August 31- If I took the
time to make sound play when someone loaded this page on their computer,
you all would be hearing a drum roll right now. Why, well it would
be because tomorrow, the new look to the site will be live! That
is if all goes well. About 98% of the site is done. I just
have some final formatting to make on one of the new features. It
has been a lot of work making the new pages. I could have never done
it without my designer.
He was the brains and talent behind the new look. All I did is boss
him around and mess things up when I went to make my own changes!
But seriously, he did a wonderful job and bent just when I needed him to
and stuck with it and I think that you all will like the look. If
anyone is considering having a web site or even a page designed, I really
think that you should at least look
at his work. The great thing about things on the web, including
design is that it can all be done from a remote location. He is located
in central Minnesota, you all know where I am at, we never met face to
face, but we were able to communicate to each other without any problems.
So as mentioned, if all goes well, a lot of you will actually be reading
this in the new look and others will be checking it out tomorrow.
I do not know when the new site will be live, but I would guess by the
early evening. It is basically all set to go, we just need to update
We have been switching
between summer and fall up here, with some days in the 60's and others
in the 70's and 80's. Today is summer, with a temp in the low 80's
and dewpoints in the low 70's. Feels more like Miami Beach than the
UP. As most of you know, I dislike the heat and humidity as much
as anyone else. However, because of the time of the year, I am able
to deal with it a little better. Seeing as though in another week
to ten days will be done with humidity and likely any heat for the rest
of the season, I kind of treat it like I do a sauna or steam bath.
I just take in the heat and let it go right to my bones. For I know
that this is just temporary and soon, very soon I will wish that I could
just get a taste of the warm and humid air to take the chill off for a
while. I must also admit that I am sitting in a house with all the
windows closed and the AC on.
Yesterday was cooler.
So cool that I nearly froze in the morning, with temps in the low 40's
and all my windows open. The heat is off so the inside of the house
was in the upper 50's! Yesterday afternoon the hounds and I took
my computer to have a second hard drive put in my machine and while that
was being done we took a hike on the Freda Loop. I will let the snowmobiliers
in on a little tip here. If you are up here and the trails are beat
up, I would suggest that you take this trail. It does not really
go anywhere (forgive me residents of Freda, Redridge and Beacon Hill, nothing
personal), but it is so untraveled, yet groomed that the snow is usually
really nice and the views are also very pretty. Check it out next
time you are up here, you will not be disappointed.
The temps were in the
mid 70's and humidity was low so it made for a really nice walk.
The bugs have all but gone, which also made it very nice. Here is
a shot of my two faithful
companions as we headed down the trail.
With the climate we
have up here, it is hard to believe that anyone would be able to farm,
but there are some working farms still in the area. Most of them
are to the south of Houghton in the Pelkie and Tapiola area, but there
is some farmland just outside Houghton. Here is a shot of a
field that we passed on the trail. To the left of that view were
a few cows bulking up for either the winter or something else.
In the first shot the
trees were still green, but you can tell that they have lost their deep
green color. That is true for all the trees up here. Some areas
are even showing fairly noticeable signs of color, like along the east
shores of Point Mills as seen driving near Mason and also along the north
shore near the Tamarack Water Works. A few of the trees where we
were walking also were showing color so I will share it with you here.
Won't be too long before we see that color blazing all across the area,
about a month. Also a month from tomorrow is the statistical average
day of first measurable snow up here. IT'S GETTING CLOSE!
Good afternoon from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 25- Uuugggh...I
am afraid that this is going to be a very short journal, but I really did
want to get something out. I continue to be very busy with the remodeling
of the site. I am spending an additional 4-6 hours a day on it, as
well as the time spent on the normal routines of the day. But I think
that my lack of entries now will be worth it once the new site is live.
First off, a weather
report. We had been having really nice weather earlier this week,
with temps in the 60's and nice dry air. We even managed to drop
into the upper 30's and low 40's for lows. When it was this cool,
we took to the woods for our walks and I will have more on that in a bit.
Then by yesterday, the daytime highs rose into the upper 70's so we had
to abandon the woods for the naturally air conditioned regions along the
shores of Superior. Both were totally enjoyable with not a bug to
bother us and the whole place to ourselves. Today was both warm and
humid so another day at the beach was had. One bonus to the weather
this week was that even with the warmer temps during the day, the night
time temps dropped into the 40's. Great for sleeping.
Now back to the woods.
