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Fossil Fools

So in the middle of a Michigan winter, what does a nature guy do who can’t ski or skate, can’t forage for wild edibles, has no wild flowers, leafy trees, or lush landscapes to photograph and still has to wait at least a month or two to begin retrofitting the condo patio for a garden? Go to an auto show!   In Michigan, auto shows are more or less a celebration of the state’s past fame.  While our auto industry is making a bit of a comeback, there will be no return to our former industrial glory.  In Lansing, our … Continue reading »

blueblossom

Bog Walk

Yesterday was a bit chilly but gloriously sunny; so I took the opportunity to go to my “secret” boggy lake in Michigan’s Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry County) to take photos of some of the typical bog plants that most folks rarely see. I was hoping to see the striking flowers of our northern pitcher plant, but because of the cold spring, they were just starting to bud. [Click on the photos to see them in a larger size. The ones that enlarge are my photos. The ones that don't are usually gotten from the Web---mostly from Wikipedia.] Bogs are … Continue reading »

ft_cone

Nature Nearby

I have to confess that if I had the opportunity I would go every other day to some exciting outdoor location, be it a bog, a marsh, a cypress swamp, a desert—or a national park or two! But few folks have that sort of opportunity—including me. What I really do, however, is only an occasional excursion surrounded in time by a lot of mundane activities: walking the dog, walking to work, walking the dog, going to the store, walking the dog, spending time with children and grandchildren, and walking the dog. That being the case, and my soul demanding attentive … Continue reading »

paintedturtle

Turtle Time

Migrating turtles, egg-laying turtles, baby snappers, big snappers, painted turtles, wood turtles—all the Michigan varieties are on the move in early June. And when the paths of turtle and child cross, there is instant fascination—at least on the part of the chil Yesterday afternoon was the perfect time to take children turtle scouting—and to take a nostalgia trip back to Hastings where my wife and I spent our barefoot years. Marge (Olsson) and I have known each other virtually all our lives, our family’s having had a friendship since 1945, when my dad moved the family from Grand Rapids to … Continue reading »

ft_tractor

Ye Olde Farmstead

“I was born on the dining room table in that old house.” “Yes, Dad, I know. You say that every time we drive by here!” That was a common conversation with my father when I was a teenager and we lived some six miles from the Hudsonville farm where Dad was born and where he and his five brothers labored under the stern rule of my grandfather, whom they called “the Kaiser” (which was fitting, since his father was born a quarter mile from the Rhine in old Prussia.) The old house on Van Buren Street is long gone and … Continue reading »