Going Purple for June

Siberian Iris, photo by Julie Mansour

Something that you may or may not know is that my mother has some form of Alzheimer’s spectrum brain disease that has progressed to the point where she no longer knows me, or herself. While there’s no really good terminal illnesses out there, Alzheimer’s and related dementias seem to me to be among the worst as they destroy much of the essence of the person you love long before taking their life.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and if you click that link, you can see some great photos shared on the hashtags #ENDALZ & #MyAlzStory along with information  about efforts to combat these diseases and a way to donate.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in Julie’s slideshow.

Ballooning VI

Ballooning VI, photo by Paladin27

View the photo big as the sky and see more in Paladin27’s Spring Hot Air Ballooning slideshow.

Spoon Flower

Spoon flower, photo by Bailwick Studios

The photographer writes that this flower might also be called a spooned daisy, African daisy, or a caped daisy.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Bailwick Studious slideshow.

More flowers on Michigan in Pictures!

At the end of the rainbow

A lighthouse at the end of the rainbow, photo by Ann Fisher

Memorial Day Weekend is a unique holiday. It’s both a celebration of the beginning of the summer, the weekend to throw off the shackles of cold & gray and embrace sun and sand, and also a somber remembrance of those who have given their lives defending our nation. I hope that light and love touch you in both of these pursuits.

View the photo of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse background bigtacular and see more in Ann’s 2017 UP slideshow.

More about the Marquette Lighthouse and LOTS more about rainbows on Michigan in Pictures.

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.”

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.

Monday Lift Off: Red-tailed Hawk Edition

Lift Off!, photo by David Marvin

Here’s hoping your week gets off to a great start! You can read all about the red-tailed hawk, Michigan’s most common hawk, and see more photos and hear calls in the Red-tailed Hawk entry from All About Birds.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in David’s Birds slideshow.