New puzzle

Camera duo

Left camera: over four years old. Right camera: in our house less than two days.

We recently took our “fun money” and ordered a newly released camera, which arrived yesterday. Now to learn its quirks!

Look what I found

New basil

I braved the afternoon heat for a few minutes of weeding while watching for the FedEx truck. Beneath the weeds I found…a volunteer basil plant! Yay!

On another note, the guy who’s perennially on our not-our-favorite-neighbor list put himself at the top of it again this year when I noticed him training their new pooch (one of those mushed-face pant-pant varieties) to use our yard and not his.

Crystal tale

Nokia bites dust crystal failure

Casualty of aggressive cleaning while up north. Now to find an old-fashioned watch-repair shop….

Crud: still hanging around. I have a date every four hours with cough medicine and a little red pill; then things are pretty good for 3.5 hrs…, then I study the Nokia until the full four hours have passed.

Distractions from the open road

Grandview heights roof detail

I just liked this, and now you can check out your reactions. Grandview Heights architectural detail. Coffee below (out of frame).


As we pulled in the rest area on the other side of the fence, the Guru noted: this is where I took pictures of the neighboring cornfield so I think of this as the corn rest area.

No longer. Now soybeans.

Can’t really call it the monocrop rest area, as almost all are….

Blue mtn layers

Farther south, we found layers of mountains, a bit blue-tinged. Temps heading for mid-90s. Pant pant.

Startling sky

Closer to home, the sky became dramatic, we had some rain, some wet roads. Wet continued to our driveway, with temps on our arrival in the low 80s (!!). That shower and the temp drop made arriving in the otherwise summer-hot, deep south much easier.

On the move

Toyota skipper killer

Toyota model skipper trapper killer. Sorry guys/ladies.

Murky at bridge

Bridge crossing was murky with the Great Lakes version of the marine layer.

Northern LP barn

By several miles south of the bridge, we were in the heat that blankets the southern/lower peninsula. Barn of northern LP.

Southern LP barn

Barn of southern LP; more active agriculture here.

Mosque turn mosque

We did the mosque turn differently than the highway version. Pretty light this time of day.

Nern Ohio barn

We stayed in the mid-summer Golden Hour in the next state south. This is a northern Ohio barn. Plenty of agricultural evidence here.

We’re holed up in AC and boring architecture. Works for us tonight!

Oh, sweet lettuce*

Salad exquisite

Tonight we had probably the best-quality lettuce I’ll have until next garden-season (in 2019). This is the salad I made from this lovely gift from the Hunter-Gatherer-Forager-Everything Guy Across The Way. With a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Yum.

Already storing harvest memories from this year…. I know it’s a little early, but some seasons are like that. [Not saying “climate change,” notice!]

* Lettuce is lechuga in Spanish. Somehow, I think lechuga has a classier sound…but not by much. Yeah, I’m lame; it’s about me, folks. 😎

Shortest Cornus?

Cornus canadensis

I laid low today, hoping to throw off this crud (no fever cold) I’ve been fighting off for days. I would have been happier feeling better and rambling in the woods finding wildflowers like this bunchberry (Cornus canadensis, an important forage plant for herbivores in some ecosystems) I spotted the other day. Here’s hoping the cough-sniff-arrgh lifts tomorrow; I’m done with it.

Basil story, NorthCountry 2018

Basil ringfort

With a generous daily measure of water-added, the basil in the ringfort has been productive.


Today we harvested, and the volume was good for a giant dollop of a pesto-like sauce for a big pot of dried tortellini (not to be confused with tortelli or tortelloni…for example).

However, it is so dry weather-wise that unless there’s rain after we leave, these tender plants will NOT make it, and there’ll be no later-season harvest.

Gitchee-Gumee visit

Me n LkSuperior

Indeed, the focus of today’s expedition was seeing Lake Superior. That’s me in bug- and sun-resistant clothing. No fashion plate am I. Turns out, today, almost, close-to NO bugs in this area.


There at the mouth of Hurricane Creek we spotted two lampreys. I never remember seeing them in the wilds before. Scarred fish, yes; the critters, no. That brown “ribbon” across the middle of the frame: lamprey.

Bookstore deli

Instead of our usual return-to-Grand-Marais to lunch, we continued west and dined in a deli-coffee-bookstore in Munising. Yum. Such a lovely place.

Swan trio

On a lark, we also did the Marshland Tour at the Refuge, and of course saw many Canada geese and swans. Most of the swans were far from the car, but this wee-family was close by. I will not mention the clouds of deer flies that rode on our rear-view mirrors; such a contrast to the near bug-free conditions on the south shore of Gitchee-Gumee.

Bleater’s story (and more)

Bleater fawn

It was getting toward dusk last night when this leetle critter wandered into the yard, no mom in sight…which was disturbing to the critter, who commenced bleating. My interpretation is that the first bleats were “where are you?,” but they soon became “I’m here!” S/he bedded down under Uncle Dave’s maple, and I heard her/him in the night, but not constantly. In the morning we didn’t see her/him and hoped mom had showed up. Then, bleats around 2pm. By dinner time, Mom and the leetle one were bedded down under an apple tree out front. It’s been windy, including overnight, so the sound of the tree-leaves and grasses must have been scary-distracting to the great adventurer.

New clothesline

The Guru cut the right post yesterday from the top of the juniper that fell over the winter, and dug the hole and stood it in place today. So, we now have a clothesline again!

Bocce hoe

This evening we were invited next door to play bocce. Turns out no-one knew the rules, so we made up some. The comely dirty blonde is using a short-ish handled hoe to determine if one of the balls is within that distance of the small target ball (dirty golden, golf-ball sized), and thus the tosser gets a point. Lots of laughing and great difficulty with the uneven and fast surface. But fun!