Four years ago, Tony and I had just completed the 1,000-mile journey from our former home in the north Georgia mountains to the lake riddled sandscape that we now call
Narnia. Home. Narnia and Home. Because it is profoundly both. Despite long, cold, lonely winters and hordes of summertime mosquitoes, this place is surprisingly magical, and I have never felt more at home any place I’ve lived (that’s Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and Michigan if you’re counting). So for us, this weekend was one for memories on a few different levels, and we commemorated in the way that best seemed to fit us.
Friday night we geared up for the much-anticipated Camelopardalid meteor shower. We nestled ourselves along a rocky outcropping on Torch Lake, and waited. Except for the chirping of wetland critters, the stillness of the night was absolute. The lake sat in waveless tranquility, reflecting the overhead constellations, making it a choice whether to gawk at the sky or the lake’s mirror surface. In almost two hours, I spotted a couple of meteors, and Tony saw one good one. Otherwise, we simply enjoyed the starry night and the bit of the Milky Way that peeked over the eastern hills before heading home.
See the constellation Cassiopeia? And how about that meteor the camera spotted off our back patio? (There’s one more coming soon from the lake)
Side note/rant: My above depiction of night on the lake is what life Up North is generally like. It’s a peaceful place, full of natural wonders. It also happens to be a place where there was still ice on the lakes (down here…there’s still a lot of ice on Lake Superior) earlier this month. This. Month. At about 1:30am, a party of hooligans came stumbling out onto the Alden Marina. I can only assume they were hooligans, because we could hear their drunkenness a quarter-mile away. They let off fireworks amidst shouting, clambered aboard a boat, and then rocketed out of the marina with boat engine screaming. From my word choice, you know where I stand on this, but aside from the mind-boggling rudeness (and at the risk of sounding like a complete prude), they were far too cavalier about safety. There’s no way at that speed and in that dark they could have seen anyone else on the lake…which is only about 40-degrees (4C). Allow me to conclude my venting with: argh and sigh.
Saturday morning arrived before I was quite ready, having gone to bed sometime around 5:00am. But it was a beautiful, clear day, and the mushrooms called. We’re training Petey to help us find them. So far, he’s doing a great job:
The real story is that Petey doesn’t stay still in the woods for more than a breath or two. He isn’t frantic, but he is “terribly busy.” Tony and I hunt and chatter, and Petey notes when we hone in on a place and he comes to check it out. He has a knack for walking just over our morels without setting his paws upon them, but that’s the extent of his skills.
My photo was taken after we discovered a patch with 38 beautiful mushrooms. Petey’s was taken after some excavation. Not sure who was happier 😉
The rest of our weekend was not so adventuresome, though we still did get out. We toured the Old Mission Peninsula seeking cherry blossoms, dropped by Petoskey (fodder for another blog, as those photos are still on the camera), and picked up a few plants from the nursery. A very busy, relaxing weekend with ample opportunity for reflection and strolling down memory lane.
Awe, finally a mushroom dog! And what a ham for a snapshot! lol
Sure he is 😉 I’m not sure he’s a ham for a snapshot, but he sometimes sits still long enough for me to catch his smiley face!
Sounds like a perfect weekend. You got me – I spent a minute or two wondering how one would train a dog to find Morels, decided it would be scent training (like drug finding dogs) – “here, Petey, smell – Morel!” Then I read on.
Teehee 😉 I’m happy to hear that my pictures told the tricky story I intended. I seem to have run across the blogging quiet you mentioned the other day…
A very pleasant stroll with yourselves. You’re getting good at this. Although, for some reason, I’m left with the rather sureal notion of of air stewardesses dolling out strange mushrooms. I’ve no idea where I got that from. Have a good day. G. 😀
I just can’t quite picture a stewardess handing out morels. Not sure if it’s an imagination failure, or a product of when I started flying (in 2000). I think I’d be happier if they passed out mushrooms instead of the whole baggage loading process that never seems to go as smoothly as I think it should…
I think I must have got the notion from a smiley person in your post. 😀 😀
I love that photo of you, Ms. Heather. You look radiant! As for the hooligans, shame on them. We’ve had some screaming four-wheelers barreling up and down the road lately, and dry dust covers everything. And then there was the drunken fellow that showed up at our door one night last week (he actually was quite nice) who had left his driver who was beating up his girlfriend. We loaned the guy the phone so he could call his rescuers, who also called the tribal police. Oh, I’m sorry, it’s your blog and I’m babbling with a story. Glad to hear you’re getting morels!
