Parental maneuvering

This is a late post because the server was down when I began to write. Happily, it’s up Saturday morning.

Yesterday we saw a doe with a wee spotted fawn, no more than a very few days old. We spotted them walking down the mowed lane between trees in the orchard. She stopped to browse and for Little One to nurse. Soon, she moved on, and stepped into the tall grass, far taller than LO. LO preferred to stay in the mowed lane. Drama ensued. Eventually, she enticed LO into the tall grass with another feeding opportunity. Then, the doe moved on, and…repeat.

Two Asteraceae

Yellow goat’s beard. A Tragopogon species, either Tragopogon pratensis or Tragopogon dubius.

Dandelion, of course. A Taraxacum species, probably, Taraxacum officinale.

Both are in the Asteraceae family. Also, dandelions are apomictic, meaning the offspring are genetically identical to the parent—it’s an asexual reproduction without fertilization.

The other important number from today is thirty-four.

Green greenery

Today is day three of my lake baths. It is so pleasant to wash my hair in the soft water of the lake, although the water temps remain chilly*. The grass keeps growing and growing, so I mowed a “tunnel” to the steps down the bluff to the beach.

We have a mulching mower, so it doesn’t spit the cut grass out a side-flap. Instead it counts on gravity for the bits to fall beneath the machine; however, with grass above knee-high, like this, it creates what I call grass boluses that are very capable of jamming the blade and stopping the motor. Over and over. I persisted, and now there’s a two-mower-swath-wide path.

On my way to take the above photo, I realized the late-day light coming through this clump of lupin made it a-glow (if I bent down to get a low angle).

* Speaking of chilly, tonight’s low is supposed to be in the upper 30s. It’s already in the mid-50s, so I believe it!

Also, sing title to “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” the Chim-chimney phrase….

Plant success

One of the through story-lines of our time here is grass. It surrounds us and gets mowed, trimmed, and cut. Over and over. I try to focus on the lupins.

Enforced relaxation

We had rain overnight and most of the daylight hours, on and on…so we rolled with it and had a low-key day, with a mid-afternoon trip to the nearest groc-shopping hub. As we crested Dollarville Hill, the view north across the Tahquamenon Swamp was so obscured we could only see the south edge. A rain-everywhere situation does indeed bring obscurity.

Now that evening’s here, the sky is overcast and everywhere outside is wet. Cool temps are predicted for tomorrow—sounds like it’ll be a good work day….

Clean clean

Although the afternoon was overcast, enough heat was generated by the pallid morning sun that I took my first lake-bath. The water was cool and I didn’t linger, yet I was glad I splash-splashed and washed my hair.

This morning was dreary after night-rain, and I walked the beach in my rubber boots. I very much liked this contrasting dark-light sand at the shore, as well as the not-quite identical repeating pattern.

Our Sweet Neighbor joined us for dinner, and brought us flowers! I call them lilies-of-the-coffee-table. As you can see, the gloomy morning turned into a sunny rest-of-the-day.


These fisher-folk trolling on the lake reminded me of many paintings, like a Winslow Homer piece, although I think he did sea settings, not a lake like this.

This apple was just so beautiful I had to include a shot of it. Friends kept it through the winter wrapped in newspaper in a crate with many other apples in a cool spot. Some made it, some didn’t. This one is spectacular, and as firm and luscious as it was when it was put into storage.

Arrival day

We gazed at the bridge before crossing…unusual for us…usually we just stay on I-75 moving north without stopping.

We found the cottage in a sea of green, meaning mowing is at the top of the chores list when I, perhaps naively, assumed we’d get a few days of respite before it reached calf-height. Nope. Move-in was without drama, just the way we like it.

Ornithological omens at arrival: a spruce hen crossed the road in front of us as we drove out of the swamp just north of our property; when I went down to the lake, the first bird I saw was a loon.


Northbound this time of the year in North America is a journey back in spring. In southern Michigan we found our first lilacs in bloom, this small type with a confusing shape to the plant and an unmistakable scent…our first lilacs of 2024.

We also spotted our first Great Lake of the year. We are so fortunate have a room on the beach facing Lake Huron—this is our view. The beach is infested with some sort of beach flies (not mayflies), if you trust my identification. The seagulls are flocking to the insects, so there’s more drama than the waves crashing on land.