Foxy Friday

May 15, 2015

Fox Crossing

Fox Crossing, photo by Mark Miller

What an incredible catch by Mark!

View his photo bigger and see more of this little lady in his slideshow.

PS: More about red fox in Michigan from Michigan in Pictures.

Tranquility at Pictured Rocks

Tranquility, photo by Michigan Nut Photography

John McCormick aka Michigan Nut shared this gorgeous shot from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore showing Lake Superior at its calmest.

View John’s photo bigger on Facebook, view & purchase photos at michigannutphotography.com and definitely follow him on Facebook for many more photos of the Great Lakes State.

PS: John’s Pictured Rocks gallery will knock your socks off!

Old Mission Orchard

Old Mission Orchard, photo by Heather Higham

The cherry blossoms are out on northwest Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula. A little over 100 years ago, this annual occurrence gave birth to Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival. The Cherry Festival’s history page shares that sometime around 1910, cherry growers in the Grand Traverse area began to hold informal “blessing of the blossoms” ceremonies each year at blossom time in May. The TC Record-Eagle picks up the story:

Something had to be done to attract tourists to the Grand Traverse area, local resident and community leader Jay P. Smith declared in 1925.

Henry Ford had introduced a new automobile that allowed people to travel long distances with ease, and Hannah, Lay & Co. spurred a growing business atmosphere here, but tourism still lagged. So Smith created the Blessing of the Blossoms festival.

For one day in May area residents and visitors traveled out to the Old Mission Peninsula to view fields of cherry blossoms from the vantage point of two towers, then flocked to a downtown parade that moved east on Front Street from Elmwood Avenue to Railroad Avenue.

“This was kind of a big deal,” said Gary Kaberle, a former National Cherry Festival president. “People really liked this.”

But Smith and his committee quickly realized that a May festival meant children weren’t out of school and tourists were less likely to have time off work, so they moved the festival to July to coincide with the cherry harvest.

You can read on for more about the evolution of the Cherry Festival and if you want to attend, the dates are July 4-11, 2015 and you can get all the details at cherryfestival.org.

Heather writes that she was looking into an orchard from the edges, surrounded by flowers and bees when she took this picture. View her photo bigger on Flickr, see more in her Old Mission Peninsula slideshow and definitely follow her at Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook.

PS: If you want to learn about the early days of the Old Mission Peninsula, check out Rev. Peter Dougherty House on Old Mission having one heck of a yard sale from May 2007 on Michigan in Pictures.

Perched Robin

May 12, 2015

Perched Robin

Perched Robin, photo by matt.swope

Top of the morning to you from Michigan’s state bird, the American robin!

View Matt’s photo background big and see more in his Northern Michigan slideshow.

More Michigan birds and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Heron & Beaver

Heron & Beaver, photo by Corinne Schwarz

Here’s a cool photo from May of 20111 that I never featured for some reason. That reason might have been so I could link to this article from the Birdwatchers General Store in Cape Cod about the symbiotic relationship between beavers & blue herons. It says in part:

It is thought that the Bay State’s famed naturalist, Henry David Thoreau, never saw a Great Blue Heron nest in Massachusetts. Why? It’s partly because there were no beavers living in MA during Hank’s lifetime. Way back in the 1700s, unregulated cutting eliminated the trees beavers needed for survival.

…Today, beavers are once again thriving in MA. That’s not only great news for anyone who enjoys seeing beavers, but it’s great news for Great Blue Herons as well.

I think we all know how beavers operate. They find a secluded stream, cut down a few trees and dam it up. The area behind the dam becomes flooded and turns into a beaver pond. Why do beavers need to go through all the work to build their very own pond? The beavers create a pond so they can have underwater access to their lodge, even when everything is frozen in the winter. However, the newly built pond often entraps large trees, which eventually drown and die. Dead trees growing out of the center of a pond may look eerie to us, but they are magnets to herons. The dead trees provide excellent platforms for the birds to build their nests on. In addition, the water prevents terrestrial predators from munching on the eggs and babies. Between the swampy setting, the dead trees, the bulky stick nests and the gangly herons, the whole scene looks a Gothic nursery, but the birds love it.

Read on for lots more, and for more about these two species, see Know Your Michigan Birds: Great Blue Heron and Castor canadensis, the American beaver on Michigan in Pictures.

View Corrine’s photo background bigtacular and see more in her Water Wheel slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Mother and her ducklings

Mother and her ducklings, photo by Brent Looyenga

A very happy Mother’s Day to all the hardworking Michigan mommas out there!

View Brent’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Misc slideshow.

PS: I guess this qualifies as another entry in the ever-expanding Michigan in Pictures Duckie Project.

Finally Morels in Michigan

Finally, photo by Julie

Reports of morels are coming in from all across the state. They’ll be celebrating our delicious woodland friends this weekend (May 8-10) at the Mesick Mushroom Festival and next weekend (May 14-17) at the National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City.

If you’re looking for Michigan morel photos and features, click that link for a ton from Michigan in Pictures. Happy hunting!!

Julie says these plus a few others will make a great topping for a ribeye! View the photo bigger and see more in her Spring/Summer slideshow.

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