Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jerry Catalina

Recently I received word that my good friend Jerry Catalina passed away. For many years he was my best friend at Sportsmens Dog Training Club in the Detroit Metro area. We taught many classes together and had great fun doing that. I think our students enjoyed having us for co-instructors. We were very good at finishing each other's sentences. Jerry had two Golden Retrievers and earned many obedience titles with them. Although we were different in some respects, we complemented one another.

Jerry and I were "old men" together being only a few years apart in age. I was surprised by this photo of him as a young man attached to his obituary. He was a nice man and was very kind to me. I will miss him a lot.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 - New Year

Jon, my "god-send", and I going down the old ravine to the icy beach on January 1, 2019. Yes, I'm the Q-tip. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

The two islands are re-emerging from the water. Does that mean the water level is on the way back down? Time will tell. When I bought the land here the edge of the water was about a hundred yards further out. Water levels on the Great Lakes are cyclical, although I'm not sure anyone agrees on what the cycle actually is, what determines the cycle. Those "sticks: in the second photo used to be small trees when the islands were very small mounds of stones and sand surrounded by beach land and not water.

Look at the icicles attached to this exposed root. Isn't that 'cool'.
 (no pun intended)

 The first photo below shows my beach well that supplies well water to the pole barn. I took the following photos this morning. I should have taken them during our beach walk on January first before the recent snowfall when the view was more clear.

 In the second photo you can see where I scraped snow away from the other beach well, the one we didn't know was even there until beach erosion exposed it. The third and fourth photos show the partially exposed second previously hidden beach well. There's a story there I don't know - yet. Are both wells connected to the pipes that carry water uphill to the pole barn. Was the second higher and newer beach well built because the beach gradually covered the original beach well. Maybe one of my older neighbors knows the story.

Tracy, my other "god-send", looking for what we call Sandusky Stones which are virtually identical to the more famous Petoskey Stones. Sandusky/Petosky stones are petrified corals left behind from a time when warm tropical seas cover the area where we live now in Michigan. We have dozens of them now. This year one of our goals is to polish the small and medium sized stones with our new rock polisher.  What fun.

A sampling of our Sandusky Stone collection.

Sliver-sized moon with the morning star. Timeless.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Red Lake Huron

My Icelandic Sheepdog Bear loves the winter. I think it's his favorite time of the year. The flies and mosquitoes are gone and the cold cannot penetrate his double coated fur. He often sits like that for what would seem to me if I were in his place for hours. He is also fond of lying down on the snow for long periods of time. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

On Christmas Day 2018 the waters of Lake Huron turned red; actually the red was reflected like a mirror onto the lake from the red clouds above but the effect was the same perhaps. Regardless, very interesting and pretty

Kathy's Christmas present to me is too amazing to be outside in the weather in my opinion. It's actually a bird feeder the seeds, probably sunflower oilers, go inside and come out through the long bottom side openings. A corn cob can be inserted into the mouth. I'm thinking I might make the hole actually go through to the inside of the house, it doesn't now, and turn it into a bird house. Keeping the opening small would make it accessible to chickadees and house wrens but prevent English house sparrows, none of which I have ever seen here anyway, from using it. If I stain the wood and polyurethane it, it should last a long time. I'm thinking of hanging it under the eaves for additional protection and, if possible, taking it inside during the non-nesting seasons of fall and winter.

And speaking of  bird houses or homes, a woodpecker has started to make a hole about two feet above this nest box that was used by house wrens last summer. I haven't seen the builder yet but I hope he/she persists. We've always had woodpeckers and chickadees build homes in the many dead trees here but we've never had one just outside my door that would be this easy to watch from my own home. I have Hairy Woodpeckers and Red Headed Woodpeckers at my suet feeders and the hole is rather large so maybe one of them is showing interest.

Three's Company?

I think two flocks of turkeys have merged to form a much larger group. They are very suspicious of any human so I suspect hunters have tried to shoot a few from another group which has moved into my acreage. The males seem to be coloring up.

This tug was pulling a strange barge. From a distance it looked like a pop bottle (soda bottle for non-Michiganders) was being towed. The tow lines are usually not that long. Strange. Perhaps that's a precaution against losing the thing in a storm and pulling the tug down with it? I've been trying to guess without much success what the towed contraption could be.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

The snow arrived in time for Christmas in Michigan's Thumb.

Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The non-migrating Canada geese gather on the water outside my home, for the safety of nights on the waters of Lake Huron I suspect, and then in the morning, they take flight in large but separate bands and move inland to feed. They are far enough away that their almost continuous nocturnal honking doesn't penetrate the house and can only be heard by standing on the porch.

First Light Photos are sometimes more interesting than the actual rising of the sun. I've always appreciated the softer colors of first lights. The next five shots were taken the same morning - two first lights and then three shots of the quasar-like actual sunrise.

On Tuesday I visited the Royal Oak Cemetery graves of my grandparents and found a grave blanket marking their graves. I doubt any grandchildren, who are far-flung all over the US, planted it so one wonders - - - - - Who, why?

It seems that most of the winter storms so far have been much further south of us here. The grass here is still green, perhaps frozen green but, nevertheless, green.

Kria has been sick, upset tummy, the last few days. She has been a healthy dog all her life but she turned fourteen last spring so one can't help but be concerned when she suffers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Vinlands Elisabeth - Vinlands Ulfbehrta Kit

American Kennel Club Icelandic Sheepdogs Vinlands Ulfbehrta Kit ("Kit") and Vinlands Elisabeth were both measured recently using a wicket marked in fractions of inches. Kit measured 15 6/8 inches and Elisabeth measured 15 7/8 inches which put them both very close to the suggested standard.

Here are some photos of Elisabeth and Roni Dowling taken last weekend by Jeff Schmidt. Jeff and Colleen are the owners of Kit's and Elisabeth's sire Kross Gola Kelinn ("Calvin"). Elisabeth finished her American Kennel Club Championship on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Huge congratulations Roni and Elisabeth.

Vinlands Ulfbehrta Kit

Sire: - Kros Gola Kelinn ("Calvin")
Colleen Schmidt

Dame: - Vinlands Totty
Ann Keil