Monday, October 16, 2017

After the Deluge - Monday, October 16, 2017

The sun rises over Lake Huron later and later, a sure sign that "winter's coming". Even though the freighters are way out in the lake, I still never get tired of watching them as they cruise along. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

We've had what feels like a long week of rain soaking the gardens, woods, and pond and leaving things feeling, looking, and smelling very autumnal. Although the wind has not been very strong, two more trees came down over the past weekend. Honest? They were already dead, topless, and "branchless", serving as homes for cavity dwelling birds and small mammals. They are usually mostly rotten anyway and will rather quickly decompose and merge into the soil.

The dogs were very curious and found several small mammals rudely evicted and forced to flee from their old woodpecker hole homes. I say that it's better to lose your homes now while it's still pleasant enough to find new lodgings before winter comes. - but, oh where? The other holes already have inhabitants!

Early colonizers on fallen trees from last year take advantage of the spongy, water absorbing and retaining bark and trunk and provide miniature beauty. While larger plants are no longer green, these mosses stay nice all winter even under the snow.

Almost never happy looking, I Ching does live the life of Riley. (Boy, that expression dates me!) I Ching has very thick and soft hair that does get matted and tangled. A few times a year I must capture her and remove the tangles with scissors and comb. She is getting better at allowing me to do that but neither one of us enjoys the process. Until after. Then we are both happy and get a needed respite for a few months. Violet, which no one but me has ever seen apparently, has short fur and requires no maintenance. That has become a requirement should I ever have another cat - short fur.

I've enjoyed watching this sumac change gradually from lacy and green to a riot of color all the while retaining its leaves - so far.

Four times a year I visit my ophthalmologist in Sandusky, Michigan and we discuss my eye issues. Today's visit required the dilating drops which make my pupils stay wide open and very sun sensitive for the rest of the day. I use two kinds of eye drops, Travatan and Cosopt; my insurance company used to demand that I purchase a three month supply. They've just changed and now I purchase a one month supply which forces a copay increase.

I would love to have a serious conversation with the legislators who many years ago changed the formula for determining the inflation rate, which in turn changes the "increase" of social security. Anyone who shops for groceries, buys home heating fuels, clothes, toys, electricity, prescription drugs, groceries, et cetera, KNOWS that the way they figure inflation now does not accurately reflect inflation. Simple. Every year in December we oldsters get the bad news about next year's monthly check.  I think congress people should get the same benefits and medical as we get and vice versa, don't you? They work for us - theoretically at least. Enough of my bitching and moaning.

So far we haven't had a frost so the flowers are still providing color, beauty, and food to cold and sluggish honeybees, bumble bees, wasps, ants, butterflies, and yellow jackets.

Most people look up at the trees at this time of the year. Colors closer to the ground are also spectacular and more accessible.

Dozens of Canada Geese are already coming to my shore; many of them stay to the west of my home in one of several preserves for the winter. Weather permitting, they fly east in the morning to swim and browse on the lake and return to the west at dusk to sleep in their somewhat protected forests and prairies. The dogs enjoy barking at them as they fly back. Me? I could do without the barking.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jon, Tracy, Warhol, and Frank have gone back to their home and work and the pace slows.

We had great weather and did some fun things. Earlier Totty and I joined the Parlangelis for a pleasant autumn walk along the road into the compound.

We took a drive to the tip of the Thumb, I call it the Thumbnail, and along the way stopped in Port Hope at a great hardware store where we looked at some interesting metal sculptures and bought some lovely smelling soap. We drove on and visited charming and quaint and prosperous Port Austin; it's a mystery why Port Sanilac hasn't changed. I believe that soon the balance will tip and progress will happen. Some cities struggle a while before moderate and controlled growth can happen; I think change is inevitable though. After Port Austin we stopped at a great local grocery store for dinner ingredients, then on to Bad Axe for lunch at the Peppermill.

Lake Huron has gone down considerably since when Kathy visited. Notice the difference between where Warhol is standing and where Jon and Tracy are. The young will tree was surrounded by water last visit and this time is barely in the water. My two islands are starting to re-emerge from the water which the geese seem to like. Does the piece of driftwood look more like a horse, camel, giraffe, or is it just driftwood?

Later we walked through Westwood and had apple cider and rum in the pines daydreaming of thinning trees and trimming branches with a saw, perhaps a chainsaw, perhaps a battery operated chainsaw! I should have had a person standing under this monstrous red pine to show scale.

Contact Information

It's been several years and, like virtually everyone else, I've changed phone numbers, email addresses, internet providers, etc. a few times.
email: -

address: -
7470 Lakeshore Rd. N.
Palms, MI 48465

phone: -

Monday, October 9, 2017

As Far As The Crows Fly - Saturday, October 9, 2017

My Icelandic Sheepdogs didn't like that crows nested in a tree in the north east corner of Nordmark last summer Close enough to tease and tempt them but a safe distance - the dogs continue to keep a close watch on them proclaiming their territory from the dead branch of a tree near their nest. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Kit has been looking for a boyfriend. I have mixed feelings about a winter litter though. I'm tempted and the right male would convince me.

The smells of newly fallen leaves beginning to decompose, the dew on the grass, and the moist earth from last night's rain are intoxicating. Autumn smells are fantastic, aren't they.

I'm so grateful that I can appreciate the morning "first lights" and sunrises again.  The views from my windows are stunning. I wished for an Ed Duff painting but got the ever changing live views instead.

Jon, Tracy, Warhol, and Frank arrived a few minutes after this family of turkeys was grazing outside Sans Souci - the pole barn. I've been watching the family grow since the babies hatched earlier this spring/summer. They are often on my road in and rummaging for food through the forest and field here.

Aren't they magnificent. I read once I think that Ben Franklin wanted them to be our national bird.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Flint Institute of Art

Last week we visited the amazing Flint Institute of Art which is about an hour and a half from my home on Lake Huron in Michigan's Thumb. This was my second visit and I'm going back again soon.

The entry had an interesting exhibition of bunnies in many styles of frames. Effective. Photos will  enlarge if you click on them.

Among the great pieces we saw: -

Cesar Santander 

Golden Cake - Wayne Thiebaud

Harry Bertoia

Jaime Hansen *

Les Bateaux - Raoul Dufy

The Rabbit Hutch - William Sommer

 Picasso's Guernica - Sophie Mattise

Aimee - David Eichenberg

Self Portrait - Philip Milbarn

Chilly Morning - Arla Slogor
(This one was for sale in the institute's store!)

Returning home after dinner at the Stone Lodge in Port Sanilac one afternoon we saw this amazing complete double rainbow over Lake Huron. Several cars including ours stopped along Lakeshore Road to capture them. The second one is outside the first one and doesn't show up well in the photos. Some shots, in my opinion, resemble paintings by Constable or Turner - perhaps. Clicking on photos enlarges them which might make the double rainbows easier to see - especially in the fourth photo below.

I have a brother and a few friends who seem addicted to their amazing phones. David also has a sense of humor - which is much needed during these interesting times. The last shot was taken in front of one of one of Flint Art Institutes signs. Sigh! Fake news?