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06-25-2020 Outdoors

Some plants produce flowers that are either male or female, but they never change. Jack-in-the-Pulpit, however, is capable of “changing sexes” every year. It’s all in the roots, or rather, the corm, a perennial underground stem. This is where the plant’s food is stored. Ideally, as the plant matures the food reserves increase resulting in a more robust plant each season. If the corm has accumulated enough food before fall dormancy, two leaflets and a female flower will appear the following spring. It takes a lot of energy to produce seeds so a nice full corm is needed. If the fall corm food levels are low, a male flower with one leaflet will be produced in the spring. The energy requirement to produce pollen is much lower than that of seeds. If the corm is especially starved, only a leaflet (no flowers) will appear in the following spring. The easily visible “Jack” part of the flower looks similar in both sexes. Look inside at the base of the flower. If you see tiny green berries, then it is female. Structures that resemble threads mean you found a male flower. Sarett is selling birdseed online with curbside pickup. Go to, pay online, and your birdseed will be ready the same day! Call us at (269) 927- 4832 to also place an order. We offer mixed seed, sunflower seed, and

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that are heading out to fish they must do their part to keep themselves and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. They should go fishing only if they’re feeling well, practicing proper social distancing and frequently washing their hands with soap and warm water, or using hand sanitizer. Fishing conditions improved this past week for a variety of species for boat and shore anglers. Large and smallmouth bass fishing has been good statewide. As a reminder, all anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported some nice lake trout are being taken right now with Laker-Takers on the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water. The occasional steelhead and coho have also been taken at that depth. Perch fishing is just getting started in about 40 feet of water, but catch is very slow. Pier fishing has been a little better with anglers catching steelhead with shrimp. The river is producing catfish and even some sheepshead. On local inland lakes, the bluegills have finished bedding and have moved to 10 to 12 feet depths. Crappie fishing has also slowed down a bit. The Ellinee Bait & Tackle shop on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports bluegills and crappie are being caught a little deeper in the water as the bedding ends. Crickets seem to be the bait of choice by the bluegills, while the crappie like the creepy plastic baits. A few walleye are being taken with leaches and crawler harnesses in 18 to 20 feet of water. Bass anglers have been doing very well in local inland lakes using soft baits, jigs and wacky worms for both smallmouth and largemouth. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph targeting salmon reported slow catch rates as the fish seem to be scattered. Pier anglers are catching lots of catfish and freshwater drum with crawlers on the bottom. The occasional steelhead continues to be caught by those using an alewife under a bobber. Perch fishing was slow. Decent numbers of walleye have been caught in the lower St. Joseph River by those trolling or drifting. Six independent experts in geotechnical engineering, hydraulics, dam safety and dam design will form the independent forensic team to investigate the failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams in May. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for investigation after the two dams failed and flooding in the Midland area forced more than 10,000 people to be evacuated. Updates on the investigation will be posted to EGLE’s Edenville Dam Failure Webpage, which includes an interactive map of the more than 1,050 state-regulated dams in Michigan. The Army Corps of Engineers reported that Great Lakes levels likely will stay well above long-term averages, and that levels on lakes Michigan and Huron are three feet higher than average. Many DNR-managed sites and facilities have high water related closures. Bookmark the webpage DNRClosures for the latest information.

Hunting The DNR’s staffed shooting ranges, Ortonville (Lapeer County), Pontiac Lake (Oakland County), Rose Lake (Clinton County) and Sharonville (Jackson County), opened June 18 and until further notice, these ranges will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are closed Mondays through July 20, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday for normal range closure days. Dansville shooting range in Ingham County will remain closed until the state hiring freeze is lifted and staffing becomes available. To ensure the health and safety of customers and employees at the shooting ranges, COVID-19 precautionary measures have been instituted. The rifle and pistol ranges will be limited to 50% capacity, with an unoccupied bench between each occupied bench. Hand sanitizer will be available for use on the rifle, pistol and shotgun trap ranges. Sanitizing solution will be made available for customers to use on shooting stations, chairs, brooms and other touch points. Customers are asked to wear a face covering while inside a building. Sandbags, spotting scopes, carpet squares, and eye and ear protection no longer will be provided. It will be up to customers to bring them. Trap machines will be available on Sundays in July and August. Range staff will continue to load and operated the trap machines. Customers are reminded that, due to COVID-19, they are participating in an outdoor activity at their own risk.


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Nature Notebook

The numerous, tiny piles of soil that indicate earthworm activity are beginning to appear in yards. The earthworm’s body is mostly water so how did it survive our bitterly cold winter?


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