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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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