Category Archives: Michigan (including Kalamazoo)

Wood Frogs Calling Today

After a cold March–very different from last year–there are a few signs of spring. Today, at the Oshtemo Township oak area I heard a few wood frogs call mid-afternoon.  The day had gotten steadily warmer and it must have been in the high 50s by then. Air temperature.  I didn’t have a thermometer so I’m […]

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Quote 6. Practical Advice to Environmentalists, quoted by Stephanie Mills

  Save the Earth.  Pitch In. Help Out.  A very little goes a long way.  If you’re interested call.  Don’t stop trying. This advice appears in the Stephanie Mills book In Praise of Nature (p.165).  Mills mentions that sometime around 1990 four little girls who had learned that the Earth was endangered were visiting homes […]

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Quote 5. William H. Whyte & Kalamazoo’s Own Walden Woods

The woods and meadows that so attracted [new residents] disappeared as soon as developers got around to building on them, and if the residents wanted to find what other nature features would be next to go, they had only to check the names of the subdivisions being planned. When a developer puts a woods into the […]

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A Little More About Beech-Maple Forest in Late Summer

In my last post I talked about how bland and uneventful the mesic forest is in late summer and early fall.  I was giving my impression from a good many years of experience with such forests.  But I spent a few hours on three days recently, actually looking at what was happening.  Partly I was […]

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Bird Lives! Three Birds Orchid Still in Michigan

Last August (2011), I wrote a post mentioning that late summer is the flowering time of a rare plant of beech-maple forest, the three birds orchid, Triphora trianthophora. It’s rare nearly everywhere and seemingly was gone from most or all of the few known Michigan stations. I invited Michigan field naturalists to go out and […]

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Trail Threat to Calhoun County’s Harvey Ott Preserve is Back

It appears that the more-or-less satisfactory resolution (as of about this time last year) to the proposed wide trail through the Ott Preserve has fallen through.  The issue is again before the Calhoun County Board of  Commissioners. Last year, the Board listened carefully to all sides and rejected the poorly conceived plan brought to it […]

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Field Trip To Beech-Sugar Maple Forest 7 April 2012, In A High CO2 World

I’m leading a field trip to a beech-sugar maple forest this spring.  We’ll look at the spring flowers and as we stroll around also talk about what mesophytic forests are like, why they are where they are, what the interactions among the organisms are, and other such natural history and ecology topics. The specific site […]

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Notes On A High CO2 Spring, March 2012

With temperatures in the 50s and 60s the last few days–and predicted as mid-70s today–spring is advancing fast.  Wood frogs were calling in the larger pond Monday, March 12.  By yesterday, they were in full chorus in both ponds and by last night, a few spring peepers had joined in. Among the bird arrivals I’ve […]

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L. A. Kenoyer on Saving Newton Woods

The essay that follows is a radio address by Leslie Alva Kenoyer, who served from 1922 to 1953 as Professor and Chairman of the Biology Department at Western Michigan University –at that time Western State Teachers College .  The piece is dated April 16, 1935.  It was written for Western’s Radio Hour, which was evidently a continuing feature […]

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More about Ozone: Lisa was smiling till she saw Fred

In the preceding post, the question of why President Obama rebuffed the stronger ozone standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency was left unresolved.  Now we have the answer. The Kalamazoo Gazette for 2 November 2011 reprinted an article from the Washington Post by Ned Martel. The Gazette reprint was titled Upton Changing for good of GOP? […]

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