The calls of red-winged blackbirds are returning to Northern Michigan just as our cattail marshes, their preferred nesting habitat, swell with snowmelt. Soon their sunset songs will be joined by a chorus of all kinds of frogs and buzzing insects, drawn to the same wetlands for the very same reasons: to breed, lay eggs and contribute more vitality to these places already teeming with life. … More Why Do Wetlands Matter?
The northern shores of Lake Huron are home to teal-blue waters, sun-bleached coasts of ancient bedrock and plants that eat meat. The thin soil found here contains very few nutrients, so plants like butterwort, bladderwort, sundew and pitcher plants have adapted to life in this rugged habitat by eating insects, much like the well-known Venus flytrap of the eastern United States. … More Coastal Fens and Carnivorous Plants of Northern Michigan
On the remote shore of Negwegon State Park, where Lake Huron’s rugged coast gives way to long, narrow sand dunes, one of Michigan’s rarest plants is hanging on.For most of its life, the Pitcher’s thistle is a wispy tangle of short, silver-green stems.Below ground, the plant will spend the better part of a decade sending a taproot 6 feet down. … More Treasures in the Sand: Protecting One of Michigan’s Rarest Plants