Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Harbor All Over Again

So remember, I have news for you.

Sunday, April 26th, I had a great hike with Annele and Braeden.  B had the easy ride in my backpack while I got to sweat extra.

Along the way, I saw those tough oval leaves trailing through the fallen brown oaks.  Arbutus?  Is that you?  Sure enough, it was another arbutus plant.  She even had buds!  Annele knelt down to smell them, but apparently they need to be open to be fragrant.

As we ascended the ridge, we heard a boat motor on the lake.  It was really loud, and it lingered.  Well, when we approached the top of the ridge at Stairway to Heaven, guess who we saw!  The buoy tender!  How cool.  I have been waiting to see it drop off for years, and by some chance it was out there while we crested the ridge.  B would have seen it too if he wasn’t snoozing the whole time.

The buoy tender from afar

But that is not my news.

Today was magical for B and me.  Only, he doesn’t realize how special it was (or does he?).  It was a day full of firsts for him.  Here are a few:
  • ·      He got to see his first wildflower – hepatica.  I picked one for his stroller.
  • ·      It was the first time we got to take the stroller on the crushed gravel trail beside Fort Wilkins.  Only a couple snowy spots.
  • ·      It was his first real experience with Lake Superior.

Let me elaborate on the last one.  We journeyed to the shore by the lighthouse overlook.  The sun sparkled the water and the trees at the mouth of the Fanny Hooe Creek held the breeze at bay.  I decided to take B out of his stroller, so he could get a better look and feel of things.

I sat him in my lap and put a warm rock in his hand.  Then another and another.  We threw some for Duce, and he got to watch that crazy doggy splash around in the water.  I even sat him right on the rocks to warm up his tushy.  Then I laid him belly-side-down, so he could feel all those rocks underneath him.  He seemed to enjoy the scene!

We found driftwood, and noticed how the creek entered the Big Lake.  We listened to the buoy ding, and I even dipped his little fingers in the water.  He was taking it all in.  I realized that I didn’t have my camera to capture such inaugural events, but as we waved good-bye to the shore, I was actually glad that I didn’t have to try to pose him for pictures.  Our time there in the moment was really wonderful.  I’m so glad that I get to share this beautiful place with such a perceptive little being.

I realized right then and there how much I am going to love being a mom up here.  What a unique way to experience the Keweenaw – like it’s the first time all over again!

That is not my news either, though.  Here it is.

So, this blog is titled “A Little Slice of da Harbor.”  “A little slice” refers to the fact that it is only my perspective.  And “da Harbor” refers to Copper Harbor, a harbor town on Lake Superior.  Well, would you be mad if I was at a different harbor town on Lake Superior for a little while?

My little family is moving to Duluth, MN from July through September.  Aaron has a trail building contract out there, and he doesn’t want to miss us all summer again.  Awww.

At first I decided to do it for the family.  But now I sort of feel like it will be a neat change for me personally.  Duluth is a cool city (albeit a city which is scary), and variety is the spice of life.  Braeden won’t know the difference because he’s never had a summer anywhere besides in my belly.

So there you have it.  My slice of da Harbor will be from Duluth this summer.  We’ll be back, though, don’t worry.  Our hearts are in this little harbor.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sparkling, Rushing Water


Except for today, it's definitely springtime.

But that makes sense -- the today thing.  You know that saying that includes, "Red in the morning, sailors take warning?"  This morning, when B woke me up, I looked out the window to a spectacular sunrise.  Oh, man.  Red and magenta beamed from the sky.  I considered taking a picture, but the power lines were in it, and pictures just never do it justice. 

In general, though, the weather has been sunny and pleasant.  My cheeks are getting rosy from getting out pretty much everyday!  Here are some highlights.

April 12th, I believe, the ice left the harbor.  She was all open and sparkling like a freshly opened bottle of champagne in the sunset.  I don't know which is better.  Wink.  Here is proof!

Open water from Third Street Dock

The waterfalls are pretty great right now.  Well, I'm assuming they are.  I've only been to Manganese Falls so far, but it was sweet!  Here's a video from Friday, April 17th.

It's always enchanting there when the sound is loud, the air is wet and the ground turns green and woody.  I love to watch the mist suspended above the rushing water.  Surreal, you know?

Another cool thing about that day was that I got to go there with three other friends.  Kind of cool how our little group hike randomly came together for a magical experience.  We got up to Lake Manganese and the serenity continued.  At the mouth near the creek leading to the falls, we paused (mostly because the bridge was no longer adhered) and chatted away.  Who did we scare up?

At least 200 geese.

A fraction of the geese on Lake Manganese

Suddenly they flew east past us in many different V (and some not-so-V) formations.  We stood there in awe.  "Woah," exhaled from all of our bodies.  These geese then circled back west and east and west again.  Then we watched them land on the southwest end where they must have took off from.  

Silly humans, riling up the peaceful geese.

People must be coming up to see the falls because I feel like there are more people around than usual this time of year.  Usually it's just us local folk.  But people who come up this time of year often don't have high expectations for a little town that's half shut down.

I knock on wood as I say this, but I seem to be getting this mom thing under control.  Nap times are somewhat on a schedule.  Solid foods help the boy sleep longer.  We have not had a medical emergency in a month.  Life is good!

What's my point?  Well, don't hold me to this, but I hope that this may be the beginning of a break for me.  A break in favor of my writing.  I miss it so much, and even this blog helps me feel like a whole person again.  

So I hope you enjoyed this post with actual media besides my rambling words.  And stay tuned because I have some news for you...