I'm gonna try
and get this out before golf today. Not a whole lot to write about,
but I do have some pics to share and even a movie. Some boring weather
we are having up here. The past three days have been almost carbon
copies, with the exceptions of the temps and dew points. Every morning
we start out with fog and low clouds. By about 10 the fog clears
and by the early afternoon the clouds clear. Then the evening comes,
temps drop pretty quickly after sunset and the fog builds back overnight.
However, the temps have been on the climb since Tuesday. On Tuesday
itself, our high was only 63 degrees. We had an east wind and it
is amazing how cool this place stays with an east wind. It was almost
chilly! I know I wore a wind breaker for golf on Tuesday and wished
I had even had on long pants. Tuesday dewpoints were in the 50's.
Yesterday we topped out at about 74 degrees with the dew point climbing
into the upper 50's, maybe even low 60's for a short time. Then today
we rose into the low 80's with dewpoints in the upper 60's, yuck.
I sure was hoping we would not have any more days like today. It
is not that it is unbearable, but too hot for the woods and just sort of
zaps my energy when I walk outside. Even puts me in a bit of a crabby
mood. Not even a snowmobile magazine in the mail box could cheer
me up. Oh well, in a week or two I will probably be building a fire!
With the cooler temp
on Tuesday, the hounds and I took to the school forest again. With
the bugs all but gone, that will be a place we go to a lot. Many
trails to explore and the scenery
is beautiful. Plus the hounds really seem to love it out there.
Seeing them so happy really puts me in a great mood. I suppose that
is why the heat and humidity seems to bother me even more, because I can
see them suffer when it gets hot and humid. The school forest also
provided us with a little nourishment.
The blackberries are at their peak as you can see from that shot.
Another week or so and they will be all done. It just cracks me up
to watch the hounds watch me pick berries and then eat them. It does
not take long at all for them to move in and get some for themselves.
Here's Burt and
here is Baileys.
We did manage to leave a few for the bear.
Yesterday just a little
too warm for the woods. I suppose we could have managed it, but I
figured why get all hot and bothered when we don't have to, so we piled
in truck and headed out to the
beach near 5 Mile Point. It was actually quite a bit cooler out
there, with temps probably in the mid 60's. Just perfect for a walk
if you ask me. We had the beach to ourselves. Things have become
pretty quiet up here during the week, with school in session up here and
probably in a lot of other places where the visitors come from anyone who
might be out there is busy at work or school. I was a little surprised
at the beach when we got there. Just a few weeks ago we had been
out there and there was almost no beach, then when we got there yesterday
there was about 30-50 feet of beach. The wind storm two weeks ago
must have piled the sand back in place.
Today we found out
were some of that sand came from. It was another beach day and being
in a crabby mood, I did not feel like driving too far, so we went to the
beach at Tamarack Waterworks and there a bunch of the sand was gone!
You cannot tell much from that shot, but in some places large bands of
sandstone were exposed and those bands of sandstone were buried underneath
about 2-3 feet of sand. Just amazing how much the beach can change
in one of those storms. My video today is of the beach. Nothing
too special, but with the audio you can really get an idea of what it is
like to be out there. Hope you enjoy
So I guess that about
does it for this time. I am anxious to get to September! I
think I can see the end to any humidity coming for us. We usually
get a front to blast through sometime in the September 6-12 period and
that does it. We can still have a warm day or two, but no humidity.
I can remember the same thing would happen when I was living in Chicago,
but it usually came sometime in the September 13-18 time frame. This
one looks to arrive sometime in the September 8-10 time frame and that
may also produce our first frost of the year. That would also be
a welcome thing as it would take care of most of the bugs. Nothing
better than to be able to walk in the woods with temps in the low 60's,
plenty of sunshine, no humidity and no bugs! If I am still in a crabby
mood then, I better go see a shrink!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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Yes, I am alive
and well and I actually have a pretty good excuse for not putting out a
journal in over a week. I was entertaining! My parents came
up to visit and I spend the tail end of last week prepping the guest room
and then from Friday through this morning, showing them around. This
is the third time they have been up here to visit me. They have come
up at the end of August or beginning of September all three times.
It was really good to see them, as I had not been in their company since
Christmas Day, 8 months. We had lots of fun exploring some of the
more popular and hidden spots of the Keweenaw. Obviously with just
2 1/2 days to do stuff, we could not see all there is to see. Plus,
they have already seen things like the mouth of the Montreal, Copper Harbor,
the beaches of the north shore and Big Traverse, as well as the drive along
the north shore from Eagle River to Copper Harbor. This time we went
to the top of Mt. Baldy to take in a sunset, White City Beach to take in
the sun, sand and sea and the school forest to take in the woods.
The last time I was
at the school forest was about 3 weeks ago and deer flies were really bad.
I had not even see a deer fly in my past walks for almost a week, so I
figured they would not be much of a problem. I guessed right and
there were a few, but not what I would consider a problem. They have
been busy out there in the past few weeks. There are now trail markers
giving a real good marking of the different trails out there. It
will be fun to do some more exploring out there, especially that the cool
air is starting to gain a bigger foot hold. Although I must say that
it looks like late summer like weather will be occurring in the Midwest
for the next week or more. Not hot, but above average, with temps
in the 80's for places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Minneapolis.
Here in the Keweenaw it looks like mainly 70's. The humidity has
dropped a bit too, with dewpoints in the low 50's right now. That
allows for more comfortable conditions as well as some nice cool nights.
I did take the camera
along on many of our adventures this weekend and have lots of shots to
share with you, 16 if memory serves me correct. The first few are
some mushrooms we saw on our walk through the school forest. I think
all the moisture and cooler temps we have had lately has allowed the mushrooms
to pop up. This first one was the first mushroom we came across.
Just sitting out in the middle of the footpath, all
by itself. The next one was a little more protected and out of
the way and was also a little different in shape. Definitely
a different species. The last mushroom shot was one that looked
like it had a fungus growing on it. I wonder, is it possible to have
a fungus growing
on a fungus?
The school forest sure
was one of our favorite places to ski this past winter and now that it
is cooling off and the bugs are almost all gone, it will become one of
our favorite places to hike. With scenery like this
and this, it's
now wonder why huh? I almost can't believe how lucky I am to live
here and be able to take in things like that anytime I want. If the
scenery is not enough of a treat, then mother nature can always throw in
things like these
to add even more of a treat. Yep, the blackberries are ready!
And those were like sugar bombs. I'll have to get out and pick a
few quarts for the winter. I even want to get some started on my
property. I figure I can just toss some onto the ground and they
will sprout up just like they would if nature had spread them around.
While it may not feel
quite like fall, it is starting to look a little more and more like it
each day. About a week ago, the first signs of color started to show
up in some of the maples and by the end of last week, there was a lot of
pale green out there, with even some touches
of orange. We are still over a month away from peak color and
these are just the early-turners. Trees that are more stressed than
others and have decided to call it a season. We passed some
horses that seemed to be more interested in fattening up than looking
to see who was going by. Do you think they know something we don't?
I hope so.
Like I mentioned earlier,
one of the other things we did was to head up to the top of Mt. Baldy to
take in a sunset. I am starting to think that there are not too many
better places in the Keweenaw, maybe the world, to take in a sunset. What
do you think? We just barely got up there in time. That
shot was taken just as I reached the top. Thankfully it takes at
least a few minutes for the sun to set, so I was able to snap some more
shots. Here is
one using the camera's zoom, with the body of water and town sharing
the name of Eagle Harbor in the foreground. You can even see the
light from the lighthouse. This one was taken when about half
the sun was left above the big lake. And here was the view with
the sun fully set and the sky God's
paint palette of colors. We even had enough time to snap some
family portraits. Here is my Dad
and I and my Mom
and I. Oh and of course, the
hounds and I.
One the sun set, we
could not diddle daddle too much up there, as we had about a half mile
walk back to the truck and then the 3 mile drive down to the road.
