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Friday, 28 December 2012
Nature Park GAME

About 8 years ago we started a project we never quite finished. The program was a Nature Class for elementary students, showing the Inter-connectivity of all the critters and life in the natural world. How it takes all these delicate interconnections to have a healthy ecosystem.
The Program was based around a map of a Nature Preserve we had constructed. The Preserve had all types of critters, Birds, Plants, Tree, insects, etc., all interacting with one another to create a healthy environment. There is one small example on this map, of an unhealthy system, where some invasive species invaded the west end of the pond and although everything still looked kinda OK, it was now considered a "Dead-zone". A place where nothing natural to the area was alive. A "Mono-culture" of only a few species, and not the hundreds it takes to actually produce a healthy ecosystem.
Head over to the HM blog and download the Nature Preserve Map, and see if you can list and identify all the life there. Some are over-sized and easy to spot, while others are hiding critters, lurking in the forest. We will be doing a Game on this in the future, on identifying what is there in the Park Map. For now.......see if YOU can find and ID the life there. We will be posting the ID list in a week or so. Have Fun!
OH YA......there is nothing out of the normal in the Park. The critters, Trees and even the insects, are the most common seen in S.E.MI., so just maybe you will not even need an ID book to help list out all the life you find in the Park map.
Download the Nature Park Map Here:

[linked image]

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Special NEWSLETTER New Year stories

We have just released our 47th isuue of the Hiking Michigan Outdoor newsLetter. This issue was our largest to date with over 30 pages packed with outdoor articles, pictures and information on Michigan activities. Our readership has grown to over 18,000 per issue and we hope to break those numbers by distributing not just on-line, but through out the entire state and in Print for many locations. We may just see over 30,000 downloads on this issue.

Just after the new year, we are releasing a special newsLetter. This special publication is dedicated to Outdoor stories from 2012. Winter Snow Shoe making classes, Horseback Riding and care, Deep Woods Bushwhacking, and a couple of other story like writings that are different from our usual outdoor articles.

Look for this very special 2013 first unique Edition of the HM Special Outdoor Stories issue.
In the meantime, head over to the NEWSLETTER page of the web site and take a read of our very best Outdoor NewsLetter to date. The writers and Photographers have outdone themselves with this 47th issue. We hope you will continue to read and participate in YOUR Hiking Michigan NewsLetter.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
DAY PACK packing

Here is an excellent breakdown on what to use and pack for that daytime or all-day adventure out on the Trails. Mark Wilson, our director for the Hiking North/Central Michigan expanded state Group, made this detailed post on the Blog. Well placed, with pictures and fine-point details.

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Monday, 11 June 2012
Taking a short Break

If you have been to the HM web site and noticed there is nothing on the HIKES schedules for either Group, thats because there will be no Hikes until August. I have some personal health issues that will finally be taken care of and I will not be around much over the next 6 weeks or so.

We are already set on a return schedule though. Our infamous FEN Hike at Seven Lakes State Park is the first thing on the S.E.Michigan Groups list. It is blooming time at the FENs in August, and the rare flowers, Orchids, Picher plants and insect life are all in busy mode. We seen a Massasagua rattle snake at the FEN, the last two times we visited there. So hopefully we will get lucky again.

The last week in August will be a very big weekend for the new North/Central Hiking Group. We will be doing our Hartwick Pines weekend, starting with Aldo Leopolds film, Green Fire, being shown at the Museum there. Afterwards we will be led around the giant Pine trees by a Park Ranger and avid Birder. Get ready for some real treats here.

We will be setting up reservations for an overnight Camp at the Parks Campgrounds, and a full gathering campfire Breakfast the next morning. After packing things up, we will head out again on some of the less traveled trails around the lakes in the Park. Lots of wildlife and flowers to be found there.

So that is what we already have planned and in the works for late August. In the meantimeroam around the HM web site and check out the new Downloads and Park Maps, as well as the Outdoor NewsLetter. Dont forget to check out our Facebook page and your already here at the Blog. But most importantly..get out onto those Trails and enjoy the Parks and all the wonders the natural world has for us here in beautiful Michigan.

We will see you out on the Trails real soon. We will still be posting here on the Blog and Facebook pages, and just maybe, there might be a random Hike sneaking into the mix as well.

