Figuring angles

Which is better? Lupines against the sky?

Or, lupines with moon?

I’m going with: both are lovely.

Shipping and sugarplums

Both of us were in the mood to take a break from chores-about-the-property, and I got texting to friends…and when the dust settled we took off eastbound to see them and to do errands. First stop was lunch at a small burger place—with car-hops!—where we could watch a very local ferry zooming back and forth from mainland to island (both Michigan territories) and back. [Note phone check before driving away.]

It’s not quite that simple, as the route, short as it is, crosses an international shipping route. Here’s a Great Lakes freighter upbound toward the Sault Locks. It’s the John G. Munson (made of steel and self-loading; built 1952; 102′ mid-section added 1975–76; owned by Canadian National Railway Co.; IMO: 5173670), if you can’t read the name. Out of Duluth, and most certainly headed back there. [Apologies for cutting off a sliver of the stern.]

We did our other errands and headed for our fun fun socializing stop. We chatted about a huge range of topics, including what this shrub is. iNaturalist (free app; recommended!) says Amalanchier species, commonly known as serviceberry and sugarplum…and many other names. Happy agreement among us with the app ID.

On our return leg, we made a quick end-of-road stop to look across the shipping channel that the Munson will soon pass through. The other side is another country, Canada. Did I know this?—that scholars have coalesced around the hypothesis that Canada is a corruption of the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, which means village or settlement. Town and country, yup, so efficient, our neighbors to the north….

And just like that, we returned to the cottage, unloaded and stashed all our new possessions, and settled back into our normal evening routine…albeit no longer with any new “Succession” episodes in our future. Oh, Shiv.

Apple timeline

In less than a week, we’ve gone from the buds are opening to the petals are falling. I can deal.

Ah, oh, no, yes

I’ve found the apple-blossom display so stunning I have been distracted from finding other beauty. Today, ah, well, the progression of time is obvious. I saw the first petals falling like supple, oversized snowflakes. It’s trite, perhaps, yet an honest summation.

Nature report

We took an early evening stroll, and spotted both the East and West Herds. That’s what I’m calling them. White-tailed deer. This is the East Herd, numbering at least eleven. This specimen did a version of King of the Hill, although it may be a Queen or Princess; I do not have gender info. Posing, anyway.

Returning to our property, we found the first blooming lupine of the season—by that I mean with color, as there are buds everywhere. I think the earliest ones last year were in this same spot. Don’t know why…better exposure doesn’t work…perhaps to do with local soil conditions and moisture? Dunno.

Moments make differences

I missed the sunset stroll window. Still, I found a gorgeous subsequent-sky. And a hum of mosquitoes. You might think the drone was gnats or some other species, but, nope, skeeters…biters.

So, I kept moving, and headed for the lake, hoping for a bit of anti-flying-insect breeze, and discovered it’s a quiet night so far.

Tomorrow morning, as a result of the quiet, if I am up early, I may see dew cloud amazement in our field.


We live in an orchard (here). The apple trees are in bloom. Last night and tonight both, the meteorological minions indicated below freezing temps in this area, and possible frost. I believe the blooms are when the crop is most vulnerable to a freeze. Last night, we had no frost, and I think we skated on freezing temps.

In any case, the blooms look fine. And huge IMHO.

Two voyages of exploration

First produce from the property. Yay! These were easy finds, right next to the chives up by the garage. Both species are likely escapees from my great-grandparents’ gardens.

Had to go to town and the Guru was off doing Man Business, while I wandered the parking lot of goodies, an outdoor showroom, basically. I was not shopping. I was collecting information. This beauty was larger than most of the similar vehicles on this lot. The smallest ones were like two-seater golf carts. This is nothing like that.

And neither is its price tag. Yikes. This is way more than our also brand new pickup when we bought it back in 2019. However, this Can-Am beast comes with “all options,” which is totally the opposite of our pickup. Still.

The chores begin

The soil is dry, dry, dry. See the v formation of the lupine leaves? It’s too dry for them to open flat. I’m glad to see a bud on the way…there probably won’t be very many…we shall see.

Any property means chores, and they have begun. This is on the short list for near daily forays with shovel, carry-bucket, and truck (for removal to a burial location). “This” is Heracleum maximum, invasive cow parsnip, also phototoxic. Yuck. I say near-daily because the mosquitoes are viscous (intentional mis-spelling), and I just can’t face them every day. [Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into doing a session tomorrow? I did other important items today and skipped cow parsnip removal….]

We arrived

I call this the bloom of spring welcome. Or better: the spring bloom of welcome.