Past Journals
George's Eagle 
Harbor Web
Pasty Cam
Dan's Wilderness 
August 31-
    If I took the time to make sound play when someone loaded this page on their computer, you all would be hearing a drum roll right now.  Why, well it would be because tomorrow, the new look to the site will be live!  That is if all goes well.  About 98% of the site is done.  I just have some final formatting to make on one of the new features.  It has been a lot of work making the new pages.  I could have never done it without my designer.  He was the brains and talent behind the new look.  All I did is boss him around and mess things up when I went to make my own changes!  But seriously, he did a wonderful job and bent just when I needed him to and stuck with it and I think that you all will like the look.  If anyone is considering having a web site or even a page designed, I really think that you should at least look at his work.  The great thing about things on the web, including design is that it can all be done from a remote location.  He is located in central Minnesota, you all know where I am at, we never met face to face, but we were able to communicate to each other without any problems.  So as mentioned, if all goes well, a lot of you will actually be reading this in the new look and others will be checking it out tomorrow.  I do not know when the new site will be live, but I would guess by the early evening.  It is basically all set to go, we just need to update the server.
    We have been switching between summer and fall up here, with some days in the 60's and others in the 70's and 80's.  Today is summer, with a temp in the low 80's and dewpoints in the low 70's.  Feels more like Miami Beach than the UP.  As most of you know, I dislike the heat and humidity as much as anyone else.  However, because of the time of the year, I am able to deal with it a little better.  Seeing as though in another week to ten days will be done with humidity and likely any heat for the rest of the season, I kind of treat it like I do a sauna or steam bath.  I just take in the heat and let it go right to my bones.  For I know that this is just temporary and soon, very soon I will wish that I could just get a taste of the warm and humid air to take the chill off for a while.  I must also admit that I am sitting in a house with all the windows closed and the AC on.
    Yesterday was cooler.  So cool that I nearly froze in the morning, with temps in the low 40's and all my windows open.  The heat is off so the inside of the house was in the upper 50's!  Yesterday afternoon the hounds and I took my computer to have a second hard drive put in my machine and while that was being done we took a hike on the Freda Loop.  I will let the snowmobiliers in on a little tip here.  If you are up here and the trails are beat up, I would suggest that you take this trail.  It does not really go anywhere (forgive me residents of Freda, Redridge and Beacon Hill, nothing personal), but it is so untraveled, yet groomed that the snow is usually really nice and the views are also very pretty.  Check it out next time you are up here, you will not be disappointed.
    The temps were in the mid 70's and humidity was low so it made for a really nice walk.  The bugs have all but gone, which also made it very nice.  Here is a shot of my two faithful companions as we headed down the trail.
    With the climate we have up here, it is hard to believe that anyone would be able to farm, but there are some working farms still in the area.  Most of them are to the south of Houghton in the Pelkie and Tapiola area, but there is some farmland just outside Houghton.  Here is a shot of a field that we passed on the trail.  To the left of that view were a few cows bulking up for either the winter or something else.
    In the first shot the trees were still green, but you can tell that they have lost their deep green color.  That is true for all the trees up here.  Some areas are even showing fairly noticeable signs of color, like along the east shores of Point Mills as seen driving near Mason and also along the north shore near the Tamarack Water Works.  A few of the trees where we were walking also were showing color so I will share it with you here.  Won't be too long before we see that color blazing all across the area, about a month.  Also a month from tomorrow is the statistical average day of first measurable snow up here.  IT'S GETTING CLOSE!
Good afternoon from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 25-
    Uuugggh...I am afraid that this is going to be a very short journal, but I really did want to get something out.  I continue to be very busy with the remodeling of the site.  I am spending an additional 4-6 hours a day on it, as well as the time spent on the normal routines of the day.  But I think that my lack of entries now will be worth it once the new site is live.
    First off, a weather report.  We had been having really nice weather earlier this week, with temps in the 60's and nice dry air.  We even managed to drop into the upper 30's and low 40's for lows.  When it was this cool, we took to the woods for our walks and I will have more on that in a bit.  Then by yesterday, the daytime highs rose into the upper 70's so we had to abandon the woods for the naturally air conditioned regions along the shores of Superior.  Both were totally enjoyable with not a bug to bother us and the whole place to ourselves.  Today was both warm and humid so another day at the beach was had.  One bonus to the weather this week was that even with the warmer temps during the day, the night time temps dropped into the 40's.  Great for sleeping.
