Gardener's Grapevine 2011.08.03

Written by David Green.

A few weeks ago I wrote about wildflowers and how many of them are not seen quite so much anymore due to roadside mowing and spraying, and the loss of fence rows. However, with the down-turn in the economy and the financial issues the State of Michigan faces, the ditches seem to be brimming with wildflowers. Apparently mowing and spraying are low priorities when you are strapped for cash.

For someone who loves nature and all things wild, this is one of the few positives about our world’s economic state—beautiful wildflowers.

We spent the weekend in Allegan on the west side of Michigan. It isn’t long after you drive past Kalamazoo that the area becomes very woodsy and wild. There is sort of a northern Michigan feel, and wow, the wildflowers. 

There is every color and sort imaginable. The clover is in bloom as is chicory, thistle, phlox, ditch lilies and a bunch I couldn’t identify. Sometimes I wish I had my camera with me because a picture would be just the ticket for a watercolor picture, and great for the garden club yearbook.

Has anyone stopped to look at the roadside grasses? I am in no way even knowledgeable about different grasses, however, as you drive across the state the types seem to change. Some of them would look really pretty in an arrangement in a vase. I guess that’s sort of what God has done only without the vase. He has thrown multiple beautiful native flowers together with some grasses and trees to make a beautiful “arrangement.”

Nature is something many take for granted or feel is a nuisance, but driving into town past Emmons’ dairy farm just after the curve this week I saw probably 10 deer running through the corn field. It was such a beautiful sight I had to stop and watch until they got to the river and the cover of trees.

Deer amaze me. Since I live in town they don’t make a nuisance of themselves by eating my gardens, so from my viewpoint they are beautiful creatures I can’t imagine harming. Now I know many hunters and farmers have other ideas, and even I have had one hit me when driving, and I accept that.

Think of what the deer endure in life. All winter they have to seek shelter, look for food when all is harvested or dormant, and when they are in prime mating season, someone tries to kill them. Yet, their population is doing fine, even thriving.

If I could see them in the beautiful wildflowers. My first thought would still be, “Please don’t jump on my car.” Then after we drove by, my thought would be, “Wow, wasn’t that amazing!” It’s all in your viewpoint, I guess.

  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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