It seems like
I have gotten into a more regular "groove" with these things. Perhaps
it is because the weather has me in a better mood and I feel more like
writing. Not sure, nor can I promise how long this will last!
Although in the coming weeks, I am pretty certain that we will be doing
a lot more exploring and that will lead to more stories and pictures to
share, so the future looks promising at least! It's funny, today
seems a lot like a Friday. I think that is because I have been looking
forward to this day for several days now. Why have I been looking
forward to this day? Well, it is because this day signaled what I
could consider the start of autumn weather or at least early autumn weather.
Today has been in the low 60's with dewpoints in the low 40's. Tomorrow
will warm some and the humidity will come up a bit, but we will also be
cloudy and I am only talking about a temp around 70 and a dewpoint up near
60, hardly the nasties. Plus we look to get some much needed rain
so that will be good. Then we are back down into the 60's for the
weekend, maybe even some upper 50's if clouds hang tough. A bit of
warming for next week, but nothing too dramatic and that takes us very
close to the magic date of about Sept 10th when it gets very, very hard
to have any heat. There are still some 80's possible, but the humidity
would not accompany them and it would most likely be a one day event.
So the way I see it, given the time of the year and the forecast for the
next week or so we may just have crossed the finish line as far as any
uncomfortable summer heat is concerned. So thinking that today seems
like a Friday because I was waiting for a weather event reminds me of the
winter time when I really do not look as forward to the weekend as I do
to a good snow. We can have a big snow headed for a Monday and I
can hardly wait to get through the weekend so that it can hit! I
know, I may have a problem, but what's a guy to do?!
It has been an interesting
day in the weather office. Yesterday afternoon a line of severe storms
rolled through the Washington DC area and took out the power in a lot of
locations. One of the locations was where the NWS has their supercomputers
running. This is where things get a little confusing to me.
You see, they have generator backup power for the supercomputers, but they
cannot generate enough power to also keep them cool. Theses computers
are so powerful and generate so much heat that they need to run liquid
nitrogen through them to keep them cool. So, they could power the
supercomputers and run the models, but doing so would have meant that the
computers would melt, literally. I don't know about you, but that
seems to be an incredibly stupid situation to have setup. Sort of
like the police department having back up cruisers to use, but no engine
in them. What's the point? At any rate, I did not know that
this was all happening and I awoke to very little new computer guidance
to look at. Usually I have a full suite of info to utilize to make
my forecasts, so it was an interesting morning, trying to scramble to find
enough info to put together a forecast together. I guess the best
way to describe it would be if I were a contractor and I showed up on the
job site to find that all the tools except for a hammer and handsaw had
been stolen. I could still get work done, but it was a slow go and
not the way I wanted to be operating. The good news is that all of
my competitors were in the same boat so it was not like I was the only
one left with just a hammer and handsaw. Everything seems to have
been taken care of but one of the other problems was with the internet
provider that the NWS uses. It too went down and thus the NWS was
not able to get much of the data out even once they got the power back
up and the supercomputers running. Sounds like the head of the NWS
has his head up his you-know-what when it comes to redundancy. Imagine
if there had been a major storm or hurricane that was poised to impact
an area of the US and we had no computer guidance available to help us.
Someone would have lost their job and a few of the blow hards in congress
would have had their 3 minutes of fame. I know as well as any that
the further you go out in the future the less reliable the models become,
but in the next 24-48 hours they are usually very, very good and very,
very useful. I guess I have beat this horse enough, so will move
Monday proved to be
muggy enough make it a beach day. It was not hot and it was also
mostly cloudy, but was really too warm to make a walk in the woods doable
for the hounds. So we all headed down to bare butt beach. If
you remember that is the secluded beach that Nora used to go to all the
time when she was growing up and took me to it back in June. We had
been planning to head out there many times this summer, but something always
seemed to steer us in a different direction. Since this is such a
special beach to Nora and pretty much a secret to even a lot of locals
I am going to be selfish and keep it's location under wraps. I can
say that is it not right close by, but not out of the Keweenaw either.
It was a good day to be at that beach, no bugs and no one else to worry
about. Just Nora, the Hounds
and I. We had a nice relaxing walk down the beach, tossing the
stick into the water to keep Burt and Baileys busy (and cool). Of
course, as is always the case walking the beach up here the view
was magnificent. Here was the
view from the other direction. Hope I did not give away the location!
After the walk and swim the hounds were pretty worn out. We picked
a few blueberries (they are still going strong) and then headed back to
the homestead so that we could have dinner and I could run up and play
some golf. Rough life huh? Speaking of golf, that season will
be wrapping up in a few weeks. We have one last week of league to
go. Actually, the regular season ended 3 weeks ago and the past 3
weeks have been the playoffs for some and a "fun night" for the rest of
us. Al and I did make the playoffs, but then bowed out in the first
round. The guys we lost to have made it to the final 4, so I guess
we lost to a pretty good team at least. There are still some tournaments
to play in before I can hang up the spikes for another year. Sure
does not seem like about 15 weeks ago I was breaking them out.
