June is the month to swoon over flowers

By on May 28, 2020 in Spring |

As we turn the corner to the month of June it’s time to swoon over the plethora of bloom that awaits us. As the flowering annuals planted in the month of May kick into gear and perennials and roses show off, the month of June is arguably one of the best months of the year to enjoy the landscape. The days are long as we approach the summer solstice giving us a lot of time to enjoy the beauty around us. Plant growth with the long warm days will be at a maximum so it’s a great time to be thinking about feeding hungry hard working plants at this time. Grabbed my camera to shoot a few pictures in the garden to celebrate as we turn the corner to June and approach the first days of summer! Peonies take center stage Peony the Prom Queen of the garden The perfect Peony Peony power! Peonies are easy to grow in Michigan Stunning Peonies The Prom Queen of the landscape Alliums are...


By on May 21, 2020 in Books |

An update on my 104 year old friend Ted Szczepanski. I have been visiting with him over the past year after his son had requested I sign a copy of my book ‘Operation Rumination’ for him last year. I’ve enjoyed my visits and conversations with him as I try to gain wisdom, insights and the secrets to a long healthy life. I’ve learned from Ted and intend to include wisdom from this sagacious centenarian in a book I hope to release later this year. The past few months I have not been able to visit due to lock down and stay at home orders. What I feared came to pass when his son emailed me that “Dad” was sick and getting tested. He tested positive for Covid-19. I am happy to report today that Ted has beaten Covid-19. World War II veteran, 95th Division Infantry Prisoner of war for 6 months in France Father of 3 kids Successful Businessman (with his...

Container Gardening Tips Video

By on May 15, 2020 in Spring |

Here is my YouTube video with Container Gardening Tips. Now that the weather is warming up it’s time to get growing with exciting container combinations!   

Flower Moon Frost Warning

By on May 7, 2020 in Spring |

May’s full moon is known as the “flower moon” or “corn planting” moon. Understandably, the flower moon, like many monthly moon names, can be traced back to how Native Americans tracked the seasons. Algonquin tribes are credited with coining the phrase “flower moon” in North America. A new or full Moon that occurs within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit is a sight to see. Perigee means the point nearest a planet or a satellite (such as the moon) reached by an object orbiting it. In 2020 the full flower moon and clear skies for viewing preceded a strong cold front that followed bringing back frigid and unseasonable weather along with the threat of hard frosts threatening newly emerged tender foliage and flowering trees. So what about plants that have been in your yard all winter? They naturally harden-off and are...

Chronicling Lake Michigan Shoreline Erosion

By on May 5, 2020 in Lake Michigan |

With 22,300 square miles of water Lake Michigan is a natural fresh water wonder. The water levels have been rising over the past few years with May 2020 levels at record heights. Water levels have reached 51 inches above chart datum (average set point) of 577.50 above sea level. As of May 1st water level is 581.79 which is above May 2019, above average lake levels and 2 inches above the record May level set in 1986. That’s significant when you consider each inch of water on Lake Michigan is estimated to be 400 billion gallons of water! With record water levels comes erosion along the lake shore. Each erosion episode leaves intricate patterns in the sand as walls of sand erode and cave in. I have been chronicling the episodes with the following pictures the latest of what I see through the lens of my camera. Each area feels in my imagination like an ancient archaeological find...

Late April Michigan Wildflowers

By on May 1, 2020 in Wildflowers |

Michigan Wildflowers. Photos taken late April 2020. Click on photos to enlarge.    Pulmonaria Trout Lily Trout Lily Trout Lily Trout Lily Trillium Trillium recurvatum Trillium Bloodroot Bloodroot Bloodroot Marsh Marigold Kermit Muscari Grape Hyacinths Dutchman...


By on Apr 24, 2020 in Lake Michigan |

I was thinking of this quote by photographer Jay Maisel while walking the Lake Michigan shoreline and observing the intricate detail of the erosion along the edge of the water. “As people, we love pattern. But interrupted pattern is more interesting.” In life things can be rolling along and we can become complacent and less understanding of the detail, the wonder, the beauty we have been gifted. When the pattern is interrupted we pay attention. We can use it as an opportunity to bring things into a better focus. While dealing with erosion and change looking through the lens of the camera we can renew our wonder with something as simple as a grain of sand. (Click on Images to enlarge) Patterns. Rick Vuyst photography Patterns. Rick Vuyst photography Patterns. Rick Vuyst photography Patterns. Rick Vuyst photography Patterns. Rick Vuyst photography Patterns. Rick Vuyst...

April Snow…A Common Michigan Occurrence

By on Apr 17, 2020 in Spring |

It seems to happen every spring in West Michigan.  An early spring warm up gets the earth growing and hopes high and then reality sets in. We live in Michigan. Reality in the form of a mid-April snow event. This is usually followed by clearing skies leading to some hard overnight frosts between mid-April and Arbor Day. April snow showers bring May flowers. The snow is not so bad because it is insulation and tends to melt quickly. The tough part is when the clouds clear, the air goes calm, and trees in bloom or flushing plant material are affected by overnight temperatures that drop into the 20’s. Here are some photos I took in the landscape of the snow event on April 15, 2020. (Click on photos to enlarge in gallery)  Double Bloodroot in bud Sanguinaria canadensis Hellebores bend in the weight of the snow Magnolia buds and bloom Magnolia buds and bloom Magnolia buds and bloom...