A View From the Field








September, 2003


September 30

Well, September is at an end, and in about six and a half weeks, I'll be heading south. Rats.


Not that the weather has been so wonderful. Today we had most everything - sunny, clear skies, rain, and sleet, not in that order. It was raining when I got up this morning - at 8:30, if you'd believe it! - and when I got my breakfast, I looked out at the deck and it was covered with ice crystals, and there was some white crust on the ground. I didn't see anything white coming down, although some of the rain sounded a bit hard. That stopped, and it lightened up a bit, then at noon it began to rain hard. By 2:00, the sun was out, and the clouds were disappearing fast...Around 6, more clouds started coming in from the north, although they didn't cover the sun until almost 7. Now it looks like it may rain again. I guess they did have snow in Lake Linden and at the Houghton County Airport this morning, but the temperature here never got below 39 (at noon), and while the wind was strong during the rains, in between it was very light.


Even though it didn't last very long, it sure was nice to see the sun for a bit. For tonight and tomorrow, they're predicting mixed rain and snow and cold, but we'll see about that. This is really dreary weather, and if we do have fall color, there's no way to see it with the sun hidden behind all the clouds.


I made DC feel a little better by putting away all the cat food. I guess he figures if I'm putting it in the cupboard, we won't be going away very soon. That trip south really worries him.


To add to my squash tonight, I cooked my little bunch of beets, and oh, my they were good, too! And my salad was a couple of carrots. All those things were so sweet it almost tasted like they had been grown in sugar water, but they have wonderful flavors, too. So I had a nice dinner, sitting in the gloom watching the clouds come in. Several of the clouds that came over had virga (sorry, I misspelled it last night - I should have checked first), but they were moving south fast, and when I could see out, it hadn't started raining again.


It was cool enough that I decided I need my fleece robe, so this afternoon, I oiled the sewing machine as best I could without the manual and did a little work on the robe. We'll see tomorrow whether I solved my problems. One of the problems was that the sleeves were too long and wide, so I cut them off and took them in, but it looks like I dipped the old ones in enough stuff that I'll have to wash the robe anyway. The fleece that Malden Mills sells to individuals is much thicker and fluffier than what they sell to Land's End and Eddie Bauer, which means I couldn't do exactly what I wanted with the robe. I will have to remember that for the future. It's also much warmer, which means I still need a mid-weight robe for here. Hmm.


I went to bed pretty early last night, and it was nice to have such a long day, so I think I'll do it again.


It's cold and damp in the field, and September is gone.


September 29

I got to bed a bit before midnight last night, but I still didn't get up until nearly 10am. Catching up, I guess. I will have to try to do even better tonight. It will be a good night to sleep.


When I woke up this morning, there was sunshine, and the sky was just beautiful. Looking out of the bathroom window, I could see a wide swath of mares' tails, and really good ones, high in the northeast. According to the NWS, the temperature got down below 40 for a while, but by the time I was stirring, it was in the mid-40s, with not much wind at all. I redid the bird feeder before I put it out, but it took the chickadees a while to realize it was different from yesterday. Now they're quite happy.


The sun and clouds continued, very pretty, until around 2:15, then it clouded up completely, and we had a few showers. Right before sunset, the sun shone briefly again, and it poured rain here, but I didn't see any rainbows. What I did see was a really neat sky. What you're looking at there are at least three layers of clouds. The low, black ones are full of rain, and you can see it falling - what my new weather book calls the "virga". Sometimes that doesn't reach the ground, but I think it was this time. Behind that, in the opening, are the cumulus clouds we had all day, with the setting sun turning the edges pink. The bright yellow spot isn't the sun (it's not that far south yet, thank goodness!), it's just the reflection on the clouds. I think behind the cumulus is a layer of cirrus. This was taken facing southwest, and the beginning of the hill on the right side is the west bluff.


Earlier, I saw some cumulus clouds with ragged undersides, which is also rainy, so it was a great day to just sit and look at the sky, which is mostly what I did. The new book, by the way, is The Weather Identification Handbook by Storm Dunlop (really!). It has page after page of beautiful pictures of clouds and other sky phenomena, with pretty clear explanations of what causes them and what they mean. The only thing I found a bit disconcerting is that it was written by a Brit, and all the satellite pictures of the entire earth show the eastern hemisphere...something new for me. The tornado pictures are all from the US, though.


Other than watching the sky, I played with my ovens. I had bought a little sirloin tip roast to go with my squash, and I decided to cook it using the convection oven. It turns out, there's not much different about that except that there is a special rack that sits above the broiler pan that you put it on so the heat gets to all sides. I think, though, if I cook a chicken (why not?), I will still start it on its breast. 


There is also a temperature probe for that oven, so that I should be able to just set the temperature I want the interior of the meat to be, and the oven will turn itself off and call me when it's done. The trouble with it is that the probe plugs into the top of the oven, and the cable isn't long enough to get into a small roast like I had. I might ask GE about that, and see if there is a probe with a longer cable. Talk about easy... That would be almost too easy. 


Anyway, it came out good, if a bit later than I intended, and the squash was fantastic. Only I must remember to ignore the GE cookbook, which says to cook squash in the microwave whole and remove the seeds when it's done. That sounds easy, but believe me, it's not, and I was fishing seeds out of my squash while I ate it. It may be harder to cut the squash when it's raw, but at least I can get all the seeds out!


There were some different birds around the feeder today, including a couple I can't identify, but there were two female or juvenile rose breasted grosbeaks eating sunflower seeds like crazy. One of the unidentified stripy little  brown guys hit the end window of the great room with a thud and ended up on the deck, and I was really afraid it had broken something, but apparently it was just stunned, because after sitting there for an hour or more, it disappeared while I was in the kitchen. I hope it survives. This morning there was a small flock of sort of boxy ducks out front, but they took off before I could get the binoculars, so I don't know what they were, but they weren't shaped like any of the ones I saw this summer. Oh, yes, and the geese are coming through regularly. So I guess the migration is under way.


Well, it is now dark, and the forecast is for possible snow mixed with the rain for the next two or three days, so it will be a good time to hibernate.


September 28



I went to bed too late last night and got up too late this morning, again, but there doesn't seem much better to do in this weather. It was cloudy and the north wind was steady at or above 20 mph all night long and into the afternoon, and the lake was speaking loudly, so after I finally gave up on trying to do too much embroidery, I drove over to Pebble Beach with the camera. I was wearing a lined jacket for the first time since I got here, and I was most gratified to discover that I had zipped my gloves and hat into the pockets. The temperature was only about 45, and with the strong north wind, the wind chill was around 38 (or less) and it was cold, cold enough to make my eyes water. However, it was worth the trip. The lake was kicking up nicely. I'm sorry it was so cold, because just as I got back into the car, some really high waves crashed up against the rocks.


That little beach is really the only one between the lighthouse and the end of the Norland area. The rest is craggy and rocky, and the lake makes a very satisfactory noise when it starts to sing.


I noticed some white things in the driveway when I left, so after I got back, I took a look, and they were nice white mushrooms (poisonous, no doubt!). I'm not at all surprised - with all the rain we've had lately, the mushrooms, anyway, must be going crazy in the woods.


Not long after I got back, all of a sudden, the clouds started to break up, and for a while this afternoon we actually had some sunshine. It was really pretty when I went to dinner, partly cloudy with very interesting clouds. There were some in the west that hid the sun pretty fast, but as I was eating, there were some lovely, high pink clouds in the east. I guess it's clouded up again, but it sure was nice to see the sun for a while!


It did interfere with my reading, because it was shining right in my eyes for a while, but I'll be happy to accept that. It has been so dreary lately, and it is supposed to be pretty much the same next week, so I'll take any rays I can get!


I was seated at Harbor Haus when a group of people, including a gentleman with a motorized walker, came in, and lo and behold, one of the group was Roberta, with whom I had lunch on Wednesday! She is leaving for Detroit tomorrow, and she was having a last dinner with some of her neighbors (she lives at Agate Harbor)...who happen to live not very far from me in Grosse Pointe and share my dentist! I've gotten rid of a lot of my cards lately, with the website name on them. And the lady seated alone beside them said "Oh, are you the one with the camera?", and it seems she has the camera bookmarked so she can get to it easily! It's a small world, and a lot of people I don't know about are looking in on the camera daily. It's fun to share, I have to say.


So maybe tonight I can get to bed a bit earlier and sleep a bit better - in the middle of the night last night, I thought I was getting the crud, but it turned out to be a false alarm, although I had to sit in the bathroom for quite a while. I certainly wasn't ready to get up at 10:30 this morning, and that's too late. It makes the day much too short.


