Happy Saturday morning all:

A new insight from deep within the shadows of the foothills of the La Cloche mountains:

“In the woods, three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth” ~ our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

I am starting my morning, beginning with a short pause; two reasons for this. The first is that I am waiting for the coffee to finish perking. The second is for a moment of reflection.

I’m trying to reflect on what it is that has Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Pres. Obama all wanting to jump into the midst of what is one crazy “school yard” fight. I can’t figure it out since they built their careers on running away from just such a ruckus and then only yelling from behind the ‘fence.’ From way out here, with no TV to ‘guide’, it’s sorta like seeing something out of a Larson Far Side strip—a twisty-turny upside down world.

Tasks with a purpose – As I wrote the kids earlier this week, fall has sprung in the north woods. It’s not uncommon to see the space heater on in the morning and in the evening. The trees have begun to change over into their autumn glory – slowly, nevertheless, it’s happening.

And now, every time a project is undertaken it’s done with the thought of; “how will this help the winter shut-down.” Yesterday I fired up the weed-whacker and ‘mowed’ the property for one final time this season. The ritual concluded by running the thing out of fuel, pulling the spark plug, and giving the cylinder a short squirt of oil. Two pulls on the cord to circulate and lubricate the cylinder walls; then it was carefully locked up for its winter’s rest. One task less as the days continue to get shorter.

A new hobby – got started by Marcia. It started by me helping my neighbor Bob-the-forester cut down a large dead Birch tree near his outhouse. A beautiful “Artist’s Conk” (Ganoderma applanatum) sat shelf-like on the side and I asked him to whack it off with the saw. Picture 054The spores of these fungus family growths attach to distressed trees (and this dead Birch was seriously distressed at one time). Anyway, over time they turn hard and woody and are beautiful as a display or as a surface to paint on.

Marcia fell in love immediately when she saw it.

Mid-week I set out on a bit of a hunt and in the woods found a gnarly dying tree that bore a motherlode of the things. I headed back to Northern Comfort, got Marcia, a mallet, a chisel, and a saw, and headed back to the tree. Marcia now has a couple of boxes filled with drying conks. She is delighted.

Animal planet – The Hummingbirds are feeding like crazy and getting noticeably fatter; all in preparation for their flight south. The Loons are still noisily on the lake, but I suspect that it won’t be long before they head for their winter’s stay somewhere on salt water.

Yesterday one of the Great Blue Herons that reside in the back of our cove flew by. These are amazingly majestic birds with their six foot wingspans. This one skimmed the water about 50’ out, its wingtips barely missing the water—what a sight.

Fini –A Happy Birthday to Vince, a busy time with a move just last week and more travel this coming week. And, oh yes, he did manage to fit in another Triathlon.

Make it a great week everyone.

From the Archives
Saturday, September 03, 2005

Morning all:

What a difference a week makes. This morning, thinking about the thousands in the Gulf region, gives a whole new perspective on just the simple ability to toast an English muffin, pour fresh clean water from a working faucet in the pot, and brewing my morning coffee.

The sheer scope of the disaster really came home at about Thursday when I finally realized how large an area was affected. I was instant messaging with someone in my European office on work matters when the subject of the storm and the subsequent flooding came up. He mentioned that in their newspapers it was mentioned that the affected area was about the size of the United Kingdom.

For me personally, I think that even more than the horror video coming out of the area seeing the videos and reading the heartbreaking pleas from the many people still cowering on roofs, water isolated hospitals, and in attics with no remaining or fast dwindling supplies becomes almost too much to comprehend. Open your hearts.

This whole event also brings home the fact that the veneer of our civilized and orderly world is awfully thin. All it takes is three days to generate pictures equal to anything coming out of the worst third-world hot spots, right from within our own country. And, how totally vulnerable we really are when communications cease, electricity is cut, and law enforcement becomes invisible. I guess that what makes us still different from many nations is an ability to eventually muster a response, coupled with an overall attitude that just “wills” us through and allows us to finally prevail.

The summer here is finishing up with an annual massive fireworks display. For many years the tradition has been for an end-of-summer festival which brings about half a million people to the riverbanks. This is capped by a half-hour, put to music, fireworks display. One of our radio stations works for the better part of the year to create a theme and then set about the task of selecting the right music. Because of the crowds we’ll park a car downtown early morning. Then tomorrow afternoon a group of us will ride the bus in and have the ability to escape quickly by driving home.

We actually started getting ready for this weekend last weekend by seeing one of our favorite local bands—Over the Rhine. The setting was the spectacular Moonlight Gardens at Old Coney Island. Cathy, Jason, and Marin joined us, plus we ran into some others so it became a bit of a party at our table. For those reading this and living in Michigan, the band’s tour has them playing at Calvin College in November; it’s worth clearing that evening and seeing a great concert—are you listening Schies, Kiks, and Zigs?

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

And, make it a great week!

9/03/2005 07:15:00 AM

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