Weird weather brings bumper, early morel crop

May 17, 2012 // 0 Comments

Usually May is Morel Month in Michigan, but the early spring weather apparently caused the mushrooms to pop up sooner and perhaps disappear before their typical season would even be well underway. Squire Editor Beth Altena had a great time hunting mushrooms last week and found so many it was hard not to step on them. In a usual season, the first week of May is a little early for any serious foraging. This year, May 3 saw many morels in the secret hunting grounds already spoiled. Fortunately, however, there were plenty of others to make up for the overgrown toppled morels. In the woods at the Altena family home, a few mushrooms are usually popping up about this time of year, but a great big six-inch one was already suffering from slug damage and toppling when it was spotted. Other mushroom-hunting readers may be enjoying this strange season, and the Squire would love the chance to share pictures and stories with our readers. E-mail them to

Playing in the wind

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

by JEFFREY S. O’MALLEY Director of Golf Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club What a beautiful but windy spring we have had in West Michigan this year! Playing golf on windy days can be very difficult and lead to frustration if you don’t know what you are doing. Following are a few ideas that you might want to think about when playing in the wind. When the wind is strong, you may need to widen your putting stance just a little. It helps to stabilize your body in the wind. In addition, in a strong wind we have the tendency to swing faster or harder, so focus on keeping your swing tempo within yourself for better results. Anyone who has been playing golf for a while knows that shots into the wind often require one or two more clubs. The opposite is true with the wind at your back—you’ll need less club. When considering your shot into the green, remember it is better to be long instead of short where most of those nasty bunkers are located! A fun shot to play on windy days is a punch shot. This shot keeps the ball low, so it is not as affected by the wind. I like to set up with the ball position back in my open stance, hands forward of the ball so to de-loft the club, and when I swing I keep my hands low with a short follow through. I don’t want my hands to release. Practice this shot and then try it on a windy day. You will see a nice low trajectory shot with great results.

Big Daddy Duck Race to pick up pace for summer reading

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rockford Rotary Club has provided scholarship funding for the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) Summer Reading Program for several years. Last year, the funds raised fell short of the increased need. “Reading is critical for success in school and life,” said Lisa Jacobs, executive director of RPS Community Services, “and the summer reading program is an important strategy to help young students be successful readers.” The three-week program, each July, helps young students maintain what they learned in the previous school year and prepare for the new school year. Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner designated this year’s annual Duck Race as the fundraiser to fund the summer reading program at a higher level and have additional funds for a special literacy project. As Jacobs reviews summer reading program needs and ideas with Bodenner, another type of planning is happening. Local businesses are sponsoring Big Daddy Ducks for $100 each for the first race on June 9 during Start of Summer. “There are just two rules for the Big Daddy Duck Race of 22 large ducks: no motor and no whining if you lose!” stated Rotarian Erik Luxhoj, chair. The Facebook page has evidence of ducks going through training and enhancements and “all in support of better readers” said Corner Bar Manager John Vanaman. Rogue River Red Hats to the staff of Rockford Ambulance all agree that it was an irresistible way to raise funds for this good cause—and they might just win the unique traveling trophy designed by Justin Kauffman and Gary Davis. There is just one big duck left. The 2,000 tickets for the regular Rockford Rotary Duck Race go on sale before May 1. Check Facebook page “Big Daddy Duck Race” to find out businesses involved, where to get tickets and the prizes being offered to get readers of The Rockford Squire involved to help young readers in our community. For more information e-mail to or call Erik Luxhog at (616) 884-0694.

Visiting teen finds geocaching one of Rockford’s attractions

April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Jack Kison, 14, with his grandmother Jill Mackie, was proud to find his first geocache at The Rockford Squire newspaper office on Wednesday, April 14. Kison, who was visiting Rockford for spring break, found the microcache after some searching. It is ironic that the very first geocache he has ever found is located at the town’s oldest business, established February 8, 1871. There are plenty of fun geocaches in and around Rockford. Find them at

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