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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bad hair day

But a gorgeous day for walking in the meadow.  Temperatures are headed for 80 -- no fooling!  Last great day of summer in late fall.  Tomorrow will be below normal with a high of 43 -- yes, you are in Michigan!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The shades of autumn

Michigan is beautiful these days and very happy about the Tigers! 
The weather is inconstant from warm to cold, from sun to rain.  Even cloudy days can still be cheerful because of the wonderful colors of the trees.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It is hardly even week by week......

And we are even going back a few weeks to pick up on this wonderful creature whom my Facebook friends helped me to identify back on September 3 as a Humming Bird Moth.  Thanks to Jen we also know its formal name "Hemaris thysbe."  When I first saw it, I wondered if it was a mutant humming bird.  Not a mutant but a moth it is and quite spectacular with its whirring wings.

I write this as the cold rain continues in SW Michigan, but because of the Tigers Detroit is feeling sunny.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perhaps we should call this week by week in Fabius

It has been two weeks since we left the Up and already my memory of the lake is getting fuzzy. This was our first sunrise at Shelter Bay on September 9.

Still quite vivid is the sunrise on the Saturday we left Shelter Bay and headed for an overnight at Sleeping Bear Dunes in the lower peninsula.

On this October 1, I am vowing to post from Fabius at least once a week.  Wish me good luck!  Glad to be back in a blogging mood and hope you are happy to see something new finally.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What ignites your imagination?

Recent explosions on the sun have ignited not only my imagination but also incredible sights on earth.  Auroras are not insipid events!  I have had only one incident of viewing one live and that was just outside Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula back in the early 70’s.  It was late August, and the friend we were visiting woke us about four in the morning to invite us to come outside.  First he pointed out the frozen (!) bucket of water and then pointed up to the sky which was filled with the most brilliant, undulating waves of lights, greens and reds and whites, whose impression is impossible to catch with words.   One is awe-struck when in the presence of an aurora borealis!  

I wish I could include one of my own photos of an aurora, but since I have none I will send you to SpaceWeather.com to see the photos that others have captured in the last month.  There you can also learn more about upcoming events in space to keep an eye out for.  I invite you to sign up for email alerts of solar flares, auroras, meteors, etc.   Have you seen the close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the western sky over North America?  Keep scrolling to find the aurora albums.

From the auroras photographed in February, here is one on Lake Superior's Au Train Bay where I have photographed amazing sunrises but not auroras -- yet....!  Aaron Peterson shot this on what he said was a rare clear night sky over Lake Superior.  See more of his photos at his website, archive.aaronpeterson.net.


And finally here  is a time lapse photo/video of the March 12 aurora in Wasilla, Alaska.  This needs to be watched when you have time to drift along with the lights.  Although we couldn't be there, we can contemplate its beauty in this 6-minute video. 

Do not stay in ignorance of the other inspiring bloggers on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.  I am insistent about your visiting ABC Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hapless harbingers

It was just over a week ago, a cold and snowy day when a host of Red-wing Blackbirds, huddled in the bushes heads hanging.  They had come our way, much to their regret.  Someone, no beaks were pointed, had really messed up the return schedule.  It was February, not March, and these harbingers of spring in our part of Michigan had hurried home to the north only to be greeted by the biggest snowfall of the year.  But I don’t think we can really blame them; it had been a funny winter with warm days doing in any snowfall that was deep enough to please the skiers, skaters, or sledding enthusiasts -- anyone who loves winter.

Not feeling too harried this week, I went exploring for more information on Red-wing Blackbirds on the web.   And, happily, I was alerted to what a female Red-wing looks like.  And, hooray, I had photographed her that snowy day not knowing who she was or why she was hanging out with all the Red-wings!  Check out this Wikipedia article where you can learn what to call a Red-wing in the languages of their summer territories ("....in vast majority of the other Ojibwa language dialects, the bird is called memiskondinimaanganeshiinh, literally meaning "a bird with a very red damn-little shoulder-blade." However, in the Odawa language, an Anishinaabe language in Southwestern Ontario and in Michigan, the bird is instead called either as memeskoniinisi ("bird with a red [patch on its wing]") or as memiskonigwiigaans ("[bird with a] wing of small and very red [patch]").[22]

And when the snow melted, these other too-early harbingers of spring were once more visible, also several weeks earlier than usual!

http://images.wikia.com/icehockey/images/6/63/Detroit_red_wings_1995.gifP.S. in case you didn't know about them, our Michigan pro-hockey team is called the Detroit Red-wings and their logo combines two important loves in this state: sports and cars!  And does three photos turn this blog into a hat trick?!

I don't mean to harp at you, but please, please, don't leave the web
without visiting the heterogeneous but never hapless bloggers at
ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fungus are fascinating

 I am a fanatic about fungus and photograph them whenever I can.  My nieces and nephews now refuse to walk in the woods with me because I stop to fuss over every fungus.  Now Willow the Golden Retriever is stuck with waiting fairly patiently for me to finish a photo session when we go tramping around our woods.  I found this specimen very fascinating with its folds of flesh reaching out beyond its host, a fallen tree.  And is that sort of a face at the base?!

And then I fooled around with the colors in Photoshop and produced this futuristic fantasy of a fungus.
Follow other tomfoolery from the folks at ABC Wednesday.

