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Monday, 18 March 2013
 
Springtime Birding

Just finished a new Blog posting about the Springtime Bird Migrations. By the end of the posting, I got alot of help from Janet Hug and Dr.Bob and finished off the posting with some very Cool Birding material and NET Links. Check out the Post on the HM Blog site. http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/

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Sunday, 2 December 2012
Michigan Birds of Prey

I wrote up a nice article for the HM Blog about Birds of prey stalking the Backyard bird feeders. Janet Hug sent in a Cool picture of a Hawk, sitting on a fence near her bird feeders, waiting for a meal.

Check out the Blog at: http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/

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Download a Birds of Prey ID sheet here: http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/MichiganRaptors.pdf

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Saturday, 27 October 2012
Lightweight Campfire Cookware

Campfire cooking has come a long ways in the last 20-30 years. Gone are the old and heavy steal cookware we used to try and carry in our Packs on a long Back Packing adventure. These days it is Ultra-light equipment with the same durability as steal or even iron-ware equipment.
A Manufacturer I have used on many occasions has a new line of extremely lightweight Campfire Cookware. Very durable equipment, also shaped for great Pack storage. The cooking pans are coated and the arms fold into the pans. Check out their complete line of Campfire and outdoor, lightweight equipment, at the link here:
http://www.gsioutdoors.com/products/pdp/pinnacle_soloist/integrated_systems_nform_ultralight/

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Monday, 11 June 2012
HM locations to Visit

Hiking Michigan is all over the Internet. We have found that people all have different ways in staying in touch with the Group, or checking on HIKE schedules or reading about the latest outdoor information. So I thought I would list out some of the many Links where you can find Hiking Michigan and the new Hiking North/Central Michigan on the Internet.
You may also want to roam the HM web site as well. We are constantly updating things there too. For instance....we have just finished a revised DOWNLOADS page on the web site, that has all types of Outdoor info and PDF files for you to download to assist in a better outdoor experience.
We have also done a complete revision of our PARK MAPS page, which has many detailed, GPSed Maps of local Parks and Parks through out the lower peninsula that may be of help in planning an outdoor adventure for you.
Then there is the Outdoor NEWSLETTER page with the latest issue of our NewsLetter. This latest issue has received more then 15,000 downloads already and is one of our very best releases to date. So stay in touch just by roaming your Hiking Michigan web site.

If you like to use the NET in other ways, you can find Hiking Michigan all over the Internet. A popular place is our HM Facebook pages. Both the S.E.MI. group has a page and so does the new North/Central group.
HM S.E.MI. facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/HIKING-MICHIGAN/284929873737?ref=mf
HM North/Central group facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hiking-NorthCentral-Michigan/149820138449459

If You like Blogs, Hiking Michigan has two of them. One for the S.E.MI. Group, which has articles on various Parks, Outdoor info, Flowers ID, Insect Repellents and all types of helpful stuff to make tour outdoor experiences better ones. The HM BLOG is at: http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/
The North/Central Blog is at: http://hikingnorthcentralmichigan.wordpress.com/

If you like Videos about various outdoor subjects, as well as short Video reviews of some of our Hikes or of some of the Parks in general, then you may want to visit the Hiking Michigan YOU-TUBE site at: http://www.youtube.com/user/hikingmichigan
Or Vimeo Videos at: http://vimeo.com/user3297666/videos

We love Pictures here at Hiking Michigan, and we get so many sent in to us by fellow Hikers and members. There are a couple of FLICKER sites we have that show all types of informative pictures of many of the Parks in Southeastern Michigan. No way better to get the feel of a Park, before you visit there, then taking a look at some of the highlights and features the Park has to offer. You can check out some of these Park Picture reviews on the HM FLICKER pager here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/outdoorsforeveryone/sets/
Or you can visit our sponsored site from GO GET OUTDOORS at FLICKER here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50357181@N06/sets/

Hiking Michigan sponsors a number of Groups and web sites around the NET. One important site is GO GET OUTDOORS. They produce maps of most of the Parks located in the 8 counties that comprise Southeastern Michigan. Their focus besides Maps is Natural resources in Michigan, as well as a Blog that reports on many of the behind the scenes actions of OUR DNR system. You can start by visiting their web site at: http://www.gogetoutdoors.com/
Another web site HM sponsors is called the Haven Hill Project. It is the study of the Ford Estate which now lays buried deep in the forests of Highland Recreation area. Maps, Historical information and much more is there on their web site for you to explore. their site is at: http://www.havenhillproject.org/

So if you think you cannot find what your looking for on the Hiking Michigan web site, or you connect on-line in a different way other then through a Groups web site, then visit some of the many Links we have listed here. We think you will find many of these helpful and interesting in producing a more enjoyable and informative trip out to the many beautiful Parks & places we have in our state of Michigan.

