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!
Bill took this shot yesterday at Celery Flats Park in Portage where it got down into the teens the night before.
More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
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!!
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.