Features

Spring Arrivals

This morning I stopped by Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve to prep for some upcoming fieldwork (we’re restoring more than 7 acres of prairie and savanna this year). As I stepped out of the truck, a primordial squawk from just overhead led me to pick...

Lake Michigan Ice Mountains

The following post is from guest blogger, Mary McKSchmidt. The post originally appeared on her blog where you can find more photos of the ice mountains. *** When the first chill of winter settles like a mist upon my shoulders, I cannot remain indoors for fear of...

Cutting Trees for Love of Forests

I was taught early in my life to love trees. I have been called a tree hugger many times and I have found a few occasions to actually hug trees. My love of trees led easily to a love of long uninterrupted forest. Forests, being...

Prairie Meditations at Saul Lake Bog

A winter visit to Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve There aren’t many bogs near Grand Rapids and Saul Lake Bog has everything a good bog needs. It has insectivorous plants, those fantastical species that lure insects with their sweetness and devour them for their nutrients. It...

Kayaking on thin ice

Growing up on one of the lower Grand River bayous, the day the ice went out in the spring was always an exciting event, with a riot of circling gulls fighting to scavenge pickings released from the ice. A sudden change in the wind direction...

How are Piping Plovers and petri dishes connected?

In the game “Six Degrees of Separation” players are challenged to find the links between two seemingly unrelated people or things with the fewest steps possible. [caption id="attachment_5140" align="alignright" width="225"] A piping plover at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. (Photo credit: Rick Brigham)[/caption] In west Michigan,...

“Who cooks for you?” asks the Barred Owl

[caption id="attachment_5109" align="alignright" width="200"] Barred Owl (Source: www.outdoor-michigan.com)[/caption] “Who cooks for you?” This was the sound I heard last week when I was out in my backyard. (It was somewhat ironic since I was grilling at the time!) The question was actually coming from a Barred Owl. Of...

Another reason to add native plants to your West Michigan yard

[caption id="attachment_5105" align="alignright" width="450"] The root system of native plants are far deeper than usual turf grass. They provide stabilization of the soil from erosion and runoff, thus improving water quality. (Illustration source: www.vanburencd.org.)[/caption] The reasons to incorporate native plants into your yard are numerous: Supporting...

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