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Monday, 21 May 2012
Indian Springs HIKE Reviewed

What an excellent Nature style Hike we took at Indian Springs Metro Park. Kim led about 32 people through the park's Nature Trails and out to the small lake that makes up the headwaters of the Huron river. All types of wild flowers along the way, as well as plants, trees and critters. Check out all the pictures on our Blog posting here:
http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/

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Monday, 14 May 2012
5/19/12 Indian Springs Nature Trails HIKE

We will be exploring the beautiful Nature Trails at Indian Springs Metro Park on Saturday, May 18th at 12pm-3pm. Kim will be our guide for this Hike. She knows the park & trails extremely well. One of our goals on this Hike will be to head to the northern most regions of the Nature trails and to the small lake there, that IS the headwaters of the infamous HURON river. Traveling from this lake and collecting natural springs, and other stream waters, it grows to be one of the longest rivers in Southeastern Michigan.
With some luck, we will encounter some carniverous Pycher plants in the FEN areas that surroung this headwaters lake. The Park is also home to one of the largest populations of Massasagua rattle snakes anywhere in Michigan. Hopefully we will find one of these critters. No worries here, we have a number of very experienced outdoorsman on this Hike and those very familiar in how to handle an encounter with this unique snake, so that we get the experience and not the danger. We will be meeting at the old Nature Center at the very back of the Park. Take the Park road, pretty much until it ends at the parking area there. We will have our HIKE signs out on the Park roads to assist everyone in finding us there.
So join us for a fun explrong afternoon at Indian Springs. The terrain is flat and we will have many options to add and subtract from our trail lengths on the Hike. New Maps will be passed out to all in attendance, as well as MI. Wildflower ID sheets. Should be a grand time!
Download a Flyer with more details and a map to where we will be meeting for this Hike here:
http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo.IndianSpringsHike.pdf

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Monday, 7 May 2012
5/5/12 N/C 1st HIKE Reviewed

What an unbelievable day! beautiful Hiking weather, people from all over the state. Paris, Lansing, Birch Run, Grand Rapids, Roscommon, jackson, Evart, leslie and many parts of S.E.MI. all came up to participate and support our first HIKE. Trail Leader, Mark Wilson showed his outdoor skills with a very relaxing and educational Hike. We seem more then 15 different species of Ferns along the way. Guess that is why the trail was called the FERN LOOP. happy.gif
Check out the Hiking Michigan Blog for more details and about 40 pictures from the Hike.
Do not miss the next one. These will obviously be quite the Cool Hikes. With people from around the state in attendance and all like-minded, Nature lovin Hikers.
http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/

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Monday, 12 March 2012
Official 1st HIKE for the HM North/Central group

We have been working very hard at organizing things to produce a doable HIKE schedule that would cover the 26 counties that comprise the North/Central region of Michigan's lower peninsula. Well.....we are very happy to announce the Inaugural HIKE for our new branch on Saturday, May 5th at 1pm-4pm+. The HIKE also includes a Campfire and some nibbles and Hot beverages afterwards.
We have made some changes and settled on a trail called the Fern Loop, along the Pere Marquette river, west of the city of Baldwin, in Lake county. This will be the Groups Inaugural HIKE and we are expecting a great turn out.

The Hike starts at 1pm on Saturday, 5/5/12, and will go until about 4pm. After the Hike there will be a nice Campfire and some nibbles and beverages for all. Alsoeveryone attending the Hike will get one of our color Maps of the area and trails we will be Hiking.

There is no charge for any of this, nor is there a need for reservations. Just show up at our meeting place and join us for a great Hike. The hike will be around 5 miles and half of it will be along the banks of the Pere Marquette river. The other half will be through various Fern landscaped. More then 11 different kinds of Ferns grow here. Thus the name of the trail. The Fern Loop.

So bring those ID books along and join us for our 1st Hike of the season for our new Group. You can download a Flyer with more details and a map to where we will be meeting here: FERN LOOP TRAIL HIKE

You can download a Flyer with more details and a map to where we will be meeting for this Hike, here:
http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/FernLoopHike.pdf

You can also download our latest map of the Fern Loop Trail & pere Marquette river area here:
http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/FernLoopTrail.pdf

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Sunday, 4 March 2012
Kensington HIKE Reviewed

TROPERS made it out through the high winds and colder comditions to enjoy new trails out at Kensington Metro Park on 3/3/12. Darrin mapped out two 4 mile loops arpund the Equestrian Campground and along the Huron River and out towrds proud Lake Park. read a review and see the many pictures sent in about the Hike, on the HM BLOG.
http://hikingmichigan.wordpress.com/

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Friday, 20 January 2012
Hiking N/C Michigan SURVEY

To better plan activities and future Hikes for the new Hiking North/Central Michigan group, Mark has put together a survey. Please participate in this Survey, so we can better understand what people want to experience in this new group. It will only take a moment, and there are no email addresses or ID to leave. Just answer a few questions and let us know what you think.
Take the Survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RLDW6SS

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Friday, 6 January 2012
2012 Parks Perks Pass

For $48 you can get an Oakland County Parks / MetroParks combined "Parks Perks Pass" which will get you entrance into 8 Oakland County Parks and 13 MetroParks. The passes can be purchased online or at many of the Oakland Co and/or Metropark locations. A great deal for all the outdoor adventures these two Park systems provide!

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Saturday, 5 November 2011
The WINTER Hiker

At our upcoming Winter Wear Hike, we will be bringing along, all the items on the WINTER Tips sheet below. Being prepared and warm, while outdoors in the wintertime, makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Take a look at the 2 sheets of suggestions, and see how you can make your winter outdoor activities a little better.
NOTE: There a few NO NOs when it comes to winter outdoor activities.
1. NO Blue jeans. They obsorb moisture and keep it. They have to no insulating properties, and will even weigh you down on a moist winter day.
2. NO straight cotton products. Cotton, like the blue jeans, obsorn moisture and in many cases, keeps it close to your body. The last thing you want on a cold winter day. Hypothermia is no joke.
3. NO summer boots or shoes. Even the best boot for summer use on the trails is not fit for winter trail use. Something waterproof (GORTEX). Keeping your feet dry and warm is as important as keeping yopur head & hands dry and warm.
Download the WINTER Tips sheet here:
http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/WINTERTips.pdf

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Wednesday, 5 October 2011
The FALL Season Hiker

OK.it is not yet time to pull out all the Winter gear yet. There is still plenty of the Fall season to enjoy yet. But there are a few things that do need to be added to your Trails needs list.
With temperatures falling faster at dusk and cooler temps around the water creeping in, adding a pair of cloth gloves and lightweight knit hat to your Hike will be most helpful to take the chill off.
A thicker pair of socks does a tremendous amount for increased warmth and comfort with the changing seasons. Adding a Fleece vest to your clothing needs is a great idea. Keeping your body core temperature warm, will help immensely in keeping your whole body warm.
Just a few easy additions to your regular hiking needs will make all the difference in the world for a much more enjoyable Fall Hike.
Download the Fall Hikers sheet here:
http://www.hikingmichigan.com/PDFinfo/FallSeasonHiking.pdf

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Monday, 26 September 2011
Flying Reindeer

Check out Jonathan Schechters recent posting on Mushrooms, and an old poem concerned with not eating just any Mushroom you find. Some great advice on Mushroom hunting, even when you think it is safe to eat the Shroons.
http://earthsalmanac.blogspot.com/2011/09/before-you-forage-cautionary-tale-of.html

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Sunday, 4 September 2011
OCT.2nd MI. Spiders Class/Hike

We have rearranged our HIKES Schedule and moved our Oct.1st Hike to Oct.2nd for a real treat. Naturalist Dan Farmer, from the Burgess Shadbush Nature Center, located in River Bends Park, Shelby Twp., will be doing a class inside the Center, starting at 1pm, Sunday, Oct. 2nd.
After our class inside the Center, we will be heading out along the river and Boardwalk to find some Spiders in the filed. We will take a break at the Boy Scout Campfire Pavilion along the river. A very beautiful place.
Join us for a rare treat and lets squelch some of the misnomers about spiders in Michigan.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011
HIKING 101 Bald Mt. Rec. Area

The park recently sponsored a Recreation HIKING 101 program. Introducing us to the new Trail Signage at the park. Most of the parks are moving to this new signage, or already have. Some excellent maps and great trails markers are now in place at Bald Mountain. It should make access to some of the deeper part of the park, alot easier for everyone. So styart exploring these places in our parks, and start at Bald Mountain Recreation area.
Here are a few picts. from our HIKING 101 Hike:

