Entries to Win Afghan

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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nodding Trillium

I still have more Ohio wildflowers to share. Ohio in the spring never disappoints! Today we have nodding trillium, Trillium cernuum, which you could see in Michigan or pretty much anywhere in the NE US. But I don't see it very often!

nodding trillium

It's easy to recognize, because the white flower nods below the leaves, and the petals are recurved. I guess the stamens are usually purple, but I haven't paid enough attention in the past to know if they always are. Everything else about this plant screams T. cernuum, so I'm sticking with that diagnosis.

nodding trillium

Let's talk Latin. Cernuum (sir-NEW-um) means having the face inclined toward the earth, eg. bowing or nodding. So whenever you see a plant name with that word (or cernuus or cernua), it's probably going to have a nodding or downward aspect. I tried to find a modern word that comes from that root as a memory aid, but didn't have any luck. We'll just have to remember it, cold.

There are about 50 species of trillium, and I now have eight in my plant photo pages. And there is one more yet coming to you from Ohio!

See Trilliums in Alabama
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Manistee National Forest Challenge Hike #2

Actually, I never posted about hike #1, because I was still doing accounts of the Ohio hike. Anyway, this is the second in a series of 13 hikes through the summer and fall. Those who participate in every one will have hiked all 120 miles of the North Country Trail in the Manistee National Forest when we finish.

North Country Trail

Today there were 10 of us. Here's the requisite group photo. It's really just an easy way to document who came.

hiking group

The morning was rainy, but according the radar the storms had passed over, and sure enough we got sun and blue sky! Perfect hiking temperatures too, in the low 60s. A few people had signed up but then didn't show. They sure missed a great day.

blue sky

I doubt that the Forest Service planned for this barrier to be a bench, but it made a great place for a rest stop.

North Country Trail hikers

We covered 11 miles of trail and only about a half mile was roadwalk. Here's the crossing of the White River. The last time I hiked this piece it really was raining. Everything was gray and the people were covered with ponchos. So it was nice to see it in sun.

North Country Trail White River

Near the end of our hike we crossed the much smaller Rattlesnake Creek.

North Country Trail Rattlesnake Creek

Red pine plantations aren't considered very good management practice any more, but they always make for good pictures.

North Country Trail

One of the best parts of today's hike for me is that many of the spring wildflowers are now opening. Here are my best pictures of the day.


Jack in the Pulpit

Gaywings (not an orchid, but they sure look like one).


Wood Betony or Lousewort. Flowers may be yellow, maroon or a mixture like these. I thought this top-down view made them look like firecracker pinwheels.

wood betony

And all along the way the pink lady slipper orchid was blooming. Always a favorite.

pink lady slipper

Even though we got a late start our pace was good and we finished the 11 miles in about 3.5 hours with three rest stops. Everyone had a great time. Nine of the ten people also came to the first hike, so potentially those nine people could do all the Manistee this year. Of course anyone could "make up" a missed hike on their own.

See pictures from the first hike on Facebook
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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chilling and Crocheting

Yesterday I was impossibly tired. Worked all day and all night anyway. So Saturday is my chill day. I get to give myself a break and not feel guilty if I don't accomplish anything.

That said, I started to feel "project-y" around 4:30. No, I didn't do all these today.

crocheted baskets and mats

Ann asked to see what crafts I have been making to put at Shagway Arts Barn this summer. The answer is lots of various stuff. Some I had previously made, some is new.

Over the past week, I made the patriotic mat and coaster set and the round ombre brown/yellows basket.

Today I tried the square basket. We will have to call this a prototype. The results aren't good enough to suit me yet. I did manage to solve some of the issues I don't like about crocheted baskets, but the implementation in this particular one isn't stellar. Nevertheless, I like it as a starting point.

crocheted baskets and mats

Tomorrow is bell choir, and in the afternoon I'm leading a hike. My energy better be back in the morning! And there should be trail pictures tomorrow.

See Fooling Around
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Who's in the Tree?

Although I uncharacteristically started the day on 8.5 cylinders, work was long and stressful, and I have to be back there at 9 am. Going to do an easy post. And funny too, I think. You can laugh or not.

Instead of heading for cover, the woodchuck in my side lawn climbed a tree when he saw me! He looks fairly annoyed, too.

woodchuck in a tree

That's all for today!

See The Local Marmot
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Early Saxifrage

Here's the flower I thought I was seeing from a distance that turned out to be the pussytoes. Oddly enough, within a few hundred feet, we did find early saxifrage, Micranthes virginiensis.

Note the five white petals and ten yellow stamens.

early saxifrage

The taxonomists are playing with my head. A whole bunch of what used to be genus Saxifraga are now placed in brand new genera. I suspect unless you are taking a college class or doing plants professionally, you can still call it Saxifraga virginiensis.

It's a dainty spring plant, usually less than a foot tall. This one was growing through dead leaves, but it often sprouts in rocky areas with moss or on rotting logs, creating a nice setting for pictures.

Note the basal leaves on this species. They are broadly oval with big teeth. The stems are hairy and sticky.

early saxifrage

I've previously shown you a cousin, Allegheny foamflower. I don't think we saw any of that on this Ohio trip, but we did see miterwort, another cousin. I didn't take it's picture though. It's not very showy, so I keep giving it the short end of the stick.

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