Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Stroll Through da Harbor

Today I walked some errands all the way to the west end of town -- just before the Marina.  Boy, I thought.  This town sure is quiet.  So I snapped some pictures of the current happenings for you on my way back.  Here they are in the order I took them.

Phoebe's truck dressed as a reindeer!

The King Copper, like many other buildings, boarded up for the winter.

The Gap between Hunter's Point and Porter's Island.
This view never gets old.

Rocks resting in the lake.  The water is so clear!

Don Jr's equipment and decorations for another colorful winter in the park!

Perhaps I should take a more rugged adventure soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Little Slices of da Harbor" is Becoming a Reality!

I should update you on the progress of my book, Little Slices of da Harbor.  As of now, I have agreed to a contract with  Thank you Angela!  They have my file including 16 fabulous illustrations by Kevin Blackstone.  Thank you Kevin!

Little Slices will be a 95 page paperback.  It could be ready to purchase from by Christmas!!!  Or if you live in da Harbor, I plan on doing a signing/reading this winter to get things started.

Keep thinking good book thoughts for me!  Number one is on the way!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Snow and a Ball of Fluff

It's a rainy day in da Harbor.  That leaves a body pretty much inside for the day.  However, I'm itching for a stroll in the Keweenaw woods, so if it dries up, I'll have to get out there.

While in Wisconsin, no other deer were harmed by the Rogers.  They said they didn't even see a horn.  That's fine with me.  Butchering and wrapping one deer a year is plenty for this girl.

And for your "aww"ing pleasure, I have included a picture of Linda's newest arrival, Greta.  She's probably about two weeks old today.  An energetic ball of fluff.

Isn't she a cutie?  I personally love the hairdo myself.

Other than that, it sounds like everybody held down da Harbor while we were gone.  It's always so nice to come back.  I'm always glad when they let me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What I just Herd

I forgot to tell you that I'm on my annual trip to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving while Aaron hunts.  The boys go to hunting camp, and the girls, Aaron's mom and I, hang out and do fun girl things.  

Here in northwest Wisconsin, they got their first snow on Saturday.  It snowed half the day and all the night and most of the next day.  Probably about 5 inches stuck here.  Then it was time for that dirty 'sh' word: shoveling.  Shoveling was fun, though.  In da Harbor, we have a plowing machine, so I don't often have to do it up there.  It's good exercise, and Duce loves to catch the snow I throw off the shovel.

But you're probably thinking, "so what?  It snows in Wisconsin.  It snows in da UP.  Why are you wasting my precious time telling me about this?"  Chill out.  It's my transition.

Are you ready for something really Wisconsiny?  Yesterday Linda, Aaron's mom, and I were driving to Hayward.  On one of the  little roads by her house we saw something odd going on up ahead.  I thought they were hunters on the road at first, but hunters don't wear black.  Or weigh 500 pounds.  They were cows.  ON THE ROAD!  Ha!

There must have been 20 cows wandering down this road, lost.  As we drove by, they met up with another herd of cows behind their fence, probably to catch up on the latest moos.  Some of them jogged down the road.  Have  you ever seen a cow jog on the road?  I didn't know it was physically possible, but it sure was hilarious.  The funniest sight of this whole spectacle was a pregnant cow trotting down the road to catch up with the others.  I still chuckle when I envision that double wide belly bouncing dangerously over those stick legs.

I don't know if it's politically correct to laugh at big, pregnant, running cows, but I sure wish I got a video of that for you.  They just looked at us and mooed as we drove by.  We drove slowly as Duce starkly barked at the huge beasts.   We then stopped at the neighbors to let them know about the cows, but they already called the owners.  Apparently they had enough people to round them up because the cows were gone on our way back home.

Other than that, all is well.  Happy Thanksgiving to you.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snow and a Trail of Blood

Copper Harbor has it's first official dusting of snow.  The last time it snowed, it didn't stick.  Now the air and ground are cold enough to color the lawns and rooftops white.  Unless it snows soon, however, this batch won't stay around for long.  Sounds like they got lots more snow up the hill at Lake Medora, though.  I hear the roads are icy, so be careful if you're traveling!

Yesterday, as I was at home working on a project, Aaron came home early from hunting.  "Why are you back so early?" I asked, with an inkling of an idea.

"I came to get you," he said.  "Want to come help me track a deer?  I shot it, but I didn't find it yet."

My first deer tracking ever!   I was pumped.  Now let me say, unless the world came to an end, and we had to kill our own meat to live (though I would be more of a forager), I would never sit in the cold, cold woods with a gun poised to shoot an animal.  But this one was already shot, so I was compelled to track it down, and make sure it was put to rest.

DISCLAIMER: If you don't like blood, you might not want to read the rest of this because that's what I was looking at the rest of the time.

We parked the truck and walked into the bush where Aaron found the last blood.  He shot it behind the shoulder, through one lung.  "Not the best shot," he admitted.  I could tell he felt bad, but it was now a mission for us.

We followed the red sprinkles through the cedars, over dead trees, through a swamp, over a brook, through the pines and so on.  I liked it.  I thought it was so cool to follow in a deer's footsteps.  You know, go where a deer would go (although this one was wounded, not just looking for food).

