Monday, July 21, 2014

A List of Firsts

I keep realizing how stubborn I am.

Early last week I went on a hike to a spot I haven't been to in a while.  Nothing far or strenuous, just neglected.  Boy am I glad I went when I did because look who was in prime season!

A blooming wood nymph

Now I have seen the wood nymph for years in my wildflower guides, but this was the first time I saw it in real life!  I knew what it was instantly, and I'm so glad I actually had my camera on me.  When I knelt down to capture it, the aroma stunned me.  Its fragrance for a tiny flower is at least as potent as arbutus is.  And quite similar in smell.  I will return each year to see my little wood nymph friend.

So here's where I got stubborn.  This route that I took didn't really have a cut trail through to let me out.  I didn't want to backtrack and I didn't want to take the road, so I took the power line which consisted of a deer trail.

I don't even know why the deer take that way.  The ground was mud and the grass was over my head.  It was like I was swimming in thick grass and mud with no end in sight.  Plus the mosquitoes chewed up every part of me that wasn't covered.  AND, I thought I was walking through poison ivy!  The latter has yet to be determined, but I did not get a rash.  Thank goodness.

Why didn't I just take the road??? I kicked myself as I wondered when the heck I was going to get to a trail again.  I had been this way before, but never drowning in grass and mosquitoes topped with the fear of poison ivy.

Well, I was glad to get out of there.  And I guess it taught me a lesson.  I always need those, you know.

On a tamer walk through Clyde's Field, I finally got to see the pink water lily when I had my camera, so you can see it too!  That's it in the bottom right corner.

A lily among the pads

And the morning that my friend Hannah and I went out to clean up our stretch of Highway 41 for the Copper Harbor Trails Club, I found two more species new to me!  I saw sidebells, and also knew instantly what they were from pictures.  But the next took me a bit longer.

It looked so much like a raspberry, but there was only one berry atop each set of leaves.  They were mixed in with the wild strawberries that we were already eating.  It was kind of odd when I thought to myself, I don't know what this berry is, and then I ate it.  Not good practice, people, but I must have had a good inclination.  

A few yards down the road, the name dewberry came to mind.  That must be it!  Dewberry!  I looked it up when I got home, and sure enough.  Dewberries are edible, so don't worry.

Later that night, our band, Power of Air, debuted at Open Mic at Zik's.  The funny part was that it was nearing my bed-time and past our keyboard player's.  Plus it was past snooze time for many of the people in the audience who came just to see us!  (Can I admit it wasn't even dark yet?)

We had that place pretty packed.  All the chairs and stools were taken, and the audience was quite captivated.  They all had high compliments when we were done.  Well, I guess now we are rockstars!  Just kidding.  I prefer to be a writer, but that was pretty fun too.

Yesterday was Lake Superior Day.  It was the first celebration I was able to attend, but I guess it was only the second annual in Copper Harbor.  Lots of people came to check it out!  I came to take pictures, and I stayed for the food and entertainment.

Here are some highlights.

An educational boat ride on the Agassiz

Canoe race rounding the buoy

Hot dogs and corn... yes, please!

Speakers in costume

As I hung out, a strange feeling crept over me.  Kind of like guilt.  I realized that it was the first event I attended in Copper Harbor that I had nothing to do with besides dropping my donation in the bucket and enjoying myself.  I didn't bake anything, collect prizes, volunteer for a shift -- nothing.

So I thoroughly thanked those people who did help out.  And they thanked me for coming.  Well, I guess I had an important part anyway!  The festivities, speeches, food, live music and activities were all well done.  I think I'll go again next year!

And here are a couple shirts that represented the topic of celebration.

T-shirt #1

T-shirt #2

Thanks again to those folks who let me take an anonymous picture of their chest.  Go Lake Superior!

And then we make it to today.

This morning I suited up to pick some bilberries.  I was hoping to find enough to fill a gallon bag.  When I got to my spot, I was overwhelmed.

They were all over, big, juicy and ripe.  I picked for some time just over an hour to get my gallon.  Then I stopped.  I stopped even though I was still surrounded by those succulent jewels.  I was hot and hungry, and my big black dog was hot and thirsty.  I was grateful for my loot.  It was glorious.

I got to eat another of my first berry of the year today too: thimbles!  I found three ripe ones in the sunshine.  Delicious.  Oh, and I had my first cherries of the year too.  What a berry berry day!

It was berry hot, too.  Oh, man.  I thought my dog and I were both going to overheat, so we went swimming in Lake Fanny Hooe.  My first time fully swimming for the year too!  Except for the biting sand flies that latched onto us at the shore, it was quite enjoyable.  Much needed to bring the body temp down a notch.

Well, no telling what life will bring this next week, but here's to the best!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post Amanda. I can almost feel the joy in your activities. Stuck down here in "The City" I don't get to enjoy the wonders of Copper Harbor, so I'm happy to hear your reports. For me the black raspberries are about done for the year. My house is surrounded by great bushes that are very abundant with berries. Tonight I'm going to the opening of Our Rivers, Our Lakes show at the Grosse Pointe Art Center where my piece "Flow Thru" got an Honorable Mention award. Nice to know I still have "it". I can't wait until I don't have to earn a living being an engineer. Also, I have a new product I'm developing that I'll let you know about when it's ready. As a tease I'll tell you it's a pencil holder, but with a twist. That's enough for now. Later.....