Corn Stalks and Skewered Apples

Apologies for no entry last week. I was busy with another project and asked Nora to fill in. She graciously accepted, but then got busy with some things and ended up forgetting! So no big deal, but I really do not like to have a week go by with no entry. This week was a busy one, especially with Gracie’s birthday occurring on Wednesday.

The week provided no new rain for our parched ground, but we did get some yesterday evening. Temps were warm to start the week and then cooled off, so much so that by Friday and yesterday, a hoodie was needed to keep me warm while doing things outside. The dryness has had a positive side, the bugs are nearly non-existent. At least while out in open areas or near the woods. I suspect that if one went into the deep woods, then the good old mosquitos would find them. It is also August and that is when the bugs hit their minimum for the bug season. Deer fly and horse flies are barely an issue and any other flying creature of nuisance is not showing their faces. So it is a great time of the year to be in the great outdoors up here. 

The week started out with some excitement in Jake. There was an old, falling down, house that burnt to the ground. Now before everyone starts to feel sorry for the owner or think of this as some kind of tragedy, the fire intentionally set by the fire department to get rid of it to make room for a new home. It served as a practice burn for some members of the department as well. Even though it was a planned burn, it drew quite the crowd for Jacobsville and was very interesting to watch burn. Without the feelings of sadness, it was interesting and actually enjoyable to watch the fire get started, then spread throughout the house and eventually consume it entirely. That picture was taken just after the walls of the house gave in and the roof came crashing down into the mayhem. It was also probably the point at which the flames were most dramatic. About a half hour later, it was down to just a pile of burning rubble and looked more like a giant grill fire than house fire. The next day all that was left were a few whiffs of smoke off of the remaining coals. 

The department did a great job of keeping the flames confined to the house. Before the house was even lit on fire, they sprayed down the surrounding trees, bushes and grass with water and a fire retardant. It was also interesting to see all of the special features on the trucks and some of the special equipment. They had a portable, pop-up, holding tank that took them all of 30 seconds to put up. The main pumper truck got it’s water from that tank, while other trucks made runs to differing stand pipes in the area to draw water from the Portage Waterway into their tanks and then keep the holding tank filled. Even the way the water came out of the trucks and into the holding tank was cool to watch. Exhaustion was the only casualty among some of the fire fighters, but they did have first responders/EMS and an ambulance on scene in case of a more serious injury. Thank goodness none of that was needed!

As mentioned, Wednesday was Gracie’s Birthday. She turned 12 years old and is every part of a 12 year old! It’s been such a joy for me to watch her grow older. I know a lot of parents get sad, but I know how much fun and exciting it is for a child to grow older and thus just share in her excitement and joy. I’m sure when it comes time for her to set off on her own, there will be sadness in my heart, but also joy and excitement for her.

After breakfast and opening up a present, she was able to do one of her favorite activities, knee boarding. A little later in the day, she was joined by her best friend in Jake, Flora. The two of them had a blast getting pulled around on a tube. After that and after drying off and getting into dry clothes, it was cake time. An ice cream cake from Dairy Queen was the pic for this year. It’s a good thing that it is still staying light out late up here, because the final thing they did was to set up a tent in the back yard and then spend the night in it. All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good birthday for the girl. The big present was her very own snowmobile. It’s an older model Polaris, but it has electric start, reverse and a small enough engine that she will not feel intimidated on it. The longer track will also help keep her from getting stuck. I am looking forward to taking some rides through the bush with her this winter! Hopefully a new sled will be in my wheelhouse before the snow flies!

Parts of Thursday and Friday were spent cutting our grass as well as Nora’s brother’s grass. Her brother gave us his older zero turn lawn mower when he upgraded this spring and that machine has made cutting the grass no issue at all. Not only does it do it in less than half the time, it is way more comfortable to ride and quieter. Plus, at this time of the year, I get to stop and take some snack breaks when I pass by the berry patches! I also was treated to a pair of interesting sights when I was cutting the lawn around the barndeeminimum. One was a couple of corn plants growing where the bird feeder was. A couple of the seeds managed to germinate! The other was an apple that fell off the tree and landed on a stick that had broken off. How many times do you suppose this happens!

Yesterday was not only cloudy and cool, but there was a stiff breeze out of the northeast. That had the big rollers on the lake swinging onto our shoreline. Before it rained, we took a ride out to a blackberry patch we know of to see if any of them were ready. Not yet, but on the way home, I stopped to snap this shot of a section of the Jacobsville cliffs. That is not a house sitting precariously on the edge of the cliff. It is a small little out building. Nora has been in it and has said it is magnificent inside, with lots of custom woodwork. I would like to see the inside before it tumbles into the drink! Actually, I believe they would just move it back further to where it will be safe. 

Early this morning we had the rafter of turkeys waddle through our yard. This was just a small portion of the entire gang. There are three mothers and at least a dozen young ones. It’s interesting how the mothers will join forces and create a large group like that, but I suppose there is safety in numbers! This group meanders through the neighborhood and comes through our yard about once a day.

That about does it for this week. School is still a little over 4 weeks away for the kids up here, but Bleau is already beginning to rest up for the new school year. Lots of challenges lay ahead for him!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..