For some, these increasingly longer days and fresh air create a pause to revel in the glory of the spring season’s slow reveal of all things bright — a pause to hear the songs of returning birds from open windows. For lakeshore and river lovers, it also is a hurried time, with many preparations to list and finish, eventually providing a growing sense of ease as spring moves toward summer. Whether your “spare” time is spent in boatyards or cottage opens or spent on the enjoyment of one’s face to the increasing warmth of the sun, Michigan BLUE assists the visualization and the plans.
Whatever your focus, be reminded the far too short morel mushroom hunting season begins and ends in this two-month span of time. The unrivaled flavor of these morsels makes the treasure hunt worth every minute — especially as prices climb past $60 per pound at online food purveyor sites. Too slow on the mushroom trail? The fun and festival of Michigan asparagus is just beginning. The biggest party for health benefit-rich stalks of spring green goodness takes place in May throughout the community of Empire.
There is more to celebrate: Michigan’s Whitefish Point has the distinction of being “the most important spring flight corridor for raptors (birds of prey) in North America.” The nonprofit group, Hawk Migration Association of North America (hmana.org), compiles data from more than 200 hawk watches across the continent. Whitefish Point observers recorded 20,726 raptors in May 2016. The group notes in the story on page 36 the location and geography of the point creates a “funnel” effect for migrating birds and unique opportunities to study them. The family fun is centered at the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.
The past winter provided the rare oddity of weather extremes in parts of the Lower Peninsula. Some golf courses opened the links to avid players on record-setting warm days, and a week later, golfers were back on ski slopes with plenty of powder in the winter wonderland. Given the former finally is far more likely, Michigan BLUE includes a special section in this issue devoted to “America’s Summer Golf Capital.” One story in the section includes a review of four newly opened or soon-to-be completed courses and the unique qualities of each.
Michigan BLUE offers a hearty congratulation to the state’s oldest tourist association, The West Michigan Tourist Association. In fact, it was the first grass-roots tourist organization in the country. The association marks 100 years, founded in Grand Rapids in 1917 as the Michigan Tourist and Resort Association, a nonprofit organization.