Why thank you, Ms. Kathy. You should have heard me shout in delight when I happened upon the patch 😀
Your drunken dude story sounds interesting. I’m surprised now that I haven’t read it on your blog. Your story reminds me of one Tony told me the other day after he got back from (finally) getting the snow tires off. He came across a couple who seemed to me amidst a fight. She was walking, and he pulled up and seemed to say something to her. She didn’t break stride, but walked around his car. Which also reminds me of some not so great times in high school. I hope everything works out okay for our interlopers.
It’s interesting how many stories I don’t tell on my blog these days, Heather. The daily story-telling has lost its oompa lately, for who knows how long? Interesting that Tony saw a fight of some sort going on, too. Sometimes couples need to learn how to be with one another. Barry and I actually disagreed a whole lot our first couple of years together. It’s only later that we–hopefully–matured.
😄😄😄 @ Narnia! 4 years huh? Congratulations and celebrations of course for finding Narnia 😉 and the morel-hunter in training that goes with 😛 For some reason best known to my heart, I’ve begun to refer to him as ‘Good ole Petey’. He just seems like an old soul! I can see him now, ‘being busy’ 😉
I love that you and Tony had a wonderful starry night…but that boat episode is startling and scary 😳😜 Humans can be such a menace sometimes…sigh…loving the pictures as always…I close my eyes and feel myself transported…gazing up at those Narnian skies! What could possibly be better?!
Awww. I love that he’s “Good ole Petey” to you. He’s definitely a puppy still, but he’s a pretty sweet guy. You should have seen him pout tonight before his bath! He happy with a post-bath bone now. Phew 😉
The boat episode is sadly not uncommon this time of year. Torch Lake has been touted for its beauty, and people from downstate flock here in the warmer months. I don’t blame them; after all, I moved here. But I feel like I respect the place for what it is, and it bothers me that someone would travel a few hours to enjoy this place, but don’t experience it the way locals do in any sense. I might be prudish here, but I really don’t think so.
Anyway, the night skies are spectacular, and I am so happy to be able to share them. After living in Miami for four years, I know what it’s like to be under a starless sky.
Sounds like a very romantic weekend 😉 Lovely post, apart from the side-note regarding the intruders….though it was a reality check….your pictures are so surreal and other-worldly, I forget you’re on Earth, where annoying humans exist 😛
Thanks so much for all your lovely words! I’m still not convinced this is earth. It could be Middle Earth. Harsha’s pretty firmly convinced it’s Narnia, which is funny because the people we work with in Atlanta, GA make fun of us and our love for this place. They jokingly call it Narnia up here 🙂
Such an amazing shot of all the stars in the sky! I have to practice a lot more before I’m gonna get a shot like that! Great job!
Thanks Julie! Want any tips shooting? I’m happy to pass along pointers!
Oh yes, please! I’d love to get some tips!!
Ready? I’ll try to be both brief and comprehensive.
Shoot in RAW, manual mode, with vibration reduction (or whatever Canon calls it) turned off. Set your focus at infinity and switch off autofocus.
For manual mode, set your aperture as wide as it will go (smaller number), your shutter speed at 30 seconds, and your ISO wherever you’re happy with the noise. If you go low, you won’t get much noise, but you won’t pick up as much starlight either. I usually go with somewhere between 400 and 800. Don’t forget to tone down the noise in whatever software you process pics in.
If this is over/under your head, feel free to ask more/different questions! And good luck!