Welcome to SCHOCK MCCOY PRODUCTIONS by J.H.McCoy. This website will give you information about a variety of topics: nature, literature, history, and astronomy, as well as additional details about my articles in THE MINDEN CITY HERALD (989-864-3630). The last two pages are a tribute to my mother, Gloria (Schock) McCoy (1923-2013). The journal she wrote on our trip West (1977) can be found in "Writing/GSM."  It is my hope that you will always find something interesting and informative on this website and that 
you will visit often.  Please sign the guest book, and thank you for stopping by.       
        J.H. (John Herbert) McCoy           
 THE MINDEN CITY HERALD          SAND BEACH TWP.
              THE THUMB
                       &
                 BEYOND

       FOUNDED
JANUARY 30, 2015
johnhb79@yahoo.com
9636 Roberts Rd.
Harbor Beach, MI 48441
cell: 989-551-9487
HOMENEWS & VIEWSPHOTOSARCHIVESWRITING/G.S.M.ALBUM

SCHOCK MCCOY PRODUCTIONS
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​          SEPTEMBER 24

       FULL CORN MOON
         HARVEST MOON

         (10:52 p.m. EDT)

HOMENEWS & VIEWSPHOTOSARCHIVESWRITING/G.S.M.ALBUM

***CLICK ON THE NAME FOR A SHORT VIDEO***
SEPTEMBER 
    SKY
SKY CALENDAR
ABRAMS PLANETARIUM
SUBSCRIPTION/ $12
START ANYTIME
REMEMBERING HOW IT WAS
THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK **
** With apologies to Washington Irving and THE SKETCH BOOK OF GEOFFREY CRAYON, GENT. (1819-1820).
    (Click on small "pics" to enlarge)
Canada geese fly by.
Mourning doves
TODAY
YESTERDAY
THE "BURN BOSS"  IN THE WHITE HELMET
J.H.MCCOY
MERCURY
       (E)
​MORNING 
PLANETS
1621

A SONG FOR SEPTEMBER
@
 AT HOME IN SAND BEACH TOWNSHIP 
SEPT. 15   WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, 1857, 27TH PRESIDENT VID.
SEPT. 20   UPTON SINCLAIR, 1878, NOVELIST, "THE JUNGLE"
SEPT. 21   H.G. WELLS, 1866, NOVELIST, "WAR OF THE WORLDS"
SEPT. 21   STEPHEN KING, 1947, NOVELIST, HORROR STORIES
SEPT. 24   F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, 1896, "THE GREAT GATSBY"
SEPT. 26   JOHNNY CHAPMAN, 1774, "JOHNNY APPLESEED"
SEPT. 26   T.S. ELIOT, 1888, MODERN AMERICAN POET
SEPT. 27   SAMUEL ADAMS, 1722, REVOLUTIONARY POLITICIAN
SEPT. 30   TRUMAN CAPOTE, 1924, NOVELIST, "IN COLD BLOOD"
from THE OLD TEACHER'S ALMANAC
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX
SEPTEMBER 22, 9;54 P.M. EDT
FOUR NAKED-EYE PLANETS ARE VISIBLE IN THE NIGHT SKY TO THE END OF THE MONTH - FULL MOON ON 24TH WITH 4 PLANETS
MARS
​ (SE)
MONARCHS, MILKWEED, AND MIGRATION - SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
 ++  all photos in THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK are unedited  ++
(except for the "Nothing Gold Can Stay" picture of the freighter)
THIS WEEK IN THE MINDEN CITY HERALD
EVENING PLANETS
NATURE'S LAST FLOWER SHOW
AVAILABLE ON
AMAZON.COM
JUPITER
    (SW)

"The question is not what you look at but what you see."
                              HENRY DAVID THOREAU
VENUS
 (WSW)

UPBOUND JOSEPH H.THOMPSON - WITH FORMER SAND BEACH           TOWNSHIP RESIDENT DAVE CONNELL ON BOARD
GOLDENROD, GNOME, AND MY NATURE TRAIL
SUNRISE ON LAKE HURON
from THE MINDEN CITY HERALD - SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
Goldenrod is a member of the aster family and a common sight in the Thumb around Labor Day.
 SATURN
      (S)

