mites were the primary stressor of Michigan colonies over the last five quarters. They affected only 5.9 percent of the state’s bee colonies in the first quarter of 2016, but 64.1 percent of colonies in the third quarter of 2016. The Varroa mite is an external parasite that attaches to bees and weakens them.
The total number of bee colonies in the U.S. sank slightly during 2016, but held relatively steady at about 2.62 million colonies.
Colony Collapse Disorder symptoms were observed in more than 84,000 bee colonies in the U.S. from January through March 2017, a 27% increase from the same quarter of 2016.
View Daniel’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.
Spoon flower, photo by Bailwick Studios
The photographer writes that this flower might also be called a spooned daisy, African daisy, or a caped daisy.
View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Bailwick Studious slideshow.
More flowers on Michigan in Pictures!
Snowdrops and a Bee, photo by Trish P.
Trish took this Saturday on the Leelanau Peninsula. View the photo bigger, see more of the same in Trish’s In the Garden slideshow, and follow her at trishy_p on Instagram!
More flowers and more from the garden on Michigan in Pictures.
Lilacs on Mackinac Island, photo by Steven Blair
While lilacs are starting to wind down around the state, they’re just getting going on Mackinac Island. The annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival started last weekend and continues through Sunday, June 15th. Here’s a few tips courtesy the Lilac Festival and Jeff Young, Lilac Curator at the University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center, Master Gardener and presenter of the “Walk and Talk with Lilacs” program during the Lilac Festival.
- Common Lilacs need to have 9-12 canes for each 6 feet
- Leave at least 2 feet between mature Lilacs.
- Plant new shrubs 16 feet apart (circular shape)
- Allow for a few more canes if you are planting as a hedge with less depth.
- If you have too many canes, consider the oldest canes for removal first, leaving good spacing between canes.
- If not enough canes, pick one or two of the best suckers each year until there are enough.
- Once the Lilac is established, consider adding one new cane and removing the oldest cane each year to create a vigorous, healthy full flowering plant.
More at the Lilac Festival website.
View Steven’s photo background bigilicious on Facebook and see more at the Artistic Mackinac Gallery & Studio.
More lilacs and more summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!
Spring Showers on Spring Flowers, photo by David Marvin
View David’s photo background big and see more rainy, tulipy, irisy goodness in his slideshow.
More Spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
Untitled, photo by Donald Anson
By “Good Old Days” I mean April 2011.
View Donald’s photo background big and see more in his awesome Flowers slideshow.
For the flower-deprived, there’s lots more flowers and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures too!
FARMERS MARKET Nov 2012-963, photo by RichardDemingPhotography
The story of Thanksgiving is one of our country’s oldest and best stories. At the heart of it is the sharing of the rich and diverse bounty of the land.
Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state, and here’s hoping that some of Michigan’s varied fruits, vegetables, meat and other local and tasty foods will make it to your table today and throughout the holiday season.
See this bigger and in Richard’s massive Farmer’s Markets 2012 slideshow.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
More Thanksgiving on Michigan in Pictures.
Detail, photo by corinne.schwarz
Corinne took this photo at Hidden Lake Gardens, a property just west of Tecumseh (map) that was donated to Michigan State University (then Michigan State College) in 1945 by Harry A. Fee, an Adrian businessman. They explain that:
He had always dreamed of owning a lake, and, upon his retirement in 1926, he purchased Hidden Lake along with 200 acres of land surrounding it. He repaired and refurbished the old farmhouse, built a greenhouse, and began farming. He soon realized that the land was not suitable to conventional farming or raising livestock and so he began to grow nursery stock. Not wanting to compete with local nurseries during the depression he planted the stock on his own land in an effort to create a “series of pictures,” a philosophy that we continue to strive for today. Mr. Fee described Hidden Lake Gardens as a “dream as you go development”…
“When the idea that I was making a series of beautiful scenic pictures available to the Public and just when I decided to dedicate the Gardens to public service I do not remember …. all subsequent work has been and should be continued with the prime object of its being for the Benefit of the Public…” Mr. Fee donated Hidden Lake Gardens to Michigan State University (then Michigan State College) in 1945 and his wish that the Gardens be for the benefit and education of the public has continued through the years. He was actively involved in decision making at the Gardens until his death in 1955.
With his generous endowment under the direction of MSU’s Horticulture Department, the Division of Campus Parks and Planning and presently Land Management, the Gardens has continued to develop with land acquisitions, construction of buildings, and the establishment of educational programs. The original 200 acres have grown to 755 acres! This includes a 120 acre arboretum that was begun in 1962 and consists of plant groups such as crabapples, lilacs, maples, evergreens, and shrubs.
Garden highlights include an extensive arboretum, a collection of dwarf trees and rare conifers, a Bonsai courtyard and a Conservatory featuring three distinct climates. They host weddings & events as well.
Check this out background big and see more in Corinne’s Hidden Lake Gardens slideshow and more of her photography on her Facebook page.
Macro Crocus, photo by MightyBoyBrian.
Go ahead, set your background. I declare that it’s spring. The flowers think so and I do too.
I was slithering around on the ground with my new macro lens (EF format vs EF-S with canon full-frame) to get up in close with this patch of crocuses.
Here’s a tip: instead of a typical green or brown backgound, position yourself so that other flowers are in the background of the scene giving their color to the awesomeness.
Good advice, Brian, and with highs predicted for Wednesday in the SEVENTIES around Michigan, you might need to find us a strawberry so we can go directly to summer…
Check his photo out background big or settle back for his bokeh slideshow.