Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The wind!! This is the first time I've noticed real white caps on Lake Huron; the rustling of the leaves on the trees and roar of the surf from the shore below reverberate in the north woods and is wonderful. I love the connection to nature! I just heard on our local ABC channel 7 news that Lakes Huron and Michigan are up 15" from last year. That's hard to believe!! Clicking on photos enlarges them.

The two photos above were taken from the double-deck (below) which is on the bluff.
Coming up from the double-deck, I'm greeted by my envious canine pack.
The garden continues to change almost daily. I really miss my garden back in Royal Oak; it was old and well established. It's challenging to start over especially with absolutely no garden stores anywhere.
Early this spring I transplanted some Monarda (AKA: - Bergamot, Bee Balm, Oswego tea), probably Cambridge Scarlet into my grassland. I figured if wild Monarda fistulosa with its pale lilac flowers does well around here, then probably the red Monarda didyma and the burgundy Monarda media would do well too! (There are some volunteer M. fistulosa in my north woods garden that should flower soon.).

Alas and alack the adoption of the little female puppy that Barb and I wanted didn't work out. Like the fox in the proverbial "Fox and the Grapes", I've already been rationalizing; it is surely for the best.

I just heard from Sunna's family; the results of her PennHIP scores put her in the 90th percentile. Congratulations! It is possible to breed for all things!

Suzanne's Tryggur just had his hips tested and we are anxiously waiting for the results!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

For Lynn in Michigan and Maureen in California -

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Many years ago I bought this piece from Jon's aunt in H.W. Soon after a piece fell off. Jon always promised me he would weld it back on. One day. By a fortunate turn of events, I found a man named Ward up here who does all kinds of neat stuff - I don't think he knows that actually.

The piece is very heavy and awkward to carry but I managed to get it in my van and move it up here a while ago. We took it to Ward recently; two days later it was done. I managed to get it back in the van, drive it home, and set it back up in the north woods. I am sure I will enjoy seeing it from the warmth and comfort of San Salvatore in the snow this winter. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I took a quick trip down to Royal Oak to see the amazing progress on the house.

It was really storming when I left and I debated turning around and going back to my lake front home but I continued - saw the aftermath of a really horrific accident on the other side (east) of I-94 - probably weather-related? I continued in the rain until I got to my RO house. It turned nice enough for me to do a walk through in the house, do some very minor stuff outside, and get back up north in time for lunch with my furry friends.

John Cynar has done an amazing job. It looks great.

I only had time for a quick look at the garden; it looks good but is a bit overgrown. However, I noticed that some plants are missing. Over the course of the summer and maybe even the fall, I have planned on taking some more of my plants to be with me in my new home. Like my dogs, cats, paintings, etc., my plants are part of my life. I know them by name (scientific and common) where I got them from or who I got them from - many are gifts from gardening friends - some of my plants are old fashioned ones from my grandparents' homes. I suspect that some of my neighbors have noticed that I'm not living there now and maybe they are using my absence to score some nice perennials. I'm not sure if I should tell the police to watch my house. That may be asking for trouble.

John had removed the arbor (see the photo below), so we piled it into the back of my van and it is now up north too.

I mentioned to my brother David that I had seen some Clematis virginiana on my property and was surprised by its presence. On my recent Petroglyph excursion, I saw even more. Guess it's not rare, at least up here, after all. Still, the ones I've transplanted from RO and the two clumps from my Palms house are doing well; next year they should cover the fences where they are planted.

Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Above photos from the summer of 2008.

Friday, July 11, 2014


The petroglyphs, carved into sandstone by American Indians, are only available for viewing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fortunately there was a guide there today who showed us the carvings and explained their stories. Fascinating!

There's a marked trail through the park.

Some photos, which can be enlarged by clicking on them, from along the way: -

I crossed the river twice on swaying bridges. Both times I saw bull head water lilies.

A 125 year old triple trunk white pine tree that grew after the last great fire in the thumb.