    Now back to the woods.  On our walk Tuesday, I decided we should see if the blackberry patch had ripened some and we were in business.  About half of the berries had ripened.  I managed to fill a nice sized container and was treated to bowls of these every morning this week and even had them on some fresh Belgium Waffles this morning.  There really is nothing better than fresh picked fruit or vegetables.  I am not a fan of veggies, but just about any type of fruit I love.  This evening on our evening walk I cam across a few ripe berries and picked them to eat on the spot.  They melted in my mouth and were as sweet as sugar.  I am going to have to figure out how to get some of these in my yard.  Anybody know if I can just plant some berries and have the bushes grow?
    Another amazing thing happened while picking berries.  Burt and Baileys were off investigating things on their own and I was engrossed in picking berries.  I always eat a few when I am picking to keep my strength up.  Burt happened by just as I was popping a few into my mouth.  He decided that he wanted to try a few, so I gave him a few.  I went back to picking and a few moments later looked over to see Burt at the next bush over, picking his own!  He was careful not to eat the leaves and I was even able to show him how to pick the ripe (black) ones rather than the red ones.  This paid off big time, as his sensitive smell led us to a new patch which was about 5 times the size of the one I found!  That guy is so smart.  Sometimes it worries me that he may be a little bored when he does not have anything to do or think about.
    Well, I am sorry this is so short, but I really do need to get back to the sites new pages.  I am shooting for the launch to be late next week, or early the following week.  Then there will be more time for me to update things like this journal.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 21-
    No, I was not eaten by a bear or fell off a cliff or got lost in the woods, I have just been very busy both working and playing.  As was the case with most of the Midwest this past weekend, cool and dry air sat over the Keweenaw.  We did not make it out of the 60's all weekend and both Saturday morning and Sunday morning the temp on my thermometer read 38.  There was even a little frost on my neighbors black asphalt roof, but no frost anywhere else.  The days were mostly sunny, which made for great hiking weather and the hounds and I spent many hours in the woods hiking and exploring.  The bug problem is just about nonexistent.  I am averaging about 1-3 deer flies an hour on the walks in the woods.  That is down from about 1-3 per 30 seconds a few months ago.  Plus, they are very much non aggressive and all it takes is one swat and they are off to bother something else.
    The leaves around my house have lost their deep green now and a few of them are even changing to orange.  There also is some sort of disease going around and effecting the Aspen trees.  I meant to get a shot of the leaves of an infected tree to show you, but forgot.  It is really sad, they are usually brilliantly yellow in the fall and by the time the peak color time arrives this fall, all the leaves will be off the trees and dead.  I just hope the trees make it.  The Birch trees also look pretty ill this year.  They are only about 50% foliated and just look about ready to die.  I think that the unusually early spring thaw has combined with the very dry summer (5.3" of rain since May 1; 50% of average) to bring about some severe moisture stress.  Walking through the woods sure is different this year from last, with the higher amount of sunshine getting through.
    There is one up side to the higher amount of sunshine getting through and that is a better berry crop.  They like to grow in areas that see filtered or limited sunshine, typically at the edges of meadows or in clearings in the woods.  There are way, way, more thimbleberries this year than last.  I still have not acquired a taste for these, they are just a bit too tart for me.  I bet that they make a pretty good jam though, once they are sweetened up.  One berry which I have always had a love of is the raspberry.  Those were some black ones not quite ready for picking and here is a shot of one which is (was) ready for picking.  About 10 seconds after that shot was taken I popped it into my mouth.  Here are a few more that brought delight to my taste buds.
    I still will not divulge my spots.  I will give my hints for finding the less popular (at least with humans!) spots.  You need to walk into the woods, where you know there are clearings or meadows.  Then look for areas where the shrubs and weeds have been packed down and a path has been made.  Follow that path, being careful to keep an eye out for bears.  Eventually the path will lead you to a berry patch.  The paths are usually made by bears.  A few may actually be made by humans, but most of those paths are found on roadsides and those patches are usually picked over pretty well.  Yesterday I happened along a mother load of black raspberries that were not quite ready for picking.  I will make a trip back tomorrow to see if they are ready.  I am hoping that I can get to them before the bears do, as there will be enough to have with breakfast for at least a week.
