Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

If you look at this blog on a regular basis (or not), you will probably have noticed that I take lots of photographs.  Every once in a while I do something with them besides posting them on here.  Back in June I entered four of my photographs in the 2015 Wild Ones Photo Contest.

Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization with local chapters that teaches about the many benefits of growing native wildflowers in people’s yards.  I belong to the Mid-Mitten Chapter which is based out the Chippewa Nature Center.  The national organization holds an annual photo contest for its members.      I entered four photographs this year. The first two were in the category “Flora”.  The first image was taken on 31 July 2014 at the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's Quigley Creek Natural Area during a flora and fauna survey.  It shows a group of Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) flowers.  Indian Pipe is one of the few plants found in Michigan that lacks the ability to produce its own food - its cells lack the chlorophyll necessary for photosynthesis.  Instead it acts as a parasite toward other plants, stealing sugars from their roots.

Indian Pipe Grouping

The second photograph was taken at in the Native Pollinator Garden at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum on 15 June 2015.  It is a close-up of a Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) leaf.  Prairie Dock leaves are massive, this leaf measured approximately 18 inches from stem to tip.  In this picture you can see the network of veins that transport water and nutrients throughout the leaf.

Prairie Dock Infrastructure

I also entered two photographs in the category “Wild Ones in Action – People outside attending events and activities”.  

The first of these photographs was taken at on the CWC's Schaftenaar Preserve at Halls Lake  on 13 June 2014.  It shows CWC Excecutive Director Stan Lilley photographing a Wild Calla (Calla palustris) during a flora and fauna survey.  I titled this photograph "Focus".

CWC Executive Director Stan Lilley focuses on a Wild Calla

The second photograph that I entered in this category was also taken at a CWC property.  This photo was taken at the Peterson Natural Area in Mecosta County on 16 August 2014.  It shows participants of a wildflower walk (Nicole Levasseur, Cathy Murray, and Ralph Crew) using a field guide to identify a Cut-leaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata).  Stan Lilley also appears in the background of this photo.  I titled this photograph "Positive ID" for the photo contest.

Nicole LeVasseur, Cathy Murray, and Ralph Crew look up Cut-leaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)

Yesterday, to my surprise, I opened my mail to find 1st Place and 2nd Place ribbons for the “Wild Ones in Action” category - with "Focus" placing first and "Positive ID" placing second.  In addition to the ribbons, I received gift certificates for $10 and $5 from the Wild Ones Store.  These photographs will probably appear in a Wild Ones newsletter over the next year and may be included in their annual calendar.  More info about Wild Ones can be found at their website http://www.wildones.org/.


  1. Congratulations Mike!
    Cathy M

    1. Thanks Cathy. I really like both of those phictures.