My apologies for not writing last week. It was a very busy Sunday and then Monday and Tuesday were also busy enough that I could not finish and I figured by Wednesday, I may as well wait for the next weekend…So here I am!
I have come to the conclusion in my travels through this life that most humans need to “humanize many things”. I am guilty of this, naming the tractor “Big Red”, or giving something in nature human qualities. So with that in mind, I can say that Mother Nature sure has a crewel sense of humor sometimes. Not even 4 weeks past the devastating Father’s Day flood, the area once again got hit with heavy rains on the morning of the 12th. Not as heavy as fell on Father’s Day, but still more than the drainage systems could hold. Most of the heavier rain fell a bit further north this go around, but still included all of the hard hit areas like Houghton, Hancock and on up through Dollar Bay, Tamarack City, Hubbell and Lake Linden. Total amounts were in the 3-4″ range and most of that rain came in a 3-4 hour period.
We picked up around 3″ of rain from the event and I was actually awake for all of it, as it started at around 4 am and ended by around 7:30-8 am. I am not going to post any pictures of the damage done, as they were very similar looking to the damage done in June’s flood. However, as mentioned, the extent and degree of the flooding was not nearly as bad as it was with the Fathers Day event.
I heard at least one road that was washed out in the June event and was repaired to the point it was drive-able, but still just a gravel surface was washed out again. I also know they had flooding in some of the same spots impacted in Hubbell and a temporary walking bridge across the Sweedtown Creek just outside of Hancock was swept away. No injuries as far as I could tell, so that was a blessing.
Still no word on the level of FEMA funding that the region will get, but if the rains of the 12th did anything positive, they did show the importance of doing the repairs as soon as possible and to a level as good as can be. Many of the creeks in the ravines that ran hard and washed out in June caused problems again and need to be fixed so that they no longer continue to cause problems. All of these problems are where the recreational (including snowmobile) trail runs and is why it is critical that the repairs be made there too. I know that the was a very large and positive response to my reply for folks to take the time to send an e mail that will get passed along to FEMA stating the importance of repairing the trail. Hopefully word will get to those making the decisions that it is more than a recreational trail, it is part of the storm drainage system up here.
But enough of the grim news. It has been a pretty nice two weeks of weather up here. Lots of 70’s and sunshine the week before and then 80’s much of last week. We did have clouds and spotty off and on showers this past Friday and Saturday, but most of the many activities going on up here this weekend (food/music festival in Hancock Friday, Canal Run Saturday, Antique Car show Saturday, Aura music fest Saturday, Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor today) did not have much of a problem with the weather and the bugs have also been pretty tolerable.
Today was actually one of those picture perfect days, with highs in the low to mid 70’s, tons of sun and a low dewpoint (humidity). We all got our chores done this morning and then spent a good deal of the afternoon in the pool. It’s so nice to have a dedicated heater for it now. No more worrying about keeping the wood boiler going and manually handling the temperature by turning the pump for the heater on and off. I just set the temp on the heater and forgetaboutit! I really should have done that years ago, but such is life!
The week ahead looks to bless us with more mild summer air and low humidity. Great for getting out and doing things during the day and sleeping with the windows open at night. It’s really hard to believe that we are reaching the end of July already. I can remember when I was less fond of the summer weather and it seemed like July was 61 days long, not 31! I am not even close to wanting winter weather to get here. I am fully enjoying the summer and then the weather we have in autumn is an automatic love and no need for me to mention my feelings about winter!
About a week or so ago, I was out with Nora while she was tending to her garden and was suddenly ambushed by Gracie with some water balloons. Thankfully, I spied the working end of the garden hose nearby and also got lucky when I discovered the water was turned on. So I went to work with a counter offensive and was able to re-gain the upper hand. I managed to remain pretty dry, as most of her balloons were not filled up enough to burst when they hit me, but I was able to put quite the hurting on her. So I did cease-fire for a bit and even taunted her to try and get me with the balloon filling jug, which provided nothing more than a refreshing spritz. Fun times!
The entire family has also been getting lots of mileage out of the screen porch. It has become our go-to spot for all of our down time. Just about every evening is spent out there, electronics free. Reading off of a phone or tablet is OK and music with headphones is also allowed, otherwise, the rules are to create as little disturbances for the beautiful noises of nature as possible. I enjoy laying on the swing and either listening to the girls talk and laugh, or if it is quiet, listen to the birds. The other evening we had a larger visitor come through and Nora was able to snap a picture of her from inside the porch. There is another doe that comes through from time to time and has a little one with her. I think I saw that fawn not long after it was born, as it wobbled across the road near our house and was smaller than Huck and Millie!
This past week I saw my first black bear in some time. We have had one around the house and property from time to time this summer, but I have only seen it’s prints or had to clean up the mess it made with our garbage once. I have not seen it. Last week, I was driving into Calumet when one crossed the highway around 100 feet in front of me. Both it and I were moving too quickly for me to get a picture of it, but Nora and Grace saw one about 10 days ago and were able to stop and get a picture of it.
I always find it funny how I know they live up here among us. Sometime I even have to pick up after their midnight foraging, or will see their prints in the sand, mud when we take walks and not think much about it, but then when I see one skirt across the road, it is still so exciting! For the most part, I really think that they are cool animals. Pretty darned smart and also like to keep to themselves most of the time.
So not much else going on up here. Hard to believe in just over a week August will be here. I guess it will not be too long before I am starting to write about the colors changing!
Good night from the Keweenaw..