Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Philadelphia Flower Show 2020 - Euphorbia

If you've been hanging around this blog for a few years, you know I also love Euphorbia. There is an almost bizarre amount of variation in the genus. The common name of the genus is Spurge. You might know the local wildflower Flowering Spurge, Euphorbia corollata, or the super-prickly house plant Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii, or at least the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima!

Well, here are a few from the most recent Philadelphia Flower Show.

Euphorbia globosa caught my eye. Certainly the name comes from the globose thickened areas, but I don't know if the white color is standard or if this is some variegated sport.

Euphorbia globosa

Here's one that grows with a cascading form. It's Euphorbia Boiteaui var. 'Spirosticha.' I don't think I've ever seen this one before. I always wonder how they transport these huge hanging plants to the flower show.

Euphorbia boiteaui var spriosticha

Here's a regular at the show. There are usually a couple of these. Euphorbia lactea, 'White Ghost.'

Euphorbia lactea white ghost

And another of the same species but not any cultivated variety. Just a plain E. lactea. In the past, I've shown you the fasciated version called Crested E. lactea

Euphorbia lactea

And here's one that doesn't look anything like the others from today. In fact, you might think this looks more like a poinsettia but without the colored bracts. This is Euphorbia leuconeura,

Euphorbia leuconeura

and if you take apart the species name you have leuco=white, and neura=nerve or vein. Indeed, the young plants have white veins.

Euphorbia leuconeura

Finally for today, we have Euphorbia stellata, or "like a star." I can see that in the growth form. The spiraling stems are nifty too.

Euphorbia stellata

In other news: I did set a goal for today, but it was a sedentary one. I want to read Ivanhoe. I don't think I ever actually read the book. Found it for free on line, but it was difficult to tell how long it is. The answer is... pretty long. I'm about halfway through. Of course, I have to keep looking up words and British history to make sense of it all, so that slows me down considerably. It started out pretty slow, but I'm into it now. Doubt I'll finish tonight, though. We're supposed to get thunderstorms. So far, only gray. I could have gone for a hike. But I'm enjoying the knights and Robin Hood.

See 2013 Flower Show Euphorbia

Monday, April 6, 2020

Art Center Bingo- Self Portrait

So today was the deadline for turning in entries in the Ludington Area Center for the Arts BINGO card. I had one more piece to do, a self portrait. I decided to do a collage.

self portrait collage

I've been working on it for over a week, because the layers of paper have to be glued down and allowed to dry. Here's the process.

I actually did some of it in the wrong order, but o well... this is pretty much all experimental for me anyway. This was the first set of pieces I cut and glued.

self portrait collage progress

Next step. It's kind of fun because all these papers came either from a catalog of outdoor gear or plant catalogues.

self portrait collage progress

I did have to go hunting for some magazines with black, and the various blues of the backpack. We had recycled all the paper not long ago, and since I wasn't keeping a collage stash (can you believe there is some item in the universe I didn't have a stash of?) I had to rummage. But as you can see, I found things.

self portrait collage progress

The last thing I added was my hair which is newspaper bits. Here is the final one again, so you can see the correct order easier.

self portrait collage

In other news: I did laundry and hung the clothes outside for the first time this year. Wonderful! And I did my one risky behavior of this time period- I went to the grocery store. I'm feeling a bit ho-hum today. I'm sure it will pass. I could fix that by doing some of the things I really should get done. I'm sure I'm much more content than most everyone who is affected by the shut-downs, so I certainly am not going to start complaining.

See Stay at Home Fun
See Art Center Bingo- Square One

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Teeny Said, "Let's Do it Again"

Modestine is a fine name, but it's not gonna last. Her nickname is "Teeny." But, I'm happy to be able to tell you that she likes the exact same kind of weather I do. So when I told her that today was going to be cool with bright sunshine all day, she just begged until I said, "Yes, we can go out."

Omer was helpful, and spotted me so I only had to walk in one direction. I ended at (just past it at the next road) the same place as yesterday, McCarthy Lake, but this time I came from the other direction. It never disappoints.

McCarthy Lake

Spring is taking its sweet ol' time showing up here. Nothing seems to be greening up at all. However, one of the nice things about being able to see a long way through the woods is that I can feel how I'm really moving through the landscape. Instead of just walking through constant trees, I can see the ridges, and feel how the trail lies on them.

open woods

This stump covered with moss and lichen shocked me at first. When I was farther away it almost looked like some strange dried-out cactus.

funny stump

A reflection in McCarthy Lake.


There is a pair of trumpeter swans on McCarthy Lake. I got one good picture of one of them.

trumpeter swan

McCarthy Creek looks like a solid little stream, but it completely dries up in late summer.