On our walk Tuesday, I decided we should see if the blackberry patch had
ripened some and we were in business. About half of the berries had
ripened. I managed to fill a nice sized container and was treated
to bowls of these
every morning this week and even had them on some fresh Belgium Waffles
this morning. There really is nothing better than fresh picked fruit
or vegetables. I am not a fan of veggies, but just about any type
of fruit I love. This evening on our evening walk I cam across a
few ripe berries and picked them to eat on the spot. They melted
in my mouth and were as sweet as sugar. I am going to have to figure
out how to get some of these in my yard. Anybody know if I can just
plant some berries and have the bushes grow?
Another amazing thing
happened while picking berries. Burt and Baileys were off investigating
things on their own and I was engrossed in picking berries. I always
eat a few when I am picking to keep my strength up. Burt happened
by just as I was popping a few into my mouth. He decided that he
wanted to try a few, so I gave him a few. I went back to picking
and a few moments later looked over to see Burt at the next bush over,
picking his own! He was careful not to eat the leaves and I was even
able to show him how to pick the ripe (black) ones rather than the red
ones. This paid off big time, as his sensitive smell led us to a
new patch which was about 5 times the size of the one I found! That
guy is so smart. Sometimes it worries me that he may be a little
bored when he does not have anything to do or think about.
Well, I am sorry this
is so short, but I really do need to get back to the sites new pages.
I am shooting for the launch to be late next week, or early the following
week. Then there will be more time for me to update things like this
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 21- No, I was not
eaten by a bear or fell off a cliff or got lost in the woods, I have just
been very busy both working and playing. As was the case with most
of the Midwest this past weekend, cool and dry air sat over the Keweenaw.
We did not make it out of the 60's all weekend and both Saturday morning
and Sunday morning the temp on my thermometer read 38. There was
even a little frost on my neighbors black asphalt roof, but no frost anywhere
else. The days were mostly sunny, which made for great hiking weather
and the hounds and I spent many hours in the woods hiking and exploring.
The bug problem is just about nonexistent. I am averaging about 1-3
deer flies an hour on the walks in the woods. That is down from about
1-3 per 30 seconds a few months ago. Plus, they are very much non
aggressive and all it takes is one swat and they are off to bother something
The leaves around my
house have lost their deep green now and a few of them are even changing
to orange. There also is some sort of disease going around and effecting
the Aspen trees. I meant to get a shot of the leaves of an infected
tree to show you, but forgot. It is really sad, they are usually
brilliantly yellow in the fall and by the time the peak color time arrives
this fall, all the leaves will be off the trees and dead. I just
hope the trees make it. The Birch trees also look pretty ill this
year. They are only about 50% foliated and just look about ready
to die. I think that the unusually early spring thaw has combined
with the very dry summer (5.3" of rain since May 1; 50% of average) to
bring about some severe moisture stress. Walking
through the woods sure is different this year from last, with the higher
amount of sunshine getting through.
There is one up side
to the higher amount of sunshine getting through and that is a better berry
crop. They like to grow in areas that see filtered or limited sunshine,
typically at the edges of meadows or in clearings in the woods. There
are way, way, more thimbleberries
this year than last. I still have not acquired a taste for these,
they are just a bit too tart for me. I bet that they make a pretty
good jam though, once they are sweetened up. One berry which I have
always had a love of is the raspberry.
Those were some black ones not quite ready for picking and here is a shot
of one which is (was) ready
for picking. About 10 seconds after that shot was taken I popped
it into my mouth. Here are a
few more that brought delight to my taste buds.
I still will not divulge
my spots. I will give my hints for finding the less popular (at least
with humans!) spots. You need to walk into the woods, where you know
there are clearings or meadows. Then look for areas where the shrubs
and weeds have been packed down and a path has been made. Follow
that path, being careful to keep an eye out for bears. Eventually
the path will lead you to a berry patch. The paths are usually made
by bears. A few may actually be made by humans, but most of those
paths are found on roadsides and those patches are usually picked over
pretty well. Yesterday I happened along a mother load of black raspberries
that were not quite ready for picking. I will make a trip back tomorrow
to see if they are ready. I am hoping that I can get to them before
the bears do, as there will be enough to have with breakfast for at least
I was planning on updating
the journal yesterday, but got the call to go play golf. We went
up the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge course up by Copper Harbor. It is
a really fun course to play. There is not a flat green in the whole
course and some interesting 90 degree doglegs as well. The course
was really dry, but the greens and sections of the fairways were watered
and green. Not a bug to bother us, a striking sunset over Brockway
Mountain and good friendship. A fitting end to a good weekend.
That about covers the
fun stuff. I have also been busy with the new look to the website.
I have not been doing things alone and in truth, most of the new look has
been done by a professional
who offered to help redesign the site with me. I have been busy setting
up the pages for the "Northwoods Directory". I decided that you will
zoom in through two series of maps to get to the information for the specific
area you are interested in. The last map will have the towns as well
as trails on it. I have been creating these maps by hand to give
them the look and details I want. I am done with both the upper and
lower peninsulas of MI and half of MN, but still have the other half of
MN and all of WI to do. WI has a ton of trails. The map I am
using as a source has all the trails on it and it looks more like an image
of a bowl of spaghetti than a map. I have been working 5-7 hours
a day on the maps alone (not including my usual work) and I hope to have
them all done by the end of this week. I cannot say when the site
will be transformed, only to say that we are still at least a week away,
but most likely less than a month. I just do not want to make promises
of release dates and then have to eat crow when the inevitable problems
pop up and delay things. Plus I want to have it fully tested before
we go live. I can tell you this, I think that you snow lovers out
there will really love it. I already love it and got all giddy playing
around with some of the new features. It is really fun to be able
to do something like this that I have such a passion about and be able
to share it with others. Just one more reason to be excited about
the next couple of weeks.
I think I better turn
in for now, before my body melds with the computer.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 16- Excellent weather!
Excellent. Yesterday was very windy, but temps held to the low 70's
with low humidity as well. I felt sorry for the folks further south
who were sweating through their hottest day of the summer. Today
was nice and cool and the winds were even down today. I was glad
to see that many of the areas to our south that were suffering yesterday
were better today. The forecast looks to turn things really cool
by later Friday and into Saturday. We may even have some frost up
here Saturday morning. It will be a hit a localized event, with only
the valleys away from the lake likely seeing the chances for a frost.
The atmospheric conditions needed to have snow fall are indicated to be
occurring from the north shore of Superior north to James Bay in Ontario
Saturday morning. This time of the year things are so warm near the
surface that the precip would melt and change to rain before it hits the
ground, but still neat to see the rain/snow parameters sneaking south so
We had some really
neat sky conditions just after I finished the journal this past Monday.
Storms were rolling in from the west, but the setting sun was able to sneak
under their canopy and cast a very unique orange glow in the sky.
I grabbed the cam and took this
shot. No I did not digitally play with the colors, that I what
it really looked like. Someone up here told me that it reminded him
of an "apenglow" that he would see while living out west in the mountains.
I just thought it was really neat. Everything had an orange glow
A few minutes later,
on the opposite horizon, a rainbow appeared. I was able to see the
full arch and took several shots to capture the sight. Here is the
of the rainbow. Right at sunset, there were some cumulus mammatus
clouds. These are clouds which actually bubble down from the base
of the clouds and are almost
always associated with severe weather.
We did not have any severe weather, but it did pass just to our south.
That same complex of storms brought down a private jet. It was struck
by lightning at 30,000 feet and crash landed just to the north of Bessemer,
killing two of the four aboard.
On a lighter subject,
with the cool weather, I decided it would be nice to head into the woods.
I thought that I would check my secrete stash of berry patches to see if
the rains Monday brought out any more. It did and I got my fill of
red and black raspberries. I even downed some thimbleberries.
When I was exiting the woods to get to the road, I encountered a lady.
She had an embarrassed look on her face and asked if this was my land.
I replied no, it is Lake Superior Land Co. land. She said that she
asked because she had been picking berries from the land and did not want
to be trespassing. She was actually picking the berries to take and
sell to one of the outfits up here that make jams. I do not know
how much they give for the berries, but I have heard that it is not chicken
feed. Maybe next year I will pick more than I can eat and sell the
The bugs are almost
non existent. We went for a 1 hour walk deep into the woods and were
only bothered by a few deer flies. They even seemed to be part of
a more casual generation, as all I had to do was swat at them once and
they flew off to bother something else. The ones earlier this year
were much more tenacious and did not give up until either you did or they
were killed. I like this kinder, gentler generation.
A few months ago I
posted some shots of my woodworking projects. I finally got around
to going to the store and getting some more scanned and I will end this
entry with some pics of them.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 14- Today, I discovered
the down side to a digital camera...Deleting images from the camera before
I download them to my computer! I went on a little trip with the
hounds yesterday and took a bunch of pictures at a spot which was to be
the third edition of "guess where I was". Unfortunately, I deleted
them from the camera today by mistake. I guess I will just have to
make a trip back down there sometime. Problem is, it was over and
hour away so I cannot just hop over there. I will not give any more
hints away, as it was to be one of my "stumpers" even for locals in the
I was able to get pictures
of the Loading Zone II and the Goal Post, so you can drop down into the
entry below and check them out if you so choose.
As I mentioned in the
last journal, summer is on the home stretch. Our temps have been
quite mild the past several days and promises made by the forecast models
for us to warm into the 80's have been met with highs in the low to mid
70's instead. The overnight temps have been dropping into the 50's
consistently. On my trip yesterday I went through an area of higher
elevation and noticed that many of the trees in the area were loosing their
deep green color and a few were even showing some orange to them.
The majority of the Keweenaw is still about 6-7 weeks away from the peak
color season, but the higher elevations away from the lake do turn about
2 weeks earlier. I am still trying to keep my wits about me and not
get too worked up by the approaching change of seasons. Last week
just flew by and I can only hope that the next several do so as well.
I am beginning to concentrate
a lot of my time on updating the site for the upcoming season. I
have a lot of neat ideas and I think that you all will like them.
One of the new items will be an interactive question and answer feature.
You all will be able to post a question about the weather and I will then
post an answer. Everyone will then be able to view all the questions
and all the answers. Start thinking of all those meteorological questions
that have just been burning inside you. However, hold onto them until
the feature is up and running.
I have also been making
some visits to some of the snowmobile discussion groups and it appears
as though I am not the only one who is excited for the season to arrive.
We are about 2 weeks away from any real chances for heat to go away.
Last year I made the mistake in thinking that by the time we reached the
first week in August we would be done with any chances for the heat.
Several heat waves in August and one in the first week of September both
frustrated and educated me. I suppose we could still get a hot day
in September, maybe early October, but I doubt that it would last more
than a day or so.
I also forgot to mention
that on Friday I saw the most vivid display of the northern lights that
I have seen since I moved up here. I was heading off to a bonfire
and saw the now familiar streaks in the night sky and when I got to the
bonfire I was able to sit and enjoy the show. The whole sky was lit
up and the streaks were very visible. I still have not gotten to
the point where they are just another feature in the sky. Maybe I
A neat thing about
being a weather buff and a meteorologist is that I can watch the transformation
of the seasons take place in other places before it hits us. I have
been monitoring the cooling of the atmosphere at all levels up near the
arctic circle. Places like Barrow Alaska have been reporting a lot
of light snow flying in the past week or so. Snow there is not too
unusual, even in the middle of summer. However, the frequency has
been increasing and that is a good thing. Soon I will be watching
the rain/snow line gradually slip from the arctic, through the Yukon and
northwest Territories into northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Ontario and then eventually into the lower 48. Strange how such an
average weather happening can get a weather geek and snow lovers blood
I am ready. I
am ready to put the shorts away. I am ready to have to wear a coat
or sweatshirt when I go outside. I am ready to walk across crunching
leaves of yellow, orange and brown. I am ready to watch the big lake
grow angry with the northwest gales. I am ready to switch from cotton
bedding to flannel. I am ready to build a fire, grab the snacks,
remote, sit on the floor and watch football on a cold autumn day, with
my two hounds on either side of me. I am ready to see my breath while
I take a walk in the woods. I am ready to have the heat kick on to
take the morning chill out of the house. I know these events are
still a few weeks away, but I am ready. Anybody else? Let me know.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 12- Things have
been sort of slow around here, the summer is on the home stretch, the day
length is getting noticeably shorter. I now wake up in total darkness
that remains until about 45 minutes after I awake. I also go to bed
with the last few peaks of twilight just fading out. The midday sun
is still strong, we rose into the Thursday and Friday, under clear blue
skies. Dewpoints in the low 50's allowed the nights to cool off nicely
With things being fairly
quiet around town, I thought that it might be a good time to take you on
a tour of my new hometown. It is funny, when I came up here to snowmobile
I never thought that the different towns up here have such different personalities.
I really did not find out about the different personalities until I moved
up here. The main reason why I chose Lake Linden was not for the
town, but for the home. While house shopping I still thought that
most of the towns were the same up here. Come to find out that Houghton
and Hancock have personalities that are a lot like suburbs. Meaning
that they are a little faster paced and up and coming than the smaller
towns like Dollar Bay and Lake Linden. The folks down there are still
very nice and very genuine, but I have noticed that the majority of the
people I have met who live in Houghton or Hancock are a lot more concerned
with their image and monetary things. Don't get me wrong, I certainly
do not think that is wrong or bad, just different from a lot of the folks
here in town. Anyway, in my "less is more" state of mind, I am glad
to be living where I am. It is a nice change of pace to be in a place
where I do not feel the pressures that I had while living in Chicago.
One of my favorite
shows is Northern Exposure. I never watched the program when it was
in its first time runs, but have since caught the reruns on A & E and
I believe I have seen every episode about 5 times now. Lake Linden
sort of reminds me of the fictional town in Northern Exposure, Cicely Alaska.
Copper Harbor out of the tourist season also reminds me a lot of Cicely.
Anyway, I'm rambling here and need to get on to the photo essay of my town.
So without further
delay...We begin the tour.
The town has a really
park, home to the 4 of July celebration. Along with the park
is the swim beach
on the shores of Torch Lake. Next to the swim beach is a park
for campers, complete with water, electric and cable tv hookups.
Here is something that
we have, but was never mentioned on Northern Exposure, a
The town also has at
least three churches, the
Methodist, the Catholic
and one which is being refurbished by the Houghton
County Historical Society.
What would a town be
without a Post Office.
I said town, but actually we are a village. The northern most town
in Michigan is Houghton, all the others are villages. Here is the
School. Great football team, with state championships in 1992
and 1996. Quite an accomplishment when you think that the school
is so small that most of the players play both defense and offense.
For those of you who
are Northern Exposure fans like me, does
this not look like the laundry mat in Cicely?
Here is our Village
Hall, Police Station and Fire Station all wrapped into one
building. And what would a village be with out a hardware
Lake Linden is also
known for some pretty decent food joints. None of them are fancy
fair. They all are very basic, but also have their own specials they
are known for. There is the
Lindell, sort of a corner diner type eatery. Very neat inside,
as it has been restored back to the way it was at the turn of the century
(100 years ago, not this past year!), with very neat woodwork. I
go there for breakfast a lot on weekends. The
Dairyland. It is more of a typical family restaurant type place,
which also has great ice cream. It is closed in the winter months.
Loading Zone II, which is my hangout. It has great pizza, burgers
and sandwiches. I would imagine the dinners there are also very good,
but I have never had one, always opting for a pizza, burger or sandwich.
The final eatery is the Goal
Post. This is a corner diner type place and I have only eaten
there once. It was good and others who have eaten there have said
it was good too.
So that is the gist
of the village that I now call home. It is a very nice place to live.
Crime is about as low as is possible, the people are all genuine and friendly
and things move at just the right pace for me. Hope you all enjoyed
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 7- Well, the hound's
first camping trip is over and they did pretty well without their couch.
Actually, I think that Baileys was a little unnerved by sleeping in the
tent, as I don't think that she got much sleep. Every time I woke
up and looked at her, she was laying down, but was awake with her head
up, listening to the bumps in the night. I don't think that it helped
that a bear was roaming around the campsite in the middle of the night.
It did not seem to phase Burt, who spent most of the night snoring away
and even I got a pretty decent night's sleep.
The snowmobile water
cross was a lot of fun to watch. It was a sanctioned race so some
of the best racers in the country were there. It is amazing to watch
them handle the sleds, even more fun is to watch the rookies try and do
it and sink. To be fair though even the pros sink 'em every once
in a while. They have both drag races and oval races. The drags
are not really that hard, you just hit the gas and hang on. Of course
you do have to keep your balance, but other than that, there is not much
too it. I would like to try it sometime, of course I would like to
try it on someone else's sled. Here
is a shot taken during one of the oval races. The race "track"
is a man made pond which is about 5-10 feet deep, about 300 yards long
and about 100 yards wide. Here is another shot of one as it was rounding
the corner. I am sorry that they were so far away. I took
one during one of the drags it was close enough so that you can actually
tell that they are snowmobiles on water.