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Monday, 21 May 2012

For over 14 years now, Hiking Michigan has led Nature style Hikes into the local parks that comprise Southeastern Michigan. That means we stop for the flowers along the trails, examine critter scat, figure out what tree that is we are looking at, or what bird that is singing away.
Through the years, some people have wanted to speed up the Hiking pace, or not keep stopping along the Trails. Others have wanted us to be some sort of Social group, where we have Dinner or Lunch together and visit each others homes. Although this maybe what some of the other outdoor groups are doing, or what a very small amount of people would like to do, it is not what WE do here at Hiking Michigan.
We are here to learn about the Plants, Trees, animals, flowers, birds and all of the natural world we encounter on our Hikes. That's just what we do. There is the occasional Campfire vittles after a Hike, where we will discuss our Hike findings or have a special Winter Wear program, but it is nothing like a Social calendar or Event.

Now.....I am not insulting any of these types of things here. There are some wonderful Social groups and Activity based organizations that put together some excellent gatherings and even healthy Hikes. But what we do here at Hiking Michigan is take Nature style HIKES. That is what over 5,000 other nature lovers have signed up to do, and that is what we will remain focused on, here at Hiking Michigan.
So......if it is nature you are interested in, or examining the outdoor world in detail, and you will not be frustrated by the constant stopping along the trails to see what we can see, then Hiking Michigan is YOUR place to be. Come on out and join us after you have sent us an email to become a member. No Fees, no advanced reservations for Hikes, just your want to be with other nature enthusiasts and on our email list. That is all you need to do.

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Come on out and support Homeless Doggies and Animals at the 7th annual WALK for the HOMELESS in Clawson. Claws & Paws has sponsored this Event for 7 years now and doeas a great job. Check out the web site for more details.

[linked image]

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Friday, 27 April 2012
VEG FEST 2012 4/29/12

Sunday, April 29, 11am - 5pm
Suburban Collection Showplace
46100 Grand River, Novi, MI
[linked image]
Come on out an experience one of the more unique Events of the year, at VEGFEST 2012. Booths, Info, plenty of Tasting, and all types of entertainment and games for the whole family. You do not have to be a Vegetarian to enjoy this Event. Good Food and good eating is something we all should be doing, and that is the bottom line theme at the Event.
General admission is $10.00 at the door or $7.00 if pre-paid. Admission for students is $5.00 at the door or $3.00 if pre-paid.
VegMichigan members and children five and under are admitted free of charge. (Two admissions per family membership.) JOIN NOW!
The parking fee at Suburban Collection Showplace is $5 per vehicle.

For more info, go to the web site and check it all out here:

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Sunday, 15 April 2012
MNA Special HIKE 4/18/12

As part of their 60th Anniversary ODYSSEY HIKE TOUR, the Michigan Nature Association will be at the Wilcox-Warnes {reserve, in Macomb county, this Wednesday at 10am, for a special HIKE of the Park. You will have the Park staff and many other experts on hand for a very unique Hike of MNAs latest Preserve, and the only one in Macomb county. HM has led a couple of Hikes here, and there is much to see at the Preserve. Me and Rosie will be there, with our old, good friend Martha Wolfe. Join us.

[linked image]

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Friday, 23 March 2012
3/21/12 1st Herons report for 2012

The largest Great Blue Heronry exists at Holland Ponds park in Shelby Twp., Macomb county. Last years nesting pairs totaled 39 nests. Well.all the nests are already filled and its only March 21st. Unheard of in the past.

There are also male Herons, waiting at the edges of the Heronry, for females to arrive. This means there will be new nests being built this year. I have already seen three new attempts going on.

The skies over Holland Ponds are just full of Herons. Some of the nests even have females sitting on the nests. This only means eggs. ALREADY. Once the eggs are there, the female will sit and the male will fetch food for her. When the eggs hatch, the adults will take turns going for food. One leaves and one stays with the youngsters at all times.

Stop out at the Heronry located at 22 mile rd. & Ryan rd. in Shelby Twp. and see all of this for yourself. It IS AMAZING!

Check out a short Video on the heronry here:

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Tuesday, 6 March 2012
HERON Festival details are set

With much work and cooperation from the Shelby Twp, Parks & Recreation, we have finished the details for the 1st annual Great Blue HERON Festival, set for May12th, 9am-6pm. An entire day of herons and Spring outdoor activities at Holland Ponds park and the Shadbush Nature Center. Check out the short video we have put together with more details and highlights from the upcoming Festival. Something you should not miss.

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