…bug farm…

Except for the pixellation, perhaps this could have been in the exhibition we saw yesterday…but it’s grabbed from Google Earth, and is of the Iranian coast just west of the Strait of Hormuz, tipped for a low-angle view….

In June the U.P. is a semitropical bug farm.

That’s Jim Harrison in Returning to Earth (2007; pg. 78), and he’s so right! Although not always—he also says the Seney stretch is 50 miles, but I think it’s quite a bit less. Like high 20s. I guess if you’re on a bicycle, though, it may well feel like fifty miles!

You may know Harrison as the author of Legends of the Fall or Wolf (both made into movies), or possibly from his non-fiction writing about food and cooking. I cleave more to his fiction pieces set in Michigan or Oklahoma.

Today’s vocabulary: cleave

Interesting word meaning either to split/sever or to adhere (both verbs, notice). Opposite meanings…I meant the latter…. I guess the clue is the “cleave to” phrasing; with “to” cleave almost always means to adhere/be attached.


  1. Pooh says:

    “Cleave asunder/Cleave to”. That’s a good word to remember. Also “forge” which has multiple meanings, some of which are almost opposites. Consider that if you forge a printing press, it’s much different than using the printing press to forge money.

    My favorite mental image right now is one of those motivational posters. In big bold letters at the top it says, “FORGE AHEAD” and there is a picture of a team of people gathered around a table. At the bottom, in tiny letters, it says, “but don’t get caught”. Seen under the arm of one of the people, is a sheet of dollar bills w/ Smiley Faces instead of George Washington’s face.

    This thought came to mind when I watched some students, 8th graders I think, using an on-line dictionary to look up definitions, instead of reading the article where the words were BOLDed, and the defining phrase followed in close proximity. One of the articles was about peanut allergies and how mast cells are part of the allergic response. The worksheet asked students to use their own words to define several words including “mast”. Looking over one student’s shoulder, I saw that the dictionary had defined it as a tall post supporting sails on a sailing ship. I almost hope he copied that definition down — his teacher would have had a good laugh!

  2. kayak woman says:

    The Seney is more like 25 (maybe 27) miles. I know this partly because I often look at mileage when I’m driving and specifically because of the day I drove from our beach to Marquette and back (to drop Mouse off to visit a friend) in my old POC when it was semi-broken. It had been given the okay to make that drive while we were waiting for a part. I definitely had a love-hate relationship with that beeyootiful Island Teal beast.

    And. Although the Yoop can certainly get hot in June, it doesn’t always and therefore I wouldn’t call it a semi-tropical anything. I remember wearing my ski jack to walk the beach one June back in junior high or so.

  3. kayak woman says:

    I forgot to say (about the POC trip to Marquette) that I was nervous about the vee-hickle and therefore listening (it was a problem you could hear and my hearing is acute in all ways) and looking at the odometer constantly. Couldda been such a fun trip. But not. Except that I had lunch with Paula, who was still alive then (Mouse visiting her and her daughter). Sigh.

  4. Sammy says:

    As to Harrison’s semitropical assessment, I would go with it (on occasion) inland, but guess it’s less frequent in June along the shores of Gitchee, that is, KW territory….

  5. kayak woman says:

    Haha. Yeah. Inland can definitely have a different climate than beach. And just in case anyone is wondering, I don’t know what a “ski jack” is either. I meant “ski jacket” of course.

    Apropos of nothing, playing around with MarsEdit today. Interesting what you can get up to when your every spare weekend moment isn’t taken up with homework.

  6. Sammy says:

    Yes, it’s a different life to be out from under the academic whirlwind. Even leaves time for the woodwind, I suppose! [For some of us, the talented ones….]