P.S. Here is the song that may be the foundation of my fascination with fungus.  I think as kids we drove everyone nuts with the inanity of this one!
And here is the website that tells you all you would ever want to know about the lyrics that flooded Chicago and the midwest US from radio station WLS: Hugh Barrett and the Victors.  Trivia to a fault!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exciting Event for ABC Wednesday

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming, As the Cardinals Fly, to bring you this important announcement.  From our Bird-on-a-Wire Service, we have learned that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society, and Etudes D'Oiseaux/Bird Studies Canada are partners with Wild Bird Unlimited in sponsoring the Great American Bird Count this weekend, February 17-20, an exciting three-day event 

Keep your eyes on the birds for as little as 15 minutes and be a "birder" for the day!  For all the details and the reasons why this is important, please visit the Great Back Yard Bird count website at Bird Source.  

GBBC is fun to do and you get feedback from a local "expert" if you have come up with a bird rarely seen in your locale.  My first year I counted several Purple Finches and the Michigan ornithologist questioned my seeing them here as they are rare in SW Michigan in the winter.  But I had luckily photographed the finches I thought were Purples not House or Rosey.  I sent him the photo and he replied, "yep, those are Purples!"  However, I still have trouble distinguishing Woody and Hairy Woodpeckers, the other lookalikes around here.

Here is one of my photos from last year's GBBC, a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Ease yourself on over to ABC Wednesday for ever exacting,  exotic, but hardly evanescent contributions to  E-day from Mrs. Nesbitt's emphatically enthusiastic bloggers.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mighty Mac in the morning

In honor of Louis laVache's 100th Sunday Bridge posting, here is Michigan's best bridge on an early morning in September.   Unlike the glorious Golden Gate, the Might Mac is surrounded by tall trees not tall buildings.

Be sure that you do not miss the glorious photos Louis has posted for the celebration at Sunday Bridge Series.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Drinking with a buddy

In last week's post for ABC Wednesday we saw the dejected and rejected Monsieur Cardinal as Madam decided to distance herself   from him.  As Jane speculated, she was indeed disappointed in the dandy-like color of his coat and felt distinctly drab in comparison.  And as Roger guessed, this soap opera was not done.

This week we find our dandy at the bar drinking with a more conservative dresser determined to get advice, I am assuming, on dressing for success with his deranged (his words not mine) mate.   His  emotions have run the gamut from depression to delight to demanding to know if there was more to her desertion than she had admitted.  Did she suspect that he had a dalliance going with another?  What other delusion might she be suffering from?  Was there relationship doomed?  Did he really call her a dimwit? 

Stay tuned for more delicious gossip next week on As the Cardinals Fly.

Fly on over to ABC Wednesday to detect what the other inmates are up to when blogging on D!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Is it simply my crazed imagination or is Monsieur Cardinal a cringing chuff as Madame careens away in a huff?  Just what had they been chattering about!

Well, at least I did get to give you more cardinals for this week on ABC Wednesday after last week's bevy of them. 
Please visit a cluster of never cranky, always creative bloggers at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A bevy of birds

They came for my birthday last week.  Too bad a few Blue Jays didn't show up!

A bounty of B's awaits you at ABC Wednesday, so briskly betake yourself there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Addled was my feeling yesterday about what to post for A as Round 10 of ABC Wednesday began.  Then anxiety set in and anchored itself in my psyche.  How was I to avail myself of an adequate answer of what to post for A?

Should I absent myself from contributing, except to comment on others absolutely arresting additions?  Should I simply stay abed and abjectly abandon, abnormally abdicate, any role in the start of Round 10?  No!  I acknowledge that is not acceptable!  Is there an acquaintance, or better yet! an ancestor I could admit to Round 10?  Whew, ambling around on the keyboard had once more unaddled my brain.  I not only have ancestors, I have ancestors whose name begins with A --  the Archambaults of South Bend, Indiana and Saint Roche de l'Achignan, Quebec.

In this photo from circa 1905 all are gathered around the matriarch and her children and their spouses.  The second person from the left in the front row is my grandmother, Eveline Archambault McCauslin.  She is sitting next to her mother with the beautiful name of Chantal Desormiers Archambault who came to South Bend with her husband Jean Louis Stanislas Archambault just after the U.S. Civil War.  He went to work in the Studebaker Wagon factory.  My grandfather is the first person on the left in the back row, Augustus Holmes McCausland, who came from London, Ontario, first to Chicago, then to South Bend, in the late 1890's.   In addition to the Archambaults and McCauslands are a Bale, a Charron, a Donahue, a Doolin, and a Landgraf. 

For less ancient additions to A, please visit ABC Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yeoman's work

I yearn to buck the crowd,  but,  yikes,  I am yielding to the urge to post this photo and join the throng of mellow yellows*  on ABC Wednesday

My neighbor at 84 continues to do yeoman’s work,  clearing her quarter-mile long driveway of snow, and this week she did it two days in a row!   This is not the Yukon,  but we do live in the southwest Michigan snow belt.   Lake effect snow buries us when cold northwest winds blow over the warmer  water of southern Lake Michigan. 

We have one of these scoops, too.  We call them Canadian snow shovels,  but I don’t find reference to this name on the web.  We also have a little snow blower and a friend with a plow on the front of his pickup.  Compared to Joanne we are wimps!

*Donovan did a lot with Colours!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter pond

Steffe, we took your admonition to heart and didn't stay only by the fire yesterday, but wandered through the woods, oohing and aahing at the beauty of the snowfall which continued all day.  And as requested, took photos.

Our pond is a vernal pond that has lasted into the winter given heavy rains these past months, so this is an unusual sight for us to see it surrounded by snow-covered fallen trees (2011 saw a bonus crop of fallen trees all around us that started with last January's ice storm, became violent with an F1 tornado in May that devastated the Hermitage and Abbey woods, and ended with soggy ground that couldn't hold onto some trees this fall). 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lake effect snow has been falling since yesterday afternoon and has continued into today.  A winter wonderland is perfect for a holiday when you can snuggle up at home in front of the fire and watch the snow fall through the window!