    I was planning on updating the journal yesterday, but got the call to go play golf.  We went up the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge course up by Copper Harbor.  It is a really fun course to play.  There is not a flat green in the whole course and some interesting 90 degree doglegs as well.  The course was really dry, but the greens and sections of the fairways were watered and green.  Not a bug to bother us, a striking sunset over Brockway Mountain and good friendship.  A fitting end to a good weekend.
    That about covers the fun stuff.  I have also been busy with the new look to the website.  I have not been doing things alone and in truth, most of the new look has been done by a professional who offered to help redesign the site with me.  I have been busy setting up the pages for the "Northwoods Directory".  I decided that you will zoom in through two series of maps to get to the information for the specific area you are interested in.  The last map will have the towns as well as trails on it.  I have been creating these maps by hand to give them the look and details I want.  I am done with both the upper and lower peninsulas of MI and half of MN, but still have the other half of MN and all of WI to do.  WI has a ton of trails.  The map I am using as a source has all the trails on it and it looks more like an image of a bowl of spaghetti than a map.  I have been working 5-7 hours a day on the maps alone (not including my usual work) and I hope to have them all done by the end of this week.  I cannot say when the site will be transformed, only to say that we are still at least a week away, but most likely less than a month.  I just do not want to make promises of release dates and then have to eat crow when the inevitable problems pop up and delay things.  Plus I want to have it fully tested before we go live.  I can tell you this, I think that you snow lovers out there will really love it.  I already love it and got all giddy playing around with some of the new features.  It is really fun to be able to do something like this that I have such a passion about and be able to share it with others.  Just one more reason to be excited about the next couple of weeks.
    I think I better turn in for now, before my body melds with the computer.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 16-
    Excellent weather! Excellent.  Yesterday was very windy, but temps held to the low 70's with low humidity as well.  I felt sorry for the folks further south who were sweating through their hottest day of the summer.  Today was nice and cool and the winds were even down today.  I was glad to see that many of the areas to our south that were suffering yesterday were better today.  The forecast looks to turn things really cool by later Friday and into Saturday.  We may even have some frost up here Saturday morning.  It will be a hit a localized event, with only the valleys away from the lake likely seeing the chances for a frost.  The atmospheric conditions needed to have snow fall are indicated to be occurring from the north shore of Superior north to James Bay in Ontario Saturday morning.  This time of the year things are so warm near the surface that the precip would melt and change to rain before it hits the ground, but still neat to see the rain/snow parameters sneaking south so far.
    We had some really neat sky conditions just after I finished the journal this past Monday.  Storms were rolling in from the west, but the setting sun was able to sneak under their canopy and cast a very unique orange glow in the sky.  I grabbed the cam and took this shot.  No I did not digitally play with the colors, that I what it really looked like.  Someone up here told me that it reminded him of an "apenglow" that he would see while living out west in the mountains.  I just thought it was really neat.  Everything had an orange glow to it.
    A few minutes later, on the opposite horizon, a rainbow appeared.  I was able to see the full arch and took several shots to capture the sight.  Here is the collage of the rainbow.  Right at sunset, there were some cumulus mammatus clouds.  These are clouds which actually bubble down from the base of the clouds and are almost always associated with severe weather.  We did not have any severe weather, but it did pass just to our south.  That same complex of storms brought down a private jet.  It was struck by lightning at 30,000 feet and crash landed just to the north of Bessemer, killing two of the four aboard.
    On a lighter subject, with the cool weather, I decided it would be nice to head into the woods.  I thought that I would check my secrete stash of berry patches to see if the rains Monday brought out any more.  It did and I got my fill of red and black raspberries.  I even downed some thimbleberries.  When I was exiting the woods to get to the road, I encountered a lady.  She had an embarrassed look on her face and asked if this was my land.  I replied no, it is Lake Superior Land Co. land.  She said that she asked because she had been picking berries from the land and did not want to be trespassing.  She was actually picking the berries to take and sell to one of the outfits up here that make jams.  I do not know how much they give for the berries, but I have heard that it is not chicken feed.  Maybe next year I will pick more than I can eat and sell the excess.
    The bugs are almost non existent.  We went for a 1 hour walk deep into the woods and were only bothered by a few deer flies.  They even seemed to be part of a more casual generation, as all I had to do was swat at them once and they flew off to bother something else.  The ones earlier this year were much more tenacious and did not give up until either you did or they were killed.  I like this kinder, gentler generation.
