Category Archives: June

Expect the 2013 crop of juneberries to be a good one in Ann Arbor

That's the word from Ann Arbor Chronicle contributor Linda Diane Feldt:

Service berries (aka June berries) appear to be on schedule. They taste like blueberries. Very edible. They will be ripe in two to three weeks [from May 23, 2013]. 

That puts a projected juneberry first picking date at about June 7, after the peonies start but before the u-pick strawberries are ready.

More details on the Arborwiki Juneberries page.

May 2013 Peony Bloom Countdown, The Peony Garden, Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor

The peonies bloom every year in the Peony Garden at the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor. This year's prediction for the first bloom date is May 20-25, 2013, and for the peak season at about June 1, 2013; that according to the garden's Peony Bloom Countdown as of May 1. By midsummers night the blooming is over and the garden is all green.

More seasonal blooming information at the arb's spring, summer, fall, and winter pages.

UPDATE from the Peony Bloom Countdown:

Our current prediction was made on May 6:

   Earliest bloom starting before May 25. Very early peonies as 'Red Charm' are already showing leaves while some of the very late peonies are only just showing buds breaking the surface.

   Peak season to begin after Memorial Day Weekend.

Our current prediction as of May 14:

   Earliest bloom starting before May 25. Very early peonies as 'Red Charm'are already showing leaves while some of the very late peonies are only just showing buds breaking the surface.

   Peak season to begin after Memorial Day Weekend.

Walking Around: bonus points

I walked a lot more today than I normally would have walked, thanks to my new game Walking Around. Here's some of the bonus points I scored that I wouldn't have scored in my previous quest, Sitting Around Typing.

Pedestrian Path (+1). It's always good to find a way to get from here to there that's not on any map. The pedestrian path I found connects Needham Road to Amelia Place. I've added that little segment to Open Street Map so that I can find it again, and so that I can cut through one more neighborhood with confidence. My son and I took this route to his summer camp today, and he suggested one more point for Unfamiliar Route (+1).

Picture 3

Unexpected Lunch Companions (+2). If you wait for the bus at a bus stop near a restaurant, and if someone you know happens to be driving to that restaurant, then not only can you have an unexpectedly pleasant lunch but you can also get a ride downtown. Thanks to the Toziers for the happy coincidence and for a beginning of a discussion of annexation and township islands.

Picture 4

Urban Foraging (+1). Juneberries are in season, which means that a carefully selected path will take you past some delicious snacks, right out there in the open, where thousands of people walk each day but none notice except the birds and a few brave souls who appreciate Amalanchier. For more berrypicking ideas, I follow Linda Diane Feldt's @wildcrafting Twitter account. For lots more detail on Amalanchier, the 1946 American Species of Amalachier has ranges and keys for native species.

Picture 5

Park Benches (+2). If, at the end of your trek, you stop to wait for the bus – then it's useful to note that sometimes the bus stop is close to a park which has a park bench in the shade. Douglas Park is a nice place to wait for the #4, especially if you have RideTrak running on your cell phone to tell you when to get up and walk to the stop 1/2 block south of the park. My walk the next morning circled around all the way back to this park bench.

North Star (+1). A nice night walk on a clear night gives you all of the directions you need when Polaris is visible in the north sky. The drawing is from H. A. Rey's The Stars, my all time favorite book about the night sky.

Picture 6

 

How do I come up with this bonus point structure? If you walk around enough, something that you see or do is bound to make you happy. Give yourself points for those happy places, and know where they are so that you can revisit them.

Strawberry season, 2011 report

I went strawberry picking with my boys on Father's Day at Rowe's in Rawsonville. We picked two full trays of berries in what seemed like no time flat. The sun was not too hot, and the berries were not too ripe, and I think we nailed the right day to pick pretty much perfectly.

The challenge now is what to do with all of those berries. Some have been frozen, others are under sugar and hopefully will end up as sorbet, and still more get stored in the bellies of friends.

The boys are at the age where they are quick at berry picking and accurate enough not to pick bad berries. They are capable of picking more than they can eat. I'm looking forward to more berrypicking with them!

What are you doing on Father’s Day in Ann Arbor? Take our poll.

The poll is provided through All Our Ideas, which unlike most other polling software is actually useful for writing in that it lets readers come up with their own suggestions and not just pick from a pre-packaged list.

If you are wondering what to cook for dear old Dad, last week’s Pancakes? poll might give you some recipe ideas. It generated 21 ideas with over 200 votes.