Exploring Fabius Township and St. Joseph County, Michigan, with side trips all over this Great Lakes state

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From the sublime to the ridiculous: K's for ABC Wednesday

When I kicked around K words in my mind, it was places and products that came first. 
Kalamazoo, the city and county I worked in for thirty years, the river that runs through it, and the song, I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, plus two colleges (Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Valley Community College).   
But then breakfast foods from Kellogg’s and Special K commercials crept in, all from the county next door, Calhoun (which starts with the sound if not the letter K).   Oh, and of course the K car from Chrysler
Then from further a field came Kickapoo, a Native American people who once migrated through this area, and a word that I probably first heard as a kid from Al Capp’s cartoon strip, Lil Abner -- Kickapoo Joy Juice was the home brew of Dogpatch, (see all the details at http://www.lil-abner.com/).   
But to find my daily photo, I needed a K.  When I looked over to the fireplace mantel, I found Kannon and Krishna for you.  
Did other English speakers have my problem:  the cascade of C words that intruded on the thinking about K?  Is there really a difference between the hard C of California and the K of Kansas?   Why the two different spellings?!  Do we know a librarian who could help? 
OK, no more kidding around.  Before you kick back and enjoy all the contributions to K-day, my you find the key to your own!  And then visit ABC Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Morning Glory

In the garden in the last month the morning glories moved over to embrace the Buddha.  If I had an aura, I would hope it is this color!

Monday, September 27, 2010

a little history on a Monday morning

This will be a wordy photo blog today!  This historical sign is in the park on two of our rivers, the Rocky and the St. Joe.  It is the Rocky you see in the background.  Not mentioned here but just a block away is a very small historical plaque high on the wall of a building that commemorates the founding of Jesuit Mission here in 170l.  The Indians that LaSalle encountered might have included the Miami and the Potawatomi.  

It was the Potawatomi who were removed from this area of southwest Michigan in the 1830's although the Polkagon Band stayed.  They were Roman Catholic and acculturated because of the St. Joseph mission and were protected from removal by treaty. Their name derives from Chief Simon Pokagon, a famous Native American lecturer during the 1850s.  Refused tribal status under the Indian Reorganization Act (1934), their long struggle to gain federal recognition finally succeeded in 1994. With tribal offices located in Dowagiac, Michigan, the Pokagon are in the process of reacquiring a land base.  Their casino in New Buffalo, Four Winds, opened in 2007.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mighty Mac in the early morning

Well, not all that early!  It is about twenty minutes to seven and we have spent the night at the Straits View Motel on US 2 in St. Ignace, Michigan.  I tried to capture the bridge last night but without a tripod (what kind of real photographer am I, anyway?!) I just have photos of squiggly lights.  Trying again before we abandon Lake Michigan and head for Lake Superior gives us this early morning view of the Mighty Mac.
Enjoy many more bridges at Louis LaVache's Sunday Bridges.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OK, now what?!

This is Abbey Rose, named for the Abbey down the road where she was abandoned one wintry day almost 10 years ago.  The day after we returned from up north, she would not come down from this eight-foot high fence.   In fact she jumped from the fence onto the roof of the house where she then spent the night, despite our best efforts to lure her off and stop the mournful meowing. 

Anthropomorphizing her plight, I arrived at three possible reasons for her roof sitting.  Had she caught wind of the fact that Willow keeps making the blog and she has never been so honored?  Or, despite daily visits by our good neighbor, was she simply seeking lots of attention after having been left home alone for a week?  Or was she registering outrage that "that dog" came back?

She is a truly beautiful calico with eyes of different colors, one blue, one green.  And she is a cuddler who has the least contentious relationship with Willow, "that dog" who has interrupted the ten-year reign of her kitty kingdom.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Once more sunrise over Superior

The same morning as last week's sunrise over Superior but thirteen minutes later and the sun has appeared on the horizon. 
Do not forget to enjoy more skies on Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jumping for joy

To join J-day on ABC Wednesday this week,  I am giving into temptation and one more time sharing Willow with you.  Last week, on the shores of Lake Superior, she would stroll into the lake for a drink -- as long as there were no waves --  rush out of the water for a chaser of rolling in the sand, and then run crazy circles around the beach -- sort of like dancing on the table when you have had a few too many.  What a joy to see her have such a good time! 

A very good friend on seeing these photos wrote, "what is it with these goldens and rolling in sand after swimming?  and then magically getting relatively clean afterwards?"  He made me think and I wondered outloud,  "if only we could shake off the sands, oh, of anger and sorrow and hate, as they do.  Do we need to be hairier?  Was that our big evolutionary mistake?!"