    A few months ago I posted some shots of my woodworking projects.  I finally got around to going to the store and getting some more scanned and I will end this entry with some pics of them.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 14-
    Today, I discovered the down side to a digital camera...Deleting images from the camera before I download them to my computer!  I went on a little trip with the hounds yesterday and took a bunch of pictures at a spot which was to be the third edition of "guess where I was".  Unfortunately, I deleted them from the camera today by mistake.  I guess I will just have to make a trip back down there sometime.  Problem is, it was over and hour away so I cannot just hop over there.  I will not give any more hints away, as it was to be one of my "stumpers" even for locals in the Keweenaw.
    I was able to get pictures of the Loading Zone II and the Goal Post, so you can drop down into the entry below and check them out if you so choose.
    As I mentioned in the last journal, summer is on the home stretch.  Our temps have been quite mild the past several days and promises made by the forecast models for us to warm into the 80's have been met with highs in the low to mid 70's instead.  The overnight temps have been dropping into the 50's consistently.  On my trip yesterday I went through an area of higher elevation and noticed that many of the trees in the area were loosing their deep green color and a few were even showing some orange to them.  The majority of the Keweenaw is still about 6-7 weeks away from the peak color season, but the higher elevations away from the lake do turn about 2 weeks earlier.  I am still trying to keep my wits about me and not get too worked up by the approaching change of seasons.  Last week just flew by and I can only hope that the next several do so as well.
    I am beginning to concentrate a lot of my time on updating the site for the upcoming season.  I have a lot of neat ideas and I think that you all will like them.  One of the new items will be an interactive question and answer feature.  You all will be able to post a question about the weather and I will then post an answer.  Everyone will then be able to view all the questions and all the answers.  Start thinking of all those meteorological questions that have just been burning inside you.  However, hold onto them until the feature is up and running.
    I have also been making some visits to some of the snowmobile discussion groups and it appears as though I am not the only one who is excited for the season to arrive.  We are about 2 weeks away from any real chances for heat to go away.  Last year I made the mistake in thinking that by the time we reached the first week in August we would be done with any chances for the heat.  Several heat waves in August and one in the first week of September both frustrated and educated me.  I suppose we could still get a hot day in September, maybe early October, but I doubt that it would last more than a day or so.
    I also forgot to mention that on Friday I saw the most vivid display of the northern lights that I have seen since I moved up here.  I was heading off to a bonfire and saw the now familiar streaks in the night sky and when I got to the bonfire I was able to sit and enjoy the show.  The whole sky was lit up and the streaks were very visible.  I still have not gotten to the point where they are just another feature in the sky.  Maybe I never will.
    A neat thing about being a weather buff and a meteorologist is that I can watch the transformation of the seasons take place in other places before it hits us.  I have been monitoring the cooling of the atmosphere at all levels up near the arctic circle.  Places like Barrow Alaska have been reporting a lot of light snow flying in the past week or so.  Snow there is not too unusual, even in the middle of summer.  However, the frequency has been increasing and that is a good thing.  Soon I will be watching the rain/snow line gradually slip from the arctic, through the Yukon and northwest Territories into northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and then eventually into the lower 48.  Strange how such an average weather happening can get a weather geek and snow lovers blood pumping.
    I am ready.  I am ready to put the shorts away.  I am ready to have to wear a coat or sweatshirt when I go outside.  I am ready to walk across crunching leaves of yellow, orange and brown.  I am ready to watch the big lake grow angry with the northwest gales.  I am ready to switch from cotton bedding to flannel.  I am ready to build a fire, grab the snacks, remote, sit on the floor and watch football on a cold autumn day, with my two hounds on either side of me.  I am ready to see my breath while I take a walk in the woods.  I am ready to have the heat kick on to take the morning chill out of the house.  I know these events are still a few weeks away, but I am ready.  Anybody else? Let me know.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 12-
    Things have been sort of slow around here, the summer is on the home stretch, the day length is getting noticeably shorter.  I now wake up in total darkness that remains until about 45 minutes after I awake.  I also go to bed with the last few peaks of twilight just fading out.  The midday sun is still strong, we rose into the Thursday and Friday, under clear blue skies.  Dewpoints in the low 50's allowed the nights to cool off nicely though.
