Friday, July 24, 2015

Just for Inspiration

A couple weeks ago, I took a few days off from my quilting to join a group of botany nerds from the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Asso. for a 3-day field trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We visited bogs and fens and wetlands and dunes between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
The bogs and fens were a relatively new habitat for me and a first look doesn't reveal much of the true nature. 
This is what one discovers in a pair of knee high boots and a bug head net!
Northern Pitcher plants were every where!!
Many were just finishing blooming!
I tried to stick around and see if the fly on this one would slide down into the watery pitcher. 
The color and the patterns were so beautiful. 
Round-leafed sundew were more plentiful but their small size makes them easy to overlook.
This is my favorite picture of the trip, a little island of spatula-leaf sundew at the edge of a small pool. 
Bogs and fens begin as small lakes and over time, plants form a mat of vegetation that fills in the lake.
This puddle is the last stand of waterlilies in an old lake that has become a large bog. 
Orchids like this grass-pink dot the soggy landscape.
And these showy lady slippers were just past their peak bloom but still captivating! 
The sand dunes offered a completely different landscape filled with other interesting plants.  This "sedge" (I think? -- they lost me on that group of plants) grows in straight lines -- cool!!
These harebells
and this pucoon were growing along the edge of the beach belonging to our hotel.
This piece of driftwood hosted a colony of lichen and the red is the "bloom" of it. 
We visited some of the large dunes along Lake Superior and found quite a few unusual orchids including this pyrola which was about 8" tall and also had a pink variety.
This is spotted coralroot, a parasitic orchid with no leaves. 
These two bugs caught my eye -- no idea what they are -- the one on the left seems to be a beetle and the one on the right a bee.   They both look like creatures from Star Wars?!
I am primarily a bird nerd, so I was a bit out of my depth, but the trip broadened my appreciation for some rare habitats.  If you'd like to see more pictures (with scientific captions), visit ONAPA's Facebook page HERE and browse a bit.  The photos of Dave Kuehner are excellent.
I wonder if there is a quilt inspiration that will surface from this trip -- I sometimes get a color theme idea from visiting a new part of the world.  We'll see?!?
Have a pieceful weekend!!
Mary Huey


  1. Lovely photos Mary. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. Ahhh! Inspiration--such beautiful pics. Should remind us all that the best things in life aren't buildings and concrete! :-)

  3. So many of the plants you showed are also common in Ontario so they are very familiar to me. What I really enjoyed seeing was the picture of the lichen in bloom. There is loads of the stuff here but I've never seen it bloom. Absolutely fascinating!

  4. I'd never seen the lichens in bloom, either. Thank you for sharing some of God's diverse nature. So enjoyed it.