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Ranger at one of the new trailhead signs

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Jewelweed or "Touch-me-nots", a Poison Ivy remedy

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Trout Lake beach area

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Jumping meadow mouse

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Giant Puffball mushroom

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Monday, 15 August 2011
B.O.W. Program coming Spring of 2012

We have been working with Sue Tabor of the DNR "Becoming an Outdoors Women" program, and sharing some of the info we have collected and they have collected concerning Women's safety and experience in the outdoors. Well.....we will be combining forces in the Spring to offer an afternoon of Outdoor experineces and self defense, focused on women in the outdoors. We are working on all the details. There will be a number of participants, uncluding the NRA and their very successful, "REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM" program of self defense.
Sue will have a number of experience level programs for women, from women who have the knowledge and experince in the Outdoors.

HM is very much looking forward to continueing our efforst at women's safety out on the Trails and in our Parks. This opportunity to combine forces with the B.O.W. DNR program, and others, should produce some different levels of jknowledge and experience for all women looking to gain thes empowerments for their own safety and their own personal knowledge in outdoor skills and self defense.

Look for more details to be poasted as we work more of the fine points out with Sue and the other participants. We are looking at doing these programs and efforts at Island Lake Recreation Area, in the early Spring of 2012. Island lake is located in southern Oakland Co., near Kensington Metro Park.

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Friday, 22 July 2011
Great Lakes Folk Festival.....HERBS

Finding & Using common wild medicinal plants

a ~free~ medicinal herb talk & walk

at the Great Lakes Folk Festival in downtown East Lansing

on Abbot between Albert & Linden in the ReSkilling Tent

Sunday, August 14th at NOON

(the Festival itself is all weekend)

While many believe medicinal herbs are exotic plants found in faraway places, they're actually so common you can hardly help but step on them, where ever your feet might take you. Join michigan herbalist jim mcdonald in a discussion of the impressive array of uses of some of our most common wild medicinals. We'll discuss preparations, applications, safety and walk participants around the festival grounds to show just how abundant these plants really are... all to an incredible soundtrack of traditional music.

While I'm only there on Sunday, the Great Lakes Folk Festival runs from the 12th to the 14th, and in addition to all the music, there'll be other presentations on traditional skills, a green arts marketplace, and numerous children's activities... info on all that here:http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net/Programs&Activities/GrassrootsGreen/http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net/Programs&Activities/GrassrootsGreen/

If you're coming out, please do get there early enough to allow time for parking, getting through the crowd and perhaps getting drawn in by some fiddle scratching.

here's the schedule for the ReSkilling events...
`http://greatlakesfolkfestival2011.sched.org/overview/type/green+living

hope to see ya!
--
jim mcdonald
~herbalist~
http://www.herbcraft.org

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Monday, 30 May 2011
Honey Bee Swarm

Was extremely lucky enough to stumble into the Burgess-Shadbush Nature center, at just the right moment. I was heading to Holland Ponds to shoot more video on a particular Heron nest I have been following, and I stopped to say hello to Dan Farmer, the naturalist at the center. Just as I pulled up, the Bee Keepers where getting ready to attempt to coral a swarm of bees and their new queen.
The queen had left one of the existing hives at the Center's Bee Garden and her and about 20,00 honey bees where looking to start a new hive. The Bee Keepers where trying to get this swarm into a Bee house, so they could eventually harvest the honey, along with the rest of the hives at the Nature center.
I would like to Thank J.L. May Soap Makers, who where the Bee Keepers here, for allowing me so much time interfering with their jobs, to shoot this video. Very nice and informative Bee Keepers.
Take a look at this video. It isn't to often, that us non-Bee Keepers get a chance to see a Bee Swarm in action. Yet alone, Bee Keepers coraling them into a Bee House. Amazing stuff.
See the video at this Link: http://youtu.be/G1af2uOfH8I?hd=1

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Monday, 9 May 2011
Latest HERONS Video

We are following one nest this year, at the heron Rookery, located at Holland Ponds. It has only been 5 days since we shot the last video on the Feeding of the Herons, and just look how much the little ones have grown. We will be shooting new footage every 4-6 days as they grow and fledged from the nest. Should be interesting watching these parents and their two chicks for the season.
Here is the Link:
http://youtu.be/aI1mwxgfJ5c?hd=1

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