It is not the kind of walk you want to do in the dark. The drive
is ok and it was pretty dark by the time we reached the road, but I wanted
to make sure we had some light to show us the way off the big hill as we
walked. However, as we headed off the clearing that gives Baldy it's
name (or nickname if you like to call it Mt. Lookout), I could not help
stopping and taking a shot of the fog
starting to form in the valleys below. Sometime I would like
to stay up there all night and camp out. The stars must be just unbelievable
from up there. Although I would need to pick a nice calm night, as
the winds up here are usually 2-3 times that which is occurring down at
lake level. Imagine what the northern lights would look like from
So the weekend was
a success. Lots of fun and the weather was perfect too. The
hounds and I had a little excitement on our afternoon walk today.
I had my first bear sighting of the season. The hounds did not see
it and I only saw it for about a second, but I did see it well enough to
know that it was huge! We had just parked the car and were heading
down the railroad grade that is the snowmobile trail in the winter, when
I saw this object move across the grade at a 90 degree angle to them at
a pretty good clip. It's funny how when you are not used to seeing
things, your mind can play tricks on you. I am not used to seeing
a bear in the woods (thank goodness!) and the bear was so big, that the
first thought that raced through my mind was "What in the heck is someone
doing driving a Volkswagen through the woods like that!". About a
half second later my mind switched to a more realistic option of what my
eyes had just seen and I realized it was a big bear. I would have
to estimate it to have been in the 350-450 lb range. As it crossed
the track, it was about 3/4 to 4/5ths as long as the track was wide.
The tracks are about 8-10 feet wide, you do the math.
Needless to say the
hounds and I went the other direction down the tracks and I was a little
more conscience of my surroundings and made sure to make a little extra
noise as we walked along. I think I will remain a little more alert
as we walk the woods for the next few weeks. Hunting season starts
in about 2 weeks I think, then the bears will be out of sight for the most
part. I sure wish I had gotten a picture of him/her. It was
really a big bear.
So I guess that gets
you caught up on what I have been up to in the past week or so. I
will make all attempts to not be another 8 days between this entry and
the next. Soon the colors will start to take on more and more of
an impact and I may have the first frost photo in a week or two and maybe
even the first flakes in the next 4-5 weeks! It is getting close,
I can sense the masses are starting to return to the site. Hit counts
are climbing up from their summer slump and more and more e mails are coming
in. The snow may not be in the air yet, but it is definitely on the
minds of more and more people each day.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
and more like autumn up here. We had quite a blow yesterday, with
sustained winds of 30-40 mph and gusts to 52. Temps were mild early
in the day, but then cooled late. Today is cool, very September like,
with temps only in the low 60's. It is also breezy again today, but
compared to yesterday, it seems calm. Even with the winds, we decided
to get in some golf. Played 9 at Calumet at noon and then jumped
over to Portage to play 9 in the evening. It made for some very interesting
shots, especially when the winds were blowing across the fairway.
I had the wind blow me off my swing twice and actually move the ball on
the green a few times as well. I still shot pretty well, a 45 at
Calumet and a 42 at Portage and did not put a single shot out of play (one
of my more infamous things to do).
Golfing was not the
only thing that I did yesterday in the winds. The hounds and I did
head to the north shore to watch the waves for a while. They were
really just starting to get underway and were not that huge, probably about
5-7 feet high. Still high enough to provide some
dramatics. That was the water exploding skyward as a wave hit
what is left of the pier at the Calumet Waterworks. For a reference,
the top of that old pier is about 8 feet above the mean lake level.
So the top of that splash was probably about 18-20 feet above the pier
and about 26-28 feet above the mean lake level. The winds were really
howling out there along the lake. Probably the second hardest I have
every seen. The first would have to be my first autumn living up
here, there was a storm that had the winds blowing so hard that you could
almost not stand up. Must have been 45-50 mph sustained with gusts
to 70+ that day. The wind alone was so loud that when I tried to
call to the dogs they could not even hear me and I could barely even hear
my own voice. Almost a little frightening, being in the middle of
such natural power.
Yesterday was not that
bad at all. However it was a little painful to be out on the beach.
The wind was picking up the sand and carrying it through the air and it
stung a little as it would hit my skin. I think the hounds were feeling
the same thing, as they seemed to stick to areas where the sandblasting
was not going on. The sand was not the only thing the winds were
picking up and carrying through the air. The water was literally
being picked up off the tops of the waves and carried through the air.
The shots I took of that did not turn out, but I was able to zoom in on
the water being sprayed
up and over the side of the old pier. Thanks to the cameras zoom,
I did not have to get any closer to the end of the pier that I did to take
the first shot. I suppose I would have survived being swept into
the waves at that point as they would have carried me to shore in about
30 seconds, but it would not have been a fun experience, so we were very
careful not to put ourselves in any danger. There is also the risk
of "The Three Sisters" sneaking in and bringing the water much further
than any of the other waves were bringing it.
For those of you not
familiar with the term The Three Sisters, it is when 3 large waves combine
to bring a dramatic wave height. The waves are usually larger than
the average of the others around them, plus they are much closer together.
In fact the last two combine their energy to create one very large wave.
The first one just brings the waterline up higher so that the last 2 can
break higher. If you sit and watch the lake for long enough while
a big wind storm is blowing, you are most likely to see at least one set
of the sisters occur. You'll know when you have seen them as well,
as the water will reach almost twice as far as is had been, not just a
Had I been swept into
the lake, this is
what I would have gone into. Pretty good surfing day huh? There
is a father/son pair that surfs Lake Superior. The local newspaper
had an article on them. Usually our wind storms come in the autumn
and both the air and water are pretty chilly, so they are not your typical
surfers. I would imagine they either wear ultra thick wet suits or
maybe even dry suits. I would imagine that they were out yesterday,
enjoying the relatively balmy waters and air.
The winds also managed
to knock down a fair amount of trees. Some of them quite large.
The one thing about having strong winds in October and November is that
the trees are all bare and they are not as impacted by the winds.
With all the leaves still in them yesterday, they had to really hang in
tough and like I say, some that have withstood wind storms for the past
50-75 years came down yesterday. The hounds and I actually stay out
of the woods on days like yesterday. They can be a dangerous place
to be. Not only with the trees being blow over, but with limbs being
knocked down. Things calmed down enough this morning so that the
hounds and I could head out to the property for our morning walk.
We spent about an hour out there, walking around and getting turned around.
The woods are so thick that it is hard to even get my bearing with the
sunlight. At one point my bearing was off by about 90 degrees!
Not that we would ever get totally lost out there, there are roads on 2
sides and the snowmobile trail on another, so we would not have to walk
too far before realizing we were not where we want to be. Even so,
I think I will head down to Houghton sometime this week and pick up a compass
so that I can keep my bearings out there. I would really like to
get to know the lay of the land. It will also get easier once the
foliage is down this fall.
Other than the winds
of yesterday and the nice cool temps today, there is not a whole lot to
talk about. I think I will start up the sled tonight. Not because
I have the itch, but because it has been over to months since I last ran
it and I like to start it every month or so all summer long. I have
decided to squeeze one more season out of my Pol-Cat. The purchase
of the Blazer and land would make it a little too tight for my liking to
get a new sled. So I been talking with my ace mechanic Al this summer
as to some work we can do to get a little more out of the good old triple.
New motor mounts and rebuilding the carbs are the first two things that
will get done and then maybe some clutch work to give me more low end.
It's funny how most folks are looking to get more top end and make their
sled as fast as possible, but when you ride in the bush, there is nothing
like low end to pull you through the powder. I really started to
like the feel of the Pol-Cat last season and I think it will do just fine
this season. Of course if the engine blows I suppose a 700 twin might
be kind of neat to put back in place of the 587 triple!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, almost a week
between writings. Not a whole lot going on up here, so I do not have
a ton to write about. I can sense summer drawing to a close in many
aspects. First, watching the computer models forecasts over the past
week to ten days, I can see the cold air starting to build a little up
to the north of us. Not winter like cold, but still temps that are
definitely not summer like. Even the actual temps are not as warm.
Highs to the north of Lake Superior by about a few hundred miles have been
running in the 50's and 60's rather than the 70's and 80's. Even
the weather here seems like it is growing tired of producing the hot and
muggy stuff. We have been in the 70's for most of the past week to
ten days and the nights are getting cooler and cooler. Even some
of the days feel more like early autumn than summer, with highs in the
60's and an overcast. I sure am not complaining and am still on my
countdown till summer is but a memory. In about 2 weeks we should
hopefully be done with the threat for any prolonged heat and humidity and
in a month, the AC's will be out of the windows until next June.
No signs of the pending
change in the weather in the woods yet. Sometimes some of the less
healthy trees will start to have some leaves turn into the bright reds,
oranges and yellows of the autumn, but so far I have only seen one or two
leaves on the ground that were turned. Heck even the blackberries
are about a week away from peak. I have picked a few from a patch
not far from my house, but only about 5% are ready right now. Looks
like a good crop this year. Don't know why, the thimbleberries were
really a poor showing and the blueberries were almost non existent.
If I had my choice I'd wish for a good blackberry crop vs. a good thimble
and blueberry crop. I don't care much for thimbleberries and picking
the wild blueberries is a lot of work! Anyway, in the next week or
so I will be loading up on the blackberries.
It's been great to
be able to keep the house open and not have the AC's on. While I
like the comfort that the AC's provide, I would much rather have the natural
cooling effect of a fresh breeze through an open window. Nothing
beats it as far as I am concerned. That is about the only thing I
miss about summer when winter is going and that is to be able to have the
windows open and get a fresh breeze into the house. I suppose I could
get a fresh breeze through the window in the winter, but it would be a
little too fresh!
Last Saturday my girlfriend
and I went to the beach to build a bonfire and watch the sunset and then
hang out underneath the stars. Well, as luck would have it, just
as we got the fire going, it started to rain. It had spit a few showers
earlier in the day, but nothing too severe, but the shower at the beach
was enough to send us scrambling for the blazer. We sat for a while
and did catch the sunset from the dryness of the blazer and did manage
to get a shot for
you all. Nothing quite like the sunset over Superior. Florida
and the Caribbean have some great ones too, but the ones here over Superior
are just unique. We put out the fire and ended up heading back and
it never did rain again, but I am glad we played it safe. It would
likely have kept raining had we forced the issue.
On Sunday, the hounds
and I went up to "the property". That is the name I gave to it for
the hounds, so they will know where we are going. Burt knows the
difference between some of the beaches and even knows the difference between
the woods up where the snowmobile trail goes and the "bush", as I call
it for him, where there are not as many trees. So anyway, it was
cool enough Sunday evening to put on jeans and a shirt for protection against
any scratches from bushes and trees as well as bites from bugs. I
did take the camera along to show you what some of it looks like.
All of the property is pretty dense forest. I have been told it was
a meadow about 50 years ago, but you would never know now. Some limited
logging was done on the property about 5 years ago, but that is barely
noticeable now as well.
road it is on is also quite pretty. I can remember the first
time I ever drove down the road and saw the woods on either side I thought:
"This would be a nice place to have a home in the woods". Now I am
one step closer to having my home in the woods. I do not plan to
build anything on it for about a year or more. Maybe not until the
spring of 2004 and even then, it will likely be a pole barn. My plan
is to get that up and have either space in it, or a little wing off of
it where I will have some living space. I then want to contract out
to have the shell of a log home put up and finish it off myself, while
living next door in the pole barn or wing. Then when the log home
is done, the living quarters in or attached to the pole barn will be guest
quarters. I would imagine that the log home construction is still
at least 4 years away, but when it is done, I will have fulfilled my life
long dream of having a long home in the woods up here in the Keweenaw.
Now getting back to
my walk through the property Sunday. I do have a tentative building
site picked out. It is about 200 feet in off the road. Far
enough in to shelter me from the road and anything that might go on along
it, but also not too far in that I have a major job at hand to keep the
driveway free of snow in the winter. The one path I have proposed
for the driveway actually takes it through a stand of cedar trees and then
into a little clearing. I think it would be neat to have to drive
through the cedars to get to the home, especially in the winter, as they
will keep their foliage and the snow will be piled up on them, creating
a little archway. Here is a shot of the stand
of cedars. It came out blurry for some reason, and you cannot
get an idea of the foliage at the top of the trees, but you can see the
clearing as marked by the sunlight off in the distance. The stand
of cedars is about 75-100 feet in from the road and between it and the
road is mixed hardwoods. I also took a shot of the "clearing".
It also did not turn out all that well. Maybe I forgot to let the
auto focus work before I took the shot. Anyway, it is not a true
clearing, as there are some trees, but the vegetation is not as thick in
this spot, so I would not have to do as much work to get it ready to build
on. Plus it is in a good spot relative to the road and such.
I had a contractor come out and look at it before I bought it and he said
it would be suitable for building a home on, with good drainage and such.
The area that does not have as much trees on it is about 200-250 feet in
diameter, so I would not have to clear out much more to have the home and
pole barn. I would like to have trees as close as possible to both
to provide shade. The house I am in right now sits out in the sun
all day and just bakes in the summer. Without air conditioning, it
would be a sauna. At any rate, here is another shot of the "clearing",
looking in a different direction.
As the hounds and I
explored the property, it became apparent just how big it really is.
The last time I walked it, the vegetation was not as dense as it was early
in the summer and I was able to make good time walking through. However,
this time it took the dogs and I about 10-15 minutes to walk through it,
pushing our way through berry patches, other bushes and even around downed
trees. That one must have come down in the storms we had about
2 weeks ago as it looked like a fresh one.
We did manage to make
our way to the back edge of the property, which is an old
railroad grade used as a snowmobile trail now. I actually own
half of the snowmobile trail and in that shot my half is on the left.
The old railroad grade is elevated and if you look off to the left into
my property this is what it looks like in one of the more
The hounds and I did
manage to find our way back to the road and the blazer. I look forward
to exploring every inch of that property and maybe even cutting some footpaths
in it this fall. It would be neat to have some trails weaving through
it so that we could take some short walks or even some short skis.
Don't know if the hounds will live long enough to actually live there,
but they will definitely become familiar with every inch of "The Property".
The three of us have already "marked" it! Right in the proposed building
Good night from the Keweenaw.
A Friday journal?
What, have I no life suddenly? Don't worry, I am still quite the
social butterfly. I am actually writing this in the comfort of my
air conditioned home. I just got back from taking the hounds for
a walk. We walked along side the Hammell
Creek up to the first tracks old railroad grade that is now the snowmobile
trail and then looped back home. We have abandoned the cool and low
humidity air we had most of this week for the warm and sticky stuff again.
Thankfully it is not that hot or humid, temp is about 86 here in Lake Linden
and dewpoint is about 65, and thankfully it will not last long before we
get the good stuff again. Maybe for a long time. I am without
a vehicle right now (loaned it out to my girlfriend while hers is down
at Al's getting some work done), so the hounds and I could not venture
off too far. Plus I wanted to pick an area that had some shade and
maybe even some water for them to cool off in and the valley the Hammell
Creek cut is just perfect. It is only about a block away from my
house and there is plenty of shade (as you could tell from the picture).
Plus the hounds had no qualms about jumping into the creek for a swim.
It was not as cool
as I thought I was going to be in the shade of that valley and I wished
I had worn my swimsuit so that I could have taken a dip to cool off.
There is actually a neat little
waterfall that empties into a little pool of water. The pool
is about 4 feet deep, perfect to take a little dip in and have the water
cascade over the falls and your head. But I did not go prepared and
did not want to risk taking a dip au natural. Next time I'll remember
the suit. Of course the hounds took full advantage of the pool and
cooled off. They are now sound asleep at my feet while I type this.
A successful trip.
Not much going on up
here. As I said, the weather earlier this week was delightful.
Highs in the upper 60's, dewpoints in the 40's. Tuesday morning we
dropped down to 42 here in the valley. Neat to see your breath and
feel that crispness in the air. Actually got the blood pumping.
There are a ton of upsides that I realized once the cooler air arrived.
First, I get to have the windows open all day and get that fresh breeze
through the house. Plus we get to ride in the truck with the windows
down so we can feel the breeze flow through our air. A long hot shower
feels really good, especially when the house is still chilled from the
overnight plummet in temps. The cool nights also make for great sleeping.
Nothing like falling asleep to the sound of crickets chirping and having
the sheets pulled all the way up to your chin to stay warm. Another
upside is that the hounds and I can take a walk where ever we want to.
We do not have to worry about overheating. I did discover a downside
and that is having to get out of a nice warm bed, in the pitch black, in
a cold house, at 4:45 in the morning - to do my work. A few mornings
it was all I could do to muster the will to get up and get going.
I actually have that problem all winter too, but for some reason it does
not seem as tough. Maybe because I just get used to it.
As I mentioned, we
are going to cool off. A weak front will move through early tomorrow
and keep temps in check, maybe even send them into the 70's if we have
enough clouds. Then a stronger one arrives Monday and will really
send the temps dropping. 60's look to be the highs by the middle
to end of next week and there are even some indications that the cooler
air could hang on through all of the following week. That takes us
up to the end of August and only about 2 weeks left for any sustained heat
to even occur. We can have some heat up until about the middle of
October, but the deeper into September we go, the shorter and less powerful
any warm air event will be. Plus by the second week of September,
the humidity is basically gone until next June. So, by all indications,
we may be done with any prolonged period of heat for a while. I hope
I have not just jinxed things. Seems like when I give some kind of
weather discussion in this forum, it ends up flopping.
The other big news
is that I finally closed on my property. I now own a piece of Keweenaw
County. I do plan to get up there and take some pictures of it.
Nothing on it but lots of trees and bushes, but I know of some shots that
I want to take so that you all can get an idea of it. I actually
own the southbound side of the trail just south of where the main trail
and the Gay-Mohawk trail intersect. So my plan is to put up a toll
booth, charge about 50 cents to get through and in a season or so the land
will be paid for. Sound good? Just kidding. It will be
kind of neat to own part of the trail. I'll have to see if I need
to sign anything or work anything out with the DNR as far as liability
is concerned. I know our local club has an insurance policy that
covers all owners that grant easement for our trail to go through.
Plus maybe someday I will be able to have a live trail cam out there.
I am planning on having a live trail cam on the number 3 trail about 4
miles north of Dollar Bay. I am friends with a man who owns property
that buts up to the trail and he used to have a Christmas Tree along side
the trail with candy canes on it for snowmobiliers to enjoy. So the
power is there. I have all the pieces to put together a computer
to run the cam, get a phone line to the site and build something to house
the computer and cam and we'll be all set. I think it would be great
to have a live trail cam out there. Heck, have one on every section,
that way we can keep track of the grooming.
Oh well, lots to think
about in that time and lots to do. But for now it is time to head
up the the golf course. Only about 6 more weeks left in the season!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Looks like the
weather will be the main topic of conversation for this journal.
We got hammered pretty good by storms Thursday morning and then it continued
to rain for most of the day Thursday. All told, we picked up about
2.5" of much needed rain. Even enough to cause some seepage into
my basement. Sort of weird to have water seeping into my basement,
while the grass was still totally brown. It is greening up some more,
in fact the front yard will need another cutting, the second in less than
a week, but the back yard can still go a few more days before it gets cut.
Along with the 2.5
inches of rain came some strong winds. Especially in the pre dawn
hours Thursday. We had gusts to 80 mph reported in the area.
