outdoors

Backlighting rocks

ABG trail curve backlit

Over at the Bot Garden, we enjoyed the natural autumnal delights like the dried, spent plants, overlooking and ignoring the…uh-hem…fancy lights, which, let’s face it, don’t look good in daylight. We’ve heard they’re…stately?…after dark, but I’m not so sure I’d like them….

Maybe five inches (snow)

Snow shore

I wanted to go out for a good walk, but thought the feet-warm situation was probably…not-so-good. Then, I remembered I’d squirreled away a perfectly good pair of low-top boots. Adequate, given the accumulation. So, I dug around and found an appropriate pair of socks (socks and shoes must work together, you know).

Aha! Then, I remembered that I’d tucked in my gaiters, and I was ready to suit up!

Nice walk, toasty all the way! Saw lots of deer tracks from approximately mid-day, even one place they’d gotten some apples from beneath the snow.

Rainstorm welcome

Rain arrives over TN river

As we reached Chattanooga, we saw a curtain of rain over the Tennessee River, smothering the landscape with gouts of precip. The Guru piloted us along and at some point the road was dry again, and soon the car was, too, by the time we were a half-hour into Georgia.

Mighty Miss

Miss near Hannibal

We wandered along the west bank, loosely speaking, of this major North American river. South of Hannibal, we followed Missouri-79 south, which climbs some (locally) serious ridges overlooking the alluvial plain a bit north of the Mississippi embayment zone. If you’re ever looking for a river wander, try that section of MO-79…. The haze makes this view less dramatic, but that’s still a lot of water!

Who is the interloper?

Bald eagle in flight

I hear voices down by the lake, and I know from experience they might be in a boat passing by (most likely), or they might have decided to use OUR beach*.

I fumble for my sunglasses and head down. No voices anymore. Probably they were from a passing boat or a fishing adventure far out on the lake, and the breeze carried the voices in.

Still, who can pass up a visit to the beach?

I look around, step out on the dock. The water is lightly lapping. I hear a squawky bird noise. Out there on what’s left of the dead birch on the point (several branches from last year are no longer framed against the sky), I see that voice.

Our shoreline hunter-visitor, the bald eagle!!

Like me, a tad annoyed by an interloper. S/he took flight over the lake, and looped around me, continuing along the shoreline, now silent.

* Have I told this story? I can’t remember. Once, a long time ago, my grandmother’s friend’s sister was on the beach, OUR beach, and some folks pulled up in a motorboat, and asked, is this a public beach? Assured no, they left. When the story was retold, Hope’s sister (can’t remember her name…why??), said, “do we look public???” (She moved to Pinehurst NC in her retirement/widowhood, and volunteered during the big golf tournament there; she was quite the character….)

Watch out for the spikes

Gitchee shipwreck

Oh, that Gitche Gumee is formidable, and continues to maul this wreck. Water levels higher than I’ve seen for some years, I’m pretty sure. We read 57° and 59° as we drove along the shore, with a wind that made it…chilly. But the brilliant sun compensated….

Amongst a few raindrops

Reeds whitefish lake

Chore day*. High point was a picnic lunch stop here. A lone seagull witnessed our dining…hoping.

* Chores included laundry, library, tire fix (whoops; tire’s low!), big groc run….

Local economics

Manistique lighthouse

Hey, a Great Lake! This is Lake Michigan, near the northern shore; the other end laps on Chicago’s toenails. I like this limestone bed that I’m standing on—it acts rather like a shelf along this section of the shoreline. That lighthouse is modest; it’s on the pier off Manistique aiding navigation into and out of the small port. Mostly it’s used by pleasure boaters these days, although the park where I was standing to take this is named after a ship that went down in the late 1950s, about 23 miles offshore. Twenty-foot waves are tough on marine craft.

Two summers ago, if I remember right, it looked like the paper? mill in town would close—a huge blow to this community, which otherwise is managing to hold on with a high school, small harbor, and I think a small clinic. Turned out that at the last minute it was sold, and continued in operation.

Meanwhile, over in Gulliver, the yard seems to have the largest stockpile of logs we’ve ever seen there. Acres. Not sure if it ships into Manistique, or farther west. Pretty sure, though, that the logs leave 1) by rail, and 2) towards the setting sun.

The light, the light

Sunset lake reeds

We enjoyed the extended sunset-glow and watched the beach-fire at the same time. Heavenly!

The water level is down somewhat (yea!), and we saw several avian fly-bys zooming just above the water moving parallel with the shoreline. Mostly ducks, I think.

While we were mellow, the mosquitoes found us, and, geeze, they are aggressive at present!

Our neighbors (year-round residents) observed that this evening was the first that felt like summer, as it has been cool to very cool all summer (last winter, too!). So we shall behave summerly!

What’s old is new

New river gorge

Turns out the New River is an anomaly. It crosses the Appalachians yet is not tidal. It is geologically ancient despite its name.

We found it simply darned pretty.

I’m ready to go back and get to the bottom of it, however….