Whimsy in the Upper Peninsula

So Karma suggested a photo challenge:  Whimsy. (Click on the link to find her challenge.)

My heart immediately melted because I LOVE whimsy.

What, you ask, is whimsy?

Google says:

  1. playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.
    “the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing”
    • a whim.
      plural noun: whimsies; plural noun: whimseys
    • a thing that is fanciful or odd.
      “the stone carvings and whimsies”

Whimsy, in my whimsical opinion, wakes us up from the everyday.  It claims us from the ordinary, or it takes the ordinary and subverts it into something delightful (which it already is, although we so often don’t see it).  Something unexpected.  Something odd, fanciful, chuck full of dreams and poetry and Aunt Elizabeth’s thimbleberry jam.

Way over there by Shot Point, somewhere betwixt and between Munising and Marquette, halfway between Au Train and Harvey, here in our fair Upper Peninsula of Michigan, lies a magical playground of Junkyard Art.

And now, some whimsical art!

And now, some whimsical art!

Whimsy abounds.

No, whimsy plays and sings and dances in the sandy woods.

Please enjoy Lakenenland.  Tom Lakenen has sculptured his way into many hearts as they travel along the Lake Superior shores.

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Let’s not even talk about mosquitoes.

1.  Let’s not even talk about the mosquitoes this year.  If you look out the bathroom window at 10 p.m. (assuming you are awake) you can count 35 hungry mosquitoes buzzing and buzzing and begging to come in the house to suck human blood.  I do not exaggerate, as I am an accurate counter.

2. Our daughter amends that, even though 35 hungry mosquitoes prepare to feast outside yonder window, she’s not experienced too much difficulty during her visit in our woods this week.  I agree.  A few weeks ago the mosquitoes feasted and feasted and feasted.  Now they don’t bite as ferociously, thank all the stars in the yonder heaven.  They only look ominous.  However, if one is weeding the garden–watch out.  Only Deep Woods Off will save you.

3.  Our daughter is visiting from New York City!  We are loving it.

Me, My friend, Pattijo and her grandson, and daughter from NYC

Me, My friend, Pattijo and her grandson, and daughter from NYC

4.  We picked her up at the Flint, Michigan, airport a week ago Friday before my dad’s 80th birthday party.  Our son and his wife also flew in from San Diego.  All of my parent’s children and grandchildren attended the birthday party except for one grandchild from Singapore and now she’s coming to visit him and the rest of her Michigan family for a few weeks.  So my folks get to see ALL their extended family this summer.  What could be better?

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Murder in the north woods

Dear readers, I wrote this post back in early May, but did not publish it.  Was about to delete it, but sent it to a friend just for kicks before scrapping it.  She loved it.  She insisted it was a “keeper”.  Thus, prepare yourselves if you choose to read on. 

Yesterday proved a macabre, gruesome day.  Please continue reading at your own discretion.

At least I have no photos to upset the digestion of your breakfast.

It started around 10:40 a.m. in the bird feeder.  (Who done it?  Mrs. Peacock in the bird feeder with a beak?  A little humor for you “Clue” fans.)

A red squirrel, a pesky, delightful, charming little fella, performed amazing upside-down and backwards acrobatics to scale the summit into our bird feeder.  Seriously, onlookers might cheer.  The bushy sweetheart proceeded to munch sunflower seeds as juncos, finches, nuthatches and chickadees alighted.

Such a pastoral scene in the north woods on a drizzly May morning whence the snowbanks continued to recede!

(Prepare thyself.  It now gets grizzly.)

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Cry, cry, cry

Whole lot of weepin' and wailin' going on

Whole lot of weepin’ and wailin’ going on

Yesterday, the wind howled.

The trees danced.

Some trees tipped over sideways, crashing onto the forest floor with a large BOOM!

“Gosh, I haven’t seen wind like this in ages,” I said to Barry.  “How strong do you think it is?”

“Fifty miles per hour?” he suggested.

I concurred.

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

900 blog posts, sucker, fawn & Happy Father’s Day

OK, a couple of months have passed since I uploaded photos from the Sony Cybershot camera to the computer.  I often take pictures on her and then forget.

Barry asked me to take a picture of the bike we’re sending to Christopher out there in San Diego, so it was time to remember.

Because I can’t stand taking pictures–without showing them to someone–here’s all the forgotten photos.

Barry's old bike that we're sending Chris

Barry’s old bike that we’re sending Chris

While you’re looking at random pictures, I’ll share random facts.

1.  I have now published 900 posts on Lake Superior Spirit since its birth in 2010.  Can you imagine?  How time flies when you’re having fun!

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

The Green Man

The Green Man

The Green Man

I spend seconds, minutes, hours, days, watching leaves on our forest trees. Electric early-summer leaves in shades of velvet green and lime green and verdant green. Leaves fluttering. Leaves lying stock-still, not phased by any ruffling wind. Leaves kissed by sunlight. Leaves drenched in moonlight. Leaves blocking access to sky. Leaves of layered texture. Never-ending leaves.

Years ago, in my impatient youth, I witnessed 70-year old neighbors endlessly staring out the window at sparrows, chickadees, trees, rising sunflower plants as they fed me and the children Oreo cookies and milk and coffee.

How boring! I thought. How do they do it, hour after hour? What the heck of interest lies outside yonder window? I yearned for the excitement of, say, deep spiritual conversation and Native American sweat lodges and leaps into Lake Superior.  None of this la-de-da window watching.

These days, finally, I’m getting it.

The appeal of watching leaves. The fascination with sensation, depth, color, fluttering. Tiny movement mirrored in my own body. The world revealing itself on a micro-level, full of itself, truly enough.

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

The joy of cooking (without a recipe)



One of my greatest joys in the last year or two has been tossing the recipe book out the window.

Adieu, dear recipe book, you’ve been a wonderful teacher, a darling guide.

But it’s time to learn to cook without another’s advice, without another’s direction.  It’s time to learn to cook by feel, by intuition, by heart.

And how fun it’s been!  The fingers reach in the refrigerator for this ingredient, this slender carrot, the riveting multi-colored swiss chard, the can of deep dark black beans from a faraway jungle.  The hands create dishes based on the dream of the moment, adding some red tomato here, a spicy dijon mustard-lemon-honey-salt dressing, what else might agree? Some chopped cilantro?

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.  Who knows what shall arise at the lunch table, on the dinner plate?

Certainly not me.

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Posted in June 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments