Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who is tired of formal roses and winter

Posted on February 14, 2009

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Wild roses for UHDD

These wild roses were growing along the banks of the Grass River a few summers ago, as they have grown for many, many years, and as they will grow again this summer. A friend and I were headed to a boat ride with some Loon Rangers—but I digress.  I’m fond of wild roses.  They grow all over the place in northern Michigan, and are often worked in dyed quills on birchbark boxes crafted by Odawa or Ojibway artists. This Bluebird box is a wonderful example.  There’s usually sweetgrass bound along the edge of the box lid, too, which makes it just about perfect in my book. There is hardly anything in the world more engaging than a well-done quillwork box.

One of the finest quillwork artists I know about is Yvonne Walker-Keshick of Petoskey. You can read about her and see her quillwork rabbit (consider it an early deposit in your Easter basket) in this profile in The Graphic.

Still curious about the loon digression?  OK.  My friend and I went to the Grass River Natural Area for a guided loon cruise.  (If you hover your mouse over the picture of the loons on the GRNA homepage you can listen to their call. You can also go to the Almanac section and scroll down to June where you’ll find “The Common Loon: Voice of the North” by naturalist Arleen Westhoven, my favorite Loon Ranger.)