Good grief it's
hot! As I type this, my thermometer says 95. The airport is
officially 93 with a dewpoint of 65. That's some nasty heat.
Thankfully I have two window AC's going full blast and my indoor thermometer
has not budged past 71. I like it cool. I really feel sorry
for all the folks without air conditioning up here and that is a lot of
folks. I would have to say that about 85% of the homes up here do
not have it. However, I can say that since last Wednesday, I was
warning of the heat to come and told folks to get their AC's ready or if
they had thought about buying one, to go out and get one because they would
need it. I guess there are still some folks that cannot even afford
the 120 bucks or so that a window unit runs, but I think I would sure find
a way to pay for one if I was faced with the situation. My basement
is also very cool and I had thought about spending the day down there building
something in the workshop, but never did get down there, except to fetch
some tools that I needed this afternoon. If it were not for the man
eating spiders down in the basement, I might even consider moving my bedroom
down there. I am not afraid of spiders, but the thought of having
one of those 3" in diameter jobbers walking across my face as I sleep is
enough to keep me upstairs.
I did take the hounds
to Big Traverse to swim today. My car thermometer (which is actually
quite accurate) read 89 degrees as we were driving out there, but when
we got to the lake it read 71. It sure was pleasant out there!
Amazing how much cooler it is by the lake. There was even a nice
lake breeze blowing in that made it extra refreshing. I would have
liked to have spent the whole afternoon out there, but the flying creatures
started to home in on us and we had to evacuate. Our pests Du Jour
were a mix of horse, deer and stable flies. At first they were not
bad at all, but they seemed to discover us one by one and by the time we
left, the dogs were either running into the water (Burt) or rolling in
the sand (Baileys) to try and get them off of them. The flies did
not bother me too much, although I can say that I killed about a dozen
of them in the 45 minutes we were at the beach.
Another type of fly,
very much like a typical house fly has been the talk of the town up here,
literally. Just about everywhere you go, people are talking about
them. The seemed to have peaked out earlier this past week and now
seem to be dying off. Last Tuesday's golf league was a real challenge.
They seem to be attracted to light things and would just about cover the
golf cart. I think that as we were getting ready to tee off on the
first hole, there must have been a few hundred flies on our cart, no exaggerating.
Al and I played yesterday evening and they were not nearly as bad.
The rumor of the DNR planting them to help combat the tent worm problem
is still going strong, but I am more skeptical. No one has been able
to prove that rumor true and I think that folks just want to have someone
to blame and since the DNR is not exactly everyone's favorite up here,
the DNR became the scapegoat. I am just glad that they seem to be
on the way out. They sure were a nuisance. People said that
they did not bit. I suppose that may be true, but they would also
mix in with flies that did bite, so you could not really let them land
on you, or you were asking for a bite or two or hundred.
There was even a story
on how the flies are driving things like deer out of the woods and are
causing a higher than average amount of car/deer accidents. I can't
even begin to imagine how bad it must be for all the creatures out there.
Not just the bugs but the heat. If I have to come back into this
world and have to do it as a woodland animal, I hope it is as an Eagle
or something like that, so that I can fly to where it is cool and also
to where the bugs do not bother me! It must be just terrible being
a bear, deer or even a coyote or wolf right now.
I guess one good thing
to the housefly problem we have had was that it made the usual nemesis,
the blackfly, almost a forgotten entity. The season for them is drawing
to a close, usually by the 4th of July, they are not much of a problem
at all, so that will be one less thing to have to swat. We've actually
been pretty dry, so the misquitos are not bad at all and in about a month
or so, the horse flies and deer flies will be tapering off. They
never fully go away until it cools off in September, but they are not much
of a problem in August. One more month.
Back to the heat for
a moment. I have friends and family that really do not like the cold.
I can sympathize with them, as I really do not like the heat. Cold
does not bother me, so long as I can dress appropriately. My feeling
is you can always throw on another layer to stay warm, but there is nothing
you can do when you are wearing next to nothing and still hot! I
really do not like to even go outside when it is this warm. With
the exception of the two walks with the hounds and a brief time tuning
up my outdoor grill, I have been inside all day. Hopefully it will
cool off enough this evening to allow for another walk with the dogs.
Sad part is that tomorrow is suppose to be even hotter! I would imagine
we set a new daily record high today and will again tomorrow, but I doubt
that the all time record high of 102 will be broken. That was set
back in the summer of 1988, on July 7th. 1988 was a terrible drought
and heat year in the Midwest and Plains states and this summer might just
be creeping into drought and heat as well. There is some cooler air
seen for us by later Tuesday and into Wednesday, but then it looks like
we might heat back up for the end of the week.
I was going to buy
an above ground pool about a month ago. Walmart had a 15 foot in
diameter and 3 1/2 feet deep pool on sale for about $250. It was
one of those new ones that has the inflatable ring on the top of the pool
and then you just fill it pool with water, the ring filled with air lifts
the sides up. Very easy to setup and take down. However, with
the cool spring and early summer we had, I figured that I would never get
the chance to use it. I sure did guess wrong! The only time
I can tolerate the heat is when I am swimming. Then I actually prefer
it to be hot. Lake Superior was still a bit too chilly for me.
I did wade up to my knees, but that was about it. The Torch Lake
is probably swim able, the village beach was actually pretty crowded today
and a few were in the water. The Traprock is still a bit chilly,
but I'm sure the swimming hole at Bekkala's was busy today even so.
I don't have too many
pictures to share with you. I do have plans to do a tour of the Calumet
Golf Course. I am going to take shots of each hole and give a little
narrative. Maybe not the most exciting, thing, but hopefully even
the non golfers out there will enjoy seeing where I spend many an afternoon
or evening in the summer. I did take pictures of the first three
holes, but then forgot the last 6, so I will have to get back out there
to finish taking pictures. I did have my best round of the season
so far yesterday evening. I missed a hole in one by about 2 1/2 feet
and shot a 39. I actually could or should have shot under par, but
a few putts did not drop and I did have one or two muffed chips.
I was actually below par after 4 and thought I might shoot par. Oh
The one shot I do have
to share with you is of the Hurricane up in northern MN this morning.
Even on the weekends, I need to stay on top of things in the world of weather.
I need to see what is happening as well as what the models say. I
actually never take a day fully off. I monitor the weather happenings
and models 365 days a year. Anyway, this morning as I was looking
at the satellite imagery across the Midwest, a feature stood out across
northern MN. An area of clouds was spinning counter clockwise and
there was actually a hole in the center of it. If that had been out
over the tropical ocean, it sure could have been mistaken as a hurricane.
However, the clouds with that feature were not a mass of thunderstorms,
but were mainly mid an high level clouds spinning around an upper level
low. Still very
interesting to watch. The weather never ceases to amuse and amaze
me! Guess that's why I can keep it up 365 days a year and have been
for the past 11 years.
One final thing.
I want to thank everyone for still coming to read these journals.
I realize that they have not been the most exciting recently. Part
of the problem is that I have not been going on very many adventures lately.
Mostly because of the bugs and heat. The bugs will be wavering soon
and I am sure that we will have some nice cool days too. So keep
coming back and I promise I will have some great stories of adventure to
share with you. Heck, I still need to break in the blazer!
Plus, I ordered a new cam today. I ordered a Fuji FinePix2800.
It has a 6x optical zoom which was my first requirement. It also
takes 60 seconds of video with sound, my second requirement and has decent
resolution at 2.11 mega pixels. There are cams with better resolution,
but at 2.1 mega pixel it will produce pictures 8x10 in size with film quality.
Plus, it got great reviews. There was a cam out there with 8x zoom
with a similar price, but it did not get the best of reviews and one short
coming was the video shooting. So I opted for slightly less zoom
and better video. I am excited to shoot some video of our snowmobile
adventures this winter. So thanks again for sticking around and I
am looking forward to sharing some more Keweenaw adventures with you soon.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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which helps to make johndee.com
Yep, I'm still
alive and well. Things just sort of conspired to keep me from being
able to sit down and write a journal entry. Actually, I could have
yesterday, but since Saturday is the one day a week when I do not have
to do any work, I like to keep it that way. Not that the journal
is really work, but it is a commitment of sort, and it is nice to have
one day that I have to commitments of that nature. I guess I can
start out by wishing everyone a happy astronomical summer. I personally
still like to think of summer as June, July and August, but different strokes
for different folks. If you want to read my reasons for that, you
can go to the ask John. There is a whole discussion about the topic.
I guess the good news (sort of) is that the amount of daylight is already
headed back down. 2 months from now and summer will be drawing to
a close up here. The nights will start to take on the autumn chill
and in about 2 months and two weeks, we can look for our first frost here
in the valley. Seems hard to believe as we have only had summer like
weather up here for the past week or so. Last week was beautiful
up here. Lots of sun, temps in the upper 60's to low 70's and low
humidity. 10's in my book. I suppose that most would think
60's is too cool, but with the sun so strong, I was able to take walks
with the dogs and have my shirt off and be comfortable. Things have
gotten a little soupy in the past 36 hours, with the humidity levels rising.
Our dewpoint has been running in the low 60's since yesterday afternoon
and that is about 10-15 degrees higher than I would like it to be.
I had to break down and put the AC's in the windows. More for the
humidity than the temps.
On Wednesday of last
week I did get my new vehicle. It's actually a used 4 door Blazer.
The Honda and K5 Blazer are gone, but not forgotten. It was actually
a little sad to give up the Honda. It has been a big part of my life
for the past 8 years and I have some great memories of travels with the
hounds in it. But now I can look forward to making some great memories
in the Blazer. I actually took it for a ride Wednesday evening, touring
a little of the Keweenaw. Here
I am posing by it Wednesday evening. I have since detailed the
inside and out and it looks like brand new. Amazing the products
they have out now to bring a cars finish back to life. Actually,
they were out about 20 years ago, I just have not used them for a while.
But after I bought the Blazer, I went out and bought a random orbit buffer
the cleaner, polish and wax as well as other chemicals to clean other parts
and I use my steam cleaner to do the interior as well. So now it
really does look like a brand new car. The only problem with that
is I do not want to get it dirty! Oh well, that's life!
The flies up here have
really gotten bad. Actually, I think that last Sunday we had a major
hatch, because prior to that, they were not that bad. There is a
rumor going around that the DNR planted them up here last year to help
combat the tent worm explosion that was going on up here. It may
be true, I don't know, but they are really pests this year. The tent
worm population is way down, so I guess they need something else to go
after and it is humans. I wish the DNR, if they did plant them, would
plant some dragonflies up here to take care of these pesky house flies.
They don't seem to bite, but buzz all around and will land on you too.
Not a fun thing while golfing or taking a walk on the beach. Wednesday
night we were on the beach for a little bit, but had to leave because the
flies were so bad. Hopefully, they will subside soon. The other
flying insects are about average for this time of the year. Some
horseflies and deerflys and even some blackflies, but the blackflies seem
to be on the way out. They were really not bad at all this year.
The one place that
the houseflies or what ever you want to call them are not bad is the Lake
Linden meadow (formally the sands). So the hounds and I have been
going out there a lot. I think that we went there about 4 times last
week. It is not that it is not a beautiful
spot. It has just about everything the hounds could want.
Some things to sniff,
water to swim in and even some things to chase (Canadian Geese).
But I guess I really do not like to go to the same place so often, when
there is such a multitude of places to go to up here. Hopefully the
fly situation will die off a bit and we can start exploring the woods and
beaches some more.
Every time I go to
the LL meadow, I am struck at how lucky the village is to have that property.
I'm not sure what they are going to be doing with it and I think that they
are not sure either. One idea was a golf course. No complaints
from me! But I would not mind it being left as it is. Just a big
area of different weeds and grasses surrounded by the Torch Lake.
It is also a great place to play in fresh powder in the winter. I
really can't see it being left undeveloped for too long. I just hope
that it does not get sold off for private dwellings. I would not
want to loose that place as a walking spot. I love it's convenience
and amenities. As it type this, I have been trying to come up with
a clever way to fit in my last picture. It is of the park and beach,
with the Village in the background, taken from the meadow. However,
I have not been able to come up with a clever segway, so
here's the shot!
Well, I know that it
has been almost a week since I last wrote and this was not exactly full
of exciting stuff, but I am nearing my bedtime and need to sign off.
I promise that I will try not to be almost a week before I update this
with the next entry. The week ahead does not look quite as hectic.
Till next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw.
This one is
actually coming to you from the late morning-early afternoon. I have
a bit of free time and figured I would get out a journal. I had planned
to do my usual Sunday evening entry, but had a very busy day of work and
play. It started out bright and early with breakfast (pancakes for
the hounds and I) and then a walk. I then cut the grass and did some
weeding in some hostas I planted last fall. I then decided to clean
out the garage. That task was not as bit as it sounds. The
garage is really not that messy (I have not had enough time living here
for it to get too bad!), and what I really wanted to do was to clean the
floor real good. It is a sealed concrete floor so when it is clean
it is really clean. There was still some residue from all the winters
grime that was dragged into the garage that I wanted to get off the floor.
So all I had to do was empty the garage of things like the car, snowmobile,
snow thrower and lawn mower. I then used a little soap and water,
scrubbed it with a stiff push broom and then rinsed and squeegeed it clean.
Put all the stuff back in and then it was time for lunch and a our afternoon
walk. Once that was done, I decided to plant come raspberry bushes.
Some friends/neighbors offered up their plants. They have about 40
of them that I could take, so I started out by soaking and then cutting
the sod to make the beds for the bushes. I transplanted some of the
sod to areas that needed some grass and then dug 22 holes for the plants.
By that time it was dinner time, so I made dinner and then headed over
to dig up the plants and transplant them. I was getting pretty tired
by that time and was hoping that the digging up part would be pretty easy
and it was. Their garden was full of nice soil with no rocks, so
the digging went very quickly and easily. I had all 22 plants dug
out in about 30 minutes and was soon back at my house replanting them.
That too went well and by about 7:30 was watering the plants and transplanted
sod and done at about 8 pm.
So that is why I did
not get out a journal last night. I am very glad that the work is
done. Now all I have to do is water them from time to time and get
ready to stake them when they get bigger and then pick all the berries.
With 30 bushes
(22 I planted yesterday and the 8 from last year) I should have a pretty
good crop. I'm not sure how many berries the new plants will produce.
They are still pretty small and not flowering yet, but even some of my
plants are not flowering yet. The cool spring and early summer has
things running a little behind up here.
I did get to Bridgefest
Saturday evening, but did not take any pictures. Actually, the weather
was so bad Saturday that I was not even sure that I would get over there.
It started raining Saturday at about 9 am and did not stop until about
5 pm. It did not rain very hard, in that 8 hours of steady rain,
we probably did not pick up more than 1/4 of an inch, but it was steady
enough to keep from being able to go outside and enjoy things. There
was a golf tournament that I was asked to be in, but declined and was glad
that I did so. Saturday was not a good day to be up at the course.
I have already had 2 days like that this season, was glad I did not score
the hat trick! Anyway, I went to dinner in Houghton Saturday and
then wandered over to the Bridgefest before going to see a movie.
Most of the activities were either winding down, or had never gotten started,
so there was not a whole lot going on. They did have a water ski
show and there was the seafood cookout going on. Other than that,
just a few vendors selling things like paintings and other knickknacks.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day for the fest, but I was too busy visit.
So I guess you could say that I did partake in the Bridgefest this year,
but to say that I really experienced it would be unfair. Hopefully
next year I will be able to take in all of the event.
I have not done much
else since the last time I wrote. Have not played golf since last
Tuesday night's league play, but am going out tonight to get ready for
league play tomorrow. The walks the hounds and I have been on are
all close to home. I am selling the honda and blazer to get a new
car and have my two vehicles all cleaned up so I do not want to get them
all dirty. I had thought that the transaction would take place last
Friday, but was delayed for three business days so I will have the new
vehicle this Wednesday. It is a 4 door blazer, so the hounds and
I will be able to do some exploring in luxury. Needless to say that
will not be taking it in some of the places I took the old blazer.
I bought that one specifically to beat on in the bush. This new one,
while not brand new, is in excellent shape and I do not want to put any
scratches on it just yet! However, we will be able to go places that
the honda could not make. I can feel a trip to the mouth of the Montreal
and High Rock coming up as well as some other places like the Sturgeon
River Gorge and maybe even some unexplored places of southern Houghton
County. I am really looking forward to getting the new blazer and
was actually a little disappointed that the deal could not go down on Friday.
But my spirits are back up and I am ready for it. I think that the
hounds will like riding in it better too. I plan to keep the back
seat down most of the time so that they will have plenty of room to lay
around. It will also make the trips back to my parents way more enjoyable
for all of us.
Not much has changed
in the bug report. Most insects are still at low to moderate levels
and you can still walk in the woods without being picked up and carried
away. So far this has been a really great warm season. It does
look to get a little warmer and I am even considering putting my AC's in
the windows today, so that they are ready to go when I need them.
With things being so cool so far, it is hard to believe that in 2 weeks
we will be approaching the 4th of July. That is the traditional start
of summer up here, but in the past 3 summers, we have had plenty of warm
days prior to the 4th. I like this stuff much better.
Well, I guess that
will do it for now. Hopefully with the arrival of the new blazer,
the hounds and I will get back to doing some exploring and taking of some
good pictures. Until then...
Good Night (afternoon really) from the
This is your
June 13th flying insect report for the Keweenaw Peninsula: Misquitos
- Light to moderate activity continues, peaking just after sunset; Blackflies
- Moderate intensity continues, with peak activity during periods of sunshine
and warmer temps; Deerflys - Increasing from light to moderate activity,
worst in the afternoon warmth in the woods, beaches still mostly clear;
Horseflies - Light activity, moderate at times on the beaches. How's
that?! The cooler temps have really kept the bugs at bay so far and
I am pleased. Today was almost a perfect day. It was cloudy
this morning, so that was a problem and it looks like we are going to get
hit with some storms in the next hour or so, so that is also a negative.
However, the sun broke out at about 11:30 this morning and it was in the
mid 60's with a gentile breeze. I could really not ask for more.
The hounds and I were able to walk in the woods and I wore just a T-shirt
and shorts and was plenty warm. The hounds even got a little warm
and needed to cool off with a dip in the Hammell Creek when we were done.
Yesterday was a bit on the cool side, not for me, but for most, with a
temp of only about 60 degrees and lots of clouds. The sun really
makes a big difference in how warm it feels.
I did take the camera
along on the walk today and snapped some shots. The first one is
just a shot looking
down the snowmobile trail. The trees are in full foliage and
the ground cover is also in full foliage. Looking
into the woods, you can really get an idea of how green everything
is an how filled out the forest is too. It is so nice to be able
to walk trails like that and only have to walk about 5 minutes to get to
them. Basically a dream come true for me and the hounds seem to really
like it too. Just about every time I head out into the woods, I wonder
about what my friends and family are doing at the time, some of them stuck
in an office or in traffic. I also wonder how many people in the
world are doing exactly what they want to be doing, exactly where they
want to be doing it and figure the numbers are pretty low. I am very
lucky and keep reminding myself of that. Sometimes it even gets scary,
thinking that something might happen that would force me to have to leave.
I cannot imagine what that would be, but one never knows what can happen.
Getting back to the
foliage, some of what has turned all nice and green are the berry bushes.
In a previous journal, I showed some shots of the Blueberries out near
the beach. Today we got to see blackberry and raspberry and thimbleberry
bushes. The blackberry and raspberry plants are not showing any buds,
but there are buds
on the thimbleberry bushes. Those are the first of the wooded
berries to show up. The raspberries show up towards the end of July
and the blackberries arrive about 3 weeks later. I'm looking forward
to the raspberry season because I have a few plants right in my yard to
go and pick and have for breakfast and for the blackberry season because
I know where the motherload is at and can pick gallons if I want (and probably
will). Just another bonus to living up here. When I get some
property, I think that I will try and develop some natural berry patches
in areas out there. I suppose I will have to compete with the bears
when they are ripe, but I'm sure I will be up to the challenge.
I only have one other
item to share with you. I did manage to capture a picture of a hummingbird
at the feeder yesterday. There has been at least one showing
up, mainly in the morning. When I first put it up, I did not do it
right because the nectar did not fill up the drinking ports. There
is nectar there now and I hope that one bird tells all it's friends!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well I'm back
as promised. Still rather busy and still not a lot to say, but I
do have some free time this evening, so I may as well try and get out a
real journal. So far this has been the best summer yet for weather.
Today is a little cool like last Tuesday was, but most of the other days
have been perfect, at least as far as I am concerned. Temps in the
60's and low 70's and not a whole lot of humidity. Maybe too cool
for some, but this is not the place to be for summer heat. This is
the place to escape from the summer heat. I hope I do not sound mean,
but for someone who does not live here through the winter and only comes
up here in the summer, I have a hard time having any sympathy for them
complaining about the cool temps in the summer. For those that do
live here all year round, I suppose complaining about cool temps now holds
some merit. The past 2 years by this time we had already had some
heat by this time. This year we have not had one single day that
could be considered hot. No need for AC yet, the windows are still
free of the AC boxes. My heat has been off since last Wednesday and
it was only on for about 24 hour then, so my energy needs have been next
I do not have a lot
to write about, the hounds and I have not done a lot of exploring of late.
I have a feeling that will be changing soon. The black flies are
out, so we do not want to go too deep into the woods. They have not
been nearly as bad this year as in past years. The cooler temps are
to credit, I'm sure, but they are still out there, and no need to ruin
a walk in the woods by swatting those buggers away from us. We went
to the beach on Saturday and a few horse flies popped out to bother the
hounds. Thankfully there was a stiff breeze and that kept them from
being too much of a problem. Maybe the cool temps will keep them
from being too bad.
Bridgefest is this
weekend. For those of you not in the know, Bridgefest is a festival
that celebrates the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and the relationship between
Houghton and Hancock. They have food and music as well as some shows
and athletic competitions. Saturday night there is a fireworks display
too. I was down at my parents nursing Baileys after her knee surgery
last year and missed Bridgefest and my first year up here I did not actually
go to the fest, but did drive down with the hounds and took in the fireworks
up on top of Quincy hill. I think I will be partaking in some of
the fest this year, so I can give you a full report. I don't think
that it will be quite up to the speed of Taste of Chicago or Milwaukee's
Summerfest, but I'm sure it will be fun just the same.
Still on the hunt for
some property. I am closing in on a piece and things could happen
fast, soon. It is amazing how much time it takes. I really
got lucky finding this home. I came up for two days, saw about 15
homes in that time and was able to to find a place that I could call home.
I am really happy with this place and if did not have a dream to live in
a cabin in the woods, I would not have any desire to move. I can't
imagine what would have happened if it would have take me more time to
find something. That would have been some pretty heavy duty commuting!
Back about a month ago when I asked for ideas to put in the journal, someone
mentioned that I do a journal about what it has been like to move up here,
the good, the bad, tell it all. I thought it was a good idea and
I have been writing down some notes and will put together that entry in
the not too distant future. However, I do want to do it when I can
spend as much time as I want. 60-90 minutes will likely not cut it,
because I want to get it just right. I think that it will be of great
interest to anyone that has ambitions on moving up here. It is a
different place and a different way of life from what a lot of you are
living right now. I certainly cannot say if it is for you, but will
try and be as descriptive of things as possible and let you judge for yourself.
So I guess that will
do it for now. I have been having problems concentrating on this
entry, lots on my mind. All good...no, great, but distracting just
the same. I promise these will get better soon.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Yes, I am still
alive. However, I have also been really busy with work and play and
have not been able to make time to write a journal. Tonight is the
same case, but I figured I would just drop a quick note to let you know
that I have not forgotten about the journal. I hope to be able to
get one out tomorrow night.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
so it must be time for a journal! I am actually writing this in the
late afternoon because we have a 7 PM tee time. 7 PM may seem late,
but we could actually get in 18 holes if we wanted to. It is staying
light past 10 PM now. The sun sets about 9:30 or something like that,
but there is still light for about 30 minutes later. Last night as
I was getting ready to go to sleep at 9:30, my neighbor was cutting his
grass. I would have liked to have had the sliding glass door open,
but it was too noisy. It is getting light at about 5:30, with sunrise
at about 6 am. That means we are getting about 15-16 hours of daylight
right now. No wonder the trees can grow up here with a season that
is only about 3 months long.
I had an interesting
experience on the golf course Tuesday. It is league night and when
it was our time to tee off, it was so foggy that you could not see more
than about 75 yards. Makes it really interesting to play in.
You would tee off and watch your ball disappear. Then you had to
play your next shots blindly and even 100 yard chip shots had to be done
without sight of the green. Sort of what it might be like to play
legally blind. Not totally blind, you could see your ball when you
were about to hit it, but as far as seeing where you were going, you were
out of luck. I wish I had brought my camera because it was really
something to see, or not see, I guess is a better way to put it.
Thankfully the fog did clear, but then it started raining and rained fairly
steadily the rest of the round. Temps were only in the mid 40's,
so it was a character builder out there. I was glad to shoot a 48
for 9 holes.
As most of you have
noticed I have a hummingbird feeder in sight of the Al Cam. There
have been a few trying it out, but I think I need to make sure that it
is working, as they do not seem to spend more than a second or two up at
it and then fly away and the activity has been really slow. There
is actually more activity from regular birds trying to get something from
it. Today I took a shot of a Golf
Finch hanging onto the wire holding up the feeder. When I sat
down to start writing this, there were two Grosbeaks trying to hover like
a hummingbird at the feeder. They were so big, the wind generated
from their wings was making the feeder swing back and forth. They
did not get much from the feeder at all and flew away before I could snap
After Tuesday's clouds,
fog, rain and 40's, yesterday was clear blue skies and highs of about 70.
Today is also mostly sunny and it is about 75 out. Pushing my upper
limits for heat tolerance. The house is still nice and cool and that
is what matters most. With temps getting into the 70's, it was time
to head to the beach for the afternoon fun. I chose Big Traverse
because the winds had an easterly component to them. I was glad I
brought a wind breaker, because it was a bit chilly out by the big lake.
Still, with the sunshine and gentile breeze, it was a great day to be at
the beach. There is some kind of bush that seems to like to grow
out near the beach at Big Traverse and it shoots out some flowers at the
beginning of June. We hit pretty close to the peak flowering time
today. The bushes are really thick down by the Township beach and
paint the area just above the ground in shades of pink and white.
There was already someone at the Township beach so the hounds and I went
down to another spot I know about. The bushes are not as thick there,
but still provided some
nice whites and pinks against the blue backdrop of Lake Superior.
Another plant that
seems to really like to grow out there is wild
blueberries. The ground is basically covered in them in spots.
We are still about 3-4 weeks away from picking time, but the flowers have
opened and the plants are getting ready to produce the tiny blue niblets
of sweetness. Kind of hard to see the flower that I wanted to show
in that shot, as it was in the sunlight and was too bright. However,
if you look at the bottom left of the shot, you will see a little white
flower that will be a blueberry someday. I can say that I really
do not get into wild blueberry picking too much. They are so small,
you really need to pick a ton to have a useful amount. I will pick
a few as I am walking through them, but I do not actually make trips out
to pick them like I do raspberries and blackberries.
Big Traverse is really
one of my favorite beaches and I wish that I had lived up here years ago
when camp property out there was dirt cheap. It has climbed out of
my reach, like most of the waterfront around here, but it would have been
great to have a camp on that beach. Lots of sand and about 3-4 miles
of beach front to walk. Not sure if I would want to live out there,
they do not get the snow that other areas of the Keweenaw get. Maybe
100" or so, but it is a beautiful
place in the summer. The new cam I use can actually record sound,
so I thought that I would record the sound of the waves lapping up on the
beach and you could look at that last shot and pretend you were there.
The sound recording is not too great, sounds kind of like it was done inside
of a tin can, but oh well. Here
it is anyway.
Of course the hounds
went swimming. Burt spent about 30-40 minutes fetching sticks.
Baileys lost interest in fetching quicker and decided to work
on her tan instead. All in all, a very great day at the beach
and just another reason why I am about as lucky as one can get to live
here. On the way back, with the sun shining, the wind blowing and
some great tunes playing I was given a reminder by the Jokela homestead
that it is not just the best place in the country to live, but the
best country on the planet. Old glory sure does seem to have
even more meaning since September 11.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Welcome to summer.
Meteorological summer that is. Astronomical summer begins on the
21st of June, but as I'm sure you all can attest to, summer is well underway
by the 21st of June. I think that there needs to be an effort to
change the "First Day of Summer" to June 1st, the "First Day of Autumn"
to September 1, the "First Day of Winter" to December 1 and the "First
of Spring" to March 1. It would make more sense than the way we are
doing it now anyway. With the exception of today, it has felt a lot
like summer up here. Perfect temps, with 60's and 70's, low humidity
and a gentle breeze. I could go for a whole summer of days like that
and the way things are going so far, I might just get that wish.
The past 24 hours have been on the cool side, with temps mainly in the
50's, but it was sunny this morning so that helped to take some of the
chill out. We even had a frost this morning. As far as I am
concerned, I'll take 50's to 80's just about any day.
With the cooler temps,
the bugs have been knocked down a bit. We have been spending a little
time in the woods and have not been swarmed too bad. Actually, the
worst place I have seen for blackflies in the past week or so was the first
tee on the golf course. They were not bad anywhere else, but waiting
to tee off on the first, it was bad. Usually they are pretty bad
everywhere, makes for some tuff shots, especially putting, with blackflies
buzzing around your face and into your ears. Copper Harbor actually
has a golf tournament up at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge called the Blackfly
Open. This year it was so cold leading up to it, the Blackflies had
not even hatched.
Anyway, as I said,
it has been feeling like summer and we have been going into the woods,
so here is a shot of the
woods in the summer. Pretty thick huh? That shot was actually
taken when the hounds and I were looking at some property. Yep, that's
right, I have been busy looking for some land that I will eventually build
my dream home on. I was planning on keeping it a secret, I figured
it would be neat to just make the announcement that I got some property,
but I have been at such a loss for things to write about, I figured I might
as well let the cat out of the bag. I have been close on a few properties,
even made an offer on 40 acres, but things did not work out. I'm
looking at a few more pieces and hope to have something in not too long.
The nice thing about looking for property up here, it that there is not
too many "bad" pieces. It's kind of like going to the ice cream store.
Just about everything looks good, you just have to figure out what looks
the best. I'd have to say that there has only been 1 parcel that
I was not interested in. It was pretty cheap, but not a whole lot
of potential. Others have had lots of potential, but would take some
doing to bring out the full potential and some are just perfect, but priced
a little high. Plus, I am trying to stay in the vicinity of Lake
Linden. I really feel as though I have become part of this community
and would like to remain a part of it. Actually, the community does
include the Traprock Valley as well, so the geographical area is fairly
large that I can look in. And I suppose I would not turn away from
the right property that was not too far away from Lake Linden and the valley.
Maybe something a little further north and in the higher terrain, so that
I get even more snow! We'll see.
The other day the hounds
and I came across an
old building from the areas copper mining past. It is pretty
wild to be walking in what seems to be an undeveloped area, almost in the
middle of nowhere and come across some mining ruins. What is also
amazing is the size and in some cases the detail of the buildings.
The date on that building said 1915 and the craftsmanship in the stonework
was amazing. Especially when you think that is was for copper mining!
It is the size of other old mining relics that is amazing to me.
It seems like things back then were never small. Everything was jumbo
sized. Almost like humans were twice the size back then. Of
course that is not true, humans are actually getting bigger over time.
I can't imagine working in that environment.
Well, that is all the
pictures I have to share and I just got a call about the real estate thing
and I need to run and take care of something, so I have to sign off for
now. I did get some good ideas on journal content and I do plan to
do one soon. However, it will take some time to put together and
I want to be fresh and not tired or feel rushed, because it will be a much
better entry if I can take the time. Until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw.