Desnick is the creator of Keweenaw Wildflowers Up Close, an extensive exhibit of botanical photo art. It ranks as one of the largest public displays of wildflowers in Michigan. The exhibit occupies the sixth floor of the Jutilla Center which is on the campus of Finlandia University in Hancock, MI. Keweenaw Wildflowers Blooming Seasons is the exhibit in book form.
The exhibit and now “Blooming Seasons” are intended to be composite works to be taken in their entirety and designed to stun the viewer with the incredible beauty and amazing variety of wildflowers that grow on Michigan’s unique Keweenaw Peninsula. Desnick explained, “I wanted to create something that was shocking to the average outdoor enthusiast using wildflower photographs that revealed the often overlooked beauty under our feet and generate a greater appreciation for this special place called Keweenaw.”
The book contains a collection of over 300 vivid photos of 278 wildflowers including 20 full page close-ups highlighting some of the most amazing and colorful varieties. All the flower images feature a blooming date (the photo date) placing the image in its chronological “blooming season.” Desnick includes both common and botanical Latin names.
“My goal was to gather a record of what’s out there and through my photography, add a tangible focus that demonstrates the special nature of the Keweenaw while at the same time making a connection with the reader that encourages them to come and explore.” Desnick explains, “Many areas of the country have wonderful and plentiful varieties of wildflowers, but, the Keweenaw has an incredibly diverse topography littered with unique natural habitats making it home to one of the longest lists of rare species in the Upper Midwest.”
“Respect and appreciation for nature have always been a part of who I am.” Desnick says. “It was important for me to include comments about not picking or transplanting wildflowers. Besides being protected by the conservators of the areas highlighted in my book and in the case of Endangered and Threatened species, protected by Michigan law, many wildflowers will only survive in their own special environments. I encourage people to let nature take its course and preserve this treasure for other flower seekers. As I say in my book, “Photograph or sniff, but, please don’t pick the wildflowers.”
Convenient access to many of these habitats is another unique feature that makes exploring the Keweenaw easy. Whether you hike, bike or drive, you’ll be able to see many of the wildflowers in the book. The map on the book’s back cover identifies fourteen excellent wildflower areas.
Harvey Desnick is a self-taught naturalist, photographer, graphics professional and former radio broadcaster. Whether it was broadcasting or graphics, Desnick thrived in the creative element. During his over 20 year radio career he became well known as an Upper Peninsula radio personality and Houghton, Michigan station owner. The next 15 years, during the 1990’s to the mid 2000’s, were spent in the worlds of photography and graphics in southwest Florida. In 1994 he founded Big Color Output, a large format cutting edge digital printing company in Cape Coral. Big Color worked with south Florida’s finest photographers, artists and graphic designers.
“When I returned to the Keweenaw, first as a snowbird in 2003 and then as a permanent resident in 2005, I dove into my project,” Desnick said “Each spring and summer were spent doing what I loved best, wandering in the woods, climbing mountain trails, strolling along the Lake Superior shoreline and sloshing through the bogs admiring and photographing the wildflowers of this incredible peninsula.”
Desnick concludes, “Blooming Seasons was authored to bring the beauty of this special place to the rest of the world in a meaningful way. I hope others will be deeply touched and come see the wildflowers. The Keweenaw is a truly amazing place. They’d be glad they came. That’s why I did”