outdoors

Refuge

Murky north

We intended to head to the Falls, but the view north was just plain murky, with no indication that it would clear. This is the view across the Tahquamenon swamp, which isn’t visible over the tree line, as it would be on a clear day. Since the falls are northeast, we felt the pretty index would be…muted.

The unpaved road across the highway goes into the center of the ghost town of Laketon. Last time we cruised Laketon, there was one standing house and one mobile home, both abandoned.

Geese grey refuge

Given the overcast, we decided to instead head to the Refuge, and take the wildlife drive. We took the fishing loop option, which we do less frequently than the “regular” route. We even saw a couple with a big pike, perhaps twenty inches long, removing the hook from the fish’s mouth—but, ironically, that was before we got on the fishing loop.

White fungi

While in general, the murkiness and sometimes a light rain, did obscure the beginning of fall color, we did find a few fungi, encouraged by the recent rain (including overnight).

Lake/light variation

Lakeview bench

Yeah, it was overcast again, this morning, but bright enough at 10:45am that you could see (and, of course, hear) the waves rolling in courtesy of a good south wind. In the afternoon, it was mostly sunny, and we reaped the benefit of the solar gain on the sun porch.

11am light on lake

Not 15 minutes later, I took this photo, different angle…looked like a low sun situation…but wasn’t, just strange light through the overcast.

Broccoli flors

Meanwhile, over at the garden we’re watching, the broccoli was getting away from me. Happens this time of the year. The blossoming stalks are all pruned back for now, with the salvageable ones consumed!

Sky to the south

Morning sky

This was the southeast morning sky—sunlight trying to peep through beneath cloud cover…

Evening sky

…and this was the southwest evening sky…but not the same cloud cover. It got sunny for much of the middle of the day, and thus the porch achieved a fine level of solar gain. Time to close it off again, however, as temps are dropping.

Maple branch

We walked down the road a bit and discovered that since we’d been staying “on the place,” we’d missed that a large maple limb fell across the road. Don’t know who chain-sawed it and through the pieces into the ditch, but thanks. Still overcast….

Whitepinecone

White pine pinecone. Or white pine cone. See, sunny. Kinda.

Essence of UP

Barberry foliage raindrops

The story of today is right here. Rain. Drippy rain. Not so cold, just continuous moisture. Good for the late garden plants. But.

Seul choix lighthouse

So, we hopped in the Prime, and headed out to defray boredom. First stop: winding drive down to Seul Choix Point and its lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Michigan. The latter dates back to 1892, and is still used, but most navigators are using digital/satellite systems, making the light more confirmation than a sole guide.

Essence of UP

To me, this kind of view is Essence of UP. Maple trees bending to make a tunnel over a gravel road through the forest that I can toodle along, with a smile on my face. Special this day: drippiness.

Picnic rocks

We popped out on the Lake Superior shore near Marquette. These are two of the Picnic Rocks in the Marquette Harbor.

LSI ore dock

And this is the view southwest into the upper harbor from Presque Isle Park, a rugged point extending into Lake Superior. This is an immense ore dock. Rail cars are moved out onto the top of the dock, and their loads are dumped into spaces in the dock, then emptied into a ship (called a boat around here) in 20-ton lots. The name is “ore,” and I think of ore as the material that is rock-with-mineral as it is mined from MotherEarth. But, here the “ore” is taconite, pellets of 70% iron that has been separated (mostly) from the rock that contained it at or very near the mine.

Rat-a-tat-tat

Pileated

I was just getting ready to settle down in a comfy chair with my first cuppa when I heard this critter just outside the window by my chair. Of course: photo time! This was through the screen, and pretty early on an overcast day, so mostly it just proves there was a pileated working on the hemlock.

Overcast lakeview

A little later, down by the lake…very quiet (tiny off-shore breeze, so only the teeniest shusssshing waves), and very overcast. Stayed overcast all day, and cooler than we’ve seen since right after we got here. The fall color is beginning to show up stronger, but still the leaves are overwhelmingly green.

Critters comma latest

Critter fog

I went out while the coffee was dripping to catch a few shots of the fog obscuring the trees on the other side of the field. I thought I’d improve the framing by getting the legendary hillfort basil in the foreground. So often a surprise…this time…

Critter fog hl

…on the left lateral branch of the ancient apple tree…a chipmunk feeding or stuffing her/his cheeks…and, in the distance, a deer, after snorting, turning her/his back and running away, white flag high.

Basil spider

Later I returned to the basil, trying to decide when to make pesto, or a basil purée…not today, but soon…. [Perhaps you can discern, under the right-pointing leaf, a daddy-longlegs (or spider with similar physiology).]

Chores

Dock removal discussion

Morning chore: helping neighbors remove dock. It’s in sections, but still heavy. My job was to take photos (easy!). [Weight on The Foot issue….]

Manistique harbor

Midday we made a fast trip to Manistique (groceries, ya know)—and Droney made a run over the lighthouse and got this view back at the river mouth.

Manistique R Mead

We took the (old) woods road back, following the river inland. We stopped at a park and got a Droney-view of the river. This river drains “our” lake.

Such a simple, yet grand, day!

Giant puffball!

Puffball apples

Out picking apples to make apple sauce…and look what I found! The same tree had another big puffball, too. I found none under other trees.

Beach steps

Little rollers coming in this afternoon; kinda breezy, but, as I mentioned yesterday, no Florence!

Still, life

Windowscreen cobweb

I’m not sure that the spiders who festoon the window screen are all that successful. Makes a pretty pattern, however.

Wrack

We took a pre-cocktail stroll down to the beach to see the waves rolling in (kinda). They were pretty tame compared what Florence is kicking up in the Atlantic!

I spotted a swimming leech from the dock and zipped back to dry land to divest myself of shoes and socks. Took me a while to find it again. Several attempted tosses and I lost “him” in the water, then found “him” again a few minutes later. Still wasn’t sure if I managed to throw “him” out of the water (hope so).

And, yes, the pebble was in the shell when I found them among the wrack.

Woods_n_water wander

Flashy bee

Over in the Refuge, we found this bee. I don’t know much about insect types, but this merged yellow-and-orange striped tinting of this bumble? bee, doesn’t seem familiar.

Rose hips

Also on the wildlife walk, we found rose hips. No rose feet, however. And, no, we didn’t collect any. National property regs, you know.

Mouth Hurricane creek

I don’t think we’ve ever skipped visiting the mouth of Hurricane Creek when we’ve been up that way. We found that the present configuration has a long sand spit channeling the brownish river water to the west before the actual merge with Lake Superior. [No lampreys attached to rocks—that I could see—this time, unlike in July.]

Greenstone

Look at this bright green stone! Seems out of place among the browns and greys! For a moment, I even wondered if it was a plant! Not a plant-plant, but a joke-fake-plant. Skeptical me!