Wonder at What Once Was: The Old Big Pine Trees of Michigan

A few weeks ago we had a time of vacation at Burt Lake in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. I love the water and the woods of Michigan and this was a good time for me. It was made all the better because our kids and two of our grand kids could share part of the time. My best memories of times with my grandsons are of hanging on for dear lives while tubing with Ben, and of Anthony catching a 19 inch small mouth bass. We could actually see it through the clear water, and he says he dropped his jig-head bait with a worm on it—- on the fish’s head—and then it bit. Anyway that’s his (fish)story.

Another special memory of that week at Burt Lake was our encounter with a long-time resident who showed us two special trees in her yard.

Old Pine Tree History

These were white pine trees that towered above the rest.

Old Virgin Pines on the Shore of Burt Lake

She said fishermen can see them from out in the lake and use them as markers to find their way home. She told us that those two white pines were left by the loggers who clear-cut the forest in the 1880s. I had never actually seen such old pine trees before. But, I’ve always wondered what Michigan looked like before the great, old forests were cut down. Those two trees, one partly broken now—stand as a small picture, maybe not very dramatic—-of what an awesome thing that Michigan forest once was. And, finding the yellow lady slipper orchid growing along the path was special, too.

Lady Slipper Orchid in Burt Lake Woods

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