Great day

I’m calling it a moon walk. To a swamp and back.

Then, we ventured over toward Canada (border still closed), and watched this upbound freighter motor along. The landmass to the right is Canada. The closer island to the left is USA territory, or more truthfully, birdlandia.

The freighter has made the turn to head for the open waters of Lake Superior, and the sky shows many rain streaks. It eventually reached us, and we retreated indoors. With our whine.

So much fun to see long-time friends again, and to give and receive hugs. We laughed and told stories like always and my heart is well warmed.


I know these as horsetails. Plant scientists call them Equisetum. As kids, we used to pull them apart at the joints. We had no idea that the dark bands are (technically) scale leaves. Or that the horsetails reproduce by spores.

I think this is a branched Equisetum growing with forget-me-nots. Charming textural combination, no?


The other day I swept the house. If you’re thinking of moving furniture and the motor noise of a vacuum cleaner, you have the wrong idea. No, I swept the building exterior, that is, the cobwebs and what they’ve caught away from the eaves and windows and sidings…a quite different activity. And now I see I need to do it again. We have a lot of gnats (which do NOT bite or sting, thankfully), and their little gossamer bodies get caught in the webs.

While the above is clearly lupin, I don’t know what this is. I found it on the edge of a wet ditch (essentially a swamp environment). I was too confident that I could ID it from the blooms. Nope. I’ll have to go back and look for the vegetation.

Pay attention

I walked along this fenceline, in the woods (which we call The Grove), and scared up a deer when I entered the grove. It ran without looking back like they sometimes do. When I exited the grove, far right, I was looking around, then looked down, knowing there are spiny raspberry canes in the area, and, whoops, I almost stepped on a fawn! I quickly made a left turn and left the wee one. And it was small, the spine perhaps a foot long, so pretty darned young. I have every confidence that mom will return.

Been quite a while since this white birch came down and brought the fence with it. The chores never end around here.

We are resilient

We are back in northern Michigan early spring—frost overnight, and probably tonight, too. Apple blooms look okay (so far).

Offshore breeze means quiet waters (here).

Herd of deer by tree. If you can discern two dark shapes just a bit closer to me than the deer—those are a pair of sandhills…I’ve been hearing them and previous years I’ve seen them in this field…good to find them here again.

Freeze warning

Yeah, that title is the prediction for overnight in the clear-sky dark-hours. Lots of blooms in danger. And if the apple blooms are hit, well, no apples come autumn.

Look immediately above the right tree and on the far left. Two sandhill crane souls captured. Two more were in the air, although I did not manage to capture their images/souls.

Shades of blue

I know this as forget-me-not. [Internet search….] Taxonomically, they are the Myosotis genus. I think this is M. sylvatica, and native to Europe, however frequently I find it around here. Probably another escapee from the great-grandmother garden. Like the lupins.

Totally different scale; could be a farm complex on the prairie during the green season. But, no; up here by the sub-tundra, under a threatening sky that only produced a few drops of rain and no storm.

Orchard report

Oh, good times! The apple trees are blooming!

And the blooms seem especially gigantic this year.

Also, the lupins are coming along.

Overcast this afternoon/evening. We may get rain in the dark hours. Fingers crossed.

Gitche Gumee data

Our beach isn’t the only one vastly remodeled for spring 2021. This is the mouth of the Au Train River, which flows into Lake Superior. This year the mouth is farther west than I’ve ever seen it. The water cut deeply into the bank I’m standing on, which usually slopes down to a beach zone bordering the water. No longer. In fact, the park people built a new path farther west than they ever had had one, as the old ones end in an abrupt and dangerous drop into the water. On the other hand, the lake level is not as high as it has tended to be. On the other other hand, the fire danger is HIGH because it is dry dry dry.

Signs of spring

Leaves are still emerging by the pond.

The marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) are blooming in the swamp.

The lilacs are just opening in the stand that shields the outhouse.

The lupins are just beginning to show color in the orchard.

The Canada geese are unsettled and still flying north in Vs.

This venerable cedar shows damage from the spring ice break-up, which coincided with two days of strong (like 40-mph) winds that drove giant ice “cubes” way up above our beach, like I’ve never seen before. Trillium is for scale.