Fox Kit Friday

Fox Kit, photo by David Marvin

Spring is also baby animal season in Michigan, so here’s a little about baby foxes and what to do if you encounter one from Friends of Wildlife in Ann Arbor:

There are two species of fox in Michigan, the Red and the Gray. The Red prefer meadow areas and the Gray favor woods.

As with most wildlife, the kits are born in early spring. The vixen (female fox) chooses a hollow log, an empty woodchuck hole or a roadside culvert for the nursery. This nest site provides her young protection from predators, especially coyotes. The male fox helps with the rearing by bringing the vixen food while she nurses their young and keeps the kits warm. Then later in the kits development both parents teach them how to forage for food.

The foxes diet consists mainly of small rodents, moles and bugs. The benefits that foxes afford farmland, orchards and the general public is their consumption of these invasive pests. It is an absolute miss conception that fox eat cats, dogs or small children.They are very curious creatures but avoid contact with domestic animals and humans.

When fox kits are first born, their eyes and ears are closed, they remain secluded in their den with their mother. As they develop, at about one month, they start venturing out to play, attacking twigs, leaves and their siblings, but never far from the protection of the den.

If you do find an infant fox, please contact them for further instructions and see their website for information about other species!

View the photo background bigtacular and see more including some shots of these kiddos walking around in David’s slideshow.

PS: David has a video too. He writes: “Please note that the video was taken from quiet a distance away with a high power lens so as to avoid as much human contact with the kits.”

Shipping Season: The Saginaw at Mission Point

Saginaw at Mission Point, photo by Krystal Kauffman

Capistrano has their swallows, but a sure sign of Spring in Michigan is when the freighters return to the Great Lakes. One of the best places for shipwatching is right where Krystal took this photo: Mission Point at the mouth of the North Channel near the Soo Locks.

View the photo bigger and follow My Michigan by Krystal on Facebook for more.

Mackinac Bridge CLOSED 5 1/2 Hours on Labor Day!

2013 Mackinac Bridge Walk & Run, photo by Michigan Fitness Foundation

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Mackinac Bridge Authority voted unanimously yesterday to close the bridge to all traffic during the annual Labor Day bridge walk this year:

The bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to noon to all traffic, leaving an estimated 4,000 drivers stranded on either side of the bridge on one of the busiest traffic days of the year.

The action was taken at the request of the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are responding to threats posed by terrorists using vehicles to plow into crowds to inflict the most possible damage.

…Between 30,000 and 60,000 people participate in the annual 5-mile walk across the Mackinac Bridge that connects the state’s Upper and Lower Peninsula. Typically, the northbound lanes remain open during the bridge walk and an estimated 9,000 vehicles use the bridge during that time, Baker said.

Read on for more.

View the photo background big and see more in their massive 2013 Mackinac Bridge Run slideshow.

Tons more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Turtles don’t care about personal space

Apparently turtles have no concept of “my personal space”, photo by Dale Devries

Regular readers are aware that World Turtle Day is a big favorite of mine. It takes place a week from today on Tuesday, May 23rd, and I’m extra excited for this year as I will post the 10th and final turtle on my list of the ten turtles native to Michigan! Be sure to tune in and definitely consider supporting American Tortoise Rescue and their World Turtle Day!

I tried to find a definitive answer as to why turtles “stack” like this. It appears to be a way for littler turtles to get more sun, but I’m curious if anyone has a definitive answer.

About the photo Dale writes:

I took an old section of dock and made a ramp up to it just above the waterline, and the turtles have voiced their approval! I have no idea why we have so many turtles here, but it must mean the lake is healthy!

View the photo background big and see more in Dale’s The Best of West Lake slideshow.

Learn a traditional skill at the Crosshatch Skill Swap

The not so elusive Sourdough loaves, photo by Dan Bruell

Hey folks, let me tell you about a cool thing that I’m involved with, the second annual Crosshatch Skill Swap at Earthwork Farm on Saturday, June 3rd. It’s a full day of hands-on workshops, followed by a dinner and live music. It takes place at Earthwork Farm near Lake City and offers 16 workshops in four areas:

  • The Green World – wayfinding & orienteering, seed saving, beekeeping, and an herb walk
  • Real Home Ec – farmer cheese, Kombucha, making mead, and bread baking
  • Tinkering – bike repair, tailoring, spoon carving, and a topic to be named later
  • Art – songwriting, singing harmony, using natural dies, and screenprinting

After the dinner, there are FOUR musical treats. The first is a waltz hour featuring amazing string players with knowledgeable waltzers to help you learn a bonus skill – waltzing followed by a concert in the barn host Seth Bernard, Gifts or Creatures, and Heavy Color. Camping is included if you so desire, and there’s a video below with my friend Brad outlining the day. Click for tickets and more information!

View the photo background big and see more in Dan’s Foods slideshow.

Treat your momma right!

Happy Mother’s Day, photo by Jim Sisko

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Michigan moms! I appreciate how hard you work every day doing the toughest job that I know of. Here’s hoping that everyone takes some time this weekend for the mothers in their lives.

Jim shared this several years ago and wrote:

This is my wife Margie (AKA Mom to our daughter and Grandma to our two granddaughters) looking out at Lake Superior from the beach of her favorite place in the world, Little Girl’s Point. Margie is the best person I have ever known, and i’m eternally grateful that she chose me to spend her life with. My Mother has been gone almost 25 years now and I still think about her every day, but especially on this day.

View the photo bigger and see more in Jim’s Random 19 slideshow.

Blue Skies & Blossoms in Michigan

Blue Skies, Blossoms & Bokeh, photo by Andrew McFarlane

Cherry blossoms, along with apple & other fruit tree blooms are out across Michigan. If you’re near a fruit growing region, take a drive and see what’s to be seen!

I definitely miss my Olympus dSLR. View the photo background bigilicious and see more in my Cherry Blossoms slideshow.

PS: Here’s a little Facebook Live video I did this week with Nikki Rothwell, head of MSU’s Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station about cherries, blossoms, and the work of the Station. I can’t seem to size the video here so you might want to click to view it on the Leelanau.com Facebook.