Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What's blooming? (24 APR 2017)

I had a little time yesterday and stopped at Chipp-A-Waters Park to see what wildflowers are in bloom...


Yellow Trout Lily

Cut-leaf Toothwort

False Rue Anemone and Wild Leek

False Rue Anemone

Large-flowered Trillium

Spring Beauty

Yellow Trout Lily

Yellow Trout Lilies

Dutchman's Breeches

Large-flowered Trilliums

Large-flowered Trillium

Blue Cohosh

Common Blue Violet

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day at Audubon Woods

Tomorrow (April 22nd) is Earth Day!

I will be spending the morning at the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Audubon Woods Preserve leading an educational walk through the preserve.  Joining me in leading this walk will be CWC Executive Director Katie Randall.

Audubon Woods Preserve is located at the corner of Wing Rd and Gilmore Road northwest of the village of Winn.  If coming from Mt. Pleasant:  head west on M-20 (High St./Remus Rd.) to Winn Rd.; turn left on Winn Road and continue south on Wing Rd. for 2.5 miles; turn right on Wing Rd and continue west for 1 mile to the preserve.  Parking is along the side of the road.

For more information on this walk visit the CWC's website.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sounds of Spring - Spring Peepers

We spent the past week in the Traverse City area.  When we pulled up to our hotel on Friday night we immediately noticed a familiar sound.  The area behind the hotel is basically a shrub swamp and this weekend that swamp was hosting dozens of male Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) each hoping to attract a mate with his peep peep peep calls.  The louder and more frequently a frog call, the better his chances of attracting a mate.  There was also at least one Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) that periodically adds his voice.

It didn't happen while I was recording, but at one point a storm passed through with a loud crack of thunder.  Every single frog, which to that point had been vociferously calling, immediately went silent.  The effect was enough to make me chuckle.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A few "spring ephemerals"

On Sunday afternoon (17 April) I send a few minutes photographing wildflowers.  I found Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) in bloom.  I also photographed the foliage of Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) and Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum).

Wild Strawberry

Common Blue Violet


Dutchman's Breeches
Virginia Waterleaf and Large-flowered Trillium foliage

Where did I find these wildflowers?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wild Leeks

One of my favorite sights in the spring woods is the patches of Wild Leek (Allium tricoccum). Some years they emerge from the ground so fast that I think you could hear them growing if only you listened close enough.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Upcoming Event - Bird Day Celebration (13 May 2017)

Join me on Saturday May 13th as we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in Mt. Pleasant.  Start the day at 9:00AM with a bird walk at the Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park (5514 E. Airport Rd.).  Chippewa Valley Audubon Club president Gary Kramer will lead a search for waterfowl on Grewes Lake and spring migratory songbirds on the nearby walking trail.

At 1:00PM join us at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways (6650 E. Broadway Rd.) for an afternoon of bird-related crafts and learning activities.  The afternoon starts at 1:00 with a welcome ceremony and Eagle Dance.  

Outside, the fields surrounding the Ziibiwing Center are a great place to see grassland birds such as Eastern Meadowlarks, Bobolinks, and Grasshopper Sparrows.  The nesting boxes along the Bluebird Trail should be attracting residents such as Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows.

End the day with a live Birds of Prey presentation by the Howell Nature Center.  This presentation will give you the opportunity to see a variety of raptor species up close including an adult Bald Eagle!

This will be the sixth year that we have celebrated this event.  Please come and help us make it bigger and better than ever.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Upcoming Event - Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Spring Banquet (20 April 2017)

It's not too late...

It's not too late to purchase tickets for the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Annual Banquet. I put this event on my calendar months in advance.  It's a fun evening with good food and good company.  The CWC has a history of bringing interesting speakers - this year's presentation by Kyle Bagnall is about a canoe trip down the entire length of the Chippewa River.  The silent auction is always full of items that I can't live without - I am currently putting together a basket of hiking/outdoor items to enter in the auction.

The best part is that all proceeds go to support land and water conservation/preservation in Mid-Michigan.  Visit the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's website to reserve your tickets.