The State of the Woods

It’s the time of year again when we start spending nearly all our free time in the woods, staring downward, looking for morels. We always start the search far too early, and this year is no exception. We knew it was, but we wanted to see how things were looking out there. Turns out, there’s more green stuff above ground than we had expected. Not only are the trout lilies popping up – they’re among the first plants to re-emerge after winter, like crocuses, but longer-lived – but some leeks have sprouted up too.


After our bout in the woods, we headed over to the local greenhouse to check out their trees. We transplanted a white pine from our back acreage up to the front of the house last year. It died. We’re considering a crab apple (so many pretty varieties), a redspire pear, a snowcloud Allegheny serviceberry, an autumn brilliance serviceberry, or a purple robe locust. Any thoughts? It’ll be planted about 25-feet from the road (think: snowplow wake) and 12-feet from the driveway.

While we were traipsing through the woods, rain sprinkled down lightly, but had stopped before we left the nursery. The resulting fog buried the lakes and any chance of a sunset, but we drove up a close hill for a chance of a view. It was just high enough that we could see over the low cloud layer, and then sun was barely burning through the higher fog. It seemed like a good time to try out my new tripod (came with the lens) for a panorama.

Many, many thanks to J. Michael Harroun for the encouragement to make these images, and also for the excellent panorama tutorials for beginners and especially for the copy or Elements that made stitching the images together easy.

Click for a larger version if you like šŸ™‚
Lake Skegemog panorama

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13 thoughts on “The State of the Woods

  1. All those tree names sound so romantic and pretty!! I’m sure the actual trees are too šŸ™‚ I like the thought of a red spire pear… It has my imagination going šŸ˜‰ looking forward to the pictures when you decide.

    I’m going to check out the link for the panorama…never learnt how to do that and want to!

    • They all flower at some point, and that’s what I’m looking forward to šŸ™‚ Hopefully we get something that grows relatively quickly (because I’m impatient) and is hardy (because it will get smacked with snow from the plows in winter.
      The panorama isn’t too hard to do – you should definitely learn how šŸ™‚

    • Thank you – I was (am) pretty proud of it šŸ™‚
      I’m not to surprised you don’t know most of the trees; you don’t plant them very often! But, still, I was (am) counting on you šŸ˜‰

  2. I forgot that Mushroom hunting was big in MI. I once rented a cabin on Lake Skeeamog about 20yrs ago and went Muskie fishing. Def not at a loss for fresh water lakes in that area. I like your simple macro shots as well.

    • I grew up mushroom hunting in Ohio and sorely missed it in the years when I lived in the south. It really was part of the draw for moving up here, and we will spend hours (days?) out in the woods during mushroom season. We’re only about two miles from Skegemog, but we prefer Torch Lake for our activities – mostly swimming and kayaking. We thought we’d do more fishing, but we favor of things instead. I hear that Skegemog is great for fishing, though. Speaking of fishing, and muskie, you should check out this Torch Lake Muskie.

      • Wow! Thats a big fish. My old boss when I worked in Saginaw was a major Muskie fisherman. In fact it was his suggestion that I check out lake Skegemog because he said it was a great lake for them. I’d like to try SUPing. Have you guys done that? Looks fun, relaxing and different.

  3. The trout lilies are beautiful, Heather. I haven’t seen any here–yet. Barry and I have been pondering when the morels might appear. The last few years haven’t been morel-friendly to me. The old spots are no longer producing. Maybe I’ll come downstate and hunt with you guys! Wouldn’t you be surprised if I showed up?

    • We would be surprised and delighted šŸ™‚
      Hopefully this year is a good year! I expect it’ll be better than last year at any rate. Are you enjoying beautiful weather up in Da UP today?

      • Yes, indeed, except the temp has dropped suddenly to about 48 degrees. Just went for a brisk walk on the road. The wind was blowing fiercely from the west. Much easier to walk down the road toward the east.

        • Storms tonight? We have a chance, but the sky is so clear that I have a hard time believing it. The weather also says that it’s 62 out. Feels MUCH warmer than that in the sun. Is this just survivorship of a long winter being overly optimistic about the temperature?

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