For less jabberwocky, maybe, join the jovial crowd at ABC Wednesday!

Gol!den Rod Rule!

The golden rod are prolific this year (along with every other member of the flora family), and I have tried to capture them several times, long shots, close up shots, our meadow, the neighbor's meadow.  This photo captures for me the essence of a perfect almost-fall day in Michigan.  Clouds dot the sky and the golden rod is ripe with color. 

I took this photo after hanging up the clothes to dry during yesterday's breeziness.  Here is one from a week ago, the long view of our meadow filled with golden rod.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Signs of the times

I am blogging to you from home again, although I have chosen a photo from downtown Three Rivers to greet you with.  These are windows in the old power plant on the Rocky River just before it enters the St. Joe, but today it is LA's Coffee Cafe with wireless access and offices for small companies like Zen Computing and a travel company.  I took the picture because I love neon signs, but I think I have internet on the mind since the week on the shores of Lake Superior meant such intermittent access, piggybacking on a weak signal from somewhere down the road.  Oddities of the modern world include such telecommunications mysteries as this: my cell phone does not work at home but had great reception up north!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunrise on Superior

There are no words that can add anything to this view of Grand Island in Lake Superior with the sun coming up behind it.  Enjoy.
And enjoy more view of the sky at Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Au Train Island, it is situated in Lake Superior several miles out in the Au Train Bay.  This is the view from our cottage on the smaller Shelter Bay about 13 miles west of Munising, Michgian.  Our mornings here have been marvelous shows of clouds and light as the sun is coming up just to the east of the island.  The shore of Shelter Bay is all rocks, of sizes from immense to tiny, while Au Train Bay is miles of white sand beach.
And behind the waves at Miners Castle Beach, in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore just east of Munising, is a view of Grand Island, once owned by Cleveland Cliffs Mining Co and now a National Recreation Area in the Hiawatha National Forest.

The lake and forest, rocks and light, inspire great love and respect in me for the nature of the north.
For many more I's and inspiration, please visit ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lake Superior I

We are standing at Sand Point looking over to the beautiful Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, a unique wooden structure built in 1869-70 but not used as a lighthouse since 1913.  The Alger County Historical Society has been raising funds to restore it.  This is Munising Bay on the greatest Great Lake, Superior.  Our internet connection is intermittent, but hopefully there will more Lake Superior blogs this week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hiding out!

It was a huge celebration for the baptism of Helen's newest grand nephew, Sean Christopher.  The house was filled with all the family and the table was heaped with food.  But Tiger would have none of it and hid out under the coffee table.  Hmmmm, why not hustle off to the basement rafters where his pal Merlin was holed up?  Well just in case out of the huddle of Mary's grandchildren would drop a hint of food he could hurry off with! 

Happy H's on ABC Wednesday!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Labor Day picnic

This bee is being very traditional with his picnic on Labor Day.  He helps me remember the great Labor Day picnics that my father and grandfather's union, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 172, sponsored annually.  There were all sorts of games for the kids, for the adults, cigars and beer (as on the first recorded Labor Day in New York City!), great food for all.  The picnic was held at the Isaac Walton League and so there were woods and creeks for us to explore.  A great celebration!

Friday, September 3, 2010

After the rain

Looking toward the rising sun and disappearing rain clouds on a cool Friday morning, I feel fall in the air.  Savoring the much needed inch and a half of rain since yesterday, I celebrate those electric lines that stayed up.  I wonder if someday they will carry the "broadband over powerlines" that we Midwest Energy coop members have been promised........  After every time in town and the experience of DSL speed, I feel my connection via satellite gets slower and slower.  For rural users, the internet is an exercise in learning how to meditate while computing!
More skies and less whining can be found, of course, at Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Going somewhere?

I have been enchanted by this cottage for a long time and finally I can highlight it for all on ABC Wednesday's G-day.  It was found, of course, while gadding about Fabius Township.  Does it have a galley or even a galliot, is it a gabbart or have a garboard, and where is the gangway?  I might call its color glaucaus, but I am positive its builder was not gormless.  I don't think it is ocean going; it probably cannot even sail Long Lake where it is docked.   But it knows where it wants to go.
But if it sails after all these years and given its registry, I think it will be back!
This post is in gratitude for all the ways the Latvian immigrants have enriched Fabius Township.

For an engaging glomerate of G's, visit ABC Wednesday.
OK, OK I will string you along no longer: for the source of my G-words, go to the font of all oddball words, Stephen Chrisomalis'  Phronotistery.