I spent some time watching the chickadees this afternoon, and those little snots ate up all the seed in the one tube full of sunflower seeds, and they wouldn't even try to get at the sunflowers in the other two tubes! So i will have to fetch the feeders in tonight and fill up tomorrow. I guess the thing to do is put the thistle feeder away, fill two tubes with sunflowers, and maybe put out the other feeder also full of sunflowers. Most of the birds prefer them. I seem to have at least half a dozen chickadees and some nuthatches, and they're all cute little fluff balls. I'm hoping to see some migrating birds in the next few weeks, but so far, all I've seen are some small to medium size brown things I can't identify. 


The other thing I think I saw while I was eating were two eagles (or maybe ospreys - I couldn't see them well enough to be certain) soaring over the harbor and lighting in the scraggly top of a pine tree on Porter Island. I think one was still roosting there when I left.


There was sunshine in the field today!


September 27

Well, if I thought yesterday was dreary and drippy...yuck! It rained pretty much all day, the temperature hung in at just under 50, and the wind was from the north at close to 20mph. A good day to turn inward.


I didn't go to bed until very late last night - I was starting the right half of the sweater, and I wanted to get beyond the button band, so I knitted and read until after midnight. As a result, while I slept very well, thank you, I got up really late this morning, then I got playing with the computer and didn't eat breakfast until after noon, so I had a really truncated day. I went to dinner shortly after 7pm, and eventually, Shirley turned up, and we had a nice, long dinner. 


Shirley is really looking forward to closing the motel for the winter (anybody who wonders - so far as I know, King Copper Motel will be closed after about November 1, probably until mid-May next year). However, Sully fell asleep at the wheel on his way back from Calumet on Monday, and totaled his truck. He is (apparently) all right, but the truck isn't. I'm afraid Sully is beginning to feel his age, which is a pity, but he was 86 on Monday, so I guess it's time. I know all the kids are worried about both of them, and so am I. Shirley has turned into one of my replacement mothers, and I am concerned about them both.


The wind is up over 20 mph now, and I can hear the lake speaking as I sit in the office, but otherwise, it is a very dark, rainy autumnal night in the field, and I guess the best thing I can do is go hide under the quilt...after I read a while longer.


September 26

What a dreary, drippy day!


I had my usual problem sleeping in the middle of the night, this time because, among other things, both ears were sore, so I slept late. When I woke up at 8:30, it was just cloudy, but by the time I got up, around 10, it was raining, and it pretty much rained all day long. That was the reason the feeders didn't get out until late - I didn't relish slopping around in the rain in my  nightie and slippers.


I did start the last graph of my roses pattern, but I was so late with breakfast that I didn't do much. There were a couple of bills to pay today.


I was able to spend some time watching the feeders, and I have quite a flock of chickadees and nuthatches, both of which are fun to watch. There was also a larger bird that clung to the feeder like a woodpecker. Its head and shoulders were brown striped with black and its wings and lower area were black striped with white, but I only saw it from the back, and I really have no idea what it was. I got a glimpse of its beak, and it didn't look like a woodpecker beak. I can only hope that it comes back tomorrow and picks another hole, so I can see it from the side. So I have a new mystery bird.


I had to turn the lights on in the office quite early tonight, because it was so dark, but as I went out to get my dinner, the sun was beginning to peak out from under the cloud bank and I got two really nice shots. The light spot just south of Brockway is actually a little very low cloud that was lighted by the sun. It went away almost immediately, and it seems there is another, higher cloud layer behind and above the low, gray clouds we had all day. It seems amazing, but the sun has moved quite a way south since Tuesday.


This time of year gives wonderful sunsets, and I love it, since I love sunsets only a bit less than I love rainbows, not that you didn't know that!


Speaking of rainbows, I finished the left half of the rainbow striped cardigan today, and started the right half. It is a very bright sweater, but it's very cheerful, too, and the yarn is very soft and will be nice to wear.


Unfortunately, all the weather people are predicting rain for most of next week, and maybe some snowflakes, and much colder weather. I am a bit disappointed in that, since I was hoping we'd have some nice clear, sunny weather to enjoy the color. Oh, well. Predicting that far in advance isn't very accurate yet, and it could turn out to be wrong. I hope so.


A good night to hunker down in the field.


September 25

I have to report that the weather guys pretty much struck out on the past 24 hours, even John, but the NWS was worse. Yes, it was windy last night, but no, we never got gale force winds with gusts to 60, and I seriously doubt there were 12 foot waves on the big lake. Sorry, Charlie. The NWS reported 29mph at 3:51 am, but I am pretty sure that has to have been a gust, because out here in the field, the winds were backing off by that time. Part of the reason may have been that by that time it had veered to due north, and the trees do shelter me, but still, I would have known if it had been that hairy. The lake wasn't that noisy. I've been through the 60s and 70s and I know what they sound like.


Sometime in the wee hours of the morning - say between 4 and 7 - we did have a rather violent rain shower, but other than that, it has been a cloudy and normally windy day, and now the wind is gone almost completely. They claim it is likely to rain sometime overnight, but I'll believe that when I see it, too.


Today was the first day in a long time (shortly after I got here, maybe?) that the temperature didn't get over 50, and with the brisk wind this morning, it was chilly out. When I came back from dinner tonight and brought in the bird feeders, it was actually pretty nice out. And for part of the afternoon, we actually had some sunshine, and some very pretty cloud formations. Clear and blue is gorgeous, but partly cloudy is a lot more interesting.


One thing I need to mention. Someone, or more than one person, has mentioned to me that they were interested in the possibility of buying the Norland Motel. I need to let everyone know that it has in fact been for sale since before 2001, and seems still to be. Gus and Heidi Koerschen were seated with someone who stays with them behind me at dinner tonight, and I must confess I eavesdropped. The woman who was with them is, I think, too old to be interested in buying the place, so my conclusion is that it has not been sold yet. Soooo....anybody who's interested should probably not be waiting around.


For myself, I've hung around with Shirley long enough to wonder why anybody would want to get into the motel business, with all the hassles it involves, but some people were just made to do that kind of work, and it's a good thing.


The wind is still dying at sunset here, and when it does that at this time of year it always surprises me. Where I come from, that only happens during the summer, and I can really define the difference between "spring" and "summer" and "summer" and "fall" by when it gets calm at sunset. Up here, because of the influence of the big heat sink to my north, most all the time I'm here the wind dies when the sun goes down, except for the last part of October and the first part of November. Since I'd never call the weather today anything but "fall", and it was certainly "spring" or earlier when I got here, clearly you can't use the wind to define the season. It has more to do with the heating of the land during the day, and that happens any time the sun is strong enough, like today. Interesting phenomenon.


Again I had a wakeful period between about 3 and 7am, and again, I don't know why. This time, I was certainly uncomfortable, for some reason, and I couldn't find a good place to lie until after I'd sat up for a while. I suppose that has something to do with it, and so I might as well get used to it.


There wasn't anything to see outside last night, and I completely forgot to mention yesterday that from about 3am to 4:30am yesterday morning, there were northern lights. They only stopped then because it clouded up, and yes, I did see them. Charlie, from Pasty Central, had a picture on the Pasty Cam, but he has a less obstructed view north than I do. Looking out the bathroom window, I think I saw a lot of action, but it was right at the limits of my vision, and I'd catch something out of the corner of my eye and when I stared at it, it was gone. It was pretty cool, though, cool enough for me to put on my glasses. But like I say, I could also see the cloud bank moving in from the west, and eventually it covered everything up.


So the sun is still acting up, periodically, and I must never stop looking out the window when I get up in the night. You never know what I might see...I just checked the Solar-Terrestrial Dispatch site, and they confirm that there was a coronal hole and a CME that is now subsiding, but there is also a flare which may possibly create another show Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, if the weather guys are at all accurate, it may be cloudy then, but some lucky times, it's cloudy inland and clear over the big lake. I can hope.


It's quiet and cool in the field tonight.


September 24

Our equinoctial gales are right on time. 


I don't know exactly why I didn't sleep very well last night, except that the toilet began acting up right before I went to bed, and it annoyed me. First it ran and ran, and after I fiddled with it to stop that, it wouldn't fill at all! I really suppose I should call the plumber,  but finally, this morning, I managed to do something to it (what??) that has it working all right now, I think. Oh, yes and around 6 this morning, we had a brief thunderstorm.


As a result of all of that, I got up late again, and had a very small breakfast, because I had a lunch date at 12:30. I had to eat something, but I didn't want to spoil my lunch. As it turned out, I did not have potato pancakes at Harbor Haus, so I must try to get back for another lunch before they close. I have to say they're not like my mama's, but they're pretty darn good.


The ladies I lunched with are very congenial, and we had a nice time. Fortunately, the restaurant wasn't busy, because we finally parted just in time for me to get to the post office. Both of them are cancer survivors, and we all are from the Detroit area and living or about to live here in the summer.


