Michigan environment officials Zoom you out of the office

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A closeup of the spotted scales of a brown trout – gold and red on a blue-gray background. Image: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

By David Poulson

Tired of getting trapped in countless Zoom meetings? Rather be hiking among Michigan’s natural wonders?

The state’s Department of Natural Resources can get you out of your home-office and into the outdoors.

Sort of.

Water thunders over the edge of Tahquamenon falls, framed by leaves and vegetation. Image: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The agency has posted images of the state’s natural wonders formatted for use as a Zoom background. The idea came out of a brainstorming session after staff began working from home in response to the coronavirus, Rachel Coale, a communications representative in the agency’s Forest Resources Division, wrote in an email.

“We knew people were interacting with nature and each other differently, and this is one small way of bridging that gap.”

The white-gray bark of aspen tree trunks contrasts with the blazing yellow and orange fall foliage of the autumn forest. Location: Pigeon River Country State Forest. Image: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Each of the nearly 30 images has more than 100 downloads,  Coale said. The Straits of Mackinac is the most popular with more than 200. Other favorites: Tahquamenon Falls, Pigeon River Country reflection, Porcupine mountains waterfall and Tawas Point at night.

“I work in the Forest Resources Division, so I’m partial to the photos of the Pigeon River Country State Forest, although I was surprised about the closeup of the brown trout – the patterns on its scales are so beautiful!.”

Find the selection of Michigan backgrounds here.

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