Tag Archives: Michigan hiking

Are YOU Truly what YOU say YOU are?

I have heard more often these last couple of years, on how this person is this, and that person is that. Take for instance a local Birder. They will get up on a soap-box and proclaim how they belong to this Bird Group and that Bird Group. They will tell you about their “LIFE-LIST” of spotted Birds. The will most likely show you pictures of all the different Birds they have seen. Some will be Rare Birds, and many of the shots will be extra special shots of extra special birds. But are they real Birders?

I am by no-means picking on Birders. This applies to Mushroom Hunters, Bikers, Nature Nuts and many other Forest Groups. I have had many, many conversations with all types of various Outdoor Group members, who proclaim to be the ultimate in being that specific Outdoor individual. But are they?

I have thought very hard about this question. I used to wonder if I myself was a true Birder, or Mushroom Hunter or Naturalist. Since I do not belong to any of these specific Outdoor Groups, have a Degree in any of these things, or have spent a lifetime focused almost solely on these specific subjects. This made me question whether I was truly any of these things.

Then I realized that most of the people that actually claim to be these Outdoor things, such as a Birder…..really are not. A Collector maybe. A gatherer of Bird pictures or sightings, but not really a true Birder.

You see…….If one claimed to be a real Birder (or any other specific Outdoor enthusiast, this person would first and foremost have to be concerned with the Habitats and Natural Resources that cause these critters or Life to exist and thrive.

A Bird population needs quality Habitat, Food sources and these days…..protection from the many hazards MAN puts into the Birds world. You cannot truly be a Birder and then pollute the habitats Birds need to survive. You do not let Invasive Species like the Autumn Olive grow untouched, and say you are a Mushroomer, as the Autumn Olive chokes out the very Habitats that support a healthy, annual Mushroom growths.

This goes for almost every specific Outdoor living thing. Before you tell anyone that you are a Birder, Naturalist, Mushroom Hunter, or any other Outdoor enthusiast,please first tell me when was the last time you participated in an Invasive Species removal or Clean-up. Or how often have you done this kind of Habitat protection and Clean-up. Tell me a little something about what it takes to produce successful nesting and reproduction of annual youngster.

If all you can do, is show me some pictures, or tell me how many spotting adventures you have been on, or what is your total “Life-List” of Birds, Mushrooms or Wild Flowers you have spotted or collected………then do not go any further. You are as much a Birder, Naturalist or Mushroom hunter as my Doggie, who loves to run the open Forest and is excited by everything he discovers there. It all does NOTHING in helping these species flourish and reproduce, by making sure the Natural Resources are taken care of and are healthy.

I know this will not be a popular way to look at things for some people. Because it is always easiest to just go out and have fun in the Parks. It takes a true love of Mother Nature to give back regularly and help all these species reproduce each year, and migrate, to and from healthy environments.

If you are not doing these things…..believe me…….very soon all these species, Birds, Plants Trees and the diverse habitats that help produce the variety of Birds, Mushrooms and Outdoor life, will disappear. Then What? Barren Parks of Invasive Species? What will You claim to be then?

Advertisements

The PERFECT Picture

 

I get many, many pictures sent to me or posted on the various Hiking Michigan sites On-line. BEAUTIFUL pictures! But what makes these pictures beautiful? Is it the details in each picture? Is it the perfection in the control of the Camera and it’s settings? Or even the placement of the things that make up the picture?

All of these things do play a certain part in that PERFECT picture, BUT……it is that undefined “THING” that truly makes a picture Beautiful to me. That undefined thing maybe something as simple as the Outdoor spot itself. Or a Bird that is doing more then just sitting there. The Birders seem to be the most critical of their work.

Yes……it is great to see every feather on that close-up shot of a particular bird. BUT….seeing that same bird landing on the edge of a Feeder, or grabbing that insect in mid-flight tells so much more. For me, those are the most beautiful shots.

A couple of local Birders who post regularly, many times, will capture a Bird image as I described, yet still have much criticism of their work. It is great to always be working for perfection in your Camera abilities, but many times, these two individuals have already done that. I am talking about Dr. Bob and new friend Kim.

osprey-in-flight-w-sigHere is a recent picture of an Osprey, flying overhead, carrying some fresh grass to line it’s nest for the evening sleep. It would be one thing to get the picture of the Osprey itself……but to capture an image of it carrying fresh grass for it’s nest, and what kind of grass it traveled almost 2 miles to get special for it’s nest, makes this one of those PERFECT images to me. Beautiful in it’s form, and informative in what it is doing. Kim did an excellent job at grabbing this picture in a moments notice, after spotting the Bird from a distance, Identifying it, setting her Camera up, and then getting the shot. PERFECT!