When one sinks, the
riders have a boat cushion which is attached to a rope, at the other end
of the rope is attached to the snowmobile. To retrieve the sled,
they take a pontoon boat with a small hoist on it and drive it out to where
the sled is "swimming" and attach the hoist to the rope with the sled and
cushion on it and pull the sled out. I was told that they can get
the sled running in under an hour again. They just need to drain
the engine, carbs and exhaust.
Watching the sleds
race sure did get me fired up for this winter. Less than 4 months!
I am glad that so many
of you enjoyed the day in the life of Burt and Baileys. It is comforting
to know that they are not the only one's who live such a good life.
I do not say that because I can take solace in knowing that I am not strange
or go overboard. No, I would continue to treat them the way I do
even if I was the only one in the world doing it. My comfort comes
from the thought that other dogs are given the love and attention that
mine are. Burt and Baileys are a big part of my life and even though
they will not be around forever, there is nothing that is going to stop
me from making the most of every day with them. They taught me that,
along with a lot of other secrets to a good life. I have learned
more about what is important in life from them in the past 5 years then
in all my years of school. I just wish that everybody would be given
the gift that I have been given. Unfortunately, that gift also came
via some hardships, maybe that is the only way we can learn the real lessons
in life is through a little pain or hardship.
I had an interesting
event occur today. I went to a little diner down the street from
me called The Goal Post. Even though it is only about 4 blocks from
my home, I had never been there until today. Some of my friends and
family who have come to visit me have been there, but today was my first
time. So there I sat, in a restaurant blocks from my home, but yet
it felt like I was far, far away from home. Not just because I was
sitting in a strange booth, looking at wall hangings that were new to me.
Reading from a menu that I had never seen before, but because I did not
know a sole in the place! I realize that for those of you reading
this in a larger town, the fact that I did not know anyone in there is
not a big surprise, but for Lake Linden, that is a major event! Just
about everywhere I go, I will run into someone I know. The post office,
gas station, grocery store, hardware store, etc...I even got a piece of
mail today that was addressed to: John Dee, Lake Linden, MI. No P.O.
or street address. It was sitting there in my box. The small
town way of life is one of the things that I love so much about living
here. I really feel like I am part of the community, a part of something.
It is a nice cool night,
I have been looking for some signs of the approaching autumn. Early
turning trees, but none have appeared so far. We have been really
dry, my grass is totally brown and I have not had to cut it in three weeks.
The weeds and wildflowers are still green and blooming, a tribute to their
adaptive abilities. I wonder if the dryness is keeping the early
turners from doing their thing. Usually there are a few who have,
by now, shown what the green pigmentation has been hiding all summer.
Not this year, not yet anyway. Maybe it is mother natures way of
keeping my thoughts from drifting too far off into the future. That
would probably be a good thing for me.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD - August 3- Today's entry
is titled A Day in the Life of Burt and Baileys. For
those of you who believe in reincarnation and are trying to decide what
to come back as, may I suggest a dog of mine? They have about as
good a life as any dog could. I must say that this is not something
that they demand, but rather graciously accept, and it is as much a pleasure
for me to give them that life as it is for them to have it. This
is a fairly typical day for the hounds. I tried not to do any extra
special activities, nor did I try and leave any activity out. So
without further adieu...
AM - Dad is up and working, but we still need our sleep. Lots
to do today.
AM - The sun is up and so are we. We have moved into the office
and are now helping dad get his work done. Do not underestimate the
helpfulness of a dog laying at his dad's feet while he is working!
Dad claims that to be his secret tool for good forecasting.
AM - BREAKFAST!
AM - Heading off on a "shorty". That is what dad calls our 20
minute walk in the morning. The neighbor was getting a new roof,
we barked at the workmen on the roof. Just had to.
AM - Hunting bunnies! Hey Beez, you got one there?
AM - Bellies full and a walk under our belts... Must be nap time.
PM - Nap is over, were hungry again. Must be time for a raw-hide
PM - Mmmmm. That's good. Dad's having lunch too!
PM - Yea! Another daily grind at the office is over. Were
all piled into the car, getting ready to run the afternoon errands.
PM - The errands are over and now it's time for our afternoon walk.
Still nice cool weather so we are heading off into the woods. We
need to be "hooked up" while we are on the road where cars go.
PM - Free at last. Were up on the tracks doing some exploring.
Dad calls it a walk, but really we are most interested in sniffing.
Usually dad keeps walking and we catch up when as soon as we have thoroughly
sniffed what ever it was we were interested in. No bears this time,
but fun just the same.
4 PM - Done with the
walk and taking a little nap before dinner. No photo, but see the
11:15 AM pictures if you forgot how cute we are when we are sleeping.
6 PM - Nap is done
and we are all ready for dinner. Again, no pics, but dinner looks
just like breakfast, only the sun is on the other side of the house.
7 PM - Going for our
evening walk now. The camera's batteries died so no pics for the
rest of the day, sorry.
7:35 PM - Done with
the walk. Did not find any bunnies, but saw a lot of friends.
Dad has to the store go get a tent for the weekend so we will stay home
and relax after our walk.
8:15 PM - Dad is home
from the store and we made sure to greet him at the door with big smiles
and wagging tails. He really loves that and we love to make him feel
good. We are going to help him put up the tent and test it for the
weekend. Camping sure looks like fun. But how will we fit our
couch into the tent?
9:15 PM - The tent
went up without much problems and we had fun playing in it. But we
still don't know how the couch will fit in it. We are tired and going
to bed. It has been another fun day. We hope that you all enjoyed
learning about our days. We will have to do this again once the snow
flies. Did dad ever tell you that we love the snow as much as he
Good night from the Keweenaw
B & JD - August 2- Well,
I hope that I can do things right and not loose July's journal like I did
June. I believe that I have done things right so we'll see.
Mother nature brought
a welcome reprieve from the heat and humidity overnight. Dewpoints
dropped below the 60 degree mark for the first time in over a week.
I am all set for a great sleeping night with the windows open and nice
clean sheets. With temps in the upper 60's and low humidity, there
was no question which beach to go to... None. We headed off into
the woods for the first time in over a week. It was nice to get back
into the woods. Not that I don't like the beach, it is just nice
for the change.
We had our second bear
encounter today while on our walk. Once again the dogs missed it.
They were trailing behind me, busy sniffing something out along the trail
and all of the sudden I saw a large black object dart off the trail into
the woods. We got up to the point where it was and the dogs got excited.
It had been eating something that it looked to have dragged from a garbage
can or something. The dogs were busy sniffing what it was eating
and the ground in the area, then Burt got the bright idea to roll in it's
poop. Wha! Did that ever stink! The only thing that I
think smelled worse was when Baileys rolled in Coyote poop. It even smelled
when Burt was ahead of me and I was down wind of him. He did not
exactly enjoy the bath he got when we got home, but he can consider himself
lucky that I even let him in the car to get home! He's all clean
and shinny and I hope that he figured out why he had to get a bath and
does not do it again. I am not holding my breath though. That
is thousands of years of genetic programming that causes them to do that
and I doubt that one bath will reprogram that.
I find it odd that
for over a year we did not see a single bear and then in 4 days have seen
2. They were even in totally different areas. Today we were
up on the snowmobile trail by my house, at least 4-5 miles from where I
saw the sow and cubs on Saturday. Another thing was I was not even
phased by seeing the bear. I must admit that I was always a little
leery about seeing one in the wilds. I realize that they will generally
avoid human contact at all costs, but was still a bit concerned about meeting
up with one that is fearless of humans or that needed to protect her cubs.
Not a whole lot else
to talk about. It is the height of berry season up here. Blackberries,
Red Raspberries, Thimbleberries and Blueberries, Yum. I am not too
fond of the Thimbleberries. I find them to be a bit on the tart side,
or maybe I am just picking the unripe ones. I know what I am looking
for in the other types and have gotten quite a filling. Sorry, I
am not giving up my secret spots. That is common with most folks
up here. They may give you hints, but will never disclose the exact
locations. Another thing I have noticed is the size of the apples
this year. They are very tiny, about half the size that they normally
are. Must have been our dry summer. We are running at about
half of average in the Keweenaw both for the summer and for the year so
far. Marquette is actually at about 16" of their normal 18" for the
year thus far. We just keep getting missed. I hope that is
the case for the snowmobile water cross in Baraga this weekend. A
bunch of us will be camping out Friday and Saturday night. I know
one person and two dogs who will be sleeping in their own beds at home
if it is raining!
Anyway, that keeps
you up to date on the goings on with us up here. I have a unique
idea for the next entry so check back in a day or two.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Dee would like to thank Jim Formanek of Formanek Designs for his expert
assistance in the creation and technical support of this site. For
anyone wishing to have a site of their own developed, I strongly recommend
that you contact him. Design
and layout by: Formanek Designs 2000