May 23-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: May: May 23-11
Rolling waves    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Aladino Mandoli
Field bouquet    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Barb Bouwkamp
Trailing Arbutus    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Barb Bouwkamp

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 07:56 am:

People talk about the hazy, lazy days of summer, but I don’t know…I really like the laid back days of spring, when everything seems all new again, like heading up to McLain State Park with Aladino Mandoli as he captures this spring-like scene of a wave making its way to Superior’s sandy shore there. After a long winter, covered with ice, it’s almost like you’ve never seen those waters before and are experiencing it all for the first time again, that’s how the Big Lake affects you.

And speaking of things being new again...what about the two photos from Barb Bouwkamp, showing us the rebirth of a dainty wildflower, called a Trailing Arbutus or Mayflower. Barb says, that now is the time to look for the elusive, fragrant arbutus to be showing up on the forest floor. They are only about ½ inch, so you have to have a good eye while walking in the woods or you might just pass them by without even noticing them. Barb added that the pink arbutus, shown in the third photo, are really rare and the most fragrant. If you’re thinking about heading out in search of these pretty little flowers, make sure you take your camera along, because Barb is pretty sure they are illegal to pick.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:00 am:

The flowers look a little like strawberry plants. I see them outside and am getting anxious to have some.

Nice pictures! Hope everybody's safe from the storms yesterday.

By Mike Diljak (Mikebass) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:00 am:

I couldn't help but notice the color of the water in the first picture -
it really is a remarkable shade of blue. I wonder if the water
temperature has anything to do with it?

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:03 am:

Nice group of pictures today!

By Donna (Donna) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:12 am:

I agree with Mike...what a color of the Big Lake! That blue is the color of the Indigo Buntings I have coming in to feed.

The flowers are gorgeous..I can almost smell that divine fragrance! And is illegal to pick take your camera!

Beautiful pictures today folks! Thanks!!

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 08:24 am:

Interesting to see the comments on the water color... because I see that it's brownish and full of sediment (as is appropriate for early spring when the layers are still shifting and resettling as the water warms up). I think the blue you're perceiving is actually the sky being reflected off some of the surface of the water...

By JoAnne Stefanac (Davejostef) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 09:44 am:

That water color struck me as well; both brown and blue! Remarkable photo!

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 10:34 am:

I just assumed the water was colorized!

By Stephanie (Stefani13) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:01 am:

Looks like it may only be illegal in Massachusetts:

In a bid to gain some legal protection for Epigaea, members of the New England Wild Flower Society and other conservation minded citizens lobbied to have it named the state flower of Massachusetts. After several failed attempts beginning in 1900, they finally succeeded in 1918. Interestingly, a competing bill was introduced in the Massachusetts legislature that same year to adopt the water lily – Nymphaea odorata – as the state flower instead. The decision was made through a statewide poll of school children, who elected the mayflower champion by a vote of 107,617 to 49, 499. A few years later, in 1925, a law was passed in Massachusetts to discourage the wild collection of the state flower.

The mayflower (Epigaea repens) shall be the flower or floral emblem of the commonwealth. Any person who pulls up or digs up the plant of the mayflower or any part thereof, or injures such plant or any part thereof except in so far as is reasonably necessary in procuring the flower therefrom, within the limits of any state highway or any other public way or place, or upon the land of another person without written authority from him, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars; but if a person does any of the aforesaid acts while in disguise or secretly in the nighttime he shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by all officers in the division of law enforcement in the department of fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement. . (Chapter 2: Section 7 of the General Laws of Massachusetts)

By Stephanie (Stefani13) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:07 am:

I also found this, but nothing for Michigan.
"Wildflower picking or plucking in illegal in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin is one of the few states that has a wildflower protection law. It was passed in 1923."

This grows on our property. If it IS actually illegal to pick, is it illegal if you pick some on your own land??

By Tom (Tom) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:39 am:

When I was a kid we had lots of arbutus on our land. We would pick them and make bouquets to sell
along US41. There was quite a bit of that flower back then because a number of us kids earned some
money selling them. Saturday nights were best if I recall------couples out for the evening would buy them-----everyone loved the scent.
That flower is still growing on the land but due to all the tag elder it is not as plentiful.

By JAD, Orgnst (Jandalq) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:42 am:

I googled "protected flowers in Michigan" and trailing arbutus is on the list, that is, it is illegal to pick the flowers. Enjoy the beauty, get on your knees to smell, but do not pick.

By Ann Vanderlip (Suomiyooper59) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:57 am:

I remember picking trailing arbutus 60 years ago, when it
grew across the street from Atlantic Mine school. Sooooo

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 03:02 pm:

Beautiful pictures today, thank you! I absolutely love the arbutus, such a delicate and unique fragrance. I once heard they wanted to make this the state flower but it didn't come to pass. Shame as it's so unique. I used to pick them as a young girl in the woods and considered them little that time didn't know it was illegal to do so.

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 03:26 pm:

I've never seen Lake Superior that color of blue. It always seems to be shades of blue-green in my pictures, no matter if it's summer or winter. That's a beautiful shade of blue, however.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 03:57 pm:

Beautiful pics. I like the aqua hue in the 1st one.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 05:12 pm:

Long ago, one of my great aunts took her son out to pick arbutus
somewhere near the town of Herman. This young (at the time) lad ,
a cousin of my dad's, wanted to gather some more of these flowers
the next day and asked his mom to take him to pick "our beauties."
That childhood misunderstanding of the flower's name lives on as
legend in our family.

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