Daylight variability

Foggy murky

Daylight began with piercing quiet and heavy ground-fog.

Lake superior beach

As the day progressed, overcast and intermittent precip alternated with streaks of sunshine—you can see one of the latter illuminating a sand dune in the distance.

Today’s big chore was heading to town for groceries and a raid of the hardware store. Instead of the direct road, 44 miles round trip, we took the long way, up to Lake Superior in a big loop—a detour that took us 111 miles. Well worth the miles of mud puddles and bumps on the unpaved stretch between Grand Marais (where I took the photo) and Deer Park. Great names, no?

I walked subsequently, toward the end of the daylight portion of the day, when it was windy and sunny and surprisingly pleasant, quite the opposite of the morning.

Now, as darkness closes in, it’s less windy and threatening rain. Soooo good to be indoors.

Bird report (partial)

Sun peep

I found the sunrise foine, and the sky terrific. I find that channel through the left-of-center especially striking.

Sandhill pair

I kept hearing sandhills yesterday, and today I caught them cruising just above the trees (right of post), attracted by their calls, which resonate I swear for miles. Just a pair.

Raven watch

You can see only one raven in the dead elm (elm is ID hypothesis); actually, when it flew seconds later, I saw it had a companion.

No Canada geese, however.

Two outdoor adventures

Deer tracks hijinks

Today’s photo tour of my day begins with these tracks, fresh-made as it rained into the wee hours. There are a couple of shoe-wearing horse-tracks in the lower left, and continuing across. But the rest are deer. I cannot come up with a scenario in which the long drag “prints” were created.

Swamp ditch

Also on my walk, a slight detour onto a bridge, perhaps installed by a fisher-person or birdwatcher, that crosses the ditch in the swamp. I learned about duckweed when I had Biology I in HS, back in the Middle Ages. It’s the floating green.


Kinda looks like funky soybeans in this shot. One leaf per plant, I just read.

Offshore breeze situation

Much later, I walked down to the lake…. Offshore breeze today (after days and nights on onshore winds). That means we have a beach! Water’s still way too high, though, IMHO.

Sphagnum moss

Quick stop to check out the low-ground plants on the bluff-top. Sphagnum moss. Always thought “sphagnum” was lovely to hear, almost melodic, and no fun to spell.

Yum in an iron skillet

Tart tatin

We have apple trees in the orchard that yield apples that make deep pink applesauce. Turns out that if you use the same apples to make tarte tatin, they become such a deep red that you might think the fruit was plums! Oh, so super tasty!

Fall colors, shapes

Golden maple ness

Wishing to give the new fitness device (misleadingly called a watch, which is accurate in that it does tell time, yet has a fuzziness similar to a smartphone—which is far more smart than phone) a tryout, I got out pretty darned early, and paced myself, ending up with a mostly sunny three miles. One darned gorgeous fencerow maple.

Skeleton tree

And a tree skeleton—an elm, I’m guessing. Rain most of the overnight hours, hence intermittent puddles and mud.

Hoof print

I worked very hard to turn this into moose tracks, but the overwhelming evidence of an adjacent cattle pasture and a vague recollection that moose tracks look like giant deer tracks, and thus are much narrower…forced me to accept the domestic nature of this evidence.


Although clouds were coming in, we went over to the refuge to drive the loop. We did see a few ducks, geese, and swans at a distance, but this dirty great blue heron (?) was the most interesting specimen we spotted. A quiet day for critters.

Maroon red leaves

Dramatic maroon leaves on this small tree.

Autumnal shroom

And the autumn mushrooms are about…or at least they strike me as a different assortment of species from the springtime crop. Or my dataset is skewed and, most likely of all, my observations are based on ignorance.

Apple season

Siberia apple

It is Apple season, too. I/we splurged on the new 6 (the first AppleWatch in our household), and originally delivery was promised Oct 3–5. It came today. In fact, it went from Mt Pleasant to Rudyard this morning, then out for delivery. Just days ago it was in Alaska, Singapore, and China—in reverse order.

So far I can confirm that I have a heartbeat and that the device counts my steps, plus I have received and sent texts. You can “write” a text by bringing up this zone for you to finger spell in. My letter shapes were darned crude, yet it got every one correct immediately. Yup, Apple season.


Fall color

We got up and did our usual ablutions, breakfast, and getting on the road northbound. More, more! Found fall color…even shadows.

Sumac red

And closeup sumac at a rest area.


Then: the Big Bridge. With cloud cover and intermittent moisture.

Mystery object

Today’s mystery object…remains a mystery.


Traditional stop for lunch at Clyde’s, bison-burger with, wait for it, fries! Fresh, hot fries are a rare treat during this pandemic.

Cattails helmer

This is where we stop to get milk, the local paper, and necessities for our first overnight.

Lake view

And the lake. One of many in the region, but for this locale, this is the lake.

Feels soooooo good to be here.

Matter of fact


Guru report: almost 800 miles today. Handy Hero the Handyman Hammerman ushered us onto the interstate.


Much later, at a Ohio rest area, we didn’t rest, but did get in a few steps and used the facilities. And grabbed a few snaps of a fine orange sun, peeking through a relatively complete cloud layer.

Despite today’s many miles, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s drive!…well, more tomorrow’s destination…teehee


Cell nest

We think this cell tower’s…uh-hem…adornments…are new since we cruised this neighborhood last. It had three large construction cranes around it (only one and an edge in photo), and I said, “It’s a crane nest.”


I guess you had to be there.

Apologies: personal

Azalea again again

I must be doing something right. Despite all the upsetting, stressful, and chaotic news emerging day after day (and I am paying modest attention to current events), my blood pressure has been “okay” every morning lately.