Ode to Spring … and Michigan Spring Wallpaper!

Ode to Spring, photo by Sue Fraser

Suddenly there’s no more snowing,
Balmy breezes blithely blowing,
Lilacs bloom, the lawn needs mowing–
Oh, what glee!
-Robert G. Shubinski (full poem)

Spring isn’t quite this far advanced, but if you want to add to the amount of spring in your life,take a walk through the spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures – lots of great pics in here!

You can see this photo background bigtacular and see lots more in Sue’s Fantastic Flowers slideshow.

Michigan Tough: Daffodil Edition

Hopefully the daffodils are tougher than I am, photo by Bill Dolak

Bill took this shot yesterday at Celery Flats Park in Portage where it got down into the teens the night before.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in his Portage, Michigan slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

January 5th with Joel

lilies-by-joel

Lilies, photo by Joel Dinda

This morning I got a note from one of Michigan in Pictures’s longtime contributors, Joel Dinda letting me know that I had coincidentally featured his photos twice on previous January 5ths. The other two were Rotten Apples: 2014 Detroit Lions Playoff Edition detailing the Lions’ loss to Dallas after the pass interference call that was and then wasn’t and a look at the Ruins of the the Old Cheboygan Point Lighthouse in 2013.

The third time is the charm they say, so here’s one that Joel shared way back in January of 2006 (taken summer of 2005) as part of his “Flower a Day” series. I think he started doing them in January and then realized somewhere along the way that as bad as Michigan winter in January can be, Februarys are worse!!

View Joel’s photo background big, see more in his  in his Flower a Day for February (x9) slideshow, and check out photos from Joel dating back a decade on Michigan in Pictures!

Bringing the Busy Bee back to Michigan

the-busy-couple-of-bees

The busy couple, photo by Jiafan (John) Xu

John writes that this photo was taken at a small pond with pink lotus and some other water plants at the Michigan State University farm in Novi, Michigan. That segues nicely to this Greening of the Great Lakes interview with Dr. Rufus Isaacs, bee researcher and professor in the Department of Entomology at MSU about what we can do to make our farms and gardens better for bees.

He (Dr. Isaacs) believes the use of pesticides, disease and reduced natural habitat from the development of land for residential and agricultural purposes have made it difficult for the over 400 different bee species native to Michigan to survive and pollinate.

Among other things, Isaacs and his colleagues hope to expand spaces for wild bees to thrive close to farmland. His strategy to improve pollination sustainability involves luring wild bees to farms so producers don’t have to rent commercial honey bees. By planting wildflowers and using bee-safe pesticides, farmers can become less dependent on high-cost and out-of-state honey bees to pollinate their crops.

“We’re supporting those bees with pollen, nectar and a place to nest, “ he says. “That’s boosting those wild bee numbers to help honey bees when it’s bloom time in the Spring.”

Similar procedures can also be done on a smaller scale to increase pollination and mitigate bee decline. Isaacs explains that home gardeners can look to resources like MSU’s Smart Gardening program to attract pollinators to their fruit and vegetable plantings.

Click through to listen!

View Jiafan’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Looking Through to Another Time

Looking Through to Another Time

looking through to another time, photo by Anna Newhouse

View Anna’s photo background bigtacular and see more in her My 365 Photo Challenge slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Sunflower Saturday

Sunflowers

Sunflowers, photo by Sharon

Sharon caught these beautiful sunflowers at the Petoskey Farmer’s Market. View the photo background bigilicious and see more in her Michigan slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Flower Friday: Yellow Lady’s Slippers

Yikes! I got the link for the Michigan Wildflowers database wrong!

Yellow Slippers

Yellow Lady’s Slippers, photo by Rick Lanting

While I was gathering info for today’s post I came across a really cool resource! MichiganWildflowers.com michwildflowers.com is an online photo database of Michigan’s wildflowers curated by Charles and Diane Peirce that lists 545 Michigan wildflowers and lets you (very quickly) click among them. With multiple photos for each wildflower, it’s pretty darn useful.

The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center says that the Yellow Lady’s-slipper Orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum):

…is easily distinguished from others by its large yellow lip, or slipper. It grows up to 2 feet tall and has large, strongly veined leaves 6–8 inches long and half as wide. It has a flower, sometimes 2, at the end of the stem, cream-colored to golden-yellow. Flowers have 3 sepals, greenish-yellow to brownish-purple, the upper sepal larger, usually erect, and hanging over the blossom.

Rick took this photo last weekend at Mill Creek State Park using the Hipstamatic app. View it bigger and see more in his Michigan wildflowers slideshow.