Category Archives: Plants and Plant Communities

A Problem Solved: WMU’s BTR Park Downtown on Arcadia Commons

  The following was submitted to the Kalamazoo Gazette on 8 June. The next day the Gazette’s Community Engagement Specialist informed me that it would be published as a guest column within the next few days.  This has not happened as of 15 June so I decided to post it here in a slightly expanded version. Solutions […]

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Tuesday Noon (26 May 2015) Nature and Art at KIA

A program coming up at noon Tuesday (26 May) at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art sounds promising for people interested in art and nature. Here’s what the KIA’s website says about it:   From the Darkness: Light: What an Ecologist and a Poet See in the Art of Ladislav Hanka  Presenters: James Armstrong, Kim Chapman […]

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Earth Day 2015 Colony Farm Orchard Protest

The Save the Colony Farm Orchard group held a second protest rally at the Orchard on this day (22 April 2015). Three speakers made brief remarks. The following is approximately what I said plus a few things that I left out for brevity or that I should have said but didn’t. My topic was What would […]

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Spring Wildflower Walk at Brewer Woods

  Under the auspices of the Southwest Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club, I will lead a field trip at the Michigan Nature Association’s Brewer Woods Sanctuary on Saturday 2 May 2015. It begins at 10:00 AM at the woods, located in Pavilion Township. The 41-acre preserve is mostly beech-maple forest, or southern mesic forest. […]

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Must the Colony Farm Orchard Be Developed?

  Between 1959 and 1977, Western Michigan University (WMU) received gifts of  land–the Colony Farm–that had been acquired by the state with tax-payer money several decades earlier. The land came to WMU with a restriction that it was to be kept as open space for public use. The gift and the restriction were mostly the […]

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Petition to Save the Colony Farm Orchard is Available to Sign

Western Michigan University has once again renewed its attempt to demolish the naturally occurring vegetation and fauna of the Colony Farm Orchard (CFO). The purpose, it is claimed, is to expand WMU’s Business, Technology, Research (BTR) Park.   Many of us will remember the battle between WMU and the pro-environment opponents that occurred in 2009-2010.  […]

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February 2015, California and Kalamazoo

Katy and I gave February in Kalamazoo a miss for 2015, as did a few other people we know.  The Polar Vortex of 2014 was what prompted our and others’ decisions. And away to warmer climates was the right direction to take: The vortex was operating this year too.  Here in Kalamazoo, the daily low […]

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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 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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