    With things being fairly quiet around town, I thought that it might be a good time to take you on a tour of my new hometown.  It is funny, when I came up here to snowmobile I never thought that the different towns up here have such different personalities.  I really did not find out about the different personalities until I moved up here.  The main reason why I chose Lake Linden was not for the town, but for the home.  While house shopping I still thought that most of the towns were the same up here.  Come to find out that Houghton and Hancock have personalities that are a lot like suburbs.  Meaning that they are a little faster paced and up and coming than the smaller towns like Dollar Bay and Lake Linden.  The folks down there are still very nice and very genuine, but I have noticed that the majority of the people I have met who live in Houghton or Hancock are a lot more concerned with their image and monetary things.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not think that is wrong or bad, just different from a lot of the folks here in town.  Anyway, in my "less is more" state of mind, I am glad to be living where I am.  It is a nice change of pace to be in a place where I do not feel the pressures that I had while living in Chicago.
    One of my favorite shows is Northern Exposure.  I never watched the program when it was in its first time runs, but have since caught the reruns on A & E and I believe I have seen every episode about 5 times now.  Lake Linden sort of reminds me of the fictional town in Northern Exposure, Cicely Alaska.  Copper Harbor out of the tourist season also reminds me a lot of Cicely.  Anyway, I'm rambling here and need to get on to the photo essay of my town.
    So without further delay...We begin the tour.
    The town has a really nice park, home to the 4 of July celebration.  Along with the park is the swim beach on the shores of Torch Lake.  Next to the swim beach is a park for campers, complete with water, electric and cable tv hookups.
    Here is something that we have, but was never mentioned on Northern Exposure, a bank.
    The town also has at least three churches, the Methodist, the Catholic and one which is being refurbished by the Houghton County Historical Society.
    What would a town be without a Post Office.  I said town, but actually we are a village.  The northern most town in Michigan is Houghton, all the others are villages.  Here is the High School.  Great football team, with state championships in 1992 and 1996.  Quite an accomplishment when you think that the school is so small that most of the players play both defense and offense.
    For those of you who are Northern Exposure fans like me, does this not look like the laundry mat in Cicely?
    Here is our Village Hall, Police Station and Fire Station all wrapped into one building.  And what would a village be with out a hardware store, pharmacy and supermarket?
    Lake Linden is also known for some pretty decent food joints.  None of them are fancy fair.  They all are very basic, but also have their own specials they are known for.  There is the Lindell, sort of a corner diner type eatery.  Very neat inside, as it has been restored back to the way it was at the turn of the century (100 years ago, not this past year!), with very neat woodwork.  I go there for breakfast a lot on weekends.  The Dairyland.  It is more of a typical family restaurant type place, which also has great ice cream.  It is closed in the winter months. The Loading Zone II, which is my hangout.  It has great pizza, burgers and sandwiches.  I would imagine the dinners there are also very good, but I have never had one, always opting for a pizza, burger or sandwich.  The final eatery is the Goal Post.  This is a corner diner type place and I have only eaten there once.  It was good and others who have eaten there have said it was good too.
    So that is the gist of the village that I now call home.  It is a very nice place to live.  Crime is about as low as is possible, the people are all genuine and friendly and things move at just the right pace for me.  Hope you all enjoyed the tour.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 7-
    Well, the hound's first camping trip is over and they did pretty well without their couch.  Actually, I think that Baileys was a little unnerved by sleeping in the tent, as I don't think that she got much sleep.  Every time I woke up and looked at her, she was laying down, but was awake with her head up, listening to the bumps in the night.  I don't think that it helped that a bear was roaming around the campsite in the middle of the night.  It did not seem to phase Burt, who spent most of the night snoring away and even I got a pretty decent night's sleep.
    The snowmobile water cross was a lot of fun to watch.  It was a sanctioned race so some of the best racers in the country were there.  It is amazing to watch them handle the sleds, even more fun is to watch the rookies try and do it and sink.  To be fair though even the pros sink 'em every once in a while.  They have both drag races and oval races.  The drags are not really that hard, you just hit the gas and hang on.  Of course you do have to keep your balance, but other than that, there is not much too it.  I would like to try it sometime, of course I would like to try it on someone else's sled.  Here is a shot taken during one of the oval races.  The race "track" is a man made pond which is about 5-10 feet deep, about 300 yards long and about 100 yards wide.  Here is another shot of one as it was rounding the corner.  I am sorry that they were so far away.  I took this one during one of the drags it was close enough so that you can actually tell that they are snowmobiles on water.