Today was a perfect
day for the woods, so that is where we headed to. It's too bad that
the hounds are really struggling with all their joint problems. Actually,
Baileys is better than Burt now. She seems to be able to go for quite
a long way before she shows signs of getting sore and it is not in the
hip she had worked on, but the other that is not in good shape either.
Burt is really fighting arthritis in an elbow he had surgery on years ago.
They are both on medication for the arthritis, but it can only do so much.
They can still get around for a mile or so and they do have fun, but the
explorations have to be kept short. Nora and I have been taking the
longer 2-3 mile walks by ourselves. It was just a year ago that the
hounds and I were taking them. Sad. Here is a shot of the
trail we were walking down today. Almost chilly, as Nora had
jeans and a sweatshirt on and I would have been cool had I not been walking.
Nora actually took that shot and she also took one of what
the woods looked like off to the side of the trail. Won't be
too long and those ferns will be turning color, they always seem to around
So we are getting ready
to enter into a great time of the year. The second best time of the
year if you ask me. Nora is excited for autumn and also excited for
snow. In a short time we will be in the thick of autumn and all the
great things it brings. Splendid.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
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which helps to make johndee.com
I have a bit
of material and some pictures, so I figured today was as good as any to
get out a journal. The weather has been very pleasant, with lots
of sun and comfortable temps on Friday, yesterday was a bit warmer and
a little more humid, but clouds kept it from feeling too warm and today
was also pretty cloudy for the morning and half the afternoon, so it did
not feel too hot either. We have a few more days of possible heat
and humidity then say good bye! By labor day weekend, it could feel
more like the end of September rather than the end of August, but I sure
am ready! For the rest of you further south, you too look to be pretty
cool by the end of this week and into the weekend and quite frankly, I
do not see any heat for all of the next week, so we all may just be looking
at the last stand of heat for the summer this week. For some areas
east of the MS River, it looks to be as hot or hotter than it has been
all summer, with some mid to upper 90's possible. For us, it looks
like upper 70's to low 80's, but dewpoints in the mid 60's until things
cool by about Wednesday. So that is the weather forecast.
With the cooler weather
the previous 2 days, we were able to take to the woods on our walk.
On Friday, we just went up to the tracks behind Lake Linden and let the
hounds do some exploring. Not much exciting went on. Yesterday,
we headed up to the property to do some exploring and we had a good time
walking around a bit. It was still a bit too warm to do a whole lot
of serious trouncing through the woods. There are almost no trails
through the property, so that means that long pants and even long sleeves
on the shirt are the best way to go to avoid getting all scratched up.
Too warm for that kind of garb yesterday, at least for me. So we
did walk around a bit, getting even more familiar with the "lay of the
land". I am not getting as turned around out there as I used to.
For some reason, I could loose my bearing out there very easily and I usually
can keep my bearing pretty well, so I found it funny that I could almost
get lost on my own land. I have been out there enough now that I
am fairly certain of how I want the road to go and where I want to build
the home and pole barn. So I grabbed some blue marking tape and marked
the general vicinity of where I would like the road to go, that way we
can walk that same path on the way in and out and help beat a path down
through the woods.
While exploring the
property, Nora came across some fungi and found it unique enough to take
shot of. Here
is another. Hey, come to think of it, that is MY Fungi!
On the way out, we started breaking some branches off of the fir trees
that were not only dead, but also leaning down into the path that we are
going to take to get in and out on. Here's a shot of Burt
and I surveying the situation. Well, as can happen anytime I
get into a little task, I got more and more into it and so the branches
started to get bigger and bigger and soon I was knocking down some smaller
trees that were dead and in a little more time I was knocking over some
20-30 footers that were dead. It almost turned into a full
blown work session, with Baileys
worried that we could be out there for hours hauling trees around,
but restraint did take over and we posed for a
group shot and then headed back home. Don't ask me why Baileys
was sticking her tongue out at you in the last shot!
Today showed signs
of getting a little warm and with a south wind, we decided that North Betsy
Beach would get the call again. That makes it 3 days in the past
7 that we have headed out there. All three days have provided slightly
different weather conditions, but all three also provided very nice conditions.
Actually today started out a little on the cool side, so cool that Nora
opted to wear my fleece jacket for most of the time, but on our way back
from a walk, the winds shifted from a southerly direction to a westerly
direction. For a lot of locals on the peninsula that would mean a
drop in temps, but when you are on that side of the Keweenaw and that far
north, a southerly wind is on shore, while a westerly wind is off shore,
or at least shore parallel. Well, that wind shift caused the on shore
winds to stop and the temp warmed from 70 to 84 in a matter of minutes.
I could actually feel the push of warmer air occur, it was like walking
from an air conditioned house to the warm and humid outside. Thankfully
that switch in the wind direction came at the tail end of our walk and
our walk was the last thing we were planning to do before leaving for home,
so we did not have to deal with the heat for too long. Other than
the walk the hounds did some swimming and Nora and I picked
some blueberries. Those wild blueberries sure are good, but they
sure are small. You have to pick about 3 to 4 times as many in numbers
to end up with the same volume of berries that you get with the store bought
ones, but it is worth the effort.
