Various and Sundry Things

To start, I’ll apologize to those of you with terrible connections.  There are a lot of pictures coming up, because it’s been a busy coupla days!  But first, a story…

So…about those Joneses.  Here’s part two: some of you can relate and will appreciate the story for that; others of you will just laugh at me.  I apparently got a hint overzealous about mowing the yard.  First I was excited because the lawn mower really did start right up, just like Dad promised.  If you don’t know him, Dad is one of those guys who can build and fix anything.  I’m not one of those guys.  Neither is Tony.  It’s been about 10 years since I’ve used a lawn mower, so it took a few tries to get the blades going, but I did.  And I mowed successfully…until I ran the mower completely out of gas.  I’m a small motor (any motor, really) idiot, so I didn’t know that this was a minor disaster.  Alas, I put in more gas, but could NOT get the thing to start.  Mom assured me that sometimes they were hard to start after running them dry.  I was pretty sure I had flooded it, and was happy to learn that time would heal that wound.  I had no real reason to believe that, but I did anyway.  After trying various combinations of throttle, choke, and key, I gave up and called Phil.  (Sorry Dad, it was the middle of the day and I didn’t think I’d catch you!)  He used a lot of big words, like air filter, carburetor, and fuel filter.  Deciding to be brave, I find what I think could possibly be the carburetor and I add some fuel to it.  I also grabbed a fire extinguisher, because Phil warned about putting the air filter back on lest there be a backfire and loss of eyebrows, and I wasn’t even sure it WAS the carburetor I had dumped gas in.  Sadly, my ministrations changed nothing in the condition of my machine.  Except it smelled like gas.  Then I had an epiphany: maybe I had killed the battery.  Surprisingly, the internet is a wading pool of information about that.  Go ahead and see how much info you can gather to help you determine if your lawn mower’s symptoms are caused by a dead battery.  The end of the story is this: the battery was dead; we jumped it with the car (after checking to make sure it was safe to); I finished mowing the yard.  Then our neighbor mowed his again.  I’m not kidding.

In other news, while I was busy not mowing the yard, we did some more exploring.  Just over the hill from us is a place called the Seven Bridges. (Insert Eagles tune here.)  We didn’t see 7 bridges, though I’m sure they’re there.  What we did see were lots of wildflowers, some gnarly (dude?) trees, and a beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the lake in time for photos, because it looked spectacular from the pasture behind the hill.

We see these occasionally here. All the branches are shaggy and hang down. They look cozy.

Rapid River in the background. Most of the rivers here look slow; this one is really *rapid* 🙂

And this is a... Mom?

One of the presumed 7 bridges

Fangly cedars

Tony and I separately observed that this mess looked like an elephant graveyard...earning it a place on the interwebs!

Some cool bell-shaped flowers (...Mom?) deep in the woods, on the way to the aforementioned pasture.

Just one little plant in a whole field full of them. You'd have a picture of some wild strawberries too, but I got too excited at ate them first. Oops!

They're enjoying the day, it would seem!

Did I mention that I like fungus? They are as colorful and varied as flowers!

But wait, there’s more!  Yesterday began our reprieve from the recent cold snap we’ve had.  We went running in the morning, and then ran over to Torch Lake at lunch for a brief swim.  I’m the wuss, but I swam while Tony only waded.  It really was cold, but it was beautiful and refreshing!

Later, we found another pathway through the Skegemog Swamp, and hiked that over to the lake.  We waded around in it some, and lamented that we didn’t have swim gear, because it was significantly warmer than Torch.

Sunlight on the pathway

A lone lily...the only one on the whole hike. I was pleased to have spotted it 🙂

Looking at the shore from the lake

Some deadwood along the shore

After leaving the lake, and running away from the flies (so far, I’ve pretended there aren’t bugs here, but the deer flies seem to have hatched and they are truly awful), we drove up Cherry Avenue on our way to East Bay in Traverse City.  The road is aptly named; it winds between cherry orchards and two lakes.  The cherry trees are impressive when they are full of fruit.  It made me think – when parents give the “birds and bees” talk (by the way, is there really one talk that happens?  …Mom? 😉 ) they should really give the “plant” talk, because every one of those cherries is here because of fertilization.  And any of my students will smile when they tell you that pollen is plant sperm.  You think about that 🙂

Joe Mama called to check in yesterday evening about 9:30, and immediately asked if we were having ice cream and watching the sun set.  I assured her that, no, we were not having ice cream.  We were, in fact, watching the sun set without ice cream.  Because we had already eaten it 🙂  Some things are just too tempting.

Sun setting over East Bay

And closer...

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16 thoughts on “Various and Sundry Things

  1. I believe that yellow flower is a cosmos..
    about that talk..well I am sure there was discussion, butyou probably overheard more from conversations with Shannon, Marena, Hazel….lol

  2. I can’t believe that you don’t even bother to ask ME what those flowers are. I won’t tell you now even if you ask! (Now you can’t prove I actually don’t have a clue). ;]
    Can’t wait to come up next weekend! Can you please arrange for the water to be warmer?

    • I am a total wuss-face, and I’ve been swimming in Torch and Skegemog lakes. If we had some floaties (as opposed to floaters), it would be really awesome to hang out on top of the water! And I didn’t want to ask you about the flowers, because I already knew that you knew what they were, and it seemed like less of a quiz 😉

    • Hey Blondie,
      I just talked to Mom and SHE says you effed up 😉 She says the yellow flower is actually a coreopsis and that YOU should have known better. So there. She didn’t say that last part, and she didn’t say “effed” either…

  3. …and the adventures and tremendous visuals never cease. It’s truly engaging and inspiring to traipse along w/ you guys vicariously through this blog (which is, unlike most blogs on the interwebs, interesting and extremely well-written…insert English major geek-out here 😉 The beauty of MI, presented by you and T-Dog (he’ll shoot me for that later) continues to be a visual tour-de-force with every new entry, so keep them posts coming, Sister! Maybe you’ll actually inspire Jess to post on her blog now lol \m/

    • I’m glad you like it. Sometimes it’s hard to sit down and write for an invisible audience. I don’t think I’d like doing it professionally, o English major…
      Regardless, I didn’t think the lawn mower story was exactly inspiring. Humbling or hilarious, maybe, but inspiring?

  4. I love reading the updates! Thanks for the graphic details. We can’t wait to visit and go hiking. Is there a place to set up a pop-up camper on the property? We recently purchased one and would love to come up and camp out in Michigan.

    • There’s plenty of room to set up a camper, but there’s also plenty of room for you all to stay in the house, too! I plan to publish another blog today, but I’ve been planning to do that for a few days now… See you soon!

    • Haha…me too! I’m happy to report that we bought a reel mower the other day with the hopes of essentially replacing the riding mower. I used it successfully on Sunday, even in the rain. I have high hopes, and am happy so far (and am impressed with my accidental alliteration!).

  5. I saw that white, stalky fungus in Dupont State Forest in North Carolina. I thought it looked a lot like the red, stalky flower (fungus?) in Glacier National Park. Thank you for leaving your room so organized and clean. I miss you already and this is my first day back! Hope you’re living a great life! It certainly looks like it!

    Love,
    Denise

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