Enough to overturn a semi in a parking lot in Houghton as well as tear
the roof off a building in Houghton. A camper trailer was also flipped
over, not to mention all the trees that were either knocked down of had
large limbs torn off. Thankfully there were no injuries with all
that happened. Power was knocked out to most of Houghton and other
sections of the Keweenaw, but Lake Linden continued it's good fortune of
keeping power. During the height of the storm it did flicker.
I was in the middle of my morning work rush, so I decided to make use of
the power generator that I bought from a visitor to the site. It
worked great and it was neat to have a constant supply of power to my computers
when the lights were flickering on and off. I am going to be very
glad that I got that generator, I can see already.
The majority of our
activity occurred while it was dark out, so I did not get any shots of
the action. However, there was more activity in the UP and northern
WI later in the day and the visible satellite imagery captured some of
those storms with good clarity. Here is a
shot from 22,500 miles out in space of the thunderstorm activity that
afternoon. Even though the image is only 2-D, you can actually see
the three dimensional aspect to what was going on, especially in the bigger
storms in the central UP and the far western UP. I don't know what
the tops on those storms were, but they were up there. Probably 40-50
thousand feet at least.
By later Thursday,
the storms had all rolled out and we were in the throws of a nice mild
and dry Canadian airmass. We hung onto the nice weather Friday, with
temps in the low 70's and dewpoints in the low 50's. That allowed
the hounds and I to take to the woods and survey any damage that occurred
out there. Not much to be seen. A few limbs
down, but that was about it. We did come across some strange
things, big puddles
of water. Something we have not seen for weeks and weeks up here.
I was very glad that
we got the rains we did. The forest is all healthy looking again
and the fire danger is down to very low levels. It is very nice to
see all the lawns greening up. There is just something depressing
about a brown lawn. And I don't know about you, but I am glad that
it is August. We have turned the corner and are on the final leg
of summer up here. In a few weeks the heat will be all gone, some
of the first colors of autumn will be starting to show and it will be one
of the best times of the year up here. Crisp clear days and chilly
nights. Fires will be starting to brew in the fireplaces in the evenings
and it will be a perfect time to head into the woods. This is the
time of the year that I start a series of countdowns. The countdown
to no more heat: 3-4 weeks, to the first frost: 4-5 weeks, to the first
flakes of snow: 7-9 weeks, to the peak of colors: 8 1/2 weeks to the first
1" of snow: 9-10 weeks, to the start of snowmobile season: 16. I
still take it one day at a time, but it is also an exciting time, with
so much to look forward to.
Yesterday, "Y", the
hounds and I took to Keweenaw county to do some exploring. We went
up to go hike to the top of Mt. Bohemia. I did bring the camera and
took a shot while
standing at the bottom. Just as we got to the top it started
to rain. Not very hard, but enough to wet the grass and rocks.
It is hard enough to get down that hill when things are dry, so we did
not dilly dally at the top and came right back down. As a result,
I did not take any shots from the top. I'm sure that we will be heading
back up there sometime soon, especially as the cooler air sets in and maybe
even when the colors are cranking, so stay tuned for more shots.
One last tidbit before
I sign off. Thursday night, actually early Friday morning, Baileys
woke me up and acted as though she had to go out. I walked to the
door and opened it up to let her out, but she remained inside, false alarm.
When I looked out, I could see a glow in the sky. Not sure if it
was clouds or the aurora, I went outside to get a better look. It
turns out it was the aurora, or northern lights. This was a very
unique display of them, with the curtain of lights dancing straight overhead
and not on the horizon as is usually the case. I did not take any
shots of them, as you need to take a 25-30 second exposure and my digital
camera will not do that. I did stand there and admire the magic of
their display. They are truly a sight that is not repeated by anything
else in nature. No other thing even comes close to their display.
All part of what is go great about this place. If you want to see
more, Pasty.com has some shots take up here that night here.
Good night from the Keweenaw.