This morning in Huron County, Michigan along the way to Port Austin and Caseville I found another wonderful barn-quilt along Lakeshore Drive. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.
My goal today was to find the Wilderness Arboretum near the tip of Michigan's Thumb by the shores of Lake Huron. There were no other humans nearby, so I felt like I had the whole nature center to myself.
The paths were well marked yet still in harmony with nature. Areas that were wet or swampy had elevated walkways. This preserve is obviously very well cared for.
I found several clumps of various species of mosses, club mosses, and liverworts that reminded me of coral reefs in warmer climes. Wintergreens are everywhere!
Ferns are just beginning to unfurl their fronds. Even though the tip of the thumb is about an hour further north from me, their spring is ahead of spring here. Our ferns are still slumbering, the trees have yet to open their leaves, and flowers are days if not weeks away.. Many early flowering trees "up north" have their flowers open and ours are not even budded.
I drove to Royal Oak this morning in order to buy food from Holiday Market for a 49th birthday celebration this weekend. I-696 is still a hot mess years after they started "fixing" it but the rest of the drive was actually pleasant even though I drove in rush hour traffic. Not bad at all.
I've seen more fishing activity this spring than previous years. David? Salmon? Lake Trout? AUCE Perch?
The house from the North-Woods.
Some perennials living in the North-Woods.
Epimediums in bud
Daffodils - from one bulb years ago
Magnolia with Dogs
One of the the things that I love about perennials is that if they are well sited, they increase in size and health every year. Of course many of them have a flowering period that may last only several days to a few weeks and then they're finished for another year. Well planned perennial gardens have rotating periods where something is always in bloom, there is always something to look forward to. And they don't have to be planted every year like annuals do. With luck, after a few years, they can be divided and spread around the yard.
Game of Thrones Rock with Robin
Hummingbird - Finally Back Home
Flickers, unlike most woodpeckers, migrate south in the fall and return in the spring probably because they feed primarily on ants and ants hibernate and are out of harm's way under snow and the frozen ground. A few years ago I lost a birch bark tree in a storm. I never remove the remaining stub when a tree is topped because I know that some bird - chickadee, nuthatch. brown creeper, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, flicker, etc. may eventually, as the wood softens with age, excavate a nesting site. Patience rewarded. In the first shot you can barely make out the well camouflaged flicker.
This site is very close to the house but outside the fenced area in my North-Woods and on the north-east edge of my bluff. I am going to love watching them nest - - - - from the comfort of my home.
Below is my Harry Bertoia Chair that we bought more than 50 years ago. It was given to Wayne Teeter of Hilton Upholsterers in Ferndale, Michigan to reupholster more than a year ago. I haven't seen or heard anything about it since despite many phone calls from both me and Jon. Wayne has told me that it's been in his storage unit ever since. He has not given it back and has done nothing with it and calls it a junk chair. He has one of my Eames Chairs that has disappeared at the same time. I asked Andrea Isom of our local ABC affiliate Channel 7 to help me get my property back and so far she has also failed. Very sad.
Cousin Carol, who lives in Tennessee now, sent me this wedding photo of Aunt Chris and Uncle Roy, her parents. I was named after my Uncle Roy and have always had a special place in my heart for him because of that. On the extreme right are Aunt Margaret and Aunt Liz with me on her lap. My mother is to my right and immediately above her is my father. Grandpa and Grandma Hansen are second and third from the left in the top row. Roy and Chris are below them.
I was very surprised to see a hummingbird at the feeder today - It is still very cold and wet. I cannot imagine how the poor thing manages to survive. I put a small amount of sugared water in each of my three feeders and hung them outside two days ago because I thought late April/early May was around the time the hummers normally returned. This year I expected them much later because of the lousy weather we've been having. When I saw this female hummer this morning I made a fresh batch of sugar water hoping she would be able to survive until warmer finally arrives. (Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)
So please, if you have feeders, fill them and put them out now to attract and keep the arriving hummers nearby. More will be arriving soon.
Even though it's very cold, I put the over-wintered and garaged geraniums outside in order to toughen them up. I know we'll can still expect frosts in my neck of the woods for another week or two or three but if that happens I just throw a bed-sheet over them at night and they'll be just fine. Korpur, as always, needs to be right there giving me directions on how to do stuff.
Planted only a few years ago, most of the daffodil bulbs have divided and divided again so that one bulb is now many producing many flowers - that is unless the deer eat them. It's important to leave the green leave up until they turn brown and wither because they are making food in order that the bulb can divide and store food to enable them to survive through next winter. (Reminds me of the ant and the grasshopper, eh?)
Not as showy as daffodils and hellebores, the hazelnut catkins, the male pollen bearing structures or hazelnut bushes, are open and releasing their pollen into the wind. Flowers with showy petals usually rely on insects to pollinate stigma, the female parts of the plant. Plants that rely on wind for pollination usually have very small, or even missing, showy flowers . Each wind gust releases the pollen. Of course they have to produce large quantities of pollen because the chances of finding areceptive stigma are small. So instead of putting energy into petals and sepals to attract animal pollinators, the energy goes into producing more pollen. Finding the stigmas on a plant like hazlenuts is a neat trick! But it happens and often so that the delicious hazlenuts or filberts are produced each autumn.
Look closely at the opening maple buds which will appear very soon and you can see their tiny flowers. They're actually quite pretty but because they also rely on the wind for pollination, the petals and sepals are very small.