    When one sinks, the riders have a boat cushion which is attached to a rope, at the other end of the rope is attached to the snowmobile.  To retrieve the sled, they take a pontoon boat with a small hoist on it and drive it out to where the sled is "swimming" and attach the hoist to the rope with the sled and cushion on it and pull the sled out.  I was told that they can get the sled running in under an hour again.  They just need to drain the engine, carbs and exhaust.
    Watching the sleds race sure did get me fired up for this winter.  Less than 4 months!
    I am glad that so many of you enjoyed the day in the life of Burt and Baileys.  It is comforting to know that they are not the only one's who live such a good life.  I do not say that because I can take solace in knowing that I am not strange or go overboard.  No, I would continue to treat them the way I do even if I was the only one in the world doing it.  My comfort comes from the thought that other dogs are given the love and attention that mine are.  Burt and Baileys are a big part of my life and even though they will not be around forever, there is nothing that is going to stop me from making the most of every day with them.  They taught me that, along with a lot of other secrets to a good life.  I have learned more about what is important in life from them in the past 5 years then in all my years of school.  I just wish that everybody would be given the gift that I have been given.  Unfortunately, that gift also came via some hardships, maybe that is the only way we can learn the real lessons in life is through a little pain or hardship.
    I had an interesting event occur today.  I went to a little diner down the street from me called The Goal Post.  Even though it is only about 4 blocks from my home, I had never been there until today.  Some of my friends and family who have come to visit me have been there, but today was my first time.  So there I sat, in a restaurant blocks from my home, but yet it felt like I was far, far away from home.  Not just because I was sitting in a strange booth, looking at wall hangings that were new to me.  Reading from a menu that I had never seen before, but because I did not know a sole in the place!  I realize that for those of you reading this in a larger town, the fact that I did not know anyone in there is not a big surprise, but for Lake Linden, that is a major event!  Just about everywhere I go, I will run into someone I know.  The post office, gas station, grocery store, hardware store, etc...I even got a piece of mail today that was addressed to: John Dee, Lake Linden, MI.  No P.O. or street address.  It was sitting there in my box.  The small town way of life is one of the things that I love so much about living here.  I really feel like I am part of the community, a part of something.
    It is a nice cool night, I have been looking for some signs of the approaching autumn.  Early turning trees, but none have appeared so far.  We have been really dry, my grass is totally brown and I have not had to cut it in three weeks.  The weeds and wildflowers are still green and blooming, a tribute to their adaptive abilities.  I wonder if the dryness is keeping the early turners from doing their thing.  Usually there are a few who have, by now, shown what the green pigmentation has been hiding all summer.  Not this year, not yet anyway.  Maybe it is mother natures way of keeping my thoughts from drifting too far off into the future.  That would probably be a good thing for me.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
August 3-
    Today's entry is titled A Day in the Life of Burt and Baileys.  For those of you who believe in reincarnation and are trying to decide what to come back as, may I suggest a dog of mine?  They have about as good a life as any dog could.  I must say that this is not something that they demand, but rather graciously accept, and it is as much a pleasure for me to give them that life as it is for them to have it.  This is a fairly typical day for the hounds.  I tried not to do any extra special activities, nor did I try and leave any activity out.  So without further adieu...
    5:15 AM - Dad is up and working, but we still need our sleep.  Lots to do today.
    7:70 AM - The sun is up and so are we.  We have moved into the office and are now helping dad get his work done.  Do not underestimate the helpfulness of a dog laying at his dad's feet while he is working!  Dad claims that to be his secret tool for good forecasting.
    10:30 AM - Heading off on a "shorty".  That is what dad calls our 20 minute walk in the morning.  The neighbor was getting a new roof, we barked at the workmen on the roof.  Just had to.
    10:31 AM - Hunting bunnies!  Hey Beez, you got one there?
    11:15 AM - Bellies full and a walk under our belts... Must be nap time.
    12:55 PM - Nap is over, were hungry again.  Must be time for a raw-hide treat!
    1:05 PM - Mmmmm.  That's good.  Dad's having lunch too!
    2:30 PM - Yea!  Another daily grind at the office is over.  Were all piled into the car, getting ready to run the afternoon errands.
    3:15 PM - The errands are over and now it's time for our afternoon walk.  Still nice cool weather so we are heading off into the woods.  We need to be "hooked up" while we are on the road where cars go.
