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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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