The walk was very enjoyable
as well. The water was about 20 degrees cooler than it was a few
days ago, the result of the sloshing around of any warm surface water that
develops on the big lake in the summer. One day the water temps can
be in the low 70's and the next day it is in the low 50's. Today
was a low 50's day, so Nora and I did not do much venturing into it, but
the hounds spent most of the afternoon in it. The walk also provided
some neat scenery. We decided to follow the shoreline to the southwest
rather than the northeast as we had done in previous visits. It was
unexplored territory and as happens many times in unexplored territory,
there are some neat
sights to see. (FSV)
There is just something so relaxing to me about a big old piece or two
of driftwood piled up on the beach. Of course some pieces are more
relaxing than others and some are just plain
old wild. (FSV)
I doubt a human could sculpt something as beautiful and original as that.
Needless to say that I think we will be walking along that beach a few
more times in our lifetime.
On the way home from
the beach today, we got a special little surprise. As we headed into
the valley, we noticed a farmer up in the field tending to one of his dairy
cows. Upon futher inspection, we could tell that the cow was in the
process of giving birth. We slowed down and stopped far enough away
to not cause the mother any stress, but were able to witness the arrival
of a cow into this world. So the Baccus herd is one larger, but unlike
the rest of the herd out there, it will not be supplying any milk to Gilberts,
it was a baby boy.
The only other bit
of information I have to share with you is the light show that was put
on early Saturday morning. Because I wake up at a little before 5
am Monday through Friday, usually wake up somewhere in that neighborhood
on the weekends too. The difference is, I usually roll over and go
back to sleep on the weekends! Yesterday, I woke up at about 5 am,
answered the call of nature and took a peak outside. I saw some flashing
in the sky and new right away that the northern lights must have been going.
I woke up Nora and the two of us piled into the truck to head to a spot
near by that does not have any street lights so that we could get a better
view of them. It turned out to be quite a show. There were
the usual curtains of light coming down from the night sky off on the horizon,
but there were also bursts of light dancing across the sky directly overhead
and just ahead of us. About the best way I can describe it would
be to say that it was like dozens of very muted cloud to cloud lightning
strokes. The intensity of the flash was probably only about 20% of
what an actual lightning flash inside a cloud would look like, but it was
very similar in size and shape. But there would be dozens going on
at a time, just amazing! I don't think I will ever get used to the
northern lights, nor will I ever grow tired of seeing them!
I guess that will do
it for another one. I don't know about you, but I am REALLY looking
forward to the cooler air. Heck, we may even need to build a fire
this weekend! MMMMMM!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
I bet I am not
alone right now in being able to say: "Aahhhhh, that's better.".
Our temperature is down from the low 90's and our dewpoint is down from
the low to mid 70's and it feels like the northwoods of the UP again.
Actually, our dewpoint is still in the mid 60's, but falling and the temp
is a comfortable 70 degrees, so it is much better. Nora, the hounds
and I did make it through the warm and humid spell without too much difficulty.
Basically we stayed inside the air conditioned home, or went to the beach!
We did take a few evening walks in the woods, but also cooled off in the
pool afterwards. My spirits are better now that things are cooling
and will remain comfortable for 2 days, then 2 days of some hot stuff again
and then it looks like we could be done with the hot stuff for the season.
I am even a little concerned about a frost for the first week of September.
That would actually not be all that unusual for my neck of the woods, but
this is the first time I actually have to be concerned. We still
have a garden to try and keep alive through the first week or two of September.
Nora has been busy harvesting lots from the garden. It seems like
every day she comes in with a bowl of different items. I am not a
big vegetable guy, so I have not been eating much of what has been harvested.
However, one of my watermelon will be ready in a few days. Actually,
it might be ready right now, it has a pretty hollow thump to it and has
been the same size for about 10-14 days. I already harvested one
and it was a bit too early. It had the meat in the inside, but was
still white. That was about a week ago, so that is why I think this
other one is ready. I also have two others that might be ready in
2-3 weeks, those are the ones I am worried about. The only vegetable
that Nora planted that has yet to produce anything edible is the tomato
plants. We have plenty
of tomatoes, but they are all green. If that frost comes and
it is a hard one, she might be eating fried green tomatoes! Actually,
you can harvest green ones and they will ripen over time, but then you
may as well go to the store and get one because it is not vine ripened.
I guess the only other plant that has yet to produce are the
sunflowers. They are tall, about 8-10 feet tall, but have yet
to fully head-out. The heads have begun to form, but I am worried
about them too, as they may not make it before the growing season ends.
That surprises me a bit, as the northern climates are good for sunflowers.
Speaking of flowers, the others that she planted are going great.