    3:22 PM - Free at last.  Were up on the tracks doing some exploring.  Dad calls it a walk, but really we are most interested in sniffing.  Usually dad keeps walking and we catch up when as soon as we have thoroughly sniffed what ever it was we were interested in.  No bears this time, but fun just the same.
    4 PM - Done with the walk and taking a little nap before dinner.  No photo, but see the 11:15 AM pictures if you forgot how cute we are when we are sleeping.
    6 PM - Nap is done and we are all ready for dinner.  Again, no pics, but dinner looks just like breakfast, only the sun is on the other side of the house.
    7 PM - Going for our evening walk now.  The camera's batteries died so no pics for the rest of the day, sorry.
    7:35 PM - Done with the walk.  Did not find any bunnies, but saw a lot of friends.  Dad has to the store go get a tent for the weekend so we will stay home and relax after our walk.
    8:15 PM - Dad is home from the store and we made sure to greet him at the door with big smiles and wagging tails.  He really loves that and we love to make him feel good.  We are going to help him put up the tent and test it for the weekend.  Camping sure looks like fun.  But how will we fit our couch into the tent?
    9:15 PM - The tent went up without much problems and we had fun playing in it.  But we still don't know how the couch will fit in it.  We are tired and going to bed.  It has been another fun day.  We hope that you all enjoyed learning about our days.  We will have to do this again once the snow flies.  Did dad ever tell you that we love the snow as much as he does?
Good night from the Keweenaw
- B, B & JD -
August 2-
     Well, I hope that I can do things right and not loose July's journal like I did June.  I believe that I have done things right so we'll see.
    Mother nature brought a welcome reprieve from the heat and humidity overnight.  Dewpoints dropped below the 60 degree mark for the first time in over a week.  I am all set for a great sleeping night with the windows open and nice clean sheets.  With temps in the upper 60's and low humidity, there was no question which beach to go to... None.  We headed off into the woods for the first time in over a week.  It was nice to get back into the woods.  Not that I don't like the beach, it is just nice for the change.
    We had our second bear encounter today while on our walk.  Once again the dogs missed it.  They were trailing behind me, busy sniffing something out along the trail and all of the sudden I saw a large black object dart off the trail into the woods.  We got up to the point where it was and the dogs got excited.  It had been eating something that it looked to have dragged from a garbage can or something.  The dogs were busy sniffing what it was eating and the ground in the area, then Burt got the bright idea to roll in it's poop.  Wha!  Did that ever stink!  The only thing that I think smelled worse was when Baileys rolled in Coyote poop. It even smelled when Burt was ahead of me and I was down wind of him.  He did not exactly enjoy the bath he got when we got home, but he can consider himself lucky that I even let him in the car to get home!  He's all clean and shinny and I hope that he figured out why he had to get a bath and does not do it again.  I am not holding my breath though.  That is thousands of years of genetic programming that causes them to do that and I doubt that one bath will reprogram that.
    I find it odd that for over a year we did not see a single bear and then in 4 days have seen 2.  They were even in totally different areas.  Today we were up on the snowmobile trail by my house, at least 4-5 miles from where I saw the sow and cubs on Saturday.  Another thing was I was not even phased by seeing the bear.  I must admit that I was always a little leery about seeing one in the wilds.  I realize that they will generally avoid human contact at all costs, but was still a bit concerned about meeting up with one that is fearless of humans or that needed to protect her cubs.
    Not a whole lot else to talk about.  It is the height of berry season up here.  Blackberries, Red Raspberries, Thimbleberries and Blueberries, Yum.  I am not too fond of the Thimbleberries.  I find them to be a bit on the tart side, or maybe I am just picking the unripe ones.  I know what I am looking for in the other types and have gotten quite a filling.  Sorry, I am not giving up my secret spots.  That is common with most folks up here.  They may give you hints, but will never disclose the exact locations.  Another thing I have noticed is the size of the apples this year.  They are very tiny, about half the size that they normally are.  Must have been our dry summer.  We are running at about half of average in the Keweenaw both for the summer and for the year so far.  Marquette is actually at about 16" of their normal 18" for the year thus far.  We just keep getting missed.  I hope that is the case for the snowmobile water cross in Baraga this weekend.  A bunch of us will be camping out Friday and Saturday night.  I know one person and two dogs who will be sleeping in their own beds at home if it is raining!
    Anyway, that keeps you up to date on the goings on with us up here.  I have a unique idea for the next entry so check back in a day or two.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
- JD -
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