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Rattlesnake bite triggers advisory


We recently reported on a snakebite incident in lower Michigan. A young, barefoot visitor to an Ann Arbor botanical garden was bitten by an Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, the only rattlesnake native to Michigan. The young girl was hospitalized and recovered. The incident has triggered an advisory from a group of Michigan naturalists of the risk of an encounter with this species of snake in our state. Current State’s Mark Bashore speaks with Steven Parrish, a Restorative Ecologist at the Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, to learn more about the potential risks of rattlesnakes in Michigan. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: An emerald on the beach

Kennedy's emerald dragonfly. Image: David Marvin

Note: This image and explanation is by David Marvin. Kennedy’s emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora kennedyi) tend to be fairly shy dragonflies when it comes to being photographed. This female Kennedy’s Emerald got caught in a quickly moving cold front along Lake Superior that caused it to land on the sandy beach, creating a rare occasion to photograph one without first capturing it. Its wings and body have dew that formed when the front arrived and the fog rolled inland. Kennedy’s Emerald dragonflies are related to other members of the Striped Emeralds of the Somatochlora genus, including the endangered Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora hineana). Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: Shipboard education

Volunteer educator and retired Dow chemist Dick Crooks shows students aboard the Appledore how to find dissolved oxygen using the Winkler reaction.
Image: Appledore

BaySail in Bay City, Mich., is a 15-year-old non profit organization that teaches students through scientific observations and measurements of weather, water quality, aquatic life, and human impact on the environment, says Scott Ellis, the Lake Huron organization’s communications manager. Lessons on board the tall ship Appledore IV encourage collaboration with peers and experts. Some 43,000 students from schools throughout Michigan have been aboard. A new program launched this year called Windward Bound is a weekend long, sailing and camping trip for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups. They sail from Bay City to Tawas and participate in shipboard and land-based environmental education and sail training. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: June dawn at Middle Bass Island

Sunrise Middle Bass Island, Lake Erie

Have an environmental image you’ve taken somewhere within the Great Lakes region and that you’d like to submit for Echo’s Photo Friday series? Send it to along with the photographer’s name and town of residence, approximate date it was taken, where it was taken and a little bit of description of what we’re looking at. Context such as how you happened to take it, whether there were physical or technical challenges in capturing it or any other “story behind the picture” is also helpful. Continue Reading →

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