Author Archive

Chainsaw Massacre

Monday, May 5th, 2008

I am not talking about the massacre that has been going on in my back yard. Why is it that nowadays when we trim trees on the sides of little old forest roads, the kind that don’t get plowed in the winter, we have to clear cut umpteen million yards on each side of the road? Same goes for utility related “pruning”. Sorry, but these guys have gone chainsaw happy. We went on a little foray into the Scenic Trails by Houghton Lake over the weekend, little seasonal roads into the wilderness. They do not get plowed in the winter and are mainly used by snowmobilers during the heaviest of snow periods. I haven’t really been in there a whole lot for a number of years and, when I did happen to get in there, I was always trying to figure out why I didn’t recognize certain landmarks and what was different. Well, duh, it is because on a large section of the trails, they have clear cut about a gazillion trees on either side of the road. The beautiful canopy of trees that used to form a tunnel over the road is gone. It’s state land. I don’t know when they did the clear cutting. I don’t know who did the clear cutting. I don’t know why they did the clear cutting or who decided it was a good idea. Why on earth did they cut so many trees down? I don’t have enough steam today to write a really good rant but, bottom line? We need as many trees as we can get. Quit cuttin’ ’em all down!!! It’s a scenic trail, fer kee-reist! It needs trees!

There is a little slide show but most of the pictures are not related to the tree massacre. They are just early spring in northern Michigan pics. And it is still pretty early in the spring in the Great White North. Not *so* much here on the Planet Ann Arbor. We’re greening up pretty quick here. BEWARE!!! The UU and I found the remains of an aminal and pics 16-18 are of that. It is not gory, just fur and a couple of dried bones. One of the reasons I posted the pics is because we couldn’t figure out what it was, so I’m wondering if anyone else has an idea. It was relatively big and we speculated dog or coyote or even wolf. But just so you know what’s out there. Click here or on Hawky to see the slide show. That was the best pic I could get of Hawky before he flew away (with an unknown victim in his talons). I ain’t never gonna be a good wildlife photographer. I don’t have the patience or the equipment. Deal.

Trespassers W

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

steelplant.jpgYes, I did do just a bit of trespassing today. Took a sneak peek at the huge hole in the woods where the new Faunt place will be along the rocks heading to Cedar Point. And then, when we were walking back down the beach (“we” being me, the GG, and Radical Betty), we stopped by where the big cross is. Yes, Mr. Armstrong (or whoever), we can see it from the beach. If you put something like that in the line of sight, people are going to be tempted to walk up there and check it out. I had already seen the cross and didn’t particularly want to look at it again but, after standing on the beach waiting for the others for a while wondering where they were, I walked up in there to the road. I didn’t know which direction the others had taken so I guessed wrong and headed toward the old lighthouse keeper’s house, aka Doley’s Doelle’s. I was seriously trespassing now. Mr. Armstrong has signs all over the place. “No trespassing. This means YOU!” I know who he means. But nobody was around and that place is a huge part of my childhood so I lingered anyway. I have no idea what the plans are for the house and outbuildings there. In case they’re going to be torn down, I had to take pictures of them. Eventually, I headed back down to the beach and I could see the GG and Radical Betty heading up to Radical Betty’s house.

To Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Faunt. Yes, I trespassed today. I apologize for that. But you have to understand that I have grown up near your land. It is important to me. It is a HUGE part of my history and my family’s history. I would argue that it’s almost more valuable to us than it is to you. I don’t know if you can understand that every time you take out a tree you are stabbing my spirit. I am the absolute last person on earth who would ever disturb anything on your land. I hope we can be, if not friends, at least friendly acquaintances in this new and uncharted century. I don’t care if I can’t walk down the old overgrown two-track to the old lighthouse keeper’s house any more. Over the old log bridge and then the cement bridge. I did that with my grandma. I don’t even care if I can’t walk the old trail to the back light ever again. I’ve shoved all that stuff way down into my memories. Painfully. I do hope you won’t mind if we walk down to the end of the beach and back and I hope you’ll let me walk the rocks to Cedar Point once in a while. You can walk on our beach too. Er, keep your motorized vee-hickles down at your end, please. We got after our own Kevin when he drove on the beach too! Same goes for horses. We have enough trouble with goose poop. So, how ’bout it?

It was a short weekend but it was a long day and I’m tired. I posted some pictures so click here or on Kayak Woman’s steel plant pic from when she was walking her Soo St. Siberia route this morning. I’m too tired to post more for a while, so tomorrow y’all are back to KW’s regular old blather.

When Gales of November Come Early

Friday, November 9th, 2007

xmascactus.jpgKaren is right as usual 🙂 About the date, I mean. Sorry about that but anyway, my twisted little brain does have a method to its madness. Tomorrow will be November 10th again. It’s been 32 years since my brother listened to the Arthur Anderson call in vain for the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s been 32 years since Duke and Radical Betty watched their two-story windows sway in the gale. And it’s been 32 years since I made Grinch and our friend Marc walk the beach with me late on a Thanksgiving weekend night. It was just too spooky down there, even though we knew that no bodies would float up on our beach. Superior, they say, never gives up her dead.

This November 10th, the lake is like glass. And guess what? There’s been so much rain up here lately that Lake Superior is now only something like 12 inches below the average level. I got that from The Commander, so it may not be totally accurate :twisted:. The water is still pretty low but the sand islands are gone and the streams are all running in full force. Apparently the sky is not falling after all. I was a skeptic throughout the whole thing. All the talk about erosion (or whatever) in the St. Clair River causing the upper lakes to drain. Or was it an effect of global warming? The low lake levels were disturbing but the explanations just didn’t wash. I’m old enough to remember back in the 60s when the lower lakes were way below average levels. They recovered and later (was it the 80s or the 90s) people were whining and crying about how high the lake levels were. I’m not an expert on this stuff. I don’t even read that much about it. But to some extent, cycles are cycles. Things go up and things go down.

Ah well. I had something profound to say. I think. But I’ve lost my train of thought, so I guess I’m done. The GG and The Commander are talking and some TV news show is running in the background. Franhattans are on tap (I don’t *think* she made ’em backwards). Hiking with the NCT folks tomorrow! G’night! Oh! Click here or on the pic for beach shots.

This ain’t no fairy cross!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

cross.jpgThere’s a good chance I could get into some kind of weird trouble for writing this post but life here on The Planet Ann Arbor today was almost as exciting as watching paint dry so I’m looking to mix it up a bit.

The last time I arrived on Fin Family Moominbeach, I was greeted with, “have you seen that big cross in the woods down there?” I had no idea about any “cross” in the woods. Why did anyone need a cross? We have all kinds of icons around the beach. The Back Light. The Amethyst Rock. The Big Rock in the Bay Just Before Cedar Point. The elusive Cylinder (dun dun dun). A little chill went up my spine and my heart tried to jump up to my throat but I forced it back down.

Honestly, can anybody tell me what the heck this kind of thing could be about? I think I have blahgged before that while I respect other people’s religious beliefs*, I am not particularly religious myself. Part of that is probably due to receiving some of Grandroobly’s DNA. And then there were the sweet, well-meaning Sunday School ladies (hey, my parents tried!) who dismissed my questions about how one measly loaf of bread could feed multitudes of people with, “it was a miracle!” When you are a kid who thinks about atoms and universes and calculus before you can articulate the words, you need a better answer than that. That’s not to mention the old biddie** who once tried to get me and my brother (I was five and he was two) to stop rough-housing in the church kitchen while The Commander was making coffee for the coffee hour after the service by telling us that Jesus was gonna get us if we didn’t watch out. Those weren’t her exact words but I got her drift. But Jesus was dead, right? Or not? And whether he was or wasn’t, how the heck could he be watching every single badly behaved kid on earth? We shouldn’t have been rough-housing but this stuff about Jesus just didn’t wash.

Anyway, as you can see, my religious training is lacking. This cross bugs the heck out of me. Why is it there? Is it supposed to protect someone? Who is it supposed to protect? From what? Are there *really* werewolves and vampires in the woods? What’s with the nails? Are they planning to crucify someone? If so, who? Probably me, since I had to do a small bit of trespassing to get that picture. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Y’all know the drill. So what’s up with the cross? Maybe I’ll go join the werewolves and the vampires.

*In the case that religion is used as an excuse to kill or hurt anyone or anything, I get off the train.

**I’m finding out in my old age that I’m not the only person who didn’t like that [long dead] woman. 😉

Not Work Safe

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Notice of Authorization
Permit Number 04-17-0098-P
Issued: 9/22/2005
Expiration Date: 12/31/2006

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Land and Water Management Division, Upper Peninsula District Office, 520 5th St., Gwinn Michigan, 49841, 906-346-8300, has issued a permit for the activity described below, under provisions of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended and specifically:

  • Part 31, Floodplain/Water Resources Protection.
  • Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams.
  • Part 303, Wetland Protection. [this item is checked off, natch.]
  • Part 315, Dam Safety.
  • Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands.
  • Part 323, Shorelands Protection and Management.
  • Part 353, Sand Dune Protection and Management.

Authorized activity:
Excavate and fill approximately 7680 square feet of wetland to facilitate the construction of an access drive. The maximum base width of the driveway is 16′. This driveway shall also have a minimum of 4 equalization culverts placed in low areas to provide for crossflow of surface water. All work shall be done according to attached plans and permit conditions dated September 23, 2006.

To be conducted at property located, Chippewa County, Waterbody: wetland
Section: 25, Town 47N, Range 2W, Bay Mills Township

Permittee: John W. Armstrong

Steven E. Chester, Director
Department of Environmental Quality

Mike Smolinski
District Representative

This notice must be displayed at the site of work in such a way that it can be seen from the road. Please refer to the above Permit Number with any questions or concerns.

Click here for pictures, if you can stand to look.