Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Freedom Day

Pack up the computers and tax books, boys. It's time to ride into the sunset for another year.

My own personal "Tax Freedom Day". That's a joke. Well, I thought it was funny!!

Closing it out at the Three Rivers Community Center.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This is the flower of the earliest blooming local, a lovely shrub or small tree of the rose family native to the Three Rivers area. Starting in June there will be lovely sweet berries. Amelanchier has many species in Michigan; this one is probably A. arborea.

The plant is called "Juneberry" locally, referring to its early fruiting. While visiting relatives on Martha's Vineyard I learned that it is called "Shadblow" there; the reason I was given is that it blooms in early April when the shad, a valuable food fish related to herring, comes up from the ocean to New England rivers to spawn. "Blow" in the sense of "full-blown", but I'm not sure whether it refers to the blooming of the fish or the blooming of the trees!

Most plants indigenous to North America also have common names that reflect the general irritation of early European settlers when they found themselves having to deal with unfamiliar plants. In that vein the Amelanchier are also called "serviceberry" - implying that the plant's berries would "serve" as a (barely tolerable) substitute for more familiar European fruits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marsh Marigolds

Marsh Marigolds to glow as they rises out of the muck along the Portage River. I love the bits of pink in with the green of the soft round leaves. Caltha palustris is native to the Michigan; we have quite a colony of it along the river. It is also found in similar zones around the world, and found hybridized as a garden flower as well. Although the common name "Water Buttercup" persists, it is not an aquatic plant and can and does grow where it is fairly dry - but it is in the buttercup family of plants. It's called "Gundega" in Latvian; the Three Rivers area has lots of Latvians.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In the News

People gasped in amazement to read about the Three Rivers Daily Photo in a feature story in Monday's Three Rivers Commercial-News.

The story also celebrated Day By Day in Fabius -- and CityDailyPhoto in general! My journalist brother comments, "It's great local news. And better than the latest Tiger update by far, or news of Tea Parties and other alleged happenings."

Three Rivers Commercial-News is a print newspaper but they do have a "web presence" at

Sunday, April 11, 2010


One day snow, the next day the sun is shining. Children play in the park and couples stroll in the sunshine. Trees suddenly show soft clouds of new leaves. A young woman in a summer dress bicycles past me. Winter never existed.

People keep using the word "balmy".