DrBobHere is one of my many favorites from Dr. Bob. He waited for that moment when the Egret was about to make his dive for the fish below. You can see the intense concentration, the beauty in the stance of this bird. No……we cannot count every feather in this bird, but the perfection in this picture is what the Dr. captured in that very moment of the Egrets hunt. This IS a perfect picture. I know Dr. Bob would disagree. He would have many reasons on what is wrong with his picture. I guess this is Bob striving for better Photography. But in the world of capturing a moment in time and teaching us all a little something about a hunting Egret, This is a PERFECT picture.

 

Michael

So what did Michael shoot here in this picture? I do not see anything specific here. No Dragons or anything specifically overwhelming going on. But there is a feel to this spot by the Lake. He Bushwhacked quite a distance to find this spot. Just the feel of the land and the Lake draws you into this place. And that is what makes this shot a PERFECT picture.

I can understand the goals that many Photographers have at getting better at their craft, or mastering their Camera equipment. But they should not forget that the beauty and perfection is not always in the details of what the Camera has captured, but in what the Photographers eye has seen and then put in the picture for all of us to experience. I consider each of the pictures above, to be an “Experience”. And that is a huge part of the PERFECT picture.

Dr. BOBs Bird Blog               KIMs Nature is My Therapy Blog


So Many Special Michigan Places

When asked what are my favorite places to visit in Michigan, I usually hesitate and then respond with…….Everywhere. There are just so many beautiful, mysterious and special places through out the entire state, it is impossible to start to even list them.

There are places I have been hundreds of times and will continue to return to them. There are places that when ever I am within 50 miles of them, I will stop there, if not just for an hour or so, to reconnect with that place. I gets hard traveling around the state sometimes. 🙂 Pick a destination and by the time we stop at a half dozen places for just a quick stop, it took us 3 times the projected time to get there.

I was going through some vacation pictures recently, and just selected a few shots that brought back some nice memories and places I thought everyone should visit at some point in their Michigan lives. GO GET OUTDOORS anywhere in Michigan. It is all Wonderful!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


9th annual Metroparks Geocaching Adventure

Geocahe

These are the results of the 2012 Adventure geocaching Event.

Participating in the Adventure

In order to complete the Metroparks Geocaching Adventure 2012 one needs to find the 11 caches hidden in 11 different Metroparks. At each cache obtain two words, found in the cache on the cover,  to be circled on a Word Search puzzle found in our brochure.  By participating in the adventure you will be able to discover some interesting things about the Metroparks. The caches will be in place from May 1 through December 2012.  The deadline for puzzle submission is December 1, 2012. 

GO TO THE METROPARKS GEOCACHING PAGE FOR DETAILS

ALSO CHECK THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THIS YEARS DETAILS


Park Maps and Maps to get to the Parks

We have being working on the Hiking Michigan PARK MAPS pages from the web site. Some major redos. We started by updating many of our existing Southeastern Michigan Park Maps and adding a few new ones.

At the bottom of the PARKS MAPS page, there is a section called:  SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN PARKS. This Link will take you to a giant Map of the 8 counties that make up S.E. Michigan.

ParkMaps

BigMap

There is a Link on this page that says:  PARKS INDEX PAGE. This Link will take you to 120 listed Parks, by county, for S.E. Michigan. When you click on any of the listed Parks there, you will get a GOOGLE Map of that Park. Directions on how to get there, details of the Parks, and contact numbers. We are even adding a few pictures from each Park embedded in the Maps.

ParksIndex

You can also check with the two FLICKR sites and get more detailed pictures from many of the Parks listed here on the SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN PARKS Page. This is not as confusing as it sounds. 🙂 It is worth roaming these pages because there are so many useful Maps of so many beautiful Parks in S.E. Michigan. Not just the State Parks, but the Metro Parks, County Parks and Nature Preserves.

This is of course a work in progress, although we much of it done already. Over 120 different Parks are listed on the SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN PARKS Page.

So Give it a check out and see if you can explore the area and find some Cool places to visit in S.E. Michigan. Check the SPECIAL MICHIGAN PLACES here on this Blog and then head over to the PARKS MAPS page on the web site and get both a Park Map and a Map to get you to the Park. 🙂

GO TO THE HM PARKS MAPS Page.


Just a Reminder

Hiking Michigan has put this Blog site together to assist everyone find a place or Group to enjoy the outdoors with. yes……we also use this place as an extension of our HM Outdoors NewsLetter, so that everyone can write about their outdoor experiences. You do not have to be a sanctioned News writer. In fact……we prefer you are not affiliated with any publication. Instead……tell us of your outings and explorations in your own words. Not some News Editors angle.

MichiganHumanHandsThere are growing Links to many different Outdoor Groups and Organizations here too. See the Michigan Organizations page for Links. There is the Special Michigan Places page. Here we are accumulating the Coolest places to visit and experience in Michigan. Remote Hiking Trails in S.E.Michigan. Unique Natural Environment areas such as Seven Lakes State Park and all the unique FENS that exist there. We try and post a Map of the Park along with the information about that Special place.

So roam around here. There are endless Links and guides to assist you or connect you with the Outdoors. BE MICHIGAN OUTDOORS. There is so much to be and experience here in our beautiful state!


Monarch Butterfly Populations declining

The World Wildlife Fund-Mexico / Telcel Alliance, in collaboration with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), held a press conference late on the 13th of March 2013 to announce the results of the status of the monarch populations that overwinter in the oyamel forests of Mexico. Measures of the areas occupied by each of the nine monarch colonies in the states of Michoacan and Mexico totaled 1.19 hectares. This number represents a decline of almost 59% from the area occupied the previous winter. Further, this population is the smallest recorded since the monarch colonies came to the attention of scientists in 1975. A visual inspection of Figure 1 reveals a clear downward trend in the population:

monarch-population-figure-monarchwatch
Figure 1. Total Area Occupied by Monarch Colonies at Overwintering Sites in Mexico This decline is statistically significant* (analysis by Ernest Williams, Hamilton College):

linear regression: p=0.004, R squared = 0.402

exponential regression: p=0.001, R squared = 0.477 At issue is the cause of the decline and there are a number of factors involved:

1) The loss of milkweeds in row crops (corn and soybeans) due to the adoption of seed varieties genetically modified to tolerate treatment with herbicides. The utilization of these herbicide tolerant crops has all but eliminated milkweeds from these fields.

2) The push for the production of biofuels, which has resulted in the planting of 25.5 million more acres of corn and soybeans than were planted as recently as 2006. This increase has been at the expense of milkweed-containing Conservation Reserve Program land, grassland, and rangeland (as well as other crops).

3) Development, which consumes 6000 acres at day or 2.2 million acres a year.

4) Intensive farming that reduces the area from the edge of the road to the field and management of our roadsides with the use of herbicides (and excessive mowing) which also eliminates milkweeds.

5) Deforestation of the oyamel fir forests – although this has declined over the last few years, the condition of these forests is less than optimal for the survival of overwintering monarchs.

6) Unusual weather – and we had plenty of that during the 2012 monarch breeding season. March was the warmest recorded since nationwide record keeping began in 1895. Warm weather tends allow returning monarchs to spread north rapidly and arrivals of monarchs in areas north of Oklahoma in April are often followed by low temperatures that delay development of the population. In 2012, first generation monarchs moving north-northeast out of Texas arrived much earlier in the northern breeding areas than previously recorded. Historically, low overwintering numbers have followed the early arrival of monarchs. These early establishments were followed by one of the hottest and driest summers in recent decades. Hot and dry conditions probably have the effect of reducing adult lifespan and therefore the number of eggs laid per female over their lifetime.

All in all, it was not a good year for monarchs. While some of the present decline can certainly be attributed to the seasonal conditions last summer, it is the decline of monarch habitats in the United States and Mexico that is the major concern. The good news is that we can do something about the habitats in the United States and Canada – we can plant milkweed. That said, in order to compensate for the continued loss of habitat we need to plant LOTS AND LOTS of milkweed. To assure a future for monarchs, conservation and restoration of milkweeds needs to become a national priority.

Chip Taylor
Director, Monarch Watch

Blog

This is a Blog reposting from MONARCH WATCH BLOG.


%d bloggers like this: