Set your backgrounds for spring

Macro Crocus

Macro Crocus, photo by MightyBoyBrian.

Brian shot this on yesterday’s toasty-warm and not very March-like Sunday and writes:

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.

Butterflies are blooming in Grand Rapids


Wingspan, photo by TerryJohnston.

…at Meijer Gardens to be precise, where Butterflies Are Blooming is:

…Meijer Gardens’ most popular annual exhibition and the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation. March 1–April 30, visitors can escape the Michigan winter and mingle with more than 6,000 tropical butterflies flying free in the 15,000-square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.

The exhibition boasts more than 40 different species from the Far East, Africa and Central America. Each week hundreds of chrysalises arrive at Meijer Gardens and are painstakingly sorted, inspected, labeled and pinned in our sealed Butterfly Bungalow. The chrysalises are then placed in a special emergence area of the Bungalow where visitors can witness through a window their magical transformation into butterflies!

Once ready to be released into the conservatory, the butterflies are placed on plants where they acclimate to the environment and gain strength before taking to the air. It’s a wonderful place for photos and just one of the opportunities for visitors to observe the butterflies up-close and personal. Throughout the tropical environment, butterflies can be viewed drinking nectar from the flowering plants and feeding stations, lighting on the odd nose or shoulder, and congregating along the stream beds, as well as in flight all around.

Here’s a little butterflies & Beethoven for you in this video! Many more great ways to get out and about in our March Event Calendar on Absolute Michigan!

Check this out bigger than a butterfly and see many more in Terry’s butterfly slideshow.

A Flower a Day for January: Cranesbill


Cranesbill, photo by joeldinda.

Because we need flowers in January.
~Joel Dinda

One of my favorite things about Michigan in Pictures is that sometimes I learn things that I really am not intending to learn. Such is the case today when I picked my favorite of Joel’s photos to highlight this year’s edition of his perennial feature, A Flower a Day for January. Joel started this in January of 2006, and every day he posts another flower to his flickr photostream.

The Wikipedia entry for Geranium sanguineum explains that it’s the county flower of Northumberland, commonly called Bloody Cranesbill or Bloody Geranium. The Geranium entry says that the genus name is derived from the Greek géranos meaning crane) and has a note:

The genus name is derived from the Greek γέρανος, géranos (meaning crane). The English name “cranesbill” derives from the appearance of the fruit capsule of some of the species. Species in the Geranium genus have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal. This consists of a beak-like column which springs open when ripe and casts the seeds some distance. The fruit capsule consists of five cells each containing one seed, joined to a column produced from the centre of the old flower. The common name cranesbill comes from the shape of the un-sprung column, which in some species is long and looks like the bill of a crane. Many species in this genus do not have a long beak-like column.

…Confusingly, “geranium” is also the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium (commonly known as ‘storksbill’ in distinction from ‘cranesbill’), which are also in the Geraniaceae family. Linnaeus (Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus) originally included all the species in one genus, Geranium, but they were later separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789.

Check this out background bigtacular and in Joel’s 137 photo and growing A Flower a Day for January (x5) slideshow.

Garden Pumpkin via the Great Wall

Garden Pumpkin 1, photo by Marianne Priest

Absolute Michigan has a pumpkinpalooza going today – check it out!

Marianne took this shot using a Great Wall df2 camera using tri X/hc110 film. Another friend of the blog, Mark O’Brien, has details on The Great Wall camera on his blog.

You can see more shots that Marianne has taken with this camera in her amazing Great Wall DF2 gallery.