Monday, August 27, 2012

Confused Plants

There's some flora news I haven't told you about yet this year.  Oh brother.  She's going to talk about the plants again.  Yes, I am, and you're going to relish every word.

As you are already aware, all the plants bloomed two weeks to one month earlier than usual.  But I have found some glitches in the system.  

For one, the buffaloberry never fruited at all.  AT ALL!  I have not seen one single shiny buffaloberry all summer, and I look for them.  The leaves are already starting to brown and crisp up, so I doubt they will still fruit.  Good thing I wasn't relying on them for any special potions this year.  I bet next year will be bountiful.  I'll let you know.

For two, the orange hawkweed and bladder campion are blooming their second time this summer!  They both went to seed in July and early August, but here they are again bright as the hot June sun.  I don't know enough about these two to answer this phenomenon, but I do have a couple thoughts in my little brain.

For three, the common snowberry has produced more fruit than I have seen before.  Maybe it's just because I have found more patches of it, but those white berries are big and juicy.  I even have a bush in my back yard!  Too bad I can't eat those, but I'm sure the birds and other critters will enjoy them.

I can eat the plums, however, and I picked five gallons the other day.  Yeah, just before the bees started buzzing around all the squished ones on the ground.  I've already been stung this summer (like most everyone else I know), so I was out of there in a hurry.

And lastly, I have never seen leaves turn this early.  Granted, it's mostly because they need some rain.  There's a birch down the road that is already completely yellow (at least from where I can see), and those usually turn last!  I've seen a couple deep red maple leaves and some crunchy oak leaves on the ground.  But don't drive up with your camera just yet.  We've got a way to go before peak.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Little Cloud

Whew.  Here is my break.  It's the slow week of the summer before the last Labor Day week hoo-rah.  And we can feel it.  Business owners and employees are grateful for this little cloud in the sky.  Just as an example, the Harbor Haus usually serves 200 - 270 dinners a night starting in July -- no matter what day of the week it is.  The last couple nights have averaged 130 dinners.  As the person who makes all the drinks for those eaters, I sure enjoy a little down time.

The temp is up to 80 today.  Quite a jump from our previous 60-70's.  Last week we had chilly days from high northwest winds.  Oh, it was so windy that the Isle Royale Queen IV had to shift her schedule around for taking people to and from Isle Royale.  They really pay attention to the wind and waves, those captains do.  Better safe than dead!  Lake Superior isn't generous with second chances. 

I am working on another article for the Copper UP fall edition.  But in the mean time, you can see what I wrote for them in their summer edition at this link.  I have two articles and one half page spread about my book!  How sweet of them.  Well, please enjoy since that is all I have for now.  Miss you!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Capturing this August

It's been too long since I posted any pictures.  So guess what I did this morning!  I biked around (with both hands on the bars) and took some pictures of what I thought captures da Harbor at present.  It's August 9th -- the peak of our summer.

Today is a bit cooler and gray, so I really didn't see as many people roaming, but I found some fitting images.  They are displayed in the order I shot them.

This year's common tansy grows with last year's

My favorite rose bushes by the Welcome Center are turning to hips already
(I sniff them every time I go by)


The mint is flowering

A view of the new lookout on Brockway's Nose

Um, apples in August?

The Lighthouse Ferry cruises toward the gap


Kayak tour life vests hang out to dry

Geese and ducks float toward the water walkway

The Isle Royale parking lot is packed with cars
(Another reason I go there in May!)

The playground fund is up to $60,000!

Bike and canoe rentals are in full swing

A man checks his iphone with Brickside's wifi connection
(This made me laugh...)

I could have gone farther out of town, but a few sprinkles fell on me, so I headed back.  I had enough fun for the day.

Oh, but here is the best part.  I checked on the jewelweed plants to see if the pods were ready.

Thanks to everyone who introduced themself to me this summer as a reader of my blog.  I am writing for you, you know!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Picking the Nose

I am so grateful that all the berries don't come out at once.  Bils and blues are declining.  Thimbles are peaking (but I have enough of them...).  Chokecherries are huge this year, and I got a couple gallons for making wine this fall.  Whew.  All in due time.  I think the berry rush is pretty much over for me.  I can spend time doing dishes and sweeping up dog fur.  Oh wait, that's in October.

So here is a big Thank You to the great weather and Mother Earth for a wonderful berry season.  I am still picking some around my house for cereal and such.  It's not over, but it's been waaaaay better than last year.  Yee haw.

As for Brockway's nose, I found out that a Federal Highway Grant (I think that's what it's called) was obtained for this project.  The construction project involves a two tiered structure that allows for access to those in wheelchairs on the top level.  It's making this lookout more of a landmark and saving it from crumbling down the side of the cliff.  They are still working up there, and I can see more and more stone from town.

They are also working to rebuild some of the stone walls along the side of the road as part of the project.  Oh, it all makes sense now.  However, I apologize that I forgot some of the details.

Garden Brook Studio is opening up today.   You can find it up Manganese Road at the Garden Brook crossing.  Local artists are featured for their unique crafts and designs.  The grand opening is today from 4-8pm.  I'll be working, but I wish my friends the best!

It is August.  We just had a full moon.  I did sunrise yoga on the porch this morning.  Aaron comes home from a trail project in Duluth tomorrow.  Life is good.  No, life is wonderful.

Wow, I think I need a nap, but I will go to work instead.  I hope you can make some sense of my words.  Toodaloo!