Deer Michigan, I Love You

Deer Tracks - Kitch-iti-Kipi

Deer Tracks – Kitch-iti-Kipi, photo by John McCormick/Michigan Nut

Happy Valentines Day to all of you! I love Michigan even more than stupid puns. 

Someone else who loves this state is my friend John McCormick of Michigan Nut Photography. He’s on quite a tear right now with photos on many Pure Michigan billboards and being featured as an Instagram must-follow for Michigan lovers.

Kitch-iti-kipi means “The Big Spring” and it’s located in Palms Book State Park near Manistique. The park page shares what I’m realizing is kind of a dark story for Valentine’s Day. I do have past Valentine’s Day posts that are sweeter.

The legend of Kitch-iti-kipi is said to be about a young chieftain whose girlfriend got the best of him. He told her he loved her far above the other dark-haired maidens dancing near his birch bark wigwam. Prove it, she insisted. As a test of his devotion, she declared that he must set sail in his canoe on the pool deep in the conifer swamp. He was to catch her from his canoe as she leaped from an overhanging bough. His canoe overturned in the icy waters and he drowned. It turns out that the maiden was back at the village laughing at his foolish quest. According to legend, the Spring was named Kitch-itikipi in memory of the young chieftain who went to his death in the icy waters in an attempt to satisfy the vain caprice of his ladylove.

John observes that the deer that winter in this cedar swamp have a never ending supply of “Kitch-iti-Kipi Spring water.” View the photo bigger on Facebook, dive into his slideshow for some stunning winter shots from the UP, follow him at Michigan Nut Photography, and purchase photos from his website if you’re so inclined.

PS: I shared a summertime pic by John of Kitch-iti-Kipi with more info about this hidden Michigan gem!

December 1st … Back into the Woods Day

Sit for a Spell

sit for a spell, photo by Doug Jonas

Longtime readers may know that I celebrate December 1st as “Back into the Woods Day” because for my money, the hardest 15 days for the year for the non-hunting lover of the outdoors in Michigan are November 15-30th. Enjoy as you will – orange clothing not required!

The photo was taken in Michigan State University’s W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest in Augusta, midway between Kalamazoo & Battle Creek:

Established on abandoned agricultural land, the 716-acre Kellogg Experimental Forest is known worldwide for research on tree breeding and genetics, planting techniques, and plantation establishment and management. Much of the research that developed the Spartan spruce, a hybrid that combines the color and drought resistance of a blue spruce and the softer needles and rapid growth rate of the white spruce, was done at the Kellogg Forest. The forest is open to the public for biking, hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing, and has several interpretive trails.

Click for visitor information and there’s also some videos of what researchers are up to that show some of this beautiful spot.

Doug says this was an enchanted afternoon in the woods, with sun, shadow, snow and reflected sky. View his photo background bigilicious and click for more of his great Michigan photos.

More winter wallpaper and lots more parks & trails on Michigan in Pictures!

Foxy Friday

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.

Welcome to May

Untitled

Untitled, photo by Amy Holley

Hope your May brings you promise and new growth.

Amy took this photo on May 1st last year. View it background big and see more wide-ranging goodness in her Outdoors slideshow.

Almost Too Curious: Fawn Facts

Almost Too Curious

Almost Too Curious, photo by MichaelinA2

In honor of this great shot of a curious Whitetail fawn, here are some fawn facts gathered from the the UM Animal Diversity Web and the Michigan DNR and two hunting sites, The Whitetail Deer and Tinks.

  • The whitetail fawn loses its spots by the end of October of the same year it was born, or within 3 to 4 months after birth.
  • As the spots disappear, the fawn’s coat also changes from its reddish color to a grayish winter coat. The buck fawn’s face grows a bit darker in color but the belly remains white.
  • Deer tend to live in female-led family groups of up to 25 deer and may live to ten years or more.
  • When playing together, fawn games are suggestive of children’s games like tag. Mock fighting, aggressive postures, and scent marking helps fawns refine social behaviors.
  • Young males leave their mother after one year, but young females usually stay with their mother for two years.
  • The area where the fawn is born normally becomes its adult habitat.
  • Male fawns grow pedicles (the attachment point for antlers) that are typically about one inch in length.
  • Fawns that live past the first week have a good chance of surviving to adulthood.

Check it out bigger and see more in Michael’s 2013 Animals slideshow.

More nature on Michigan in Pictures.

Bigfoot comes to West Branch

"Foggy Forest Dawn" Lower Michigan Winter (FP explore # 9)

“Foggy Forest Dawn” Lower Michigan Winter, photo by John McCormick

Well, Bigfoot Days at least. The Ogema County Voice reports:

World renowned scientist/author Dr. Igor Burtsev from Moscow, Russia, will be the keynote speaker at the West Branch Bigfoot Days conference scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7. Burtsev will have a meet and greet and book signing on Friday from 2-6 p.m. at the Peace Tree Station in downtown West Branch. The conference will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 2490 State Rd.in West Branch and will feature Burtsev along with several other speakers, a townhall meeting, panel discussions and more on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. To register for the conference contact Shelly Schwenkler at 989-329-2110 or email at wbbigfoot@gmail.com.

More at the West Branch Bigfoot Days event on Facebook.

Michigan has logged nearly 200 Bigfoot sightings according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. If you want to delve deeper, there’s also the Michigan Bigfoot Information Center, and you can check out an interesting video exploring one possible photograph from the UP on the Animal Planet show Finding Bigfoot.

John was pretty sure Bigfoot haunts these woods. View his photo bigger, see more in his Mystery & Imagination slideshow.

PS: I’d be remiss if I didn’t refer you to my friend Linda’s Weird Michigan website for some Michigan Bigfoot & cryptid tales that will definitely give you a little chill!

To Be In Green

To Be In Green

To Be In Green, photo by MightyBoyBrian

This photo is the current background for Absolute Michigan and cover photo for the Absolute Michigan Facebook. Brian shared it in our Michigan Cover Group on Flickr and I encourage you to do the same and also to get out and enjoy some of Michigan’s green glory this weekend!

Check this out background bigtacular and see more in Brian’s Nature slideshow.

More trees on Michigan in Pictures.