Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Excursion: Birch Lodge & Motel

A couple of weekends ago we took a quick trip up to Trout Lake. The Birch Lodge and Motel was the perfect spot to spend a quiet weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Mackinac Island. 

The lodge, motel and grounds were lovely, but we spent most of our time out in the canoe.

There were turtles to catch (which were later released,)

and fish to be caught. Allen caught lots and lots of Bluegill, Sunfish and a few other species. Believe it or not, one of the Bluegill he caught qualified him for a Master Angler Award; it was 10 1/2 inches long (about 26.6 cm.) The little Walleye above went back into the lake.

I managed to drag them all blueberry picking as well, but of course, I was too busy picking to get any pictures! After cleaning I managed to stash 3 1/2 pounds (about 1.5 kg) of wild Michigan blueberries in the freezer for jam.Now that were back home I need to get to work - I've got all a freezer  full of raspberries waiting, too.

Friday, August 17, 2018


I have been having so much fun with "The Girls" lately. Their antics just make me giggle. At about 6:45 this morning they were making huge amounts of noise, which is unusual, so I went out the the coop to investigate. (I was already up.) When I opened the coop it was clear they were not happy. The older birds, who roost up on a higher bar, were grouching loudly at the younger hens who were down on the floor. They roost on a lower bar and can easily hop down.

As I looked around I quickly saw what had gotten into the coop overnight and was making them so upset; every single one of them was up in arms over a tiny little cricket! I'm fairly certain they were arguing over who was going to eat it for breakfast. Just imagine seagulls fighting over a french fry and you can picture what they were like.

Many of the chicks we got this spring have come into lay (actively laying eggs.)  I love checking the nesting boxes every day to look for eggs. We're getting some every day - and they're getting bigger. When hens first start laying often the eggs are quite small, sometimes without a yolk.

Just look at those beauties. I'm thinking quiche for dinner...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


I'm always amazed when I find snails in high places. I think about just how far that climb must been for that little snail; I mean it probably took it all night to slide up my bike. 

And then I wonder about what the snail was looking for. I can't imagine a metal bike frame feels or tastes the same as the stem of a plant. So, what was it after?

Maybe it just wanted a ride down Grand Hill...

Friday, August 10, 2018


The raspberries just seem to keep coming. I'm surprised because it has been so dry this summer. 

Each time I've left the raspberry patch, I've been freezing the berries. After today I should have enough to make a batch of jam - two if I'm lucky!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


My neighbor has a sizeable raspberry patch in his yard. A raspberry patch he waters all summer. He and I have an arrangement - he grows the berries, I make the jam and everybody's happy.  Mackinac Island raspberries are delicious, by the way.

Yesterday I was over at his house, elbow deep in the bushes and I came across this little fellow. As I picked, I watched him climb up the stem, out onto the leaf, and then hang in the "J" shape. Such a nice surprise - so much nicer than the wasps hanging out in the raspberry patch. (Apparently they've decided raspberries make a nice mid-afternoon snack.) I don't mind sharing with the monarchs, but wasps aren't my favorite. Luckily, I was careful and I didn't get stung...