Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Colors They Are A'Changing...

Fall is here and we are finally enjoying beautiful weather.

I froze zucchini and summer squash, and for the first time made Rhuberry Jam. The ingredients are rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. It's yummy!

Last Saturday the girls picked me up for a fun day of four-wheeling.

We had 16 machines and 24 women.
We had a blast!

The arrow points to me all ready to go. I had my rain gear packed as we did get rained on a few times. That is Steve's quad I'm standing next to. Mine isn't in the picture. I have a box on the back of mine which carries a lot of necessary items - like jumper cables which us girls never had to use.

But we could have handled it.
No guys allowed!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

There's a Smell in the Air...

Could it be the flowers of Autumn?

I took this pic this morning.

The colors are slowly beginning to change up here, starting with the red of the maple trees. Fall’s grand finale will be the yellow tamaracks in October. The green ferns that stood tall and proud all summer long are now bending over, tired, sporting a light cocoa hue. Before Labor Day weekend it was still comfortably warm during the daytime but the nights were getting cooler. We haven’t fired up the wood burner yet, but we have turned on our electric heaters. Last night was the second night in three days we had to cover the gardens with sheets and blankets.

As I sat by a bonfire last weekend at the log cabin, I took this picture of the setting sun enclosed in a white circle. Beautiful and burrrrrr is all I could think. Frost crystals circling the sun?

With the contrasting temps, we awoke to find the river misty with wisps of fog Saturday morning. A female wood duck strutted her neck while floating down the river apparently on a mission because she was gone before I could snap a pic. Then we realized Bear was standing in the river looking at the wood duck as she disappeared around the bend.

It was a bit eerie for me fishing in the thick woods without a sound except the occasional crow squawk. And to top it off, Steve accidentally bought green crawlers from the bait shop. Yes, I said green. 

The worms are gone but here's proof. Steve paid $3.99 for the worms and got in the truck and said, "Wow, worms are expensive here." When he found out he missed the label which read "green" crawlers, he understood why they cost more. 

Please don't buy them again. Thank you.

I felt like I was hooking a small alien snake or an 8" worm that had been harvested from some nuclear plant. Gave me the creeps. I didn't even get a nibble!

Then the slightest crack of a twig had me scoping out my surroundings, expecting to see a grand but scary wolf checking me out. But no, it was my two-dog posse: Bear and Ike were lying off to the side of the path under some brush watching me. Oh, my guard dogs.

After SciFi worm got hooked in an overhead limb, I decided to quit fishing for the day.

On another note, we were thrilled to be able to go downstate last week and visit with our oldest son who we haven’t seen for 8 months while he was in Idaho. It was HOT down there and we enjoyed the final days of summer as best we could: sitting on our son’s front porch in rocking chairs, catching up on each other’s lives, swatting mosquitoes but not really caring about the bites, grilling out at sunset...

...and having lunch on the beautiful Muskegon River.

The pics are dark, but I had to share them anyway.

He is safely in Tennessee now

We probably won't see him until Christmas.
It's his birthday next week.
Kleenex please.

It was so good to spend time with him. 

But in ten days we get to see our youngest son and his girlfriend. J 
It will be a busy weekend (two weddings) but not so busy I don’t get a hug. 
Love that!

Yes, we awoke to frost on the car's windshield as well as on my one and only pumpkin this morning. I doubt this poor thing will be orange by Halloween. I bet I had 30 blossoms on my pumpkin vines this year, but only one seemed to survive whatever was eating those big orange flowers.

And I think we finally decided what it was and is.

At this moment it isn't the smell of fall flowers, or fall leaves, or anything else connected with Fall that lingers in the air outside and slightly in the house...

It. Is. Skunk.

I went outside last night around 9 to put the dogs in the kennel. When I walked out onto the porch, I was met with a horrific smell that I immediately recognized and it was oh so close. That split second I had the door open to the house was all it took for the rancid odor to slightly creep inside. I yelled at the dogs to kennel up, but it was too late. They were both rolling in the grass on their backs, onto their sides, then on their haunches wiping their faces in the grass. I almost joined them.

Today not much love is being passed around. When the dogs come close, we say "You Stink!" and they sit and look at us as if to say, "We know."

"You don't chase skunks!"

Just when I thought we were going to make it through the year without an incident with a porcupine or a skunk.

So that's the smell in the air around here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Nice Vacation

Steve and I haven't gone anywhere since we came home from Wyoming in May. So when we had a cancellation at the Grizzly Den Log Cabin for the holiday weekend, we decided to block it out for ourselves, and we moved in!

Ike and Bear played in the river...

and we cooked out on the grill every night and fished everyday. 
We think all the practice we had in Wyoming paid off!

Steve caught a 12" Brookie one day.

And I caught an 11 1/2 " Brookie on another day. We're going to smoke these two!

And when the dogs weren't wading in the river or chasing squirrels, they took long naps.

And, unfortunately we had to dispose of this bee's nest. It was too close to the cabin and bees were swarming everywhere.

A few weeks ago after renters had left and Steve and I were finished cleaning, we did some fishing. But I gave up and sat along the river bank and read my book. Steve caught the guys above. 

The weather hasn't been the best, a lot of drizzly days, but then you get a nice sunny day and we jump on our quads and go for a ride. 

But wait...

there is a great moment...

drum roll please...

Yesterday, Steve caught this 19" Rainbow out of the Pine River! Yahoo!

He's thinking about getting it mounted. I just want to smoke it!
(Yes, I love love love smoked fish).
But I also understand this is the catch of perhaps a lifetime in this river of ours, so if he decides to mount it, he better hurry up before I get the smoker smoking.

On a sadder note, I'm not sure how many of you were aware of a tragic incident that happened nearby. A pack of wolves took out 9 beagles that were in the UP with their owners from Ohio and West Virginia to train the dogs to snow shoe rabbit hunt. Here's a link to that article.

So sad. Believe me, I keep my mace close at hand.

On a happier note...

Happy Belated Birthday to Jay and Robbie!!!