Thursday, July 02, 2015

On the Way to Gitche Gumee

Last September, during my year-long break from blogging, Doug and I and our friend, Pat, traveled to and through Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) to spend a week at Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, located in Eagle River, Michigan, in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan are connected by the Mackinac (pronounced MAK-in-aw) Bridge, a suspension bridge of approximately five miles (8 km) in length.

Entering the Mackinac Bridge

The bridge from a viewing point on the UP side

A look at the fall colors that were beginning to pop out in the UP

Tahquamenon Falls wasn't too far from where we stayed that first night of travel. So we took advantage of the remaining daylight and went to see the falls.

Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Our route the next day took us through the city of Munising, Michigan. We knew there were several sightseeing opportunities in that area, so we stopped at a visitor center for advice on what we could see in the short amount of time we could spare. A ranger there told us about Wagner Falls, which she said was her personal favorite of multiple waterfalls in the vicinity and which was very near.

Wagner Falls

Then we drove a short distance to an overlook with a view of the rock formation called Miner's Castle. It's part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which is best viewed in the late afternoon, from a boat out on the water.

Miner's Castle

For comparison, I'm including another picture that I took of Miner's Castle back in 2004, from the same overlook, but with late-day lighting. You might also notice that there are two two turrets in the earlier image. One of those turrets broke off in 2006.

HPIM0471-Miners Castle-Pictured Rocks Natl Lakeshore
Miner's Castle in 2004, with two turrets

By the way, for those who may be wondering, Gitche Gumee is a Native American name for Lake Superior and means "Big Water." 

Back with more soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hot Rod or Motorcycle?

Doug and I took a road trip at the end of May, to visit Cousin Bill's widow, Anita. We hadn't seen her since Bill died a year and a half ago. The only photos I took that day were from the car as we drove the two and a half hours each way.

These first pictures are of an odd-looking vehicle that we passed on the highway. It had three wheels and was pulling a small trailer. 


The license plate on the vehicle itself bore a handicap embem.

Please excuse the next photo. I wouldn't normally post one of such poor quality, but it was the only shot I could get of the front. I took the picture through the outside rearview mirror on the passenger side of our car, as we passed him.


The next two were taken from the passenger seat, through the driver's side window, as he passed us.



The final picture in this post is of a cloud formation that caught our eye on our way home that evening.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Red Admiral Butterfly

Doug spotted this beautiful butterfly on one of our bushes this afternoon. I'm not knowledgeable about butterflies, but I submitted a photo of this one to They got back to me shortly with the identification. It's a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).





It's not a rare type of butterfly, by any stretch of the imagination; but we couldn't remember having seen one before. According to the information on the website, Red Admirals prefer sap flows on trees, fermenting fruit, and bird droppings; visiting flowers only when these are not available. Then they will nectar at common milkweed, red clover, aster, and alfalfa, among others.
I guess this one couldn't find any tasty bird droppings today.

Saturday, June 20, 2015



We found this little guy hiding in the grass in our back yard yesterday. His mama must have told him that, if he didn't move, he was invisible. We got quite close to him without his moving so much as to twitch an ear or blink an eye. Maybe he thought he was safe behind that leaf.

This morning, I saw several rabbits that size flitting around in our yard and the neighbors'. They're fast, man.

It's been a rough week for us, especially for Doug. There were two trips to the emergency room, one by ambulance on Monday and the other in the car driven by me on Tuesday. They found a kidney stone on the second trip and removed it Wednesday afternoon. He came home Thursday night. Then we had to go back to the emergency room last night because the pain was getting bad again. This time, they sent him home with some oral medication for the pain. So far, so good today.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Fifty-five years ago, my brother, Phil, graduated from high school.

This is Phil, in his graduation robe, standing in front of our house. That's our mom on the porch.

Phil's Senior Picture

Last week, Phil's first grandson, my great-nephew, Curtis, graduated from high school. Phil died in an auto accident, when his children, Beckie and Dave, were only five and two, respectively. So Phil never got to see his own children grow up, get married, and have families of their own. But I did. And I know he'd be "bustin' his buttons" with pride to see them now.

On Curtis' Graduation Night
Left to right: Curtis' maternal grandmother; his brother, Carson; his mom, Katrina; Curtis; his brother, Cooper; and his dad, Dave.

That's Dave's sister, Beckie between Carson and Curtis.


These pictures, above and below, are Curtis' senior pictures.
(Photo credit to Signature Portrait Studio, Winona Lake, Indiana)


He's grown into a young man who makes his family very proud.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Storm Clouds and Sunset

We were blessed with a gorgeous sunset tonight. I'm posting a series of photos taken between 9:00 PM and 9:30 PM. None of these have been tweaked in any way.



The above image was taken while looking east, away from the setting sun, and wondering about the strange cloud/light formation over the Amish farm.





The photo above is taken looking to the north.


To God be the glory!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Cedar Waxwings

While spending a beautiful afternoon at Ouabache State Park on Thursday, we saw several Cedar Waxwings flitting around. With all the leaves on the trees now, it's very hard to get photographs of them. But, we soon realized that a pair of them had a nest in a tree, almost directly above us. (Indirectly enough, however, that we were safe from get the picture.)

Hope you enjoy these little beauties as much as we did.






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