Jul. 13, 2018


Trailing arbutus is a sentimental favorite.  It heralds the end of spring.  Well, maybe herald isn't the right word.  This is a shy little bush.  It doesn't even lift its woody stems off the ground.  It would rather hide among the leaf litter, creeping around and making it a bit of an adventure to find them.  The flowers are only about a half inch.  To get this shot, I had to drive half way up the peninsula, then move a few pine needles to get a clear look.  When you do find one, you can discover a wonderful fragrance if you're willing to get down in the litter with it.  Don't pick!  In Michigan, trailing arbutus is protected.  Our original law to protect plants was based more on sentiment than science, and had to include this sentimental favorite.  The newer scientific law does not list this species.  Both laws are in effect.  Sentiment?  Science?  Do we need both?