Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pure Michigan

From a small and unpaved lot, a gravel trail winds off toward the Huron shore. Between the rough and lichen-covered stands of evergreens, in what would seem, to many, inhospitable ground, small plants thrive in the rocky limestone.
From beneath bent and weathered branches, delicate white flowers reach into spots of sunshine.

Limber Honeysuckle, Lonicera dioica

A well-mannered native honeysuckle sends forth its first tentative growth of spring.
These woods are yet unspoiled.

Starry False Solomon's-Seal, Smilacina stellata

As much as many see the vast expanse of blue,
or wild and untamed land, the cobbled shore,
I see that the small, white flowers grow here--

Starflower, Trientalis borealis

Dwarf Lake Iris, Iris lacustris, forma albiflora (white form),
found only in Great Lakes region

Bird's-eye Primrose, Primula mistassinica

Bearberry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
presumed extirpated from OH

Bunchberry, Cornus canadensis
endangered in OH

Bastard Toadflax, Comandra umbellata

Labrador-tea, Ledum groenlandicum
endangered in OH

More discoveries to come from along the trail of the Birds and Botany weekend hosted by NettieBay Lodge.


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Dwarf Lake Iris

The morning fog lifts to reveal a roadside filled with small flowers, each thin green leaf glowing brightly and bearing a dewdrop that glistens beside its showy purple bloom.
Barely tall enough to cover the toe of my boot, this carpet of a hundred small faces turned to the sky rolls up and over the open space.

Scattered at their edge, where the rocky trail yields to a dense cedar and spruce forest, brilliant, winged, pink flowers snuggle close to the base of the aromatic trees.

Fringed Milkwort

I see a yellow slipper peeking from beneath the shaded grove.
This is northern Michigan,
and I believe this must be where I left my dancing shoes.

Yellow Lady's Slipper

I've just returned from a fabulous weekend workshop in Presque Isle County, Michigan.
Hosted by the NettieBay Lodge and led by Jim McCormac, we combed the countryside from the shore of Lake Huron to the Ocqueoc River and all that is between them. Fens and fields, wetlands and woods...and young forests of Jack Pine...there is a richness here that many have never seen.
And plenty of dancing shoes, if you've misplaced yours.

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