My painting for today is Round Island Light. It stands sentinel in the Straights of Mackinaw where the sun daubed skies of dusk and dawn glow a golden orange.
Fairview, Michigan is abundant with lilacs and with them come the bumble bees. I find the hum and beauty they bring to our yard, if only temporary, a Michigan staple I look forward to every year. I do wish their divine fragrance would last the summer, but that is not the case. California has bred a long lasting variety, but those are scentless and senseless as far as comparisons go. I’ll take a week of the real thing over several months of an imposter in another State.
The bumble bees will stay. They will find other avenues to gather their nectars from our gardens and ditches. While out planting a tree, I found their nest, an abandoned gopher hole in the meadow beside our yard. I am sure they will be happy there as the year rolls along into summer and fall. For now I will enjoy their dance with the lilacs across the countrysides of Northern Michigan.
Natural selection came in the night and trimmed our forests. The power went with the trees that fell and the limbs that broke from the burdens of wet snow. Not even the snowplows were ready for this one. Next springs lilacs are going to look like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
I am involved in a pilot seed growing program for creating a kenaf seed bank here in Michigan. I just planted my allotment of seed furnished to me by Kenaf Partners USA (kenafpartnersusa.com).
The essential to kenaf as a rotational cash crop for Michigan farmers is a viable seed in quantities to meet future demand. I am hopeful for viable results emanating from this pilot program which is being conducted all over the USA.
My new kenaf book, “Seeding the World” https://amzn.to/2UPR4gX
is an introduction to kenaf as a rotational cash crop for American farmers and was written in conjunction with this pilot seed program.
This will be an important phase in the creation of possibilities for kenaf in Michigan and across the USA. I will try to update as the season progresses.
painting by Richard Rensberry Continue reading
It is on occasion, after a day of drenching rain, they come out to play. Rain is music to their earthly souls, a primitive reminder of the percussion of sex, the need to partner-up and get down to some serious love making in the wet grass and dirt as lightning bugs and stars ramp up to flicker.
In the Amish Country, night crawlers are not neighborhood hoodlums. They don’t hang around on street-corners at two o’clock in the morning smoking pot. They aren’t out dealing Meth or accosting senior citizens for some meager amount of cash to buy a hit of crack cocaine. Continue reading
These are the apple days of September when we find Johnny Appleseed has left his footprints all along the roads of Northern Michigan. The apple crop is ripe, with the early birds like the Transparent and the Dutch already deer fodder. Before those breeds fell to the ground in late August, I found, picked and made crisp from their distant relatives. Picked just before ripe, they are deliciously tart and make scrumptious crisps and pies, not bad in my oatmeal, either. Continue reading
This year the Michigan Lighthouse Festival was held in Paradise, Michigan, and living not to distant from Hale, Michigan, this trip was dubbed the Hale to Paradise trip. Paradise is about fifteen miles short of the shores of Lake Superior, where we were scheduled to have a vendor space at the Community Center for the Festival.