The sandstone must be protected from the elements because erosion can quickly erase the images uncovered during the last fire. Vandals removed some of the glyphs probably about 100+ years ago. Moss is growing on the stone now; they could also destroy the carvings. Ideally the sandstone should be protected by a fully enclosed all-weather building.


I know how "bad" this sounds: I miss the 7/11 three blocks from my Royal Oak house. It was so easy to run down there when I got one of those late night cravings for ice cream or potato chips. I don't think there are any 7/11s in the whole Thumb.

I thought of Jon's stripe paintings when I saw Lake Huron this morning.
                                        Click on photo to enlarge it.

Homage a Picasso is back home again. I haven't decided where he will rest yet; he has been many places in his travels and now that he's whole again, I want him where I can see him. I'll take a better photo when he's finally settled in for the long haul.
Two old friends posing one more time. Most of my dogs get along fabulously with each other. Kata and Korpur have had an easy relationship over the years. Korpur come from old solid North American lines; his family has been here for a very long time and are pure Icelandics. I am worried that the old black & whites, common at one time, will soon disappear. He is classy and classic - like the old fashioned geranium from the 1800s in the pot between them.
Korp's muzzle is showing signs of age. Sigh!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The kids left yesterday evening it's very quiet. I had a great time and think the three of them did also. We ate very well! The dogs love it when they come. I'm kind of boring - now.

We found two interesting antique-y stores in Sandusky; in one the owner had attached doors to the ceiling of one of the many very small rooms in an old house. It reminded us of what Jon did in his mid-century modern home in B'field Hills. The second shop had interesting things scattered around and also some perennials - I will go back again. It's been very hard to find plants for my new gardens. While there a sudden storm came through. (It actually wasn't so sudden! We saw it approaching from the west long before it got there. We had dinner at China Lee's - got there just before the early birders arrived - surprising and abundant meal!

Relaxing on the decks which are on the steep bluff east of my home.
The view from the decks.
Dinner time is the quietest time here! Almost immediately after eating they all settle down for a postprandial snooze - also a special quiet time. Top to bottom: Kria & Kata, Korpur and Bear, Totty, Pila, & Tryggur.

Port Sanilac is not too far from Forestville. I love breakfast at Mary's Diner. Next visit we must go to the Stone Lode and/or Uri's. There's a good ice cream store on the lower level at Uri's. After getting our cones, there's a park where we can enjoy them and watch the boats.

Clicking on photos enlarges them.
The view is reminiscent of the south of France - use your imagination.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I just heard from Sally and Thora!! It is always, always great to hear and see how my "kids" are doing!!
My own dogs seem to "change coats" in the spring and fall, shedding heavier winter coats for the coming summer and, in the autumn, coming in thicker for winter - just like wooly bear caterpillars.
As my dogs have aged, their black fur has gotten lighter - like me. I am myself now a "Q-Tip", which is what I used to call my white haired parents it seems like just a few short years ago. Korpur has some white hairs on his face as does Kria. Huld had a black mask when she was young; that mask faded to a gray by the time she was nine or ten. I suppose that, like humans, the age when they begin to grow gray is different for different dogs. Time marches on.
"Hello – I just noticed your blog site is back up and running. Yeah! Your new home is beautiful. 
I figured I’d send you a note to let you know that Thora is doing well.  She spent the holiday weekend jumping off a paddle boat into the shallows of a lake playing fetch.  She insists on taking all toys Wooki fetches away from him, water or land.  Wooki dunked her once in the exchange, but she wasn’t deterred. 
OH – I have a question about markings and coat color.  Have any of your tan type dogs lost black markings over time?  Wooki’s muzzle markings seem to be fading; I wonder if this is typical.  Also I’m pretty sure Wooki had a spattering of black hairs in his coat when he was very young, but now has none, save the muzzle and a couple in the curve of his tail. 
Thora’s ruff and shoulder (shawl?) have long black tipped hair.  Now that it is summer both seem to be going blond.  I’m hoping the black tips grow back with the winter coat since they add such interest to her coat.  With or without the black tips, she is beautiful. 
Attached is my best “recent” shot of the dogs, from last fall.  We are not a photo family so pictures are rare." 
(Thora who just turned two in April was adopted as a companion for Wookie who was born in 2010 - I think.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

