A Welcomed Change

For about as long as I can remember, this time of the year has typically been a pretty busy time for me. In some years, downright frantic. With the warm days limited and the closing in of winter, the race to get all chores done outside has been a vigorous one. This year is different. I still have tome things to do, but nothing that actually HAS to be done before winter.

There is some wood that needs to be cut, but we are not heating with wood, so it is more for the ambience of the fire, not the heat. Plus, I am talking about a face cord, not 18 full cords! For those that do not know, a face cord is about 1/3rd that of a full cord. So the wood needed to be cut is 1/54th of what I used to have to cut when we were heating with wood.

I also want to install some outdoor electrical outlets and a spot light on the shop, but could live without them for the winter. I did get the electrical wires between the generator and transfer switch put in the conduit and would like to put a shelter over the generator, but again could live without it. A shelter over the back door of the house would also be nice, but is not critical.

So, what am I doing with all this lack of jobs that HAVE to be done? Well, at a comfortable pace, I am chipping away at those that I would like to. I have spent some time helping my neighbor with some jobs he has and this past Thursday I took a quick trip to Green Bay to pick something up. On that trip, I got to get a glimpse of how the colors are coming along in other areas of the UP. The most color I saw was in the Covington Jct. area. There the colors were probably 65-75% along and were magnificent. I was a bit pressed for time, so I did not stop to take any pictures and did not take any while driving. I did stop a little further south, almost at Crystal Falls and snapped this shot. The colors there were not as much along. 

The colors up here in the Keweenaw are mixed. There are areas that the color is much like those in that last shot. Here is a shot taken between the Airport and Calumet, just off of Hwy 41. Yet, just down the road a bit, the colors in Houghton/Hancock have hardly changed at all. You can keep tabs of them by going to the NCN and clicking on the cam for Houghton and Hancock. Here is a snapshot I just took from that page.

So it would be safe to say that if one were to want to come up here to see the colors, next weekend would be the peak weekend for areas in the higher terrain, but away from the lakes influence, like Covington Jct., Michigamme, perhaps even areas like Rockland and Mass City, but I cannot confirm those last two. In about 10-14 days, the colors in the higher terrain from Twin Lakes to Delaware will be at or near their peak and in about 14-18 days, the lower terrain of the Keweenaw will be at peak.

We did have our first hard frost and light freeze Friday morning. Those that covered their gardens were able to save them and those that did not are likely seeing mixed results. The plants that are not very hardy are likely gone, but most other should be OK. That is what happened to Nora’s garden. The pups got wind of the pending frost, so got busy harvesting and eating as many of the vegetables as they could Thursday afternoon. Here is Huck getting ready to chomp into a cucumber

Nora’s giant sunflower plant finally opened its flower. For some reason hers took longer to flower than some others around here. We also have some golden raspberries that were planted by the previous owners and some of them are just beginning to ripen. I have discovered that I cannot eat the berries with the small seeds, as it irritates my gut, but I did sample one by just squeezing it between my tongue and roof of my mouth and it was unbelievable. So sweet. Most certainly the best tasting berry I have ever had. 

This morning, Nora and Grace went to our friends that live in the yurt to shuck some beans. Not the green type, but the kind you would put in chili or use in a bean dip. If you have ever wondered if the beans like to be freed from their shell, here is your answer! By the time they had left, they had made pretty good progress on the shucking

That about covers it for the past week. The upcoming week looks fairly uneventful. I am hoping to be able to stay in Jake for most of the week and get my outdoor wish list taken care of as much as possible. It seems like I am still running to Calumet or even Houghton/Hancock way more than I wish I had to. The weather looks to be quite delightful. This past week was nice, but autumn like, with highs mostly in the 50’s and low 60’s. The next few days will have us in the 70’s for highs and then down into the 60’s for the end of the week. We have been rain free for about 10 days and look to remain that way until Wednesday. No signs of snow and that to me is a good thing. The less snow before the firearm deer season opener usually means more when it will stick around and be able to be played in!

Hard to believe next week’s entry will be the last one for September. Even harder to believe that the deer season opener is less than 2 months away! Even though I am currently fine with 60’s and 70’s rather than snow, I am very much looking forward to the snow season. Nothing beats the beauty of the flakes falling to the ground and frosting everything under a thick layer of the white gold!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..