The county fair may have packed up and left town late Sunday, but the theatrics of the roller coaster continued…in the weather department. As I mentioned in last week’s entry, our temps and humidity levels last weekend were very summer-like. Late in the day Monday, a front came through and produced some strong thunderstorms as well as some cooler and less humid air. The thunderstorms produces several funnel clouds in the area. Two near Baraga and one over the Portage waterway between Houghton and Hancock. Here is a picture snapped of the one in the Houghton vicinity Monday evening.
We had nothing that severe up this way, but the wind was howling and there was a ton of lightning/thunder and heavy rain. All told, we have picked up around 6″ of rain in the past 10 days and it is currently raining pretty heavily with a thunderstorm rolling through. Our high temp Monday was 80, with a dewpoint of 74. It’s not that rare to have a temp of 80 up here, even in late August, but it is very unusual to have a dewpoint that high. Just 12 hours later, our temps was at 53 with the dewpoint of 52. The cooler and less humid air kept dumping in and by Thursday morning, my low temp was 42 and I could see my breath when I let the pups out to go potty before I started work.
Then, as if to give one final jab (wishful thinking that it will be the final one), the humidity came pumping back in by later Friday and has stuck around through yesterday and today. We also had rain Friday and yesterday. One thing has become clearly evident to me with this roller coaster ride. I still do not like humidity at all! The rains coming through as I type will be ushering in some less humid air that will last a day, before returning briefly for Tuesday and then disappearing the rest of the week and weekend. Perhaps only to return as we head into early next week.
In any case, I am fully ready for autumn. The little chill we had this week was fine by me. I had some soup with my lunches and got to wear long pants for the first time in a while. Sleeping was done in quiet comfort as well. I am also getting excited for the snow to fly. I know we are still at least a month out before I can realistically expect to see snow, but some areas in the northern Rockies saw their first snow of the season earlier in the week. The was snow in my old riding grounds around Togwotee and the mountains near Cooke City also saw some snow.
This summer has been a bit of a challenge to fly the drone. The rains have been a part of it, but it has also been windy on days when I wanted to fly it. Part of the problem is that I do not feel very comfortable flying it in winds above 10 mph, which is a bit silly, because it can handle that and it’s built in GPS navigation and other electronics will keep it stable and in the same spot, so I just need to get a little more brave.
Yesterday we all headed down to Jacobsville around midday. There was a pretty heavy overcast and even a threat for rain, but I packed the drone anyway. Nora brought her metal detector and while I was busy with the drone, she and Grace looked for treasure hidden just below the surface. I did a bit of flying and recorded a very boring video, but did capture this neat photo of the Jacobsville Chapel. The chapel was built in 1888 and is still used for evening services on Sunday during the summer months. Last Sunday was the last service for this summer. Grace and Nora go to just about every service and I go when possible. The big problem for me is that by the time the service ends and then the coffee hour afterwards ends and we drive home, it is past 9 pm, which makes for a short night for me! It is probably the prettiest chapel I have ever seen, although my opinion might be a little bias!
The girls wrapped up their fortune hunting, so we headed to a relative of Nora’s that lives across the road from the chapel and on the big lake. While Nora and my brother visited with Nora’s cousin, Grace, the pups and I played outside, which included heading to the beach to let the pups swim and cool off. Even with the sky cover not so pretty, sitting on the beach and looking out at the big lake with the Huron Mountains off in the distance and the south entry light just off shore to the right, it was a very beautiful site to behold. So I took a panorama for you all to share what I was looking at.
Afterwards, my brother Jim and I headed back north to home, while the girls went to one of our friends place to make some apple cider the hard way with an old-school press. These folks also raise quite a few farm animals, one of which is a pig that will be headed to be turned into chops, ribs, roasts, bacon and sausage for us this autumn. Ever since we put our deposit down on one of the pigs, I have avoided going to visit them when we are there. I just am not yet ready to know my food that well. They also have some chickens and the three kids had fun playing with them. Grace has been allowed to name a few of the animals and here is Grace posing with “Knight”. He’s a rooster and since more than one rooster in a flock can be an issue, his day’s are numbered as well. I am actually glad that Grace is getting this exposure to where our food comes from. We are not going to be having Knight as a meal, but the folks who own the farm will be.
Back on the Dee “farm”, the harvest of summer crops continues. Tomatoes are being picked and frozen so they can become sauce at a later date. Zucchini is also being shredded and frozen for bread and other treats. The cucumbers are coming in faster than most of us can eat them, but we are doing our best. Perhaps some pickles in the near future? Beans are just about done and carrots will be ready in a few more weeks. In my berry patch, the blueberries finally ripened. This was the second year after being planted, so it was the first year they produced fruit. So I am not sure if they are late producers, or if they were just late this year? Some of the strawberry plants we planted are ever-bearing and have been popping out a few treats every week or two.
So here we are, the 2nd day of September and just two days away from the start of the school year. In many ways, the summer flew by, but in some cases, it seems like things like the Father’s Day Flood was a year ago. Grace is officially excited for school to start. Hanging out with dear old dad has it’s pluses, but can also be a bit dull. I don’t know how many books she has read or re-read this summer, but it would easily be 30, maybe more. It seems like Grace almost always has a book in her hand and is reading, even while brushing her teeth! Nora and I have taken some pictures of the different situations we have come across Grace reading. I have those pics to share with you now.
First is one of her go to spots in the evening, that being the swing in the screened in porch. Many times she is joined by Huck, who wishes Gracie would read out loud to him. The kitchen is also a favorite spot of hers, especially when she just wants to be alone to read. The hammock was a good investment for this summer as well. Especially on those beautiful summer afternoons. At times, the hood or roof of my truck or Nora’s vehicle will see some action. Some spots are more traditional, like a folding chair, while others are not, like an empty laundry basket or the fork implement for Big Red.
I guess that covers it for this first entry of autumn 2018. Talk to you soon!
Good night from the Keweenaw..