Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is a late Spring wildflower of open prairies and meadows.  The spire of purple flowers on a single plant is beautiful and a field of lupines is impressive.  This wildflower grows throughout the eastern US and but is rare in some parts of its range.  Wild Lupines are a critical food source for the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.    

Lupines, like other prairie plants, need full sun to survive.  Historically, wildfires kept fields open. Today, preserves often use controlled burns to limit the incursion of brush and trees. 
Wild Lupines, near Kalamazoo, are currently at peak blossom.  Yesterday, we visited the Maas Preserve on the White Pine Trail just north of Rockford and it was full of lupines.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Events 2014

Summer's warm weather creates a wide variety of outdoor activities in west Michigan: biking, canoeing, hiking, camping or swimming in Lake Michigan.  Many area communities celebrate summer with festivals.

 Summer events near Kalamazoo

June 6-8 Cerulean Warbler Weekend Hastings

June 7 National Trails Day

June 7-8 Michigan Free Fishing Weekend

June 12-14 56th Annual Waterfest Three Rivers

June 19-22 Harborfest South Haven

July 2-6 Balloon Festival Battle Creek

July 9-14 Kindleberger Summer Festival Parchment

July 18-20  Old Tyme Tractor Show Scots

July  19-21  Rogue River Expedition 2014 Sparta

August 7-10  50th annual Blueberry Festival South Haven

Also consider:

Long weekend suggestions from Pure Michigan

50 fun things to do in Michigan this summer

West Michigan Summer Weekends

Kalamazoo Farmers Market

Michigan Fireworks Displays a comprehensive list of fireworks throughout the state

Events at Kalamazoo's Arcadia Creek Festival Place
Event listings from Discover Kalamazoo
Events from West Michigan Tourist Association

Kzoo Kids lists Beaches near Kalamazoo & Battle Creek promotes Lake Michigan beach towns.

Gazelle Sports' calendar of West Michigan Races and Running Workshops

Open Roads Fixapalooza
League of Michigan Bicyclist's Michigan Ride Calendar

West Michigan Coastal Kayaker's Association Event Calendar
Outdoor Athlete has lists for Michigan running, biking and triathlon events. 

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy volunteer workdays
State park events for June, July, and August 2014 from Michigan's DNR

Michigan Festivals and Events Association Events browser