The morning started out cloudy and breezy, but about 10:30 the clouds started to roll away and it got sunny and windy...and windier...and windier. Then around 7 pm the clouds rolled in again. It sounds to me like the wind has abated some, even though they are still predicting westerly gales, and the marine forecast is for 12 to 17 foot waves on the lake. What I really wonder is why we only get those waves at night, and when daylight comes, they back off. Sometime I would like to see 17 foot waves without getting rained or snowed on. Speaking of the s-word, when they revised the forecast this afternoon, they said that some of the rain we are supposed to have tonight might be mixed with snow, but I seriously doubt it we will see it. In the higher elevations, maybe, but not here. The lake temperature is still around 53, which may cause, as John Dee says, "lake effect rains", but it will also keep the precip as rain.


Anyway, it is going to be another hairy night, I would guess.


When I got home, the furballs greeted me, and I discovered that DC seems to have scratched a bare spot on one side of his neck. This must have been in the past day or so, because I usually do look at him pretty carefully. I wonder what it means, although I suspect it may just be that he knows fall is here and sometime in the not too far distant future we will be taking that horrible car ride again. About the only reason I want to get the migration over with is to get him to the vet, although other than his bald spot, he has seemed to be doing rather well lately.


Another furball story: after dinner tonight, Buster came and sat on my lap, and something I was (or wasn't) doing made him yawn widely. I believe that is a known cat gesture - like see my big teeth and mouth, and I don't care what you're doing. So I yawned back, and found him peering into my mouth with great interest, like it was fascinating or something. He's doing fine, and he liked his canned food dinner tonight. I put a towel on the task chair, and he is now curled up in it with his nose under his feet and his tail over the top of his head. He very seldom stretches out when he sleeps, and sometimes he gets into the tightest possible ball.


This will be a good night to curl up into a ball. It's supposed to go down into the upper 30s, although again I doubt it will  here, and tomorrow night it could get cold enough to frost inland. Then it should warm up a tad - into the 50s like it was today - although the clouds and rain are supposed to continue until next week. John Dee rather pooh-poohed my idea when I wrote him about it, but I maintain there is something associated with the equinox that tends to make it stormy for a week or so, then it usually clears up and is real autumn.


If it gets as windy as they are predicting, I wouldn't be surprised to have another power failure, and it's occurred to me that the reason we didn't have any all summer was that we didn't have any wind. Last year, the entire summer was very windy, and we had lots of power failures. So I haven't been surprised when it started to blow that the power started to fail. While I find it most annoying, I have to say that with all the trees in Keweenaw, it has to be an almost impossible task to keep the power lines clear. They can't, after all, cut down all the trees within a hundred feet of all the wires. At least so far, they have responded a bit quicker than they did last year, but by the end of summer 2002 everybody up here was so angry I guess they had to make some changes. We'll see.


So it's a windy night in the field and time to hunker down under the covers.


September 23

Happy equinox to all of you.


I believe I got to bed before midnight last night, and I went right to sleep. I awoke at 2:45 and it was dark - I mean pitch dark, no lights at all from Copper Harbor to the lighthouse. Now, why that would upset me, I don't know, but evidently it did, because I tossed and dozed until almost 6. The power came back on at around 4:30, but even that didn't send me back to sleep. There was a good northwest wind blowing - I would say somewhat stronger than the 12 to 14 mph the NWS reported, and it was a bit noisy, but not like last Friday by any means. Whatever it was is a mystery. Contrary mind, contrary body.


I did get up at a reasonable time this morning, and it either was raining or it had just stopped, so the bird feeders got put out late. It looked like it was going to be another of those dull dreary days, a bit windy but nothing to talk about. I began filling another orange bag at breakfast, with old catalogs and magazines I don't need to keep, and I spent some time on the embroidery. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to the last part of the graph, but not if I keep going back and discovering stitches I've missed, like I did today. It's time that thing got done.


Between the rain and all, the feeder didn't get put out until just before 1pm, but there were a modest number of birds in it. I would like those birds to empty the thistle feeder, but it looks like I may as well just take it in and empty it myself. 


Along about 3pm, it lightened up and I began to see patches of blue in the sky, and the rest of the afternoon was very pretty. The wind was kicking up little whitecaps, and the water varied between 932 (pale gray blue) and about 517 (greenish blue). As the sun set, the sky became almost completely clear, except for a few clouds in the west. Both to document the day, and because it was pretty, I took a picture of the sunset. The sun had set right below the smaller of the very bright clouds, and that is due west. It certainly has moved a long way south in the past few weeks, and it will continue at the same pace until it disappears out of the camera until next February. I don't seem to have any pictures of that part of the motion, probably because it was cloudy, but I think it will be gone before I head south on November 14.


I have been knitting on a sweater I started some years ago which id rainbow vertical striped, and tonight I finished the left body and started on the left sleeve. I enjoy knitting something simple while I read, and this is simple, but I have been saddened to note that between the mouse and the knitting needles, my hands, particularly my right hand, get very sore. That's all the more reason to do as much as I can before I can't do it anymore. I have a pair of Handeze gloves, which are fingerless stretchy things, and I may have to dig them out if I continue to have a problem.


It's clear and peaceful in the field tonight.


September 22

Well, I've discovered one good way to make sure I sleep soundly all night: stay up until I can't see straight. Which I did, reading and knitting, until my neck was so stiff I couldn't move it. I didn't turn out the light until 1:30 this morning! Of course, that meant I was very late getting up: I need my 9+ hours no matter when it starts.


It started raining sometime early this morning, and it was still raining, I think, when I got up at 10:00. so the feeders didn't get put out until I (eventually) got dressed. By that time it had stopped raining, but it was still cloudy and dark, and the wind was kicking up from the northwest, into the upper teens. I just looked at the camera archives, and I'm glad to see that there were a few birds, because it didn't look like much had been eaten at all. I will try to be earlier tomorrow. The temperature was in the middle 50s all day, but it actually felt warmer than that to me.


Speaking of the dark, anybody who checked the camera after about 8 pm yesterday or today saw the inside of the office. I'm sorry to turn the lights on so early (so very early!) but oddly enough, I like to see, so I guess you will just have to bear with me until I leave in November.


The task of the day was to fill orange bags with stuff, which I did, four of them, and when I went in the fridge, I remembered that I hadn't gotten the stuff there that needs to be tossed - rats. I may just use a little orange bag and get rid of that stuff on Wednesday. There is a new compactor at the dump. Apparently we just about wore out the old one (which was really old and cruddy), so they bought a new one. For some reason I thought they had contracted with someone for the compactor, but not so. Some trash removal authority does come and haul away the contents, I guess, but the gizmo belongs to Grant Township. I'm not sure what it's called, but what it looks like is a larger version of the rear end of a normal garbage truck, without the wheels, and it apparently compacts our bags in to something more manageable. I didn't stay to watch it work because there were two or three people behind me waiting to add their orange bags to mine.


Yesterday, at the end of my embroidery session, I discovered that I had done most of one leaf one square too far to the right, so today I ripped that out and did it over. I'm getting to the bottom of the fourth chart, which is all stems and leaves, but it will be a couple of days before I'm through. I mentioned one color I didn't like in the rose. After studying the graph and the picture, I figured out what the designer was trying to do - indicate some structure in the petals without changing the color value. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. I've looked at it for quite some time in the best light there is, and now that both colors are worked, I can't tell the difference. Oh, well, I keep reminding myself that this is meant to be viewed from a distance, and the small details don't matter much...except that they do to me. I am getting to the point where I will be very glad to get this done. It will be pretty, but it could have been much better.


So that is all the news. It's drippy in the field tonight.


September 21

It was a nondescript day and nondescript activities.


My hopes of getting up early were dashed when I spent nearly two hours awake in the middle of the night. There was no particular reason, except that both ears, both shoulders and both hips were sore and I couldn't find a comfortable way to lie. Once I finally got back to sleep, I woke up at 7, and then not again until 10. So much for that.


I realized, after I was in bed last night, that I had forgotten to fetch in the bird feeders, but fortunately, it didn't cause a problem. They would probably have to be out for several days before the coons would be back. There are some birds eating, mostly sparrows. While I was sitting in the ugly chair yesterday, there was a white throated sparrow rooting around on the deck. It was amusing to see it hopping up and trying to scratch the deck, like it would the leaves on the ground. Sorry, charlie, it's a bit too hard for that.


Most of last night was passably clear, but on toward morning it began to cloud up and it was cloudy all day long. According to the NWS, it got down to about 50 around midnight, then began warming slightly (maybe that was why I was wakeful?), and it was in the low 60s all day with a light breeze from the south. Not a day to write home about.


I did manage to get out and look at the north end of the house, sort of, and I can't see that there was any damage.  I am curious about the one thing I kept hearing flapping around, but there is nothing obviously loose or gone. Not that I thought there would be. I lost a few things the first year, but everything is attached very tightly now.


For the rest of the day, I fooled around (so what else is new?). I thought I might start collecting for the trash compactor, but I guess I will hope I sleep better tonight and do that tomorrow.


It's quiet and dull in the field, and I have eight weeks.


September 20

Well, it's been a wild and hairy couple of days in the field!


When I awoke yesterday morning, the sky was cloudy and the wind was strong and it was raining, which is why the bird feeders didn't get put out until late, and if you were watching the camera at all, you know I might as well not have put them out. Half the time they were being blown horizontal by a wind that started around 18 mph from the northwest and built steadily all day long. I took them in around 6pm, because I had a real fear they might be blown away. In the middle of the day, there wasn't much rain, and actually there was a brief period of sunshine. I saved the picture from that period, because it was so dramatic. Almost looks like snow, doesn't it? The temperature was in the low 50s, however. The clouds soon shut down again, and the wind kept rising and rising...


Along about 7pm I decided to make some dinner - steak and sweet corn - and I had just begun to eat when the power went out. Not much of a surprise there, because by that time the wind was in the mid 20 mph range with gusts over 30 mph. Surely something would come down! That was at 7:45. I finished eating in the gloom, and I decided, because it was getting dark, that the thing to do was get undressed and sit in bed and read by flashlight, which I did. I managed to brush my teeth, but I really needed to take a bath. About 10pm, I went to sleep.


The power returned at 11:30, but by that time I was too sleepy and dazed to take my bath, so I turned out all the lights I had left on, turned the computer circuit back on, and went back to bed. 


It was a rather wakeful night. The wind was slamming right into the front corner of my bedroom, and the windows were groaning and there was lots of slapping and banging going on. I frankly forgot that I need to take an inspection tour of the north end of the house. I will do that tomorrow. According to the NWS station, the sustained wind peaked at 30 mph (at 9pm), but it was in the mid-20s all night long, with gusts that I'm sure were close to 50 mph early. The wind began to abate around 4 am, at least enough so that I could clearly hear the lake roaring like a freight train - one of my favorite sounds. 


By the way, with a little help from one of my correspondents, I've located that NWS station. It's at the septic ponds, which are between the fort and Copper Harbor town. Considering where the tower is located and its height (the regulation 10 feet) there is absolutely no way it can be reporting wind speeds that in any way resemble what I get here. So I guess I am duty-bound to investigate a real weather station this winter, with the aim of installing it next summer, so that I can report to the website (and maybe to the Weather Underground) what conditions really are in the field. If the wind speed gizmo has to be 10 feet off the ground to be regulation, I may not be able to have an official weather station, because there isn't a good place to put a 10 foot pole around here that will report correct speeds all the time. I was thinking of putting it someplace on top of the second story, probably up at the north end, if it will send its signal clearly to the office. A new adventure!


Anyway, I've spent an awful lot of time in bed the last couple of days, and by 8:30 or so this morning, my ears and hips and shoulders felt like it, so I got up...and oh, my, was it beautiful!  There was still a bit of a wind, around 20 mph, and the temperature was 50, but the sky was scrubbed clean and it was blue and beautiful.


All day was blue and beautiful, and the wind dropped steadily all day long, until now it's nearly calm. When I left Mariner after dinner tonight, Mars was blazing in the east, nearly as bright as it was a month ago, and it looks like it might just be a beautifully clear night.


My little four-footed friends did not enjoy the noise of yesterday and last night, and they clearly knew something was wrong when there was  no light at all in the house, because they cuddled up close to me until the power came back. They like it quiet, and it was not quiet yesterday or last night.


I was encouraged about DC, however. When I went to town, I picked up some little catnip toys to replace the one somebody barfed on, and I gave Buster one when I got home. Yesterday morning, it was in the middle of the dining part of the great room. DC saw it, and he began to bat it around and play with it like he was a youngster again. It didn't last long, but I think he's feeling pretty good right now. I certainly hope so.


Even though I took a bath this morning, because I felt so grungy and my hair was sort of stringy, I think I will take another tonight, just to get back on schedule, try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and maybe get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow. It really does give me more of a day when I do.


Peace reigns in the field again.


September 18

The sun hasn't even officially set yet, although it has disappeared behind a cloudbank, but I don't expect to be up very much longer. My feet hurt even with no shoes on, and my legs feel walked on.


When I woke up at 8am this morning, I really considered getting up, because I intended to go to to town, but my tinnitus was pounding in my ears, which is always a good sign I'm tired, so I turned over and slept for another hour and a half. My social engagement last evening left me so over-stimulated that even though I sat up for quite a while, I didn't sleep  very well until after 4am. I met a very dissatisfied lady (who has a list of accomplishments as long as my arm, which she carefully detailed to me), and she got into my head.


Anyway, when I did get up the sky was partly cloudy, and it was quite warm - about 68 - and very windy. In due time, I gathered everything together and set off for Houghton.


There is quite a bit of color on the covered road, at least in spots, but the color is really just beginning. From what has turned already, it looks like it will either be a very red year or a very dull one. There is a definite orangish tinge to the tops of the hills west of Lake Medora and around the cliffs, but like I say, there's not much yet. If the color is early this year, it won't be by more than a couple of days.


On my way south, I detoured to Hughes Farm and really bought out the place. I have tomatoes and carrots and beets and mixed salad greens and some of those lovely squash that I got last year...yum!


I did my usual job on WalMart, and I really did a job on my legs, because I was looking for some things and I ended  up going around and around in circles. That store is not laid out in what I would call a logical manner. I found an 8 quart pot - granite - and I got a small roaster, in spite of not being able to find a rack for it. That will have to be on my list for the winter, I fear. Before I go back south, I think I may just get another pot, so that I will have that detail out of the way.


I got to town so late that it was 2:30 by the time I got out of WalMart...and then I discovered that Ming Gardens is closed between 2 and 4 now! Aaack! So I went off to EconoFoods and was fairly modest there, except that I totally forgot to get eggs. Oh, well. The general store has really good fresh eggs, and I will just have to eat large rather than extra-large for a while.


By the time I got out of Econo, I was really tired and hungry and my legs felt like they were about to fall off...not to mention the state of my feet. So then it was back home, with a stop for gas.


When I left here this morning, the temperature was 73, according to the car. It was 76 in Houghton when I got there, but by the time I left for home, it was 84 on the hill and 86 down by the canal...much too warm for this time of year! They have finally started the M-26 widening project, and getting to and from the area from Sharon Avenue (yup, that's it's name) south is the pits. I did miss the rush hour, though, so that was good.


It was about 81 in Calumet, but as I went north I could feel it cool off - it was too nice to have the car closed up - and by the time I got to the covered road, it was about 75, clear and sunny, and very, very lovely. Every so often I would catch a whiff of warm woods and breathe deep. How I am ever going to stand the winter in the big city, I don't know!


It was still 73 in Copper Harbor, and the sky was totally clear when I got here...so beautiful. I opened the slider and the porch doors and the south windows in the office (papers blowing everywhere!) and sort of crashed. I didn't even completely unload the car. All I took out was the stuff that needed to be refrigerated and the fun stuff I bought at WalMart (of course I did).


The weather map shows a wall of rain over at about Duluth, and like I said, the sun went behind a cloud bank that is now a little further up in the sky. We are in for possible thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. We aren't anywhere near the influence of Isabel, but I do feel for those people...I hope Mary Ann and Arthur are all right...since I lived through a hurricane when I was in Philadelphia, and believe me, it's no fun. That one came right up the Delaware, and while I can't remember how many inches (feet?) of rain there was, underpasses 10 feet high were flooded right up to the top in South Jersey. We won't talk about the wind. Not fun.


So I treated myself to a double JD with my bought sandwich, and now I am going to bed.


Windy in the field tonight...


September 17

When I got up this morning, the sky was rather cloudy, especially in the west, since I could see a bit of blue above rather dense cirrus clouds in the north, and around 10:30 it started to clear up and it became a really beautiful afternoon. It was breezy, but the temperature peaked out in the middle 70s and it was wonderful.


While I was standing at my sink, a brown creeper ran up the birch tree - the bird of the day. I am sure the goldfinches and hummingbirds are gone for the year, so I think I will retire the thistle feeder and bring out another regular seed feeder. The chickadees and nuthatches have been visiting the feeder regularly, and they both like sunflower seeds. I was a little worried about the nuthatches, because one morning in August, I found a dead one on the deck, but that hasn't seemed to harm the population any.


A few days ago, some critter chewed off a green cone from the pine and it lay on the deck in front of the office window for quite a while. Well...yesterday morning some other critter had chewed it to pieces to get at the seeds. Most of it was gone, so I wonder if the coon came by again. It happened overnight, and the cone was too big for the chipmunks or even the squirrels.


My task of the day was to make the sweater ready for wearing, which I did, and since I had to go to the post office with the errant bill, I paid a couple of my own that came in yesterday, but otherwise, I didn't do a lot.


I am a bit excited, because about a month ago I ordered a tripod adapter for my binoculars, and that came today. I haven't ever used the higher powers of my zoom binoculars because I can't hold them steady at much over 10x, even when I lean on something. So now I can mount them on my camera tripod (not the one the webcam is on) and really zoom in on things down the harbor...or in the sky. It will be a day or two before I can try it, though.


The association dinner tonight was a fun event, with good food and good company. There were a lot of people there this year, including some whose names I knew that I'd never met.


The big thing for me was that the Hunter's Point thing looks good. Someone who was a visitor over the summer gave $50,000! I sure wish I could do that, but, oh, well. I did what I could. However, they have only raised about half of what they will need, so anyone who loves the area and would like to contribute, the website is http://www.hunters-point.org and they take credit cards.  The Michigan grant they have applied for will be awarded on December 1, and the prime organizer of the project, Dick Powers, will be going to Lansing to be there. He seems rather optimistic that they will get it. Apparently a couple of people on the grant committee came to see the site and were really impressed. We can hope.


The temperature is still in the high 60s and there is a strong wind from the south, but the sky looked pretty clear when I came home, so I think I will trundle off to bed.


The stars are smiling on the field.


September 16

There wasn't any question about sleeping last night. The temperature was ideal, and I went late enough that I had no trouble at all. I even got up a bit earlier than usual - about 9am - and I accomplished an amazing amount.


I got up rather than turn over because when I looked out, the sky was blue, the water was blue, and it was just gorgeous. Too many times over the summer I sort of ignored mornings like this, and there won't be too many more. It was still under 60 and a bit breezy when I put out the bird feeders, but it was lovely. It only got up to the mid-60s all day long, and the wind was from the northwest at over 15mph all afternoon, which raised some nice whitecaps on the harbor. The sky was either clear or full of high, wispy cirrus clouds or puffy fair-weather cumulus. It was so pretty!


So I started the dishwasher before I went to get dressed, I did a moderate amount of embroidery...there's something wrong with the colors of the next flower, and I'm undecided whether to just use them or try to change them, since I only have with me the colors called for in the pattern. As soon as I got dressed, I went right downstairs and did cat pans. DC sat on the steps and watched me all the time I was there, but he didn't immediately use the clean pan. He was sitting with his front paws tucked in, as if to say "Humph! About time!" I shall try to do better.


That was a vigorous exercise, so I sat down in the office to cool off and read my email - 29 spam messages, many repeated. My next task was to clean up all the bills I had on hand, and since the Post Office has gone on winter hours and closes at 3pm, I had to write fast. Of course, the mail, which I don't think I'd gotten since Thursday, had more bills. 


I shall have to go back tomorrow, because among the things they forwarded to me was somebody else's electric bill. Their name doesn't resemble mine, they don't live on Champine, and their house number is not the same as mine. I thought one requirement for a mail sorter is the ability to read, but I guess not. Come to think of it, I guess I'll have to call in another complaint, because besides the errant electric bill were a couple of first class envelopes that they had not forwarded that Jackie the house sitter had to write my address on. I wonder if I'll ever have a summer here when the mail gets handled correctly.


Anyway, after that I sort of goofed off, but I did finish the knitting on the sweater. In order to complete it, I had to take apart and use the gauge swatch I made, which is a bit closer to running out of yarn than I really like. Tomorrow I will finish off all the loose strings inside, when I can see what I'm doing. I may actually wear the thing to the dinner, because it's forecasted to be a bit warmer tomorrow, and even though the Mountain Lodge dining room is a big place, it can get rather warm in there when it's full of people. We'll see.


I didn't want to turn on the lights in the office, because it was a pretty night tonight and I wanted to catch the last of it. There seem to be some clouds in the west, but that often happens, and it looks like we may have a clear night tonight. The moon is rising late and it is close to last quarter now, so it's not so bright. It's also very high in the sky. I can't see it from the north end, but I can see the shadow of the house on the ground. It looks like it's going to be another good sleeping night.


Clear skies over the field...


September 15

What a lost day this was!  It started badly - I didn't sleep very well, because I couldn't get the temperature right. It got into the lower 50s outside, but there was a very light wind from the southwest, and not enough of the cool got inside. For part of the night, the sky was clear or partly cloudy, and the moon shone beautifully over the field. I'm not sure there wasn't a brief shower sometime after 3am - I heard something like pattering, and the deck was very wet this morning. When I finally did get to sleep, I didn't want to get up...so I didn't until quite late.


The working end of my WaterPik broke Saturday night, and I forgot to check the website to see if I could order more, so as soon as the kitties and the birds were fed this morning, I took my orange juice into the office and took care of that. I continued to fool around until I was startled by a vehicle pulling into the parking lot. I had completely forgotten that the septic field inspector said he would come today. He didn't come in, but I scurried off and put on some clothes anyway, just in case.


Finally, I had some "breakfast" - pastrami on rye with my coffee. Breakfast is still a problem for me. By the time I was through with that, and whatever else I was doing, it was too late to do the other things I had planned for the day, including paying a few bills. I never even did any embroidery, although I did put a few stitches in the sweater.


I had sort of thought I would go to town tomorrow, because of the breakfast situation, but now I think I'd better take care of the things I didn't do today and go Thursday instead.


The weather was partly to  mostly cloudy all day long, until sunset, and the temperature hung around in the low 60s. There wasn't much breeze and it actually was pretty nice out. The sun stabbed out from under the cloud cover around sunset again tonight, and it was rather pretty, but not so spectacular as last night. The camera did catch the sun right before it went behind the hills, and it is now behind Hunters Point, and racing toward the mountain. Sigh.


So confusion reigns in the field, and I think I should go to bed and forget it.


September 14

Well, I got my wish. Not only did it rain all night, it rained most of the day, too. It wasn't until after I went to dinner that it stopped dribbling. The temperature never go over 60, but there was no wind to speak of, so it was actually  not uncomfortable. I did put on a light-weight sweatshirt for the first time since last June. The drippy weather affected all of us. I woke up late, after having had a hot flash in the middle of the night, and I was so creaky I could hardly walk. I have a very sore left toe, which I hope is just arthritis and not gout, and my back was bothering me. 


After breakfast, when I went back to the bedroom, Buster was curled up in the middle of the bed, on the sheepskin pad, with his back to the covers I threw off. He looked like a black lump - I would have had to inspect him closely to tell which side was up, but after I took the towels off to the laundry room to dry them out and went back to the bathroom, I noticed one green eye looking out of the lump. Sometimes he cracks me up. He slept there all day long, and didn't surface until after 5pm. DC slept, too, but I think most of the time he was in the easy chair in the great room, which is a lot closer to me.


I did nothing much at all. I didn't get much embroidery done because I had to do a lot of ripping, so I gave up. I did get started on the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, so it looks like I may in fact have it done by Wednesday evening.


It was still dribbling rain when I went to dinner, but it stopped while I ate - the perch are back! And oh, are they good!  I was just saying good-bye to Chris when someone said, look out the window, and there was a gorgeous rainbow going right down into the lake behind the Gull Islands, and the sun was shining on the lighthouse. While we were admiring that, the lady came back in, and said, come out in front, and it was a complete rainbow, from north to south, and topping out at around 50 up in the sky - just gorgeous!


I could see that there was a lot of red in the clouds as I drove home, and when I looked outside, I grabbed the camera and went right out onto the deck in front of my bedroom. This is what I saw. So we have the first sunset of the autumn season. I was glad I took that picture (and a few others), because the webcam didn't see it at all. A bit later, when I went to get the bird feeders, the red was gone, but there were high clouds and low clouds, and one over the mountain that looked like it might be fog, and behind them all the sky was still glowing. What a lovely end to a pretty blah day. Tomorrow should be better.


We really needed the rain, and I'm glad to see it, although it was too bad for the tourists that it was on a weekend. All day long I could see smoke rising from the campgrounds, and I kept thinking, this is not the kind of weather I would want to be camping! Of course, there are very few times I would want to be camping. I like hot and cold running water and a bath every day.


Tonight the sunset was shining on the field.


