Michigan Groundhog
Young Groundhog, photo by John E Heintz Jr

Happy Groundhog Day everyone! We’re hoping that folks in the southern part of the state are digging out all right!

Michigan has native groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, whistle-pigs, or land-beavers. You can learn all about them from the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web under Marmota monax (woodchuck) which says (in part):

Woodchucks have numerous common names, including ground hog, and whistle pig. The word “woodchuck” is a misinterpretation of their Native American name “wuchak”, which roughly translates as “the digger”. Groundhog Day occurs when Punxsutawney Phil, a captive woodchuck held in rural Pennsylvania, is awakened from hibernation in order to determine if he will see his shadow. According to the legend, if he sees his shadow there will be 6 additional weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, legend predicts an early spring.

The legend of Groundhog Day is likely due to the fact that woodchucks often re-enter hibernation after emerging from their dens prematurely.

We all know about Punxsutawney Phil, but have you heard of Michigan’s Official Groundhog? Her name is Woody, and she lives at the Howell Conference & Nature Center and unfortunately is battling a severe respiratory infection so her alternate Murray will stand in if she’s unable to perform her official duties at 8:15 today.

Woody correctly forecast six more weeks of winter weather on February 2, 2014, much to the chagrin of close to two hundred shivering attendees of that Sunday morning’s Groundhog Day festivities.

Last year’s prognostication, her sixteenth, was made crystal clear by her outright refusal to even leave her home. With temperatures at the Nature Center hovering in the low 20′s and several inches of snow on the ground, the clairvoyant chuck’s behavior was interpreted as just another sign of her wisdom.

Read on for more.

View John’s photo bigger and see lots more backyard wildlife in his ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHY slideshow.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, photo by Spring Disney

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping for health & happiness for all of you, but also a mistake or two as the incomparable Mr. Gaiman prescribes.

Spring Disney shared this photo from Elizabeth Park in Trenton for the 2011 New Year. View it bigger on Flickr and see more (including some absolutely stunning owl photos) in her My Favorites slideshow.

More bridges and more New Year on Michigan in Pictures.

Over the River…

November 25, 2014

Wintry Seven Bridges

Wintry Seven Bridges, photo by Heather Higham

AAA Michigan reports that about 1.5 million Michiganders are heading over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is that gas prices are the lowest since 2009 – down 40 cents from last year. The bad news is another weather system that’s dropping freezing rain & snow, closing schools and

View Heather’s photo bigger and see more in her Rivers slideshow. She took the photo at the Seven Bridges Natural Area near Kalkaska.

There’s more rivers and more bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

Veterans Day Salute

November 10, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day, photo by SashaW

Sasha captured this special moment during a Veterans Day event at Davenport University in Grand Rapids. View it background big and see more in her slideshow.

Happy Halloween 2014!

October 31, 2014

Rochester Hills Stonewall Pumpkin Festival @ Van Hoosen Farm

Rochester Hills Stonewall Pumpkin Festival @ Van Hoosen Farm, photo by Mike

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
~Author Unknown

I’d like to wish all of you a happy & safe Halloween. Watch out for those little ghosts & goblins as you’re out and about, and here’s hoping that you get to feel some of the magic of pretend tonight!

View Mike’s photo bigger and see more in his Rochester Hills Stonewall Pumpkin Festival 2014 slideshow. Also be sure to follow Mike at StormchaserMike Photography on Facebook!

More Halloween through the years from Michigan in Pictures.

 

Odawa Indian Boy

Odawa Indian Boy, photo by Sharon

Michigan Indian Day was established as the 4th Friday in September by the State of Michigan in 1974.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians & Kenny Pheasant, Director of their Anishinaabemowin Program created a cool site to help people learn Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe nation. The history page begins:

In the beginning, Gizhemanidoo created the universe as we know it today. He created Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky. And on the earth he created all things, living and nonliving. He created life in the earth, on the earth, in the sky and in the water. He created the plants, rivers, four-legged and winged creatures, and the swimmers. After this was done, he created one of the greatest mysteries of all – the four seasons – to bring harmony and balance to all.

After all creation was complete, he created man. After he created the first Anishinaabe, he came to him in a dream and instructed him that he was to name all things in the language that he gave him, Anishinaabemowin. So the first man went about on his journey and named all things he saw – all the animals, insects, birds and fish – however long this took. Afterward, he spoke to the Creator Gizhemanidoo in his dream and said, “I have finished what you have told me to do.” Then the Creator Gizhemanidoo spoke back to him and said, “Yes, you have indeed done so, and now it is time for me to give you your name. Your name shall be Nanabozho, and whenever your people meet and greet one another, they will say a part of your name. That is why whenever the Anishinaabe people greet one another, they say the word Bozhoo.

Our creation story tells us that we originally migrated to the Great Lakes region from the East Coast. There are many settlements of our original homes that still exist to this day, like Manitoulin Island, the Island of the Great Spirit.

We have always been a nation, and we knew one another as the Anishinaabek. It was not until the French and European settlers arrived on this part of the continent that we became known as the tribes now called Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodwe’aadamiinh.

Read on for more.

Sharon took this at the 2014 Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow in Harbor Springs. View it bigger and see more in her slideshow.

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

 

 

Yikes! I accidentally re-blogged a photo by Dave so I switched it out for the one below…

OPEN ARMS

OPEN ARMS, photo Dave Trapp

The annual Mackinac Bridge Walk has been held every year on Labor Day since the Bridge opened in 1957, which means the Bridge Walk is celebrating its 57th anniversary. Just 68 people took that first 5 mile walk across the Mighty Mac, but since the Governor began leading the walk, it averages 40,000 to 65,000 attendees.

Follow along for photos and updates at the Mackinac Bridge Facebook page and also jump on the Mackinac Bridge Cam for a live view!

View Dave’s photo bigger and see more shots from his walk in 2010 in his slideshow.

Lots more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

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