I felt like a detective.  Following the trail of blood -- the poor thing was leaving a steady trail -- and going the way of its hoof prints.  We saw a couple spots where he laid or fell down.  "He must be wearing out," Aaron said.  I thought we would be getting closer.  Yup, there was another spot where he laid for a while.

Aaron's friend Mike, who also came to track with us, found him first.  At first I thought he was still breathing.  He looked like he was alive!  But nope.  Deader than a door nail.

I took a moment to thank the young buck for sacrificing his life to feed us.  He sure looked like good eating!  Besides that, he was beautiful.  It was nice closure to find him and admire him before Aaron sliced him open and pulled his guts out.  Cedar leaves were his last meal.  Man oh man, that was my first experience at a gutting too.  I can't say it was my favorite part.

The boys dragged him over a hill an out of the woods, while I got to carry their guns -- unloaded, of course.  It was a neat experience for this girl.  Aaron's first Keweenaw buck was my first "hunting" experience.  Tonight he will be cut into pieces, wrapped up and put in the freezer.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quoth the Bell Buoy...

Remember when I heard the bell buoy dinging up a storm last week?  Today, on my walk, I realized what he was saying.  "So long, Mateys!  I'll sees you next spring.  Argh, now gets me outta these frosty waves."

Know how I know this?  I noticed he was gone today as I hiked along the shoreline.  I looked out and thought, hmm, I must be at the wrong angle to see the buoy.  But I didn't hear him, and he never came into view.  That little bugger went back to the Portage Canal for the winter.  I miss him already!

But I found something new and interesting on my hike today -- concentric lichen.  It's okay to scratch your head.  These patches of lichen were formed with white and black dots -- alternating in layers -- to look like mini bullseyes.  I have never seen lichen like this before.  Bullseyes!  At first I thought there was just one, but they were all over.  They were less than an inch in diameter.  Try that for target practice!

Though it snowed here last week, none of the fluff stuck in da Harbor.  We had to climb in elevation to see patches or piles of it.  But Calumet and Houghton got about eight inches!  That's what we get for being at "sea" level!

Other than that, rifle hunting season starts dark and early tomorrow for deer.  Wear blaze orange if you're going in the woods.  Or heck, just stay out for a couple weeks!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What the Weather Brings...

I heard the bell buoy today.  I couldn't tell if he was squealing with glee and child-like amusement, or if he was cursing the winds and frigid waters.  I'll let you take a wild guess.  

It was funny, though, because when I sat on Lake Superior's shore today I could watch him bobbing and tipping about, but I couldn't hear him until I was on the shore of Lake Fanny Hooe.  The wind was probably too loud in my ears.

And the wind was cold on my cheeks!  This is really the first day this fall that I can say the wind from the lake stung my face.  Brrr!  But yet it was so invigorating!

On the rest of my walk beside Fanny Hooe, the sky started dropping this crystally wet stuff.  I would like to call it snow, but snowflakes have intricate structural design.  These looked like misshapen blobs of ice.  I hear we're supposed to get some of that refined fluffy stuff, though.  The lake sure looks like she's brewing a batch!

Want to know what's ironic about this today?  I saw bearberry flowers on that same walk.  The flowers!  Those come out in May!  But the last warm spell we had must have tricked them into thinking it was spring again.  Here is proof.  You can see the red "berries" have already fruited too.

The flowers are the pink cluster toward the bottom center.  What an unseasonal treat!

It seems like all is well in da Harbor (I really only know my little slices), and I hope all is well with you!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Sounds of Wood

Brrr!  It sure is getting chilly up here in da Harbor.  Got your wood pile ready?

All around the town, I can hear the sounds of wood: throwing logs out of truck beds, chainsawing trunks into fire logs, splitting wood and stacking wood.  It has that unmistakable "donk, ta donk" sound when it hits the ground or other logs.

I've been splitting and stacking for the last week.  My first day was hard, and I didn't last more than an hour (with a sore back the next day.)  Second day the logs were too darn twisty and knotty for me to deal with, so I let Aaron split those.  Third day a friend shouted, "Hey!  Don't you know that girls can't split wood?  Put the maul down!"  Of course, then I split more fervently.

Fourth day felt like a dream.  The pieces were nice and straight, even though they were thick.  I thought you might get a kick out of a little clip of me splitting one.  That's our wood pile in the background, and the rest of the logs that had to be split.  Enjoy!

In the video, I showed you the top of the log, so you can see that I didn't already start it.  Not bad for a girl, hey?  Aaron makes fun of my swing form, but I bet he's not as fun to watch (although he can bust that pile of splitters into chunks in a third of the time I can!).

When the wood pile is stacked and covered, we can relish in the nostalgic smell of wood smoke through the chimney and the glowing orange heater in the corner of the room.  Oh, I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monster Oak Leaf

I went for a run yesterday (which actually felt amazing!), and I came across this oak leaf, already on the ground.  IT IS HUGE!

It's almost as big as a butt in a chair.

It's almost as big as a rhubarb leaf!  Holy wah!

And it came from the tiniest twig of an oak tree.  That must be how they start.  All leaf, no bark.