outdoors

Art two ways

Sky panels

Beltline art. Lots of metal pieces this time. Does that mean more funding for materials? Sorry, didn’t get artist’s name or the title of the piece.

Streetlight shadows

Nature’s art (kinda). The new streetlights make more distinct shadows that I found eye-catching when I was out taking a lap after dusk. Probably helps that most of the leaves are down….

Sunny yet mysterious

O4WP murky

I thought the water in the depths of Old 4th Ward Park was pretty murky until I looked along the edge-shallows…which were clear. And infested with still-life flotillas of minnows. I don’t understand the turbidity…maybe not sediment but algal life?

Arcs

Fairy ring

During a break in the weather (more wind than rain, but none of it particularly pleasant), we went down to the beach. This dark green arc indicates a fairy ring, and the fungi’s special tenticles makes the grass darker (although some types kill the grass). I love the red of the apples and the gold and brown of the leaves superimposed on the green, both light and dark.

Beach pano

Panos require a lot of work by the processor, and even more so when moving water is involved. Still, this image looks both normal and spooky to me.

Another beautiful autumn day

Early day sun

Today I caught the sun just after it crested the horizon for a different effect. Still orange-gold.

Log splitter

Here’s the splitter that has been, under the Guru’s control, helping us convert more of the huge pine to firewood. Thanks to the neighbors for the loan. This one is on a trailer carriage, and is very sturdy. Note the hearing protection. The 8-horse Briggs and Stratton is noisy, and the operator has to stand right over it.

Result

Firewood stacked

Orange dawn like the other day…nothing like yesterday’s precip. A great omen.

This ushered in a turn to outdoor chores. Of course, it got overcast and drizzled once or twice before committing to sunshine about 1pm (only sprinkling briefly twice after that).

Today’s number one outdoor chore: putting the kindly loaned gas log splitter through its paces (sorta). The Aldo Leopold comments fit. There are so many steps to getting wood out of a tree and into a fire.

Already completed: the growing of the tree; the felling of the tree; the cutting of the trunk into shorter lengths. That’s where we quit on one of the substantial logs.

Today’s steps…. First, move stout columns of wood to the splitting deck on the machine. Activate the hydraulic arm that pushes the wood against the wedge, causing the splitting. Do this with special care so fingers are not crushed. Open the press. Realign the wood and re-wedge until the pieces are the desired size, tossing them aside to open the jaw and load new pieces. Pick up the new pieces of firewood and walk them around to the other side of the cottage and stack them…with some care (some air spaces, not too much).

I was happy to do the walking-stacking, and let the Guru operate the machinery. Wearing ear protectors (so proud of him).

If you’re lucky, step back and enjoy the aesthetics of the stacked wood against the sunlight on the grove.

All-day rain

LakeMich shore

An all-day rain amounts to another personality in your living space, even if it is outdoors and you are not.

Seeking to recover a bit of balance, we headed out on a bit of a drive and a bit of a groc-store run. Down by the big lake to the south, Michigan.

We stopped at a pullover, which really is a section of the old road, when it was routed closer to the shore. We could hear the waves breaking not far to the west, but right here there was an island buffer, creating a placid bay, our distant vision concealed by heavy fog. A few years back when we last stopped here, the lake levels were lower, and we walked out to that “island” on dry rock. It was then the lake edge. How times change.

I even tried a wiggle picture (mini-video) here, hoping to catch the small movements of the water among the vegetation; I’ll have to examine it on the Big Screen, but I couldn’t detect the movement on the phone-screen.

LakeMich fog waves

We drove west to the next old-road pullover, and here we did see the waves rolling in across the shallows on the limestone shelf. The fog was thick and I had to dance to stay this close to the edge as the water surged toward me.

I returned to the car (rain, you know), and looked back, and the fog cleared and I could see the lighthouse. This change…in less than thirty seconds of silence except for the water-waves.

Clouds for atmosphere only

Dawn bench lake

I could see the orange in the dawn sky through the leaves and went down to the lake to get a few shots. Love the graduation to deep purple-blue above, and the deep midnight-blue of the water.

Sunny beach

Mid-afternoon, all was bright and I was surprised at how quiet the water was. Offshore breeze, and slight—it turns out. Love the riffles in the sand. Noticed a few snails(?) still moseying about in the sand; would have thought the cold would have slowed them too much for that….

Wood stove controls

Another part of my day…these controls of the wood stove (our only heat), and periodically loading the wood (fetched by The Guru). So far the temps have been moderate enough (fingers crossed) that stove-tending hasn’t been bad at all…kinda fun actually.

SeneyNWR

Fire tower Seney

I remember when this fire tower was still open to the public. Great fun to traipse up story after story to reach the views, and sometimes the breeze, at the top.

Canada geese feeding Seney

Of course, the refuge was organized as a stopping place for migratory birds, especially this then-over-hunted species. This group is now stashing calories for the big flight.

Beech leaves autumn

Still many leaves on the trees, including these beech leaves (I’m pretty sure). I love the variation, from golden-brown to golden-yellow to yellow-green.

Garter snake

By the way, the most unexpected critter we found during the nature walk—garter snakes. Three. In different places. Good-sized, but not scary. Strip-y. This one, the first one…when s/he moved, rustling the leaves and detritus…I jumped, then spotted her/him. And calmed.

Adventure (paved roads)

Whitefish pt lighthouse

I am pleased at the orange-red reflection of the roof to the right.

Warmer night last night, and the sunshine predominated in the morning so we set off on a wee adventure. We went through Paradise (yes, it is possible), and on to the BIG Lake—fairly calm today on this shore. This is some of the support structure for the lighthouse at Whitefish Point.

Tahq upper falls

We backtracked (because the other options, both long loops, didn’t appeal) and stopped at the BIG falls. The roar of the water and the feel of the mist still stop me in my tracks (best at the viewing deck to the far right). You can see that the leaves are mostly on the trees and the color is fantastic, although the overcast had set in by the time I took this photo.

Moved beyond words

Beach bubbles

Bright sunshine all day—the sunporch even crested 70°F this afternoon. A flawless day. Well, with the wood-stove coasting along keeping the rest of the cottage toasty. Flannel sheets upstairs….

QA lace

These images are from the beach…almost still water, little bubbles silently coasting slightly up and down at lake-edge*. And a few flowers still surviving the late-autumn coolness.

* I took this as a “wiggle-picture” (although that isn’t Apple’s name for it)—this version is still, however.