     HONEY DAY
(short news article)
   SEPT. 6, 2018
    IN ARCHIVES
"NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY" - ROBERT FROST   
GREAT SPANGLED FRITILLARY 
RED-SPOTTED PURPLE - BEST BUTTERFLY PICTURE OF 
THE SUMMER, BUT NOT TAKEN IN SAND BEACH TOWNSHIP! **PHOTOGRAPHED AND SENT TO ME BY MY SISTER MARY LOU,  VISITING IN FLEMINGTON, NJ, WHERE SHE USED TO LIVE.
BACKYARD WILD FLOWERS
A HUNGRY WOODCHUCK STOPS IN FOR A SNACK
A BACKYARD COOKOUT
"ROAD TRAIL WEST" - MY BACKYARD NATURE TRAIL
MILKWEED TUSSOCK MOTH CATERPILLARS
MONARCH CATERPILLAR
PEARL CRESCENT
A CURIOUS DOE
9636 ROBERTS ROAD
YOUNG FROGS & DECORATIVE DECOYS AT A SMALL, SUNKEN, WATER-FILLED TUB IN THE BACKYARD
"TRY TO REMEMBER THE KIND OF SEPTEMBER
WHEN LIFE WAS SLOW AND OH SO MELLOW
TRY TO REMEMBER THE KIND OF SEPTEMBER
WHEN GRASS WAS GREEN AND GRAIN SO YELLOW
TRY TO REMEMBER THE KIND OF SEPTEMBER 
WHEN YOU WERE A YOUNG AND CALLOW FELLOW
TRY TO REMEMBER AND IF YOU REMEMBER
THEN FOLLOW -- FOLLOW, OH-OH"
Goldenrod is in bloom across the Thumb.   This tall member of the aster family grows everywhere in our area: on the edge of woodlots; along roads, ditches, and old railroad tracks; in orchards and swamps; and around abandoned houses and farm buildings.

When I was young, entire “Soil Bank” fields were covered with its showy golden plumes, and fence lines were outlined in yellow.   Now, the “wild land” is being farmed, and the fences have disappeared; but the goldenrod continues to bloom.  
It grows in little patches wherever the ground remains unturned and undisturbed - only a remnant now of its former glory, but still a reminder of the persistence and resilience of native plants.

In North America, there are over one hundred different species of goldenrod (“Solidago”), and although this native wildflower is most noticeable around 
Labor Day, some varieties begin blooming in early August.  It is not easy to tell
 one species from another, but anyone can recognize some basic differences in 
the plants.

In A FIELD GUIDE TO WILDFLOWERS, written by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny, the authors state that identifying various goldenrod species can be simplified by recognizing the five basic “categories” or types of plants. According to the field guide, goldenrod can be: 1. “wand-like and slender,” 
2. “plume-like and graceful,” 3. “club-like and showy,” 4. “flat-topped,” or 
5. “elm-branched.”

Once an individual plant has been placed in one of these groups, it is easier to identify.   In the field guide, however, there are twenty-nine different varieties, and these are merely the “the most wide-spread” of the roughly sixty goldenrods in Eastern North America.  And some of these plants tend to hybridize!    Only a trained botanist or someone with a keen interest in wildflowers would be able to accurately identify all of them.

Goldenrod is considered a weed by many people in North America; however, in Europe it is a different story.   There, the showy plant is cultivated and used as a background flower or garden accent.  British gardeners were especially fond of goldenrod and began using it in their plantings long before it gained acceptance in America in the 1980’s.

Some people consider goldenrod a good luck charm, and it is an important source of nectar for bees, flies, wasps, and butterflies.   In the past, it was blamed for fall allergies and hay fever, but its heavy, sticky pollen never gets airborne, and it must be pollinated by insects.  On the other hand, ragweed, the real culprit, blooms at the same time and is wind-pollinated.   The “hay fever charge” was clearly a case of “guilt by association.”

In this country, goldenrod has an interesting history.   Native Americans ate the seeds and chewed the leaves to relieve sore throats.   Early settlers used a tonic brewed from the plant to treat a variety of aliments connected with the kidneys and urinary tract.   A goldenrod solution was said to be effective as a mouth rinse for inflammation of the mouth and throat, or it could be applied directly to the skin to heal wounds.  Even goldenrod’s Latin name suggests healing – the word “solidago” means “to make whole.”

In more modern times, scientists have tested goldenrod in hopes of discovering some important industrial use for it.  Inventor Thomas Edison was convinced that he could use the plant to produce rubber since the leaves naturally contain small amounts of it.   He experimented and developed a twelve-foot tall goldenrod plant that yielded as much as twelve percent rubber.

When Henry Ford gave his friend Edison a new Model T, he made sure that the tires on the car were manufactured from the great inventor’s rubber substitute.  During World War II, interest in “goldenrod rubber” continued, but the process was too costly and the project was eventually abandoned.

Goldenrod is the state flower of Kentucky and Nebraska, and it was recently named the state wildflower in South Carolina.  In Michigan and across the Midwest, blooming goldenrod is a reminder that once again the seasons are about to change. This eye-catching plant is the “star” in Nature’s final yearly “flower show,” lighting up the fields and waste places one last time before the frost.

J.H.McCoy

JIM P. BROCK
an active lepidopterist for more than thirty years, has studied butterflies and led butterfly-watching tours throughout North America as well as in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Brazil
KENN 
KAUFMAN
​the originator of the Kaufman Field Guide series, is a lifelong naturalist.  Best know for his books and articles on birds, he has also pursued an interest in butterflies for many years.
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"Nature's Last 
 Flower Show"