Local lore(ish)

Waterbarrel reflection

Ever so slightly foggy this morning. Have no fear, we got full sun by mid-day and the solar gain has been lovely. Note the woodpile, far right (dark brown).

Woodpile denizen

And on the woodpile: this fur-bearer. John calls it a chipmunk apartment building.

Pickled eggs

On another note…local cuisine. I didn’t know about pickled eggs until I was of drinking age and archaeo-co-workers during some rural northern midwestern project took me to a local bar…and there were a pair of those big clear glass barrels on the bar, one of pickled eggs and one of pickled pigs feet. I stuck to beer.

Little to say

Lettuce droplets

Morning rain…

Squashblossom plant

…became afternoon sunshine.

Summary: lazy SUNday.

Shades of beige

Dried riverbed

Here’s the desiccating “riverbed” that was running with water yesterday in the same stretch of road. I have seen so many desert places across the world on GooEarth that look like this on a gigantic scale. I find the braided paths and subtle shadings mesmerizing.


I had seen the hole and the dirt smear before, but today I spotted the perpetrator, ehem, builder. My grandparents called them Chippies. [I don’t know if it had a double meaning to them.]

Blond dinner

Somehow, when we inventoried menu possiblities, we ended up with a blond dinner. That’s cauliflower from the neighbor’s garden, plus scrambled eggs and quinoa. [It tasted good, perhaps better than it looks?] And a very colorful green lettuce salad with tomatoes (garden again) and wee rounds of chives.

Water themed day

Muddy gravel road

Can a morning be murkier? Rain. Mud. Looked like the sky wouldn’t clear for a week.

Cart in puddle

So we set off to assuage our need for some activity, and pfft, by just after noon: sunshine. We found flooded rivers and huge puddles down along the Lake Michigan shore. It took more than our latest rains for these floods! Decorative carts in Nahma were all in puddles—four of them! Nahma must have a year-around population of something like 300, so that’s an outsize effort.

Turkeys on road

Came across this small gang/rafter of turkeys…two hens on each side of the tom. The ladies split two to each ditch. He went with the ladies on the right. We motored slowly past and assume they reunited.

Yellow fish road

Eventually, we stopped at the Thompson fish hatchery. It was after the buildings were locked, but we could walk around, following the yellow fish road.

Degassing column

I don’t remember this machinery. They pump fresh water from a super deep well, then swap out trapped nitrogen for oxygen (they oxygenate the water). However the water smells of rotten eggs as it has a high sulfur content.

Waste pond algae

The one open water pool was the waste pond downhill from the hatchery. All the nutrients from the fish and excess food is removed here, before the water flows back into the wild. Big sheets and islands of algae.

Waste pond fish

Even a few “no fishing” fish. Speckled trout?

Sun did come out


We haven’t stopped at Seney’s Boot Hill in years, so we did today. It was buffed up perhaps fifteen years ago, but nothing since, so it’s entering another genteel decline. Strange plastic items survive better than most of the wood.

Frilly shroom

We went on to the refuge, and it’s mushroom season…mushrooms and swans. And the usual marsh critters and plants.

Jr n parent swan

Parent trumpeter swan in front of perhaps three-quarter grown swan/cygnet—when do the youths become swans?

Perhaps giant aphids

I’m speculating: giant aphids?

Nibbled gill shroom

Not sure what nibbled this mushroom down to the gills—I know turtles like them….

Resting turtle

Speaking of turtles…painted turtle?

Twist on the normal

Moose bell

You’ve heard of a cow bell? Hah. 😉

Wait five minutes

Blushing cauliflower

Blushing cauliflower.

Squash blossom

Giant zucchini blossom.

Rain last night. Heavy overcast and surprisingly warm all day, but not raining. Rain has returned ushering in an early dusk.

Late summer

Wave break

Lake had some waves this afternoon, but they weren’t pounding in, so the sand beach is preserved.

Late pink pea

Here’s a late bloomer. I think I saw one other pea blossom on the property (not a thorough search, however), and that’s it. Goldenrod in background.

Lace with ant

Queen Anne’s lace aka wild carrot, with ant friend.

Puffball posing

Puffball posing. About half this size two days ago. How big will it get?

The Lake

Arty foam

Arty foam on the beach. Note: this means there actually is beach. This is special after the super-high water earlier this season…that lasted for months.

Beach tree lake

See: beach.

Dock view

We whiled away some time just watching the water, lapping waves, passing birds. The dock was terrifically scenic.

Goldenrod season

Goldenrod cattails

Many swamp-ponds in these parts, but not all sport cattails and goldenrod borders. Helmer isn’t technically a village any longer, but this pond is mighty pretty this time of year.


Garden sunflower, a delicate specimen, not a giant one. Heart of the bloom looks rather murky (under zoom-magnification (in original)), although I need to check it more closely. Wondering if all this rain has affected the flower and it will never open?

Fifty two low

Low this morning on the porch. Nice day!