This just came! It's really hard to believe the Loa is seven!!
Fred and I are celebrating Loa's birthday today.
Seven years ago on this day I went to the airport to pick up this tiny creature.
What a journey!
Thank you to Korpur, Kria and YOU for a wonderful little dog!

Back strained again - this time from cleaning growth along the paths in the North Woods.

My wild "white" (it's really very light pink) rose has started flowering and it has a great perfume! However, it partially blocks with its very nasty thorns, for humans - not dogs, the path in the North Woods.

Last summer I bought four very small Paw Paw trees, each one was a different variety and grafted onto a probably common rootstock, from a man at the Royal Oak Farmers' Market. I moved them up to San Salvatore and heeled them in for the winter. All four survived - amazingly and surprisingly. They have been extremely slow to start growing but  I didn't give up on them. It looks only one survived above the graft but the root stock on the other three has started to produce small nascent buds so maybe they all will pull through. If you ever get a chance to taste a Paw Paw - - take it. The fruit is amazing.

I purchased a small Bosc pear tree; it's been planted but the labeling tag said it was not self-fertile. It has to have pollen from a neighboring pear tree of a different variety in order to produce fruit - as if ever!! I've succumbed to the "old person planting a fruit tree syndrome". Sigh, as a woody mate I just ordered a Bartlett pear tree! Sigh, sigh.
If you look closely at the above photo you might be able to see behind the plants on the Lake Huron porch the pear tree for my partridge to sit in next December. Behind that is the new east fence put in by the aptly named Half Way fence people.

I've been hard at work clearing out the Russian Olive trees, apparently recently P.C. re-named "Autumn Olives", from my acreage. They can grow really nasty 'thorns' and quickly crowd out native American vegetation. While removing the Russian Olive trees last weekend, I relocated two small places I had previously discovered where the native American Clematis had established tentative footholds (root-holds?) and transplanted them to my fence lines where previously I had transplanted from my home in Royal Oak some volunteer auto-vegetatively produced specimens of a Clematis virginiana rescued years ago from North Oakland County. (That is one long and awkward sentence. Fortunately probably no one will actually read it!) I'm hoping at least one of the two new clones will turn out to be a female clone. This species is apparently monoecious, with separate male and female plants. My north Oakland clone is a male. I don't think they will flower this year so I'll have to wait until next year to  know.
The west porch with ubiquitous dogs. Korpur is on the left above. Willy Nelson named his guitar, now old and much scarred - kind of like Willy (with sincere apologies, Willy), Trigger. Tryggur is the Icelandic spelling. I really wish that I could tell Willy that I've named Korpur's son (seen below)after his guitar. I love that man and his genius, his music.

Last fall I purchased a "reduced for clearance" tree lilac and heeled it in for the winter along with the Paw Paws and some horse chestnut seedlings. The tree lilac, planted this spring after I moved in in April, is flowering now. The tiny Paw Paws are also in this area but not visible in this view.

I love, love rainy days because first of all they are good for the garden. Secondly because I have to stay indoors which gives me some time to catch up on inside stuff.

Tony from Thumb Heating and Cooling came Tuesday and fixed (hopefully) the geothermal problem. The original installers - whom I could not contact because their mailbox was full - neglected to put in a moisture trap. It actually says to do that right on the geothermal unit. Tony cut PVC piping and created a trap. I asked him about the filter. The original installers told my builder, Clair Kramer, that the filters would cost almost $30. Each! Tony said ordinary filters would work just great. Raymond Hardware in Port Sanilac had some for $3.00. Serendipitous, not being able to contact "Lakershore", eh?