Posts Tagged ‘Michigan Flowers’

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I am a Birder Too…wait…I am a Mushroom Hunter Too…wait…I am a Geocacher Too…wait…I am a Flower Hunter Too…wait…I am an OUTDOORSMAN Too

March 30, 2013

Frog-AboveI went over this subject with good friend, Dr. Bob – Birding a few months ago. But I keep finding these same theme reoccurring over and over. I think it is fanaticism or something. You must BE something completely or nothing at all. NO YOU DON’T.

You can be it all. You can enjoy all of the Natural world without having to be designated any one thing. I love being all the things in the title of this Posting, plus more. I may not be the best Birder around, but I love watching, listening and CloseMr.Spiderenjoying the interactions out on the Trails.

I can hardly ID most Mushrooms I come across. Well….maybe a few. Enough so that I do not poison myself. Especially since I like to put everything in my mouth. 🙂 But there is not a Mushroom along the Trails that I spot, that I do not stop to examine.

Enjoying the Outdoors and Nature does not mean that one must be an expert in anything. The shear respect and love for Mother Earth is enough. My most private moments come deep into the forests by a remote Pond. Some of the answers to the questions in my own life have come while Hiking or just sitting along a quite stream.

Jack-o-Latern-mushroomToday I went and visited my Heron friends at Holland Ponds. Counted occupied nests and mating pairs of Herons. Got some excellent pictures and video. Yet I can hardly have a very deep conversation with some of my regular Birding friends. SO WHAT. They understand. We share what knowledge we both have on what subjects or specifics in Nature we have. And isn’t that good enough.

I guess I am relaying this information because I have come to see that it does not matter if you are a Fanatic or a Pro Birder, Pro Mushroom Hunter, Pro Geocacher. It just matters if it all gives you understanding and joy. And that you share that with others.

As a punk, I was a fanatic at everything I did. fanatic back Packer, fanatic Canoer, fanatic survivalist/Orienteerer. I could pull out ID numbers to equipment and gear and quote survival needs I cannot even remember now. 🙂 I would get lost in the fanaticism, and not as much in the forest as I should have. Maybe those where my test years. My Rainbow-Tallmeans at acquiring the knowledge base to do what i wanted in the outdoors and not be concerned about my safety and or not knowing what was happening.

These days…..I have become a minimalist. Not always the best way, but less to think about. Water, my Camera and some small survival equipment stashed in my case, and I am all set to BE anything. Or Everything. Or Nothing at all. Just Being in the Outdoors is good enough. Enjoying the times there and absorbing the positive energy that flows in Nature.

Although we can be entertained and enjoy some recreation in our Parks, we should NEVER forget they are delicate places that we need for much more then just recreational purposes. They are our connections to everything. Everything that makes the world exist. Respect these places. Understand these things, and protect what they are for the future.

I left out one very important thing in the title to this posting. I am NATURE Too.

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Early, Early SPRING Flowers

March 26, 2013

We are at the very beginnings of what soon will be the BIG BLOOM. When it seems like all the flowers are presenting their beauty at one time. One of the very earliest of Spring flowers here in Southeastern Michigan is the Skunk Cabbage. It’s flower really doesn’t look much like those beautiful wild flowers to come, but it is non the less, the earliest of spring blooms.

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It is not uncommon for Skunk Cabbage to even push their way up through the melting snow. The plant prefers a swamping habitat and thrives in that deep black, water soaked soil of a swamps edge or stream bank.

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Like many other plants in Michigan, it changes dramatically as the year moves forward. In this early Springtime, it appears as a twisted cone, with an almost alien looking knobbed ball inside. This will quickly give way to a very green leafy plant that will open to an almost 3 foot wide spread of giant green leafs. You will see many of these together along a swampy area like a blanket of green. The growth rate is amazing.

Probably the next earliest bloomer in Southeastern Michigan as Spring flowers go, is the Blood Root. Some people will debate this plant as being the earliest of flower blooms, in but in this area of S.E. Michigan, I normally find the Blood Root, white flower to be the first real flower I mostly come across, this early in the season.

BloodRootFlower

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The flower only lasts a week or so and then the only way to identify this very Cool plant, is by it’s unique leaf shape. You will want to learn this plant because of it’s many uses. The Native Americans used it for cloths Dye, as did our early Pioneers. It produces a bright red color, deep in the root. That red changes to a more orangey color as you come closer to the surface.

We are still a few weeks away from the Big Bloom of Spring wild flowers here in Southeastern Michigan. But you can find the Skunk Cabbage already, and very shortly the Blood Root flower will start to appear. Check the Spring Flowers ID sheet we have put together for S.E. Michigan. We have not covered every single spring flower, but we have tried to cover the most commonly found flowers in this corner of our state of Michigan.

DOWNLOAD THE SPRING FLOWERS ID SHEETS HERE

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There are many other useful ID sheets and Outdoor reference guides on the Hiking Michigan web site, on the DOWNLOADS Page.

GO TO THE HM WEBSITE DOWNLOADS PAGE

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SPRING FLOWERS

April 27, 2012

Even with the odd weather we have been having, the Spring flowers in Michigan are always a beautiful time. Some are blooming very early, due to the odd weather, and some are late in coming.

I have also noticed something different this year. The more rare flowers, or the sub-species of a few different wild flowers are more prevalent this year. Such as the Red Trillium. Not very common this far north, is popping it’s head out in a number of places, even before the more standard Giant White Trillium.

The Trout Lilly. Always a beautiful spring flower, blooming usually in it’s groves with many other lillies, it stands out with it’s wonderful bright yellow stripped petals. The more rare white petaled Trout Lilly is now also blooming in S.E.MI.  some of the first I have seen in this region, ever.

Download a basic Spring Flowers ID sheets here:  SPRING FLOWERS ID

So get out into the Parks and wander a bit off the Trails, and take a look at some of the wonderful Spring Flowers our state has to offer.

 

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Just Wandering

April 20, 2012

I love to Hike the trails. But I also love to just wander in the forest. No trails, just walking around, following a ridge-line or the the perimeter of a pond. Possibly stepping where no one has ever stepped before.

Many time on these kinds of wanderings, I am walking extremely slow. Looking down much of the time, or stopping, crouching and being very still. Trying to become part of my surroundings. Now….even if this does not produce some wild life activity or discovery of some sort, it does my spirit good. being quite, moving slowly and looking at every little thing around me, cleanses my soul and gives me a calm I have not found a replacement for.

On a recent wandering, i was studying the many different wild flowers that have popped up recently. They are everywhere. I found a few Trilliums, and was happy, because these where the first of the season for me.

Then….out of the corner of my eye, I picked up something red. Not many large red wild flowers out there, so I figured I found something special. Sure enough….a Red Trillium. Just one. This is a different species from the normal Giant White Trilliums we are all so used to seeing, covering a hillside along a trail. The Red specie’s flower will last up to 2 months and not just a few days like the white Trillium.

Well this was a first for me. Never found a Red Trillium before. And all because i just took the time to wander aimlessly in a local forest. And by the way……the local Park I was wandering in, is only 42 acres. Tiny by State Park standards.

I sat there taking pictures of this rare trillium (for these parts anyways) and relaxed right there for a bit. This was all I needed for the day. It cleansed my soul, it gave me a sense of wonder and made me feel like I had melted into this particular forest, or else I would have never been able to have discovered this ONE flower in the whole area. There is not much I could have experienced this day, that would have given me more pleasure then this one, lone flower.

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5/15/11 Spring Flowers HIKE

May 8, 2011

This Sunday, 5/15/11, we will be doing our annual Spring Flwers HIKE out at Bald Mountain Recreation area. Things are blooming everywhere, and we should get some great opportunities to see many different Spring flowers.

Looking forward to some complete hillsides covered in Trilliums, and Spring Creek covered in Marsh Marigolds. Once down by the Creek, we will have the option to do some short Bushwhacking to the largest natural Spring in the park. Wear some good footwaer, in case the group votes to do this. It maybe slightly Gushy near the Spring.

Everyone attending the Hike will get our most recent 2 page Spring Flowers ID sheet, along with the regular Map of the Trails we will be hiking.

There are no restrooms in the parking area, or on the trails we are hiking, so take that into consideration, please. Hope to see you all out at Bald Mountain this weekend.

Download the 2 page Spring Flowers ID sheets here:  SPRING FLOWERS

Download details and a Map to where we will be meeting:   BaldMt.HIKE

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