Here is one of the gladiolus
and here is a star
I mentioned that we
have been going to the beaches lots. We had such a good time at the
beach north of Betsy (we have cleverly nick named it North Betsy Beach)
that we decided to go there again yesterday. It was a good day for
that beach as the winds were generally out of the south and that beach
faces almost due south. That meant an onshore breeze- the key to
keeping cool and no bug problems. It was so humid that the visibility
was only about 2-3 miles along
the shoreline as illustrated in that shot. You could also see
the waves rolling onto shore in that shot. They were not too big,
but just big enough to let Burt
have some fun bust through them on his way out to get the stick.
That is really turning into one of my favorite beaches, I just wish it
was not so far away. There are some wild
blueberries growing out at that beach. The day before we went
to the beach at Big Traverse and Nora picked a
handful which we (the hounds too) had as a snack while at the beach.
I think the wild blueberries are even better than the cultivated ones,
but are so small that it really takes a lot of picking to get enough to
do anything with, even to add to pancakes. Next year I hope to have
some growing in the garden and maybe even use some as ornamentals around
the house. Maybe those will be as good as the wild ones.
Today we hopped over
to the other side of the peninsula to take advantage of NW winds.
I had been almost a year since I had been to Misery Bay and a literal lifetime
for Nora, so it got the call. That too is one of my favorite beaches.
Probably because of many different reasons. First off, it has beautiful
sand and is very long so it is good for long walks. Secondly, it
usually is pretty quiet at least when I go there. Third, we do not
get there more than once or twice a year so the "newness" of it helps to
make it more enjoyable. And last, I usually pick a day that will
be very good conditions to be out there because it is almost an hour away
and I would not want to drive an hour to have poor conditions. Today
was nearly perfect, a few high clouds rolling over from time to time, temps
in the 70's and an onshore wind at about 20-30 mph. Oh, and the humidity
was dropping as you can see by the increased visibility in this
shot taken by Nora. I really like the way the sun reflects off
the water so I used the camera to shoot a
shot in the opposite direction. A great day was had at that beach.
Nora picked lots of driftwood that she plans to use in an artistic way,
the hounds got to play in the waves and I got to take it all in with a
smile on my face. At times I really cannot believe how lucky I am
to have all of this at my disposal. This really is a beautiful and
magical place and I can't wait to fine new places to marvel over.
So I guess I have come
to the end of another journal entry. I am really starting to get
excited about the weather, or shall I say the change in seasons.
This summer has been pretty nice by all accounts. But I am ready
for autumn. It looks like maybe about 2 more days, this Sunday and
Monday, and then autumn might just be here. If not, it will be shortly
after. School will be in session soon, football will be starting
and golf ending, the leaves are already starting to turn just a bit and
the nights are cooling off nicely (except for last nights low of 71!).
Of course I am excited for the snow, but can wait. I just want to
be able to take an afternoon walk with long pants and a sweatshirt on,
feeling the chill in the air, but the warmth of the autumn sun on my face.
I can't wait to smell the smoke in the air from the fires burning in the
fireplaces and wood burning stoves. Soon, very soon, I can feel it.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Well, this is
a little more like it, only 4 days since my last entry. Since I last
wrote we have had our hottest days of the summer so far. Officially
87 on Thursday and 89 on Friday. I say officially as those were the
airport readings. Of course, the airport is one of the coolest spots
around here, at least cooler than places like Houghton, Hancock and Lake
Linden. I did not see a temp on Thursday here in LL, but on Friday
I recorded a 93. Those were only the 4th and 5th days of the summer
that I labeled "intolerable". We had the front come through Friday
evening, actually during Nora and my evening walk. We left with the
temp at the airport at 85 and returned about 45 minutes later with it at
74. Yesterday was still a bit warm (temp of 78) and humid (dewpoint
in the mid 60's), but the cooler and more importantly less humid air came
in late in the day. Today was much more comfortable with a temp in
the low 70's and a dewpoint in the mid 50's. We're back into the
hot and sticky stuff by tomorrow through Wednesday though, glad I got the
pool in shape! Nora and I actually used the pool Friday evening after
our walk and she is hanging out in it right now.
With the winds out
of the east northeast yesterday, I decided to head out to the east side
of the Keweenaw. Usually when we go to that side we head out to Big
Traverse. It is close and also a beautiful beach. However,
I figured it would be a popular destination yesterday so we looked for
one of the less popular stretches of beach on the southeast side of the
Keweenaw. There are several, especially between Gay and Lac La Belle
and boy did we find a great one- tons of soft, light tan sand and a gradual
drop off perfect for the dogs and anyone else to swim. The weather
could not have been any better if we wanted it to be- a few mid level clouds
to dot the blue skies, a fresh breeze off the cooler waters of Lake Superior
and temps in the low 70's. As I looked to my southwest, with the
sparkling off the clear blue waters and a tree leaning out over the light
sand, I could half almost thought we were in the Caribbean. Had
that tree leaning out over the sand been a palm I would have thought I
was in the Caribbean. To tell you the honest truth, as nice as things
were out there, it did not matter where we were. If the view to the
SW was tropical looking, the view to the NE was pure
Lake Superior. A rugged shoreline with the mixed conifer and
deciduous forest running right up to the lake.
After some stick fetching,
Nora, the hounds and I decided to take a walk up the shoreline a bit and
we were able to walk comfortably for about a half mile before we ran out
of sand or flat rocks to cross, so we turned around and took a slow stroll
back. Much of the rocks up there are sandstone and imbedded in the
rocks themselves were pockets
of clay. The clay was actually still soft, and you could rub
it away with a finger. Where mother nature had rubbed out the clay
were holes in the
flat sandstone. All were of different sizes, some the size of
a tea cup and about as deep and some were up to two feet across and a foot
deep. It never ceases to amaze me the new and interesting things
I happen across while exploring this wonderful place.
Upon returning to where
we parked the truck, it was voted upon and by unanimous decision decided
that we would just stay for a while longer and relax on the beach.
With as perfect as the day was, it was not hard at all to just relax and
take it all in. One of the best days of the summer and probably one
of the best spots to be at on that day. Even the hounds were very
content to just lay on the beach and do nothing but ponder why we are so
lucky to be able to have such beauty at our disposal. Or at least
that is what it looked like Burt
was doing here, and Baileys
was doing here. But, like all good things, we needed to pack
up and head for home, if anything to feed our bellies and get the sand
out of our ears!
Today being cooler
and less humid, we were able to take our afternoon adventure into the woods.
We stuck pretty close to home, walking the tracks that are used by the
snowmobiliers in the wintertime. When we got to the point where the
tracks cross the Hammell Creek we climbed down into the ravine and followed
the creek down to a
small set of falls with a little pool at the bottom of it. (FSV)
The hounds cooled off a bit by taking a dip and Nora and Burt did some
exploring of the area and then we returned back up the creek to the steep
hill that lead to the tracks and then eventually back to the truck.
We did not see much wildlife on our walk today, but on Nora and my walk
yesterday evening we saw two deer and have spotted some deer from time
to time on our excursions around the Keweenaw. The deer should be
plenty fat this fall, as the apple trees in the area are just loaded with
fruit. In some cases the branches are just about ready to break with
all the fruit on them. This spring as the trees were budding out
I would see entire areas with nothing but white flowers on the trees.
I really did not believe that all the flowers belonged to the apple trees,
but now I know better! Last year was just the opposite. A few
trees were loaded, but the majority of them did not produce any fruit or
just a few apples per tree. Maybe that is mother natures way of giving
the animals lots to eat in order to survive a really snowy winter.
One can dream!
So we have some heat
coming at us for the next few days. I can handle it. I am actually
in the process of building a bookcase for my brother who will be coming
to visit in a few weeks. I cannot show it here until he arrives because
he reads this and I want him to see it for the first time in real life.
The reason why I bring that up is because that means I will be spending
time in my shop in the nice, cool basement. I have been able to keep
the house cool with the air conditioners, but I am looking forward to taking
them out for the season. That ceremony should take place in about
3 weeks or so. Until next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw..
You would think
that after almost a week of not doing a journal, I would have lots to talk
about, but we are in that time of the year when things are slow and our
activities are rather limited. My parents visit was fun. It's
always good to be with them and they really liked Nora. Not that
I had any worries at all, but I am just glad that they finally got to meet
her to see how great she is. We actually struck out on some of the
things I had planned to do. We did get to Eagle Harbor on Saturday
to take in the art fair that they had going on there over the weekend.
We then rode up to Copper Harbor and my dad and I let the ladies do some
shopping while we found a comfortable bench on the shores of the harbor,
shared a candy bar and got a lot of relaxing in. It was a perfect
day to sit in the sun and do nothing, with a fresh breeze and comfortable
temps. After Nora and my mom were done with their shopping they joined
us on the bench for a while. We then headed over to Lac La Belle
to have some lunch at the Seasons Restaurant. The lunch was filling
and very good and I could have really used a nap, but somehow mustered
up the energy to get us all home and then I think I took that nap.
On Sunday we had plans to see the Calumet Theater, the Houghton County
Historical Museum and maybe a few other things and struck out in all of
them. On Sunday's the Calumet Theater has only guided tours.
The tour was said to be an hour long and none in our group really wanted
to have that intensive of a tour so we opted out. The historical
museum in Lake Linden was closed on Sunday, so we just went home and took
it easy for most of the day.
The weather is doing
it's mid-August thing, with a record low made Tuesday morning at 39 and
the record high for tomorrow in jeopardy of falling at 87. Today
was warm, but not hot or unbearable. I think our high topped out
at 83 and the dewpoint ran in the mid 50's. I am a little more tolerant
of the warm temps at this time of the year, as I know their days are numbered.
Before I sat down to write this journal I went back and looked at the journal
for this time last year and we were also having some topsy turvy weather,
with some days in the 60's and others in the 90's. I had forgotten
that we experienced a late season heat wave with a few records being set
in the first week of September, with 90's occurring. In fact, Marquette
set it's all time record high for the month of September last year.
I'm kind of hoping that we avoid that scenario this year. Even though
this summer has not been bad at all as far as heat is concerned. I could
really go for as little heat as possible from here on out. The one
thing that is nice is that the hours of daylight are getting shorter and
that is allowing the night time temps to cool off more significantly.
As mentioned, the temp dropped to 39 near the airport yesterday morning
and I would not be surprised that here in Lake Linden it may have been
even colder. I know that the house was plenty chilly that morning.
It was also pretty chilly this morning, with lows in the upper 40's.
We do have some heat building into the region and it looks like we will
remain above average in the temp department through the weekend.
Some cooling does look to arrive by early next week so that will make the
heat a little more tolerable.
I knew that the heat
was coming since the middle of last week and since I got the OK last Wednesday
to be able to swim, I decided to get the pool back in shape for swimming.
We had just let it go for most of the summer, since I was not able to use
it and Nora did not want to rub it in by using it when I could not.
I knew that the pool would need some cleaning, but I was not ready for
what I found under the tarp. I guess the best was to describe it
would be to say that it looked like a biology experiment. There were
actually little critters swimming around in it! I am not totally
sure what the bugs turned out to be, but they looked like earwigs.
So I started the filter up, shocked the water and then put the chlorinating
tablet in and vacuumed it and all is back to normal. The water is
pretty much crystal clear, no more bugs are floating in it or swimming
in it and the sunshine the past few days is warming it up. I would
not be surprised if Nora and I take a dip tomorrow and the next several
days after that.
In a sign that shows
just how cold our winter was, Baileys and Burt are still shedding!
They actually shed all year round, but in past years, they have slowed
their pace of hair loss by about the middle of July. Now, I can say
that their shedding has slowed as we have gone through July and into August,
but I am still able to get some decent volumes of hair when I brush them
out. Baileys especially. I bet I could have just about filled a garbage
bag with all the hair that has come out of her this season. The funny
thing is I bet just about the time they are finally done with this summers
shed they will start putting on the coat for next winter.
I only have two shots
to share with you. The first one was taken on one of our walks in
woods. Even though we have actually seen less than an inch of
rain in the past month the woods are still pretty green. Many of
the trees are turning a pale green and a few have even brought out some
yellows and oranges. But, I am really surprised at how green and
lush the woods still are. The same cannot be said for my lawn!
The other shot was taken by Nora on Sunday when we headed down to White
City to relax on the beach and let the dogs swim. The shot is of
the lower entry light.
It sure was hot on that beach that day. The winds were pretty much
out of the north and that allowed the air to heat up a ton before it got
to that point. I would not be surprised if the temp there was close to
90. The lake did not provide any cooling either with the winds off
Well, I guess I am
out of material to share with you for this time, so I will sign off for
Good night from the Keweenaw..
I fear that
this is going to be a pretty short journal. Once again, I am faced
with the challenge of trying to come up with something interesting to say
when there just is not that much! One problem is that Monday and
Tuesdays are my golf days. Monday is the practice round and Tuesday's
are league day. Al is my partner for the league and we actually made
the playoffs, going from second to last to 5th in the final two weeks,
by pretty much crushing our opponents. We made the playoffs and this
past Tuesday was the first round. I ended up shooting my best score
for the year (a 41) and Al also shot well (4 below his handicap).
So we were able to get by our first round opponents. But that also does
not leave me much time to do a journal, nor are we really able to do much
exploring. Then on Wednesday I had my final visit with the surgeon
that removed my skin nasties (he said all was healed and I can now do anything
I like, including swimming and running), so that also ate up most of the
afternoon exploring time. So since Sunday, we really have not done
a ton of exploring. However, we have done enough that I do have a
few interesting photos to share. I actually did not even think that
I had any to share the go around, but Nora told me I did. She was
right and I am beginning to wonder how I ever survived without her!
Anyway, there are just 4 shots, but of varied and pretty neat themes.
So that will pretty much be the balance of this very short entry.
Oh, I almost forgot... I normally might have waited a day to do a
journal, thinking that I do not have much going on tomorrow and could do
something exciting and thus have more to say. But, I actually do have something
going on tomorrow- my parents are coming up to spend a few days visiting.
So not only do I have something to do tomorrow, but will be spending my
time with them for the weekend, so I would not feel like doing a journal
until Monday, but alas, Monday is golf practice round day and Tuesday is
league playoff day...so you get the picture I'm sure.
I am excited for Nora
to meet my parents. She is so great and they are so great, I have
no worries about them getting along. In fact, that thought had not
even crossed my mind as a possibility until I just typed that. What
I am more afraid of is ending up being the black sheep of the group, as
I think they will get along so well! I have been trying to think
of things to do on their visit. The past few years I have taken them
to some of my favorite natural spots up here like the mouth of the Montreal
River, White City and Big Traverse Beaches and also Mount Baldy.
This year I think we will take a more cultural approach and see some of
the man made historic features. I am a little embarrassed to say
that I have yet to even be in the Calumet Theater. Driven past it
at least once a week for over 3 years now. We even saw Ricky Skaggs
walking in with his guitar to rehearse for his show there last Saturday,
but have never gone inside. Plus, Lake Linden is the home of the
Houghton County Historical Society and I have yet to even tour all it has
to offer. I know, I know, shame on me! Well, that will all
change this weekend. Plus Eagle Harbor is having an art fair that I think
we would all enjoy, so that is also in the cards. If we have enough
time and energy, I suppose a trip to the beach or a walk or two in the
woods will also take place, as I cannot forsake the hounds.
Speaking of the hounds,
Nora captured a really near picture of my
two friends. I may have to get that one printed up and frame
it. I actually do not have too many pictures of them printed, but
am glad I have a lot of them in this journal. I really need to break
out the video camera and get some movies of them. Sadly, they will
not be around forever and the day will come when I wished I had more pictures
and memories of them. They sure looked pretty content in that shot
and were not posed either. Nora just grabbed the camera and got down
in front of them and snapped a few shots.
As mentioned, we have
been able to get out for some short walks before I had to run off and smack
the little white ball. One of the walks was in the woods, or at least
along the old railroad grade that now serves as the snowmobile trail.
We came along a field and wanted to test out the camera's zoom. I
re-read the instruction manual and discovered a way to double the camera's
zoom ability. It turned out that the shot without zoom was actually
a pretty nice one of just a
field up here in the Keweenaw, so I figured I would post it.
As you could see, things are still plenty green up here. We have
been hurting for rain for the past week and we really do not look to get
much for almost another week. So that may change a bit, but the sun is
also loosing some of it's kick and does not hang up in the sky as long
(setting behind the hills to the west at about 8:30 now), so the evaporation
is not as great. Plus, it has not really been all that hot. Although,
Tuesday and yesterday were on the warm side for these parts, with low 80's
occurring and a fair amount of humidity. In that shot of the field,
you could probably even make out some of the haze due to the humidity.
I am much more tolerant of heat at this time of the year, because I know
it's days are numbered. Soon I will be able to count on one hand
the number of potential hot days we have left and not too long after that
the magic number will be zero! With that in mind, the locals have
been busy chopping and stacking firewood for the upcoming season.
Some have been chopping and stacking more than others and the other day
I did go by what I think could only be considered a "yooper
sized stack of firewood". That should be enough to get them through
most of the upcoming winter! Ah the joys of living in a remote part
of the country and being able to tell tall tales! That was more than
likely a firewood business in waiting, not one family's seasonal supply!
With all the heat and
humidity yesterday, we opted for the shoreline with the onshore breeze.
That meant the north shore. So we headed out and found the temperature
to be about 13 degrees cooler there than in Lake Linden, but also a
lot of fog (fsv).
That is not the first time I have been down there in the middle of a hot
and sunny day and encountered fog. But, it is still a little strange to
be in the fog with the midday sun trying to blaze through it. It
was very comfortable down at the lake shore and the hounds enjoyed their
swim. Plus, as a bonus, no bugs!
Well, I guess that
about does it for another day. This turned out to be a lot longer
than I thought it would and I hope more interesting for you all than I
thought as well!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
this time of the day the hounds, Nora, and I would be off on some adventure
in the woods or perhaps the beach, but we are having a little rain delay
at the moment. It doesn't look like the rains will last all that
long, but I figured why waste time by sitting around and doing nothing,
when I could put my time to good use by writing a journal. For the
past month or so I have been writing these journals the old-fashioned way
by just typing them in. However, with the cooler season approaching
I figured I may as well get back to using the voice-recognition software,
in an attempt to work out all the bugs that still remain. So far
it seems to be working pretty good. I've only had to make a few corrections,
and I seem to remember all the commands as well. It seems as though
I actually do more typing in the wintertime, as I am a little more frequent
with my updates of the Journal as well as having to answer more Ask John's,
in addition to my regular daily workload.
The weather up here
has been OK the past few days, not perfect, but not a disaster either.
The upper air low plaguing most of the Midwest over the past few days has
brought us very foggy morning's, with the fog lifting by late morning and
then even a few peaks of some in the afternoon. There've been a few
raindrops that we have had to dodge from time to time such as is occurring
right now. But overall, I'd say things are not as bad as it once
looked they would be with this upper air low. The temperatures have
sure been cool enough for me, with overnight lows dropping into the mid-fifties
and daily highs rising into the upper sixties. However, the humidity
has been pretty high the whole time, with dew points generally running
in the low sixties, except that night when it drops off into the mid-fifties.
The way I see it, we have about a month left to remain under the gun for
any kind of real heat, then it's good by heat hello good hiking weather.
This is also a fun time of the year to be a meteorologist, as I can start
to watch the cooler air build in the high latitudes. In fact, part
of my duties is to keep an eye out for a potential frost that would impact
the crops grown in North America. The first areas to keep an eye
out for our up in Canada, mainly the southern two thirds of Alberta, Saskatchewan
and Manitoba. The computer models are actually indicating a pretty
sizable chunk of early-season cold to slip through Canada and even into
the far northern Great Lakes region in about two weeks. One model
is so aggressive with the cold air it actually pushes the rain snow line
to the SOUTH of us here in the UP. All the moisture would be off
to our east, so it is not indicating snow, but if the weather were to follow
what that model is saying verbatim, then there is a good chance frost would
occur up here early morning on the 18th. In reality, I'm not putting
a whole lot of faith in that cold air forecast, it is just too far out
in the future to have much confidence in whatsoever. But it is fun
to watch the change of season start to occur in areas to our North and
also encouraging to think that in just about a month, the change of season
will be getting ready to get underway right here in the UP.
For now it is still
summer and that means all the joys of summer can be taken advantage of.
One of the joys currently going on is that raspberry
season. That was just a small sampling of the berries my
patch has been producing in the past few days. We are at the
point where we can actually go out and pick berries once every 24 hours
or so and end up with close to a pint each time. We have managed
to put all berries picked to good use so far. Nora makes a totally awesome
desert that includes brownies, cool whip, chocolate pudding and raspberries
all in layers. I'd have to say that it's about the best desert there
is, with the possible exception of making it with strawberries instead
of raspberries! Nora is also getting ready to make some raspberry
jam and I am excited to be the designated taste tester. The garden
is still rolling right along, within the week we will have tomatoes ready
for picking, as well as some green peppers, banana peppers and cucumbers.
I can sense that there is a growing interest in the progress of my watermelons,
the most advanced melon is larger than a tennis ball but smaller than a
softball. I'm not sure if it will make it to doneness before the
first frost (especially if it's in two weeks!), but I do think that the
climate up here is suitable enough to grow watermelons. We got the
gardens created and planted about three weeks later than we normally
would, and for some reason these watermelon plants did not grow hardly
at all for about the first two or three weeks but they were put in the
ground. So even if this year turns out to be a failure, I may have
a go at it again next year, getting that plants in earlier.
On Friday, Nora, the
hounds and I decided to give the School
Forest a try for our afternoon walk. We didn't last long, as
the deer flies took aim on us, tall wet grass made for some soggy walking,
and the rumble of
thunder indicated that soon the woods would not be a safe place to
be. It was nice to get back out there. I have actually not been there
since the snow melted. With the deer flies still being a pretty big
nuisance out there I think I will wait a couple more weeks before
giving it another try.
Nora and I have also
been doing a little bit of redecorating, basically just repainting the
spare bedroom. The job is actually done and things look great, but
I have a funny story to tell- Nora and I were busy in the room with some
prep work, when Burt came walking into the room. I like to tease
the dogs about how they should be helping us do the chores around the house,
so I asked Burt if he would help us paint the room. With that, he
walked over, picked up the paint stirring stick and gave Nora and I a look.
I think both Nora and my jaw must have been about on the floor with that
action. With no further instructions given Burt must have decided
it would be just better off if he did his own thing with his stick, so
he brought it into the living
room to chew on. I didn't want him to get a sliver so I took
the stick away, but it was pretty funny for him to pick up that stick and
look as though he was going to help us after I asked him to give us a hand.
Never a dull moment around here with those two dogs!
took to the woods for our afternoon walk and came across another deer.
This time the animal was in full
view and stood there and watched us get closer and closer until it
realized it would rather not meet us face-to-face. It sure seems
like we are encountering more deer on our walks this year than in the past
few years. I know that my first year up here we encountered a ton
of them. I can remember on some of our walks coming across three
or four separate groups of deer while we walked the trail. I'm not
sure what is the explanation for not seeing as many deer in the past few
years, whether it being the general deer population was down, or just the
deer population in my local area was down, or it just happened to be that
we were not running into each other while out in the woods. In any
case it's always a special treat to come across some of the local wildlife
while out in the woods. While out in the woods we also saw that some
of the thimbleberries
are ready for picking. As all of the dedicated readers of this journal
already know I'm not a big fan of thimbleberries, but I think that Nora
is planning to pick enough to make some jam, and I have heard that that
is pretty good, even if you don't like raw thimbleberries.
Well, I guess that
gets you caught up in some of the sights and goings on up here in the past
few days. I'm managing to keep my excitement for the end of summer
under control. [Did he say managing!! Depends on who you ask!
Ha Ha! Last week I busted him kissing the new sled!!
And he continues to have dreams about sledding through the "deep powder".
The draw backs of having me give the journal the final look over before
uploading it-Nora]. At least for now, but even Nora is
getting really excited for autumn to arrive. If I close my eyes,
I can almost feel the crispness of the air, the crunch of leaves under
foot and the smell of wood burning in the fireplaces. MMMM....Won't
be too long.
night from the Keweenaw..