outdoors

Grass stories

Downed canna

The grass has to know how the canna got downed. Has. To.

Mushroom d sod

I’ve got a bit more data on this one. This yard sports new-this-season sod, and it’s supporting a sprinkle of these little ’shrooms, perhaps inky caps. No other yard has them. Mushrooms d’sod? The grass has to know.

Highlights

Taxus

I’m glossing over myriad details to note there were many during our now-completed northern trip. We swept back into town less than an hour ago with reasonably light traffic, made a few extra [green] lights, the truck is now empty, and the thermostat readjusted to blast the temp downward more than when the house was empty. Home in the summer.

Flag sunset

Last night’s sunset. I like the flag and the glow, but had no time for a second shot with the other poles edited out. Such is life. [I have no doubt editing software could readily remove them, but not me.]

Change is coming

Field light apple tree

Last relaxed morning. Here. For a while.

Peony end is near

The peonies are winding up. The dominant blooms on the branches with double buds have finished, and the B-team is putting on a meager, but still lovely scented, show. This is one of the largest of the final crop.

Eagles Nest south

We made a small Sunday-drive outing on this last day, up to Eagle’s Nest, or Eagles Nest, or Dad’s version: Eagle Nest. This is the pond-and-marsh to the south. I found the poofy clouds in the blue sky very compelling, with the green belt of vegetation separating the heavens from its reflection.

Searching for wildlife

Joe pye weed

We went on the wildlife walk, and, as I expected, we saw far more plants than critters. Joe-pye weed.

Jpw variant maybe

Did not look very hard in the wildflower ID book for this one…variant joe-pye weed.

Lilies

Fragrant water lilies and yellow pond lily.

Mystery blooms

Didn’t ID this; didn’t browse for long.

Mullein

Mullien.

Turkle

Then we took the wildlife drive. We still saw many more plants, but they were farther away. And the bugs were so desperate to find us the were slamming into the windows. I was glad we were inside. Painted? turtle. We saw the usual complement of mid-summer loons, swans, Canada geese, seagulls, and a few ducks. No grebes; no coots. No mammals.

Gotta go apply anti-itch cream to the bug bites I got on the wildlife walk.

140 lbs lost

Weed land

The grass and its friend have overtaken the rhubarb. Again. I know there are four crowns, and I think there’s a fifth—if it has survived.

Rhubarb land

Here’s the result after a little over an hour of clearing. I need to hit it again, remove more invaders and put down cardboard to cover the open soil to frustrate a new crop of invaders.

Below the pink foxglove to the left is the fifth crown. Yay!

Critter of da day

Don’t know the name of this beauty.

Oh, the headline? “We” lost 140 lb today, “we” being our real estate, that is, crud removed from the back porch and the garage and deposited at the “dump.” And by “dump” I mean transfer station. All the actual dumps in the UP were closed decades ago; that means no after-dinner bear watching.

Raucous

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes.

I awakened about 4:30am and could hear a soft pitter-patter of rain mostly disguised by the fan. Still, I descended and closed what windows were open on the porch, or closed them enough that if the rain picked up a bit it wouldn’t come in.

By perhaps 8am, the sun was out and I thought geeze it’s going to be hot and humid! Then, shortly overcast set in until about 12:30pm, followed by the day’s full allotment of sun sun sun. The basil is happier with the rainfall.

Wisely, as it turns out, I took my walk during the overcast. I got over the hill and I was striding along and all of a sudden I could hear this bunch making a ruckus. It wasn’t until I got past the fencerow vegetation to the field access opening that I could see this bunch. There are two/three young ones to the left of the adults.

Light station x 2

Running deer

It’s no surprise that when we head off into the woods on dirt roads that we see a deer. This morning we saw five, all singles except a doe/fawn pair.

Rugosa maybe rose

I think this is a rugosa rose. They were imported from Asia to stabilize dunes. This was flourishing with many rose-kin…surprise, on a sand dune.

AuSable light station

We walked from the mouth of the Hurricane River to Au Sable Light Station. Easy. Flat. Nice. Closed Mon and Tues. (FYI.)

Stuck burnover

Several years ago there was a large, lingering forest fire that blackened this area. This route…hmm, a Google choice we should have not tried. Got stuck on that hill. Got out quickly with some sand removal and pushing by JCB. Yay! Returned the way we came in and tried the road we should have taken. And it became the road taken.

CrispPt light station

Yup. Crisp Point is not National land, and drone was permitted. Great shot, no? Interior closed for renovations. The lake is gorgeous, eh?

I’m a tracker

Old deer tracks

Old deer tracks. Exaggerated by being made in soft mud, and from subsequent desiccation.

Recent tracks

Recent deer tracks. Just barely penetrating the soil/former mud.

Motor chase

I was on foot, and I could hear a motor that was skipping behind me. It was the mower on the left. Then I heard a second motor. It was the ORV that traveled faster and here is on the right (I turned around to get this shot). I continued walking down into the swamp where I found the tracks above. Because I had descended I couldn’t hear what happened, but both vehicles must have turned into the fix-it place that is before the swamp, as I did not see/hear them again. My hypothesis is that riding mower guy abandoned his ride to fix-it man, joined ORV guy, and they motored to whence they originated.

Two and one

Daisy skippers

Two skippers; I think of them as “everyday skippers.” One daisy. Definitely an everyday daisy.

Bit of a story-telling mode

Lake sunset

Last evening, post-posting, we drove to the other side of the lake to hear live music by AnnMarie Rowland, who has a fabulous voice that is complemented by her guitar-playing. As we listened, we watched the sun set. [Read more about Ann here.]

Between sets, she sat and talked with us. We heard about how the song “Lovely Agnes” became a pivot in her life, and how, for a guest-artist gig, she wrote eleven songs about aquifer groundwater. She did play “Lovely Agnes” last night, but none of the groundwater songs. [BTW, singer/songwriter Sally Rogers wrote “Lovely Agnes” in honor of her grandmother’s 92nd birthday.]

Local greens

Far less of a story here: parsley from the neighbors’ garden, and chives from the gone-wild zone north of the cottage. Local greens?

Camo hoptoad

We tempted fate by leaving the property this afternoon to do a few errands, without closing the windows. Fate became a low-grade downpour. Fortunately, there was almost no wind, so almost no rain/rain-spray came in.

Next chore: to plant the leggy basil plants we got in town for the greatly marked down price of $1.50 each in the now rain-moistened plot…probably set into the flank of the hillfort—where I put the basil seeds during the last trip, and some have germinated!

This hoptoad was hoping for hunting success after the rain from a well-camouflaged location by the hill fort.