Magnificent Trees for Earth Day 2016

Old growth forest in Hartwick Pines, Grayling, MI

Last week while traveling in Michigan we spent an afternoon in Hartwick Pines State Park. When I was a kid my family spent a lot of time vacationing in nearby Grayling so this whole Au Sable River region holds special memories. It was great to be back (snow and all, ha!).

Chapel in the Pines, Hartwick Pines State Park, Grayling, MI

It’s also fitting because today is Earth Day and this year’s emphasis is Trees for the Earth. If you want to celebrate trees, Hartwick Pines is the place to go. It’s a 9,672-acre park that during the late 1800s was owned and logged by the Salling-Hanson Lumber Company. Thankfully in 1927, Karen Michelson Hartwick, a company heir, donated the land to the State of Michigan as a memorial to the logging industry. With that came 85 acres (now 49) of old growth, 350+ year old, red and white pines. Talk about glorious trees! There’s also a second growth forest that was planted in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

How blessed we are that people in the past cared enough to preserve trees for us today. Now we have an opportunity to pay it forward. In recognition of its upcoming 50th anniversary, the Earth Day Network has set a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by 2020 and they’re looking for us to help.

Reliance Peach bareroot trees

Here’s our contribution: Peach trees. They’re replacement for those we lost a few years ago to Wisconsin winters. Since peaches aren’t native to this area, their lifespan isn’t as long as it might be in a more southernly climate (oops, we’re not exactly following the article I wrote for Forward Mutual’s weekly news:-). Nonetheless, I’ve been missing the home-canned goodness they offer, so we’re happy to replace them as needed. Grow fast trees, grow fast!

Happy Earth Day everyone! Plant a tree and celebrate the good earth God has given us!

Nature, agriculture, food and history are some of my favorite topics. If you need copywriting for your organization, drop me a line!

Happy New Year 2016!


Meandering Stream in Wisconsin Countryside

Isn’t this a pretty stream? I saw it a couple weeks ago while meandering through the Wisconsin countryside. Obviously, this year’s Christmas landscape was rather blasé, but here was a winding ribbon of blue to brighten things up. When this Bible passage came up on my New Years’ verse-a-day, I immediately thought of this scene.

In context, the Isaiah passage is referencing the release of the Jews out of their captivity and, beyond that, the redemption we all have through Christ Jesus. But what makes the Bible special is that we can easily apply its message to all aspects of our life. Like now, for the new year.

These first days of January always bring a sense of joy and anticipation. I’ve completely cleaned my office (believe me, it had become a wasteland!) and I have interesting projects ahead in the pipeline. I’m excited to see what new things God has planned for Adunate and my clients!

Happy 2016, everyone! May God bless your new year!

November Means Working Together (Pro-Bono)

sandhill cranes in the distance

Here it is November and we still have sandhill cranes. If you look closely in this zoomed-to-the-max iPhone shot, you see two of them enhancing the otherwise desolate cornfield. They caught my attention a few mornings ago as they gaggled away in response to another pair far in the distance. This weekend we’re supposed to get several inches of snow so these snowbirds will likely say to heck with this and take off for warmer temps.

Aren’t the migratory habits of birds amazing?

For example, for several months in autumn the sandhills gather in wetlands before heading south. These are called staging areas and here in Wisconsin there are several where thousands of cranes assemble at a time. I like to imagine this is a time of preparation and joining together of forces for the arduous journey ahead.

You probably knew migrating birds fly in the V-Formation, officially known as the echelon formation. They do this for its aerodynamic advantage, obviously. But did you know birds take turns flying the front helm of this V, a very strenuous task? And did you know the mortality rate for birds is six times higher during the migration season? Given this, isn’t it interesting that even though survival favors the selfish—those that promote their own well-being before that of others—the God-given nature of birds is to selflessly share the responsibility?

This author makes a good point when he says, “If migrating birds work together, the flock has a greater chance of having all of its feathered brethren make the long trip to their destination.”

Working together. For the good of all.

With this caring concept in mind and because November is the month of giving, let me announce it’s my season for pro-bono applications. Each year Adunate accepts two pro-bono projects for greatly reduced or no cost. These are projects I strongly support and believe will positively impact God’s creation, his people, or his ministry.

My interests include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Children
  • Faith
  • History
  • Humanity
  • Natural Food & Living
  • Nature & Animals
  • Preservation & Sustainability

If your organization needs creative assistance in the upcoming year, click here for an application. Then, to guarantee your project’s success, be sure to click here!

Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2015. I will let applicants know of my decision in January.

Happy September!

September morning in Wisconsin

This was the view today as I came down the hill for my morning walk. Isn’t September beautiful? Even though I hate to see summer end, by the final weeks of August I’m always ready to leave that month behind and move on to the next. Hands down, autumn is my favorite season of all.

September’s a turning point for other reasons as well. In addition to special times such as my son’s wedding, family get togethers and lots of gardening, I’ve just finished a busy summer of projects (I’ll share more on them soon because I’m particularly proud of them). Now that those are done, I’m taking a deep breath and getting ready for my next pipeline—graphic design for an upcoming conference, responsive web design for a small business and copywriting for an innovative new product.

But, wait, I mustn’t forget—on top of all that, there’s also the Octoberfest brewery tour! Yes, once again my husband and I are planning a celebration of autumnal sipping and scenery (why, of course this is my favorite season!). Here’s what we’ve pegged so far. Look like fun? Any suggestions for sights along the way?

Have a blessed autumn everyone! Enjoy God’s gift of nature and love!

Google map for 2015 brewery tour

Counting Cranes for Earth Day

Counting Sand Hill Cranes in Farmington Township, Jefferson County, Wis.

On Saturday, my friend Liz and I got an early start to Earth Day celebrations. Literally. As in rolling out of bed and venturing out in the field by 5:30 a.m. for the Annual Midwest Crane Count. At such a pristine hour, the sun hadn’t fully risen, but the music of nature was in surround sound.

Wood duck in Jefferson County, WIs., DNR marshland

We saw flocks of Canadian Geese, Wood Ducks and scores of smaller wetland birds. We heard a pair of Horned Owls in the distance and choruses of Sandhills Cranes. And frogs, oh, the frogs!

Annual Midwest Crane Count, Jefferson County, Wis.

We’d been forewarned that our assigned area would be a little wet. You know your friend is a kindred spirit when she’s willing to rise early on her day off and muck through a swamp.

DNR marshland Farmington Township, Jefferson County, Wis.

By 7:30 the sun was up and we’d completed our 2-hour count. Based on the Sandhill calls and the directions from which they came, we recorded hearing six cranes and seeing one in flight. From there, we headed to Sustain Jefferson for its sixth annual Organic Gardening Workshops and Potato Fair.

All in all, what a wonderful way to appreciate the beautiful earth God has given us!

Earth Day is April 22—what are you doing to celebrate?