Painted lady butterflies in abundance

Just about everyone knows what a monarch butterfly is and about its amazing migration to and from Mexico. But not nearly as many people have even heard of a painted lady butterfly; until this year that is. Reports of painted lady butterflies were all over the twittersphere last week. The most popular one I saw … Continue Reading →

Three impressive tomato vatieties

Earlier in this past growing season, I took an informal survey of how a number of tomato varieties were responding to leaf spot diseases. You can go back and read the post to find out how things were going for them at that time. I kept an eye on them through the season and watched … Continue Reading →

'Holy Rover' memoir explores sacred sites

Lori Erickson is a seeker. She found a way to meld her inner spiritual quest with journeys across the globe. Over three decades, she has been transformed by visits to holy sites ranging from Machu Piccu in Peru and the famous healing shrine at Lourdes, France, to Tibetan retreats in the U.S. heartland and the … Continue Reading →

Treats 'n Trunks 2017

We’ll close out the summer at Fletcher Field with our 11th annual  Treats ‘n Trucks event on Sunday, Oct. 29. As usual, we’ll start to decorate our cars at about 1 p.m. and then begin passing out candy to the kids around 2. I’d love to reconnect with some familiar faces we haven’t seen in a while … Continue Reading →

The remarkable salvia flower

You can find some really amazing things in the garden if you know where to look. For example, look closely at a salvia flower and you will see something unique. Like most flowers, salvia produces nectar to lure pollinators such as wild bees, honeybees and others. And as usual, the pollinator ends up carrying pollen … Continue Reading →

Sweezeweed in the garden

We were sitting out on the porch earlier this week enjoying that summery weather.  One flower caught my eye, it was fresh and bright among the others that were either gone or fading fast. It was one we forgot that we had planted this spring it was sneezeweed. Sneezeweed, also referred to as Helenium  by … Continue Reading →

Find your favorites at ArtPrize9, through Oct. 8

From downtown streets, museums, restaurants, bars and churches to the post office, police department and parks, Grand Rapids is overflowing with art this fall, courtesy of ArtPrize9. Some pieces even are installed in the Grand River and are visible from nearby bridges,  promenades and buildings. Running through Oct. 8, the city’s annual phantasmagoria of art … Continue Reading →

The Wonder Years

Even now, I find it hard to believe that such an incredibly diverse, dedicated coalition could come together — both on the ground and virtually through social media — to do so much good in a community that many others left for dead. Heck, some of it doesn’t even seem possible or real anymore. But … Continue Reading →

Autumn dogbane

When I was around 10 years old, back when all kids were free-range, I spotted spotted a plant during my wanderings that impressed me so much that I’m intrigued by it to this day. I didn’t know what it was called at the time. It wasn’t until later, when I was in college, that I … Continue Reading →