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!
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.
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.
Yikes! I got the link for the Michigan Wildflowers database wrong!
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.
Dwarf Lake Iris, photo by Mark Swanson
The Michigan DNR relates that Michigan’s state wildflower, the Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris lacustris): grows nowhere else but in the Great Lakes region, and most within Michigan’s boundaries:
In Michigan, Dwarf Lake Iris is especially concentrated along certain stretches of the northern Great Lakes shoreline, where it may occur for miles, interrupted only by habitat destruction, degradation, or unsuitable habitat such as rocky points or marshy bays.
Dwarf Lake Iris usually occurs close to the Great Lakes shores on sand or in thin soil over limestone rich gravel or bedrock. It tolerates full sun to near complete shade, but flowers mostly in semi open habitats. These areas can be very long and narrow strips bordering the high water line, or large flat expanses located behind the open dunes of the Great Lakes shoreline. Many iris locations are on old beach ridges of former shores of the Great Lakes. Fluctuating water levels of the Great Lakes play a vital role in opening up new habitat for Dwarf Lake Iris. During high water years, trees and shrubs along the shoreline may be flooded out. This flooding may open up patches within the forest where the Dwarf Lake Iris may spread. It is usually found growing under White Cedar, although White Spruce, Balsam Fir, and Aspen are also frequently present.
…”Lacustris” translates literally to mean “of lakes” and refers to where this beautiful iris grows. Dwarf Lake Iris was first found on Mackinac Island in 1810 by Thomas Nuttall, a renowned naturalist and explorer. Nuttall reached Mackinac Island after travelling from Detroit by canoe with French Canadian voyagers and the surveyor for the Michigan Territory. At least 1/3 of the species that Nuttall reported from the Great Lakes were new to science.
Read on for much more.
Mark took this along the hiking trail in Riverview Park in St. Joseph. View it bigger and see more in his Michigan – Color slideshow.
More Michigan flowers on Michigan in Pictures.
Walking on Sunshine, photo by Sue Fraser
Sue shared this with wishes of “blue skies & sunshine” back in 2007, and I’d like to join her in wishing all of Michigan’s marvelous moms a very Happy Mothers Day!
View Sue’s photo bigger and see more in her slideshow.
PS: To all you moms not of Michigan, a Happy Mother’s Day to you as well! ;)
Cherry Orchard Aisles & Blossoms, photo by Jess Clifton
mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa writes that the upcoming weather is looking normal, which is also fantastic for an extended time period of blooming here in Michigan:
Tulip Time runs from Saturday, May 7, to May 14 in downtown Holland. The Traverse City area cherry blossoms are also about to erupt with color.
Cool nights and near normal temperature days are just what we want for a long display of color from these two spring performers.
Gwen Auwerda, Executive Director of Tulip Time in Holland, MI says tulip blossoms can last up to 21 days if high heat is avoided. Auwerda says most of the tulips in Holland, MI are at peak right now, with some of the late bloomers expected to peak next week.
The cooler weather has slowed down the cherry blossoms in northwest Lower Michigan. Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension educator, says now the cherries are right on track to blossom at the typical time.
Rothwell says sweet cherries are only days away from blooming, with peak bloom in northwest Lower Michigan possibly on Mother’s Day. Tart cherries, which make up most of northwest Lower Michigan’s cherry crop, should start blooming May 11 or May 12, and peak around May 14.
Jess took this back in May of 2014 near Traverse City. View it background bigilicious, enjoy her Mother Nature in Michigan slideshow, and check out more of her work at jesscliftonphotography.com.
More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!
Untitled, photo by Brooke Pennington
Come on Spring, we know you’re out there.
View the photo bigger, view & purchase photos at brookepennington.com, and definitely check out more in Brooke’s slideshow.
Tulips, Tulips, Tulips, photo by Dawn Williams
Holland’s annual Tulip Time starts this Saturday (May 2) and continues through May 9th. The annual celebration features parades, music, displays of Dutch Heritage and of course tulips, 4.5 million of them!
Dawn took this photo last year. See it background bigtacular on Flickr and check out more of her Tulip Time photos.
More tulips & Tulip Time and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.