McCarthy Creek

And, look who I ran into again: Kurt and Connie. This is at least the second time this year. Other than that, I saw 5 mountain bikers, a few motorcycles on the motorized trail, and a family with little kids who were taking a different trail. We all kept our distance. It was a beautiful Sunday, and I'm glad to see people getting outside.


How did we do? I put 3 more pounds in Teeny, and we both did fine with them. Not up to full weight yet, though. Miles hiked: 9.25. Call it 9. Hike 100 Challenge 2020 is at 98 miles.

In other news: I "went to church" at two different services. My camera does seem to be dead. I got out an old one that still works.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, Timber Creek to 3-Mile Rd.

See Modestine's First Hike

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Michigan East & West Railway

This is not the somewhat hidden berm of what is possibly the Manistee and Luther Railroad that I discovered last week. This berm is one you'd never miss when you cross it on the North Country Trail. And it has plenty of documented history. It wasn't just some short-lived logging spur.

Just north of 3-Mile Road in Lake County the trail crosses this wide, and still open, transportation corridor.

Michigan East and West Railway berm

Has to be something major, right? Well, it is.

This is part of the Michigan East & West Railway that ran from Manistee in Manistee County to Marion in Osceola County. It was originally part of the Manistee and Grand Rapids line, built for timbering purposes, of course. In 1914, this line was re-organized as the Michigan East & West Railway. It only survived four years, till it was sold to Pere Marquette Rail, which liquidated it and sold it for junk value. There was a station in Manistee. I'll have to try to discover if the building has survived.

On this map, I've marked some places I talk about fairly often. I've left the map clickable so you can enlarge it. Point 1 is where the trail crosses this wide berm. It's impossible to miss, as it is a wide bench you have to cross part way up a hill. I think it's interesting that trees have not grown up on it.

Point 2 is the trail crossing of the Big Sable River where the Vince Smith Bridge is located, just downstream of the picture I showed you of the river yesterday.

Vince Smith Bridge

Point 3 is McCarthy Lake where I often take you... yesterday, in fact!

Point 4 is the defunct village of Sauble. I've blogged about it before. See link below. There is nothing left but a couple of houses and a little log cabin. But the river is really pretty there.

In other news: I spent the whole day working on a web site that isn't ready for public view yet, but this post is a hint.

See Railroad or Road
See Sauble

Friday, April 3, 2020

Modestine's First Hike

Long day, all good. Just what I wanted to be doing.

Met with Andrea this morning, and we carefully kept our distance and even disinfected the saw before trading off turns. We cleared the spur trail from the NCT to Bear Track Campground.

Then, she headed in one direction to hike a piece she wanted to, and I went in a different direction to do ditto. In a nutshell, I hiked from the Big Sable River (from the road north of it) to McCarthy Lake and back. Total miles for the day a bit over 11.5. Yup, I'm tired. My knees are tired. But I'm still hopeful of being able to do my planned hike at the end of May. So I need to push myself a bit to get in shape.

It was Modestine's first hike. She didn't have to carry a full load, but got practice at keeping things in their correct pockets.


Here's the Big Sable River. It's always a beautiful spot. Yes, this is the river that leads to Hamlin Lake.

Big Sable River

Some of today's goodies include this ruffled liverwort.


A not quite in focus Mourning Cloak butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa. It's usually the earliest spring butterfly. I saw quite a few of them today.

mourning cloak butterfly

Some of the seed pods from last year's Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora

indian pipe seed heads
And what's left of a deer who provided winter food for a number of other creatures.

deer skeleton

I thought I would only hike to 3-Mile Road, but when I got there I decided to go on to McCarthy Lake. I wanted to push myself a bit, and that did the job! It was a little farther to the lake than I realized. I ate a snack and turned around. Got back to the car at 6:30. Still quite warm. I hiked in shirt sleeves.

There were two families camped at the lake. Because there is vehicle access it's pretty popular. I've seen quite a few people out in campers. I'm thinking they are choosing to spend the shut-down in the woods. A boy at McCarthy Lake took the family boat out with a quiet electric motor. He was fishing.

There were bufflehead ducks on the lake, but I did not get any pictures of them. The really bad news is that I think my camera is dead. I'll play with it a little, but I think we are talking dead.

McCarthy Lake

So, I'm tired. Going to take a shower and chill. A bit ache-y, but I don't think anything worrysome. No blisters. And Modestine? She had a very good time. She behaved herself, and is learning the ropes of this outdoor life.

hiker and backpack

I seem over-tired for 11.5 miles, but then again... I'm a little older than I used to be (wink, wink). But I'll get in shape.

NCT Hike 100 Challenge 2020- Only 9.5 of my miles today were on the main NCT. We are allowed to count all hikes in April, but I'm going to remain a purist. 89 of 100 miles.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, 5 Mile Road to McCarthy Lake and back, plus the spur to Bear Track and back.

See What a Glorious Day!
if you like this blog, click

See Meet Modestine
Like This!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin