Welcome Back Summer!

We welcomed the upcoming season just about every way one could this weekend. I hope it doesn’t take it upon itself just to hang around. Ninety degrees was kinda nice…for two days.
Friday afternoon we met a friend for some brief kayaking on the Elk River. Since it’s still early in the water season, visibility is stellar. We’re considering breaking out the wetsuits for some early (read: cold) free-diving. After navigating around the stump field, we hopped across the street to the Elk Rapids beach for some wading and rock-throwing. Because it’s so shallow there, the water was much warmer than I had anticipated, so I actually joined in the ankle-deep fun.

On Saturday, we drove about an hour north for the morel festival in Boyne City. As their brochure site promises, even though we had an early spring, dry spell, and not-great-mushroom-season, we had some tasty morel dishes. My favorite was a morel and asparagus risotto. Guess what I’ll be making soon? I rounded out lunch with a funnel cake and some kettle corn. The kettle corn is an annual MorelFest treat, and the funnel cake was a surprise I’ve been awaiting for a few years. I hesitate to refer to a funnel cake as food, but it’s my favorite fair food, and one I have a hard time finding up here. Elephant ears – no problem. Funnel cakes…first one I’ve had in years, and it was totally worth the immediate nausea it caused.

After the festival, we attempted some mushroom-hunting to see if we could spot some late-season giants. We found one, and then left it in favor of swimming in cold Torch Lake. It turns out that I’d rather hunt in the rain at not-quite-50 degrees than in still, nearly-90’s. We took our frisbee and made an afternoon of it. We stayed in the shallows, so the cool water was refreshing instead of painfully cold.

Sunday we continued our new routine addition of plant watering. As I soaked one of our little barberries, something on it wriggled. I called to Tony, who politely fetched my camera so I could snap this little guy for you. I thought it was cute, but then I didn’t try to pick it up or anything too unwise. I just shoved a lens in its face.

Sunday arrived even hotter than Saturday, so we piled the kayaks back onto the car, and set off for East Bay. We fought the wind as we paddled south along the shore for about 40 minutes. Hanging our legs over the sides of our boats, we dipped our toes into the lake…once. I’m guessing we were over water that was maybe twenty feet deep, and it felt like about twenty degrees. With the rolling waves, blustery winds, and achingly cold surface water temps, we stayed shallow, and then surfed our way back to the car.

We rounded out the day with some beach time, swimming, and a Torch Lake sunset followed by a severe thunderstorm (from which we emerged unscathed).

(Lest you think we missed some summertime staples – we grilled veggies and brats on Friday, and I made lemon/mixed berry ice cream Saturday night 😉 )


10 thoughts on “Welcome Back Summer!

    • I did. I have a couple where his tongue is in, but I waited for that. At first he was darting it out super-fast, but then he changed it up, and was whipping it around in some kind of slow motion. Either that, or he temporarily hypnotized me 😉

    • I think it’s not too unusual to have a few early hot days, but I just hope our summer doesn’t bake us the way it did last year. Regardless, I’ll make the most of I can 🙂

  1. Isn’t it a delight when summer finally finally returns to Northern Michigan? Looks like you had lots of fun, Heather! I love the snakey guy, too, stickin’ out his red tongue, and the way the photo shows the loop of the snake. Your Morel Festival sounds like it was delightful, too. We didn’t find a single morel this year. 😦

    • I thought he was such a cute little guy, even though I have no idea what kind of snake he was.
      And the folks at the Morel Festival confirmed that it was not a great year. Very few people were selling fresh morels, and they were VERY expensive this year – $35 for a pint of incompletely dehydrated morels!

        • I would say “No,” but Tony and I flew up here as a birthday present the year before we moved…to hunt morels. I daresay it came out to more per pound, but I also got to spend a rare (by that time’s standards…not so rare now) birthday weekend with my dad doing what we love best 🙂

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