Streams, Bluebird & Wood ticks

Peeking through the curtain of branches...there is a spring stream shimmering beyond

I had no intention of writing a blog today.  Other things to do, you know.  First, work at the school.  It’s a long story why I was working on Tuesday instead of Monday (my usual day) but I will not bore you with the lengthy details.  Suffice it to say, this morning meant work.

This afternoon involved a tour of the new hospital in L’Anse.  Very snazzy new facility.  I thought briefly of taking pictures and showing you, but decided against it.  You can imagine the new hospital.  First, imagine a hospital built in the 1950’s.  That is our old hospital.  Now imagine a new fancy high-tech state-of-the-art hospital.  That is where you, too, can have your gallbladder removed in Baraga County after June 10th.

Stream in the woods

I came home to a cryptic message from a blog-reader.  OK, not just any blog reader.  A family member blog-reader.

The email said, “Streams?  Where are my streams?”

You know you’ve landed in the technological era when your first thought is, “Was I suppose to send video streams?  Audio streams?  What the heck?”

Blue stream/maple buds

Then it slowly dawned on me.  Ahhh…streams.  I had promised said family member photos of spring streams.  You know, racing rain-drenched spring streams in the gulleys and ravines. 

Except, leave it to spontaneity, I had agreed to photograph the streams and then decided instead to go downstate to visit my parents and other extended family.  Spring streams were forgotten; cast aside!

Until today.  Even though there was no intention to write a blog (I am LOVING my resolution of writing when I feel like it, thank you) it appeared a blog must be written.  Before that, a photo shoot must happen.  All before dinner.

Thankfully, dinner was leftovers.  No cooking involved. I grabbed the trusty camera and dashed into the woods to look for streams.

Report:  Sorry, beloved Family Member.  The streams are mostly dried up now.  We missed their wild churning excitement.  You shall have to wait until Next Year.  (If I don’t decide to travel during spring run-off, that is.) 

Please enjoy the One Stream that I found. 

And the letter “A” discovered hanging in a tree way back in the woods.  What do you think it means?  A is for Arboreal Forest?  A is for Aura?  A is for Arvon Township?  A is for All the spring streams have dried up?

Who hung this felt letter "A" way back in the woods on a tree? And why?

The letter A does not signify “Bird”.  It definitely does not signify “Blue Bird”.  And yet that is what was spotted right near our house!  This is a rare sighting around our house, folks.  There are bluebirds in our county, but none linger too long around here. 

There is nothing like a bright blue bird brightening up one’s day!  Since there weren’t many blue streams, the blue bird will have to suffice.

A bluebird! Oh happy day!

P.S.  You have no idea how many wood ticks I have picked off since this little adventure in the woods.  At least a half dozen of the crawling little fellas.  It is very distracting.  Have completely changed clothes once, but am still suspicious.  Wood tick season is so entertaining… (she said with a sigh.)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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38 Responses to Streams, Bluebird & Wood ticks

  1. holessence says:

    Kathy – I’m surprised you don’t know that the “A” stands for AWFUL lotta ticks!

  2. jeffstroud says:

    I Love Blue stream/maple buds! Great shot!

    Those walks in the woods and tick infested as they may be, are always an adventure!

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, I like that shot, too. Something about it… It’s always fun in the woods at this time of year, even though the wood ticks are having their huge parties and inviting all their friends.

  3. Elisa's Spot says:

    OHHHHHHHHH…..the image of the bluebird has me so joyful I began to cry! They take my breath away and give it back to me again, different, clean, ALIVE. I love the steam images too! Thanks for sharing your thinks and tangles and things!

  4. Susan Derozier says:

    The bluebird of happiness. I should have known you would find him! That letter on the tree is really something and I love the tip of the twig turning green! Much more fun to look at than a new hospital, though I am sorry you sacrificed yourself to the wood ticks. Ugh! I’m glad you are taking care of yourself yet still keeping us all happy with your spontaneity of pictures and thoughts. Thank you again!

    • Kathy says:

      I was delighted to see that bluebird, Susan. So delighted! I am glad the woods photos were the right blog selection. Even though there were a few fascinating photos of the hospital that could have been taken~~were one in the right mood and inclination. You wouldn’t believe how many ticks there are in the woods at this time of year compared to twenty years ago. It’s an invasion. It is.

  5. Sybil says:

    “A” is for a A really great blog !

  6. bonnie says:

    Super great blog. I love it. It reminds me of about 50 years ago, when my grandparents used to take us up north. I think it was Loon lake, Muskalonge rings a bell, and we could walk through the woods to Superior. So I thank you for the blog and the memories, faded as they are.

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad to have nudged some memories of Superior for you, Bonnie. Loon Lake sounds familiar although I don’t quite know where it is. Thanks for visiting! (50 years ago and today…)

  7. Kiah says:

    You are so good to me!!! xo

  8. barb says:

    Now I’m extremely hung-up on that felt letter “A.” What could it mean? Blah to the ticks. I hope you’ve checked every square inch of yourself. I have sometimes found them in very compromising places. In fact, even though I’m nowhere near ticks, just reading about them on your Blog has made me feel suspicious. I must go check myself. Excuse me.

    • Kathy says:

      What COULD it mean? I have a feeling it’s completely up to us, Barb. 🙂 As for woodticks, when you mentioned those compromising places I just had to check. They were in the clear. However–just now–two minutes ago–sitting at the computer, almost 22 hours later–I just discovered another Crawler. Yikes! They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!

  9. john says:

    I have a really crazy idea that this posting prompted that I am going to email to you once I have it in some semblance of order. That way only you and I will know for sure if I am really crazy. Everyone else can still ponder the thought.

    It is out there, but it could work …

    • Kathy says:

      John, I see you posted this cryptic remark at 4:01 a.m. By this I am intuiting that you were awake or sleepwalking. Perhaps you were blog-reading in your dreams! In which case, I am completely wondering what your crazy idea might be. No email hath come yet so maybe you woke up and realized that it was just middle-of-the-night craziness. 🙂

      • john says:

        I didn’t get in town until 1:40 Est. It took me a while to settle down to bed. This morning I found I have a leaking pipe up stairs in the bathroom … waiting to hear from Bianco. I got the idea from your tour of the hospital and an NPR story. Email may not be ready until tonight.

  10. jeff v says:

    Maybe the “A” stands for Alpha, the beginning of a new Spring. Glad to see there are bluebirds in the area, a good sign indeed. I was quite surprised to see the photo of a Summer Tananger on the cover of the Sentinel , that’s one I haven’t added to my life list. Maybe I will this time up.

    • Kathy says:

      There you have it, Jeff! You must be right. You know, I have seen one scarlet tanager in the U.P. Years ago–up in the hills near Herman. It was beautiful. Would love to see one in the lowlands of Aura or Skanee, but haven’t so far. Let me know if you see one.

  11. Nice to hear the streams are starting to dry up. Still very much churning around my neck of the woods. With all the water around this year. I am afraid it is going to be a banner year for insects of all sorts. Get out your Old Woodsmen!

    • Kathy says:

      Yes indeed, Scott~~dry streams! Oh know, you’ve used the “I” word. Our mosquitoes have already hatched. With this woodtick invasion, we may be in for a difficult spell, as well. Sigh…

  12. P.j. grath says:

    Kathy, I am so tick-phobic that just the title of this post scared me, but I downloaded it, anyway, and was rewarded with the bluebird. Thank heaven! But ticks? YIKES!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, I am glad I didn’t post any photos of that crazy creature, then, Pamela. (Did you read in a comment from above that ANOTHER wood tick just crawled up my arm, right now, 22 hours after the walk in the woods? They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!) You had better stay away from the U.P. for at least another month.

  13. Colleen says:

    Kathy, there aren’t many (if any) around here. At least not that we’ve come across. Maybe more so up in the mountains. How do you cope with so many of them? I used to feel quite “edgy” every spring until their season had ended.

    Your eastern bluebirds are beautiful, quite different from our western guys. It must have been a thrill to get that picture!

    • Kathy says:

      I don’t know how we cope with so many, Colleen. I can still feel them crawling on me all these days later. It makes you not want to venture out in the woods. Yet the woods are so enticing…what to do, what to do? smile.

  14. Stu says:

    Did you smell the letter? I bet it smelled like Doe in heat.. ask Berry .or does he hunt

  15. Karma says:

    How wonderful to get that bluebird shot! LOVE it!
    I know that feeling about the ticks -ick! Teddy has already brought many inside this spring.

    • Kathy says:

      I was so thrilled, Karma. Have you had any ticks on YOU? You can’t go out in the woods or long grasses around here without an invasion. Sigh.

  16. Elle says:

    Lovely! That blue bird is just the perfect tiny dot of color.

    As for ticks…Arkansas has them too. Several different kinds. I feel like things are crawling on me for hours after going into the woods. Even if I change clothes and take a shower..Just the idea of little crawlies sneaking sneaking…gaaahhhhh!!

    • Kathy says:

      I know what you mean, Elle. Even days later you can feel them crawling… Haven’t seen another beautiful blue bird dot of color since that one day, and maybe won’t see another one this year. Thank you.

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