After the austerity of winter, the abundance of spring is exuberant. The trees have sprouted baby leaves in various pastel pinks and greens, and some of the orchards have burst into bloom. Surrounded by the backdrop of the glittering bay and the warm, blue skies, the bounteous beauty is a little hard to believe. Continue reading
One day it’s almost 80 degrees (27C), the next it’s supposed to be 70 (21C), but it’s really mid-50s (13C), cooling to low 40s (6C). Nonetheless, temperatures have stayed above freezing, more light streams in daily, and so spring dances ever on. Continue reading
Today was astonishingly beautiful – one of those dramatic days that seems only to occur in the fall. We awoke to mid-forties and the freshness of a just-passed rainstorm. I grabbed a couple of tomatoes for breakfast, and then we headed to Short’s for lunch (squash bisque, if you’re interested, and perfect for a crisp first day of fall) followed by a drive around Torch Lake.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while (thanks to all “old” and “new” followers, by the way!!), then you’ve visited this shipwreck with me a couple of times. If you’re new here, then you’re in for a treat. Well, either way I still think you’re in for a treat; this is one of my favorite hikes in my neighborhood Continue reading
Do you remember back in June when Tony and I went out in search of a future dive site? Today during lunch we went back there – the Petobego Natural Area- armed with our snorkel gear and camera. We originally learned about it from a couple of guys we met at a dive site in Northport, who described the area as having some interesting underwater sawdust-plus-sand formations.
Back in the lumbering days, there was a sawmill located on the water near Angell Road south of Elk Rapids. As a result, the sandbars that surround the current Petobego Pond are full of sawdust. As we walked along the shore, this odd mixture of sand and dust barked (very similar to the sound of H2 + O2 –> H2O in a test tube, which I know is very specific, but I did teach high school science) with every step. I couldn’t help but barking my way along like I do on gym floors in squeaky shoes
Looks like sand, “pops” like burning hydrogen
We left our belongings at the edge of the water and then ventured in. We stayed within the pond since the nearby bay was rather choppy. Overall, we were pretty disappointed with the site for snorkeling/free diving. There just wasn’t much to see, although there were tons of tiny fish schooling around us. (Presumably we’d have better luck if we swam to the drop out on the bay…maybe next time.) The bottom was very soft (probably the whole ground wood meets ground stone thing), which I found a bit unnerving. Also, it kicked up into the water easily, reducing visibility.
Despite the flash accidentally being on without my noticing I still like the left-hand snap because the surface of the water from below looks neat – plus that sun-dappled bottom
But, right before we decided to hop out of the water, I spotted something I’ve never seen up here:
I’m pretty sure it’s a gar. When you’re submerged in water, you can’t exactly shout for your swim buddy. Instead, I excitedly waved my arms around in his general direction until he noticed. Unlike most fish that immediately dart away when they detect your presence, this guy languidly swam around for awhile before finally and slowly swimming away.
Note: In my attempts to verify what the guys in Northport told us, I came across some info suggesting that this place is a favorite for kiteboarders. You can get here by boat, or by walking along the shore…on private property. If you plan to visit this site via a hike in, stick to the water’s edge.