September 13

I fixed Buster. I moved the towel and the cat to the task chair, and he has been relatively content to sleep there all day. And it was a sleepy day. I slept extremely well last night, although there was another of those weird dreams between 7:30 and 9:30 this morning, and I might have slept longer except that I had to walk. I'm not quite sure why I slept so well, since it didn't really get very cool last night, but I was quite comfortable anyway. Most of the time, it's my contrary bod when I don't sleep well, I think.


When I got up, the sky was nearly clear, with very interesting high cirrus clouds being blown in two directions into mares' tails and wisps, but by 10:30, the clouds had moved in and the rest of the day was gray and dreary, so I ignored it. About the time I went to dinner it began to spit rain, and it is now dripping away. A bit harder would be better, but it would be really nice if it just kept up all night along. We really need the moisture.


I had a hard time determining what day it was when I woke up this morning, and then I realized that I missed my French toast yesterday. I probably would have anyway, because I suspect all my milk is sour, but I never even thought about it. I finally did get it straight in my mind, but it was a struggle. That's the way things are in the field.


My only accomplishment of the day was to finish the rose I was embroidering, and now I have gone on to stems and buds. At least the next rose will be in slightly different shades of pink, so that will be interesting. I hope it comes out better looking than the picture, in which one of the shades doesn't seem to go with the others at all.


I realized, as I was grumbling about the roses, that I have been in an amazingly surly mood lately, and I'm not quite sure why. I even fired off a couple of really nasty emails in the past few days. I can't imagine what brought that on, unless it is simply that fall is coming and pretty soon I will have to go south. I can't think of any other reason. Very strange. Maybe the reason Buster has been so clingy is that I've been so grumpy. 


Besides, it was dark when I got back from dinner. Since I was behind someone, I  couldn't use my bright lights until I got onto Lighthouse Road, so I fooled around with the fog lights. They do come on (but not when the brights are on), but I really can't see much, if any, difference that they make. Maybe they do when it's foggy, but they don't do anything for rain. Strange. I checked them in the reflection of the breezeway door, and they do work, so the next time it's foggy, I'll have to try them again.


I had my back to the window all day, so I can't report on the birds, but it didn't seem like there were many at the feeders at all. The feeders are in, so when this is uploaded, I can go right off to bed.


It's a drippy night in the field.


September 12

Buster has appropriated my desk chair. I am sitting on the task chair which I got for the sewing machine station, and he is lazing away in my nice, comfortable desk chair. Poo! Actually, this chair is better when I am typing or doing other things at the computer, but it isn't nearly so comfortable. I guess that has been the reason he wants to sit on me every time I sit in the desk chair - he really wants the chair for himself. Now, how can I train him out of that?


It cooled down quite a bit last night, so that I had to close the porch door in the middle of the night, and it never did get very warm here today. just a bit over 70, and the sun didn't show itself very much. Just about the time I went off to the post office, it started to rain. There were a few rumbles of thunder - enough to drop the telephone line - but most of the action was quite a way south of us, over the UP proper. That line of rain has pretty much passed east of us now, and it is just cool and windy and damp. Not too nice at all. It's supposed to get down below 60 tonight, perfect for sleeping, and according to John Dee, this is about the end of the warm weather. From reading my journal from last year, it seems the heat ended around this time then, too. I can only hope it isn't quite as wet and cold as last year were. Some nice, crisp, clear fall weather would be really nice.


The birch and maple saplings have been beginning to change color for a couple of weeks now, but the main part of the forest is still green, with just maybe a little all-over yellowish cast to the green. I think this is a little earlier than the past two years, but that may be partly because it has been so dry for the past month. I noticed today that many of the trees that are turning also have very wilted looking leaves.


I'm pretty sure the hummingbirds are gone - the feeder hasn't gone down at all except when I spilled it - and now I'm wondering if the goldfinches haven't gone, too. I shall have to spend more time watching the feeders tomorrow. I did sit in the ugly chair tonight, since I can't sit in my desk chair, and all I saw coming to the feeders were chickadees and nuthatches, a couple of what I think were sparrows, and a junco (odd - juncos around Grosse Pointe feed only on the ground). If that turns out to be true, I will put the hummingbird and thistle feeders away until next spring and concentrate on sunflowers and small seed. I still hope to see a parade when the migration gets under way.


If the hummingbirds are gone, I understand why they ate so much for those two days a week or so ago - they were stoking up for the long trip south. It's amazing that such a little bitty bird can fly so far. So I hope everybody who lives south of here will have their nectar feeders all full and ready for the guys coming through.


I don't know if this is early or not, for the goldfinches and hummingbirds, because I wasn't feeding the birds at this time last fall. It is a pain to haul the feeders in every night, but being able to see the birds all day al day is worth it.


Short pause while I fetch the feeders in - it's dark outside at 8:45!


I think I will get an early start on the sleeping tonight, because I got up rather earlier than I wanted this morning, mostly because of a cramp in my leg. That was all right - I actually got to the office at around 12:30. 


The rose I am embroidering is the biggest flower in the whole bellpull, and it's somewhat confusing. I have finally gotten to the second darkest color, and will finish that tomorrow, then it's a matter of filling in with the lightest color. The shading is very well done, but there is no rose in the world that color. That has been my greatest objection to this entire project - the flower colors are just not real. Of course, the truth is that embroidery floss doesn't come in a lot of the colors roses do. However, I think they could have done a better job...or maybe the light in Britain just makes the colors (or the roses) look different there. Anyway, it will look fine at a distance.


I needed to write the estimated tax check today, and I just about drove myself crazy, because I couldn't find the forms for the longest time. I finally did, exactly where they should be (in the folder marked "important") but they were stuck to something else and I totally missed them the first two times I looked in that folder. Didn't do anything for my mood. While I was at it, I dug out the pattern for the shawl in the yarn Randi sent me this week. It is three different lace patterns in diamonds, and I'm not sure I will start it very soon.


The Copper Harbor Improvement Association dinner is next Wednesday, and I was left thinking, "Gaak - what am I going to wear?"  You see everything there, from evening clothes to slacks, but jeans and tees are just not quite appropriate, I don't think. Then I ran across the sleeveless sweater I've been knitting on all summer. I think I can probably finish it if I concentrate, and although it may be too cool to wear it as is, I can put a white shirt under it and look a little more dressed. Shoes are a problem, as always, but I'll work on that. I want to go to town Tuesday anyway, and I may nose around WalMart and see if they have any shoes that fit me. Few people do.


So I left the sweater in the middle of the desk last night, and today when I went in, there was the Buster seated in the middle of it with his claws in it, purring. Smells like mommy. Fortunately, this yarn is nubby enough that a few picks will never be noticed.


It was nice to sit in the ugly chair for a change, but it is getting dark so early that if I want to, I'm going to have to turn on lights. That's true generally, actually. From now on until I leave in November (NINE WEEKS - oh, boo-hoo!), anyone looking at the camera after about 8pm EDT are likely to see the inside of the office. Sorry, but it's hard to do anything while sitting in the dark, and I'm not quite ready for bed at 8pm.


However, it's 9pm now, and I am ready. Buster isn't a good bed companion, either, and he wanted to sleep with me last night. After I finally got to sleep, when I woke up, I had a sore right shoulder and my left ear was too tender to sleep on, so it was a while before the shoulder settled down enough and I could go back to sleep. Maybe tonight. It will be enough cooler that I can dive under the covers, and that always helps.


The moon was shining all night long last night - I couldn't see it from the south windows because it was right behind the corner where the computer is, and very high in the sky. I saw it clear and lovely when i went out after the feeders. However, the fog or clouds or something came up before the camera came on this morning, and there were no more pictures of it - rats. As it ages from full, it's getting higher in the sky and setting more in the middle of the camera. Hopefully, we'll have a clear morning one of these days. It certainly was bright all night long, and there were enough high clouds that I couldn't see any stars.


So they've finished Beethoven's First, and now the Mozart overture is over, and now they are playing a trumpet concerto...so I guess I will just have to turn off something I would rather hear.


It's damp and coolish in the field tonight.


September 11

With all good intentions, I turned out the light at about 10:30 last night, but Buster decided it was such a nice night that he wasn't going to sleep through it, and he fooled around and fooled around for over an hour, making enough noise that I couldn't sleep. I had folded back the quilt, because it appeared that it would be warm enough that just the sheet blanket would do, and finally he curled up on the quilts. Of course, it cooled off enough that I had to close the door and pull up the quilt, and disturb him. Once, it felt like my left leg was going to cramp up again, but it was a false alarm. I wish I knew what causes that.


It actually didn't get all that cool last night - mid 60s - but the wind was strong, and I do like to sleep on the warm side. I guess the moon was still behind the trees when I left the office, because all night long, it was turning the sky light, and it does in fact look like some of the northern lights displays I saw last summer. There were no light shows last night, however - the high, hazy clouds we had all day persisted. And right before dawn, the camera shot the moon through the pine tree. I bet we do it again tomorrow morning. You can see how yellow the moon is looking when it's rising or setting - that isn't an artifact of the camera in this case. You can also see how hazy it was.


Dawn broke all foggy, and the fog never lifted all day long. The wind was pretty brisk, from the southwest, and the temperature peaked out at 79. That actually wasn't as uncomfortable as it got later, when the wind dropped and it got pretty warm in here. It was still a pretty day, and for most of it, the temperature was lovely.


I was looking over last September's journal, to see what the weather was, and it was just about like this, a bit warmer and a bit wetter. So my recollection of a cold, wet autumn must have been from late September and October. It was also in September that we had all the spectacular northern lights. Well, the sun is winding down for this sunspot cycle, so we'll have to wait and hope. The weather wasn't so hazy last year, either.


I guess that we are in for rain for the next couple of days - I certainly hope so, because we really need it - and then maybe it will cool down a bit. I do love this weather, and I love this time of year, but autumn is on its way and it's time it showed up.


I am not ignoring the date, by the way. I don't think anybody who was alive in 2001 will ever forget this date. NPR rather overdid again, but it was a little more subdued than last year, mostly about all the memorial services. I suppose if you are in the media, you have to beat the obvious to death, but I find it tiresome. And I have to say that I feel particularly sad for the survivors who are not Christian people, and whose loved ones weren't Christian people. We have a sure hope, and that definitely helps us in cases like this.


I didn't do a lot in the office today, but it's coming along.  I'm not quite sure what Buster's problem is, but all day long, about every ten minutes, he was coming up and meowing at me to let him sit on my lap. I love the cat, but he can be a real pest, and I am not his pillow! It is very hard to type or write checks or sort beads or knit or anything else when my lap is full of cat. And he doesn't just sit there, either, usually. He wiggles and picks with his claws and generally annoys me. Poor Buster. I wish I knew what ails him. If he is worrked about DC, who seems to be holding his own right now, he certainly chooses odd ways to express it.


It's dark out now, and the moon hasn't risen above the trees, and there is a nice breeze blowing, so it will be a good night for sleep. As soon as Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata finishes, I will close up and go do.


Lovely night in the field.


September 10

This is the kind of weather I would have expected in August. It's beautiful, but it's a little late. The outdoor temperature never got below 64 (officially) last night, with a moderate southwest wind, which meant that i was able to leave the porch door open all night and be quite comfortable...or I would have, except that I was bedeviled by leg cramps for most of the night. I certainly wish I knew what causes that. I haven't had them for a long time, and I didn't think I was that active yesterday. Possibly it has something to do with the humidity, but who knows?


Anyway, as a result, I got up briefly at 8:30, turned over, and slept for another two hours. It really is better if I get up earlier - I get more done during the day. When I did get up, it was almost 70 already, and with the southwest wind, it was lovely. The official temperature got up to around 76, but with the wind around 10mph all day long, it was a lovely day indeed. The sky is still very hazy with high clouds, so the sun wasn't too bright, but it was a nice day, and it is still nice - just over 70 with a south wind. 


Balmy. Summer weather.


I just looked out and I don't see the moon, which is full tonight, so it may be even a little cloudier than it was last night. The moon was casting shadows until it got into the haze over the mountain, but I couldn't see any other stars. I guess I'm glad I didn't get the telescope. I would be beside myself with the rather icky skies we've had lately.


I toyed with eating in, but I went to Harbor Haus anyway, and I'm a little sorry I did. The Nature Conservancy is having some kind of do in town and most of the restaurant was taken up with big parties, so it was a real zoo. Never affects the food, though. It had been a while since I had fish, so I did, and ended up bringing half of it home. So now the fridge is bulging with good things to eat.


I was also curious about what the Isle Royal Queen was doing. She came into the harbor at the usual time, stopped right off the fort, turned around and left. The last I saw, she had disappeared over the horizon. That was weird. And so far as I know, since she didn't salute Harbor Haus, she hasn't come back yet. I'll have to nose around and try to find out what happened.


And that is all the news in the peaceful field.


September 9

If I thought it was summer yesterday, it was even more so today. It was nicely cool overnight - in the low 60s - but by noon it was in the 70s and officially it got up to 79 at 6pm. I think it might have been a tad warmer here. At least the thermometer in the pine tree was reading in the 80s. The sky was hazy with high clouds, and I have a couple of sunset pictures the camera caught. It looks to me like the sunset has moved to Porter Island while I wasn't looking. I couldn't check it, because that second picture was the last one where you could see the sun through the haze. It's been rather humid.


I ended up having a productive day. Sleeping was good last night, and I got up a little earlier than usual, although I spent some time reading. While I was reading and eating breakfast, I heard what did not sound quite like a plane, quite close overhead, and when I looked for it, it turned out to be a fairly large helicopter. It came right over my house (I was tempted to go out on the deck and make a nasty hand signal - it was  awfully noisy), and I could see that it was painted orange and black. It circled around the harbor, came over the house and took off toward Keweenaw Point. I wonder who that was and what they were doing.


I gave up embroidering fairly early, after I had to rip out a couple of places. When the ripping starts, I might as well give up for the day. Sometimes I can count better than other times.


In the office, I got right at some of the piles, and I think I made some headway. At least, I have nearly a whole orange bag full of stuff. The piles still seem to be there, however - they just have different things in them. I will try to do some more work on them tomorrow, and see if I can't at last get to the sewing machine.


While I was rustling around the office, the temperature seemed rather pleasant - there is a fairly strong southwest wind blowing, and that helps a lot. However, I decided this had better be the day I cooked, since I had had Italian sausage in the fridge for a week. Because the wind was from the southwest, I had to close the great room slider while the stove was on (maybe in some life I'll get that barroom door on the kitchen), and not only was I frying sausage, I was boiling ziti, and while I don't know that it got so hot, I just about melted into a little puddle. There was sweat dripping off the end of my hair when I sat down to eat. Yuck. Even though I've dried off, I think I can smell myself. When I was sick, I got supersensitive to the smell of human, and apparently I haven't lost that yet.


This is the second time I have made this dish (it was on a can of diced tomatoes), and I think it's a keeper, so I will have to add it to the working set. That's the little recipe book I keep in the computer that mostly has the tried-and-true recipes that I've made many times. This is a really simple recipe, and it depends upon having good Italian sausage. The stuff I got at EconoFoods is a lot better than what I got at Kroger, although I think I picked the wrong brand there, and I understand that the best is at another market. I'll have to try it sometime. Oh, yes, and I've learned not to try to slice it. I use scissors. I got to use real ziti this time, and frankly, the differences between plain and ridged pasta, cut straight or at an angle, are completely lost on me. Penne worked just as well, maybe better, because the tomato sauce got into the ridges.


I will have to make this recipe again both here and on Champine, because it calls for a third of a can of tomato paste, so now I have two-thirds of a can in the freezer in both kitchens. I hate it when recipes do that. I remember one recipe I had for braised greens (with shitake mushrooms, no less, and shallots - oh, was it good!) that used half a cup of vegetable broth, leaving me with two-thirds of a can of that, too. And it's never something you use every day, so you can use it up.


So I am full of pasta and the sink is full of pots. I desperately need six or eight quart pots in both kitchens, and they are hard to find, unless I want to spend a fortune and/or get an entire set of  pots and pans. I will keep looking,  because my twelve quart stockpot is really a bit large to boil pasta in. 


Also, I must remind myself not to boil pasta on hot days after this. Even with the exhaust fan, it gets too hot.


Now the almost-full moon has risen, big and yellow, over the trees, the bird feeders are in, and all that's left to do is close the doors (I always close the sliders and the porch door to the kitchen, in case there are any critters with big claws around) and take my bath. 


The Harvest Moon and Mars are  shining on the field.


September 8

This is late summer weather, not early fall weather, and it's lovely. The sky was cloudy all night last night, which didn't bother me much, since I slept fairly well. When I woke up this morning, it was very foggy, and the top of the mountain was hidden in clouds. Eventually, the fog did lift, and the sun tried to come out through high cirrus clouds. The temperature was in the mid-60s until late this afternoon, when it hit 71, and the breeze was light and balmy. A little while ago, the wind picked up, from the southwest, and now it is sighing through the pine trees - what a lovely sound!. The temperature has dropped to around 68 and it's a really lovely evening altogether.


The forecast is for warmer tomorrow and Wednesday, with a possible front coming through on Thursday. This is the kind of September weather I remember from the years when I vacationed from the weekend after Labor Day until the end of the month. It can be pretty variable, but it can also be really lovely. This is the really lovely kind, and after John Dee's rumblings about frost in a couple of weeks (probably not here on the lakeshore), I'll take every day I can get!


Late this afternoon, I got the beads neatly stashed away in plastic boxes and I actually have a reasonably large clear spot on my desk. Of course, there are piles on each side of it and piles all over the floor, but tomorrow I will be able to get at those and start sorting and stashing away. It's time I stood back and looked at what I have, and I also really want to get at the sewing machine, which will require some moving around. The beads are all at hand, so if the spirit moves me, I can get back at them.


Before I started the sorting, I was working on a pretty rope, using the colors from my big hank (blues, green, white and clear) as they came off the strands. I got a piece of cord to fish down the center of it, but before I can do that, I need to get things sorted out so that I can see whether I have a tool to pull the cord through, or whether I have to improvise. The bead rope is hollow, and it would work as it is, but I'm not confident of how sturdy it is. So I have several reasons to want to get to the sewing corner.


I've also been just piling up the mail and newspapers in various piles around the room, and that needs to be sorted out and the old stuff thrown away. As I've said, every so often, it even gets to me...


The weather is lovely in the field tonight.


September 7

Maybe instead of going to bed earlier, I need to start going to bed later. I did last night, and slept quite well, notwithstanding an altercation in the middle of the night, and got up considerably earlier than I have been lately. Interesting. Of course, it was a wonderful night to sleep, and tonight should be just as good, with temps in the low 50s.


I mentioned that the moon was all orange when I went to bed, and I never saw it set, because I didn't wake up until 3am. There were some stars in the sky, but they were weak, so the sky must have been partly cloudy all night. It was all cloudy when I got up, but the cloud cover thinned out as the day went on, and while there were high clouds all day, it didn't interfere a lot with the sunshine. The breeze was from the southeast, and the temperature didn't get out of the mid 60s all day. Lovely weather. It is supposed to be pretty cloudy tonight, then clear up some tomorrow.


So I accomplished a few minor tasks - washed the bedroom rug and the towels, loaded the dishwasher and partly cleaned the stove and counters on that side of the kitchen. Every so often, the kitchen gets so messed up it begins to bug me, and then I have to do something about it. Not that it's sparkling, but at least I can find the countertops. I'm not quite sure why the counter next to the cooktop gets so yucky, but it certainly does, and it was good to have that cleaned up.


I began on the next rose, and it is a big one and will take a while to stitch. I took one look around the office and went back to my beads. What a disaster! I really must take myself in hand and do something about that. Surely there are more piles than there need to be!


So the sun set in a cloudy sky tonight, and it's getting dark, and all is serene in the field.


September 6

Last night was a medium in the sleep category. One problem was, as usual, the temperature, but somehow the bedding had gotten skewed, and besides, Buster decided to take up DC's usual sleeping spot, next to me. While DC is an accommodating bed partner, and will settle himself in a place where he doesn't interfere with me, Buster is decidedly not. He picks his spot, and I can jolly well move around him. Since he spent the whole night there, I had to spend some time finding a comfortable place for my arms and hands and things. At least once, I moved to find he had hooked a claw in the back of my nightie!


Anyway, the sky was clear but not especially transparent, which means seeing was just ordinary, and I think tonight will be either the same or a bit worse.  About the time I have been turning out the light lately, Arcturus is in the northwest, right at the top of the crossbar on the window, so that it actually looks like light reflected off the window lock (which really doesn't reflect light anyway), and I have to raise my head if I want to be sure that's what it is. At 3am or so, Vega and Deneb are beginning to set in the west, but they are so far north I can only see them out of the north windows. 


I'm not sure how good the sky will be tonight, because looking at the moon, which is shining in the office windows, it is deep yellow, which means there is a lot of gunk in the atmosphere.  This moon, which is full on the 10th, is the Harvest Moon. It was originally called that because it lighted the sky for the early farmers to harvest after dark, but this far north, when the moon is full at the southernmost part of the ecliptic, I don't think that would hold true. It never gets more than about 30 above the southern horizon, so it isn't lighting much around here. It is pretty, though.


The day was partly cloudy, with a lot of high clouds. I looked out right after I got up this morning, and there was a contrail above the trees to the north, almost as far as I could see, and as I was looking at it, another plane went over, following exactly the same route. It almost looked like he was following the contrail, and making his own parallel and just above it. There were some interesting winds up there, too, and in short order both contrails were spread out and wavy.


The NWS reports that the temperature got over 70 between 6am and 8am this morning, then dropped off, but I have a very hard time believing that. especially since the wind was close to 20mph. It was in the low 60s for most of the day, but the wind was light, and it was a nice day. I'm not sure where that NWS reporting station is in Copper Harbor - someplace near the fort headquarters, I guess, but it must be in a place that is sheltered sometimes, and sometimes I know it gives anomalous readings, like somebody put their hand on the thermometer just about the time it transmitted its hourly readings. It's better than nothing, but one day I hope to have my own weather station, so I can see what's really going on.


Currently, I have two temperature sensors, one in the bird feeder tree and one in the spruce behind the house, but both of them are strongly affected by the sun shining on the tree. If I put one behind the garage or behind the breezeway, it would be sheltered from most of the winds, which means it wouldn't read right either. Hanging the thermometers in the trees is a bit more accurate than the past two years, when they sat on the porch decks, but not a lot. I haven't figured out what the best places for them are.


I didn't do a lot, again, but I did finish the leaves I was embroidering and I'm now starting another flower. This one is big, and I am anxious to get on with it, because the next two flowers are a slightly different shade of pink than I've worked with, which should be interesting. I think the finished bellpull will be pretty, but the colors of the roses aren't really true to life, unless roses are different colors in Great Britain than they are here. It's another one of those things that was meant to be looked at from a distance, and from a distance it will be nice. Up close, it's not as pretty as I think it could have been.


I continued sorting beads, because I just didn't feel like getting into the rearranging I have to do to get at the sewing machine, but that is turning into a losing proposition. Every time I think I'm done with a batch and can go on, I start picking out another color or two and have to start over. Today it was some very small dark green beads, and some rather pretty transparent yellow ones with facets all over. The yellow ones are even prettier than the ones I was saving for my project, so if I get back to that, I'll have a decision to make. I'm also sorting out the "uglies", mostly bright yellow and orange, and the dark red ones, and a couple others that there aren't very many of. It's almost at the point where I might as well completely separate all the colors, but I really don't want to get into that. In fact, I'm about ready to take what I have and put the rest of the mixtures away for a while. There are a lot of beads in three kilos.


Tonight I met Shirley for dinner, and that was nice, but it was getting dark before I got home, and that isn't nice.


Now the yellow moon is shining on the field, and it's time for bed.


September 5

It's amazing that I don't seem to be able to put two good nights' sleep together.  Last night wasn't horrible, just not really good, and i was a bit groggy today.


Last night was clear all night, but not exceptionally transparent, and there weren't any glows in the north. This morning was beautiful, clear and blue, with very little wind, and the temperature under 60. The NWS claims it got under 50 around 4am this morning, but  you couldn't prove it by me. My ears were sore and I was thrashing about that time. They also claim it didn't get over 70, but it got to 74 in the pine tree.


I had fed the birds, made the coffee and I was sitting around reading when all of a sudden the cordless phones said "eep" several times...and there was another power failure. This one lasted about 45 minutes, but I was able to make my breakfast - blueberry pancakes yum! - anyway. 


It was nice that the power came back before I was through, because I was able to use the exhaust fan in the kitchen to vent the fumes from the pork sausage. I love Volwerth's pork sausage, but they are an absolute mess to cook. I've ruined an old teflon coated pan, and I have to use the exhaust fan every time I make them. And that's not saying what they do to the stove...


This power failure was annoying because there was absolutely no weather related reason why it should have happened. I keep wondering if some builder didn't do what they did when they were pouring my basement - the empty cement truck caught the wires going up the hill  and pulled them down. Who knows, because this time there was no call-back from UPPCO. Now that may also mean it was their goof and they didn't want to hear me complain.


Anyway, it also caused me a minute or two of panic, because the computer came up in diagnostic mode (what the problem was, I don't know, because I couldn't get the monitor to start right away and I didn't watch it boot up). Of course, the first recovery action is to shutdown and reboot, which I did, and thankfully, that cleared the problem. Whew!  When the power went out, I immediately threw the wall switch that turns off the entire circuit that the computer runs on, because I remember all to clearly what happened last summer when I managed to zap the modem by trying to keep working while the power was going up and down. Not a good idea, and I don't do it any more. The wall switch is just added safety, in case something should come down the line that the surge suppressor can't handle. I recall from my professional days that even the industrial strength equipment they used at the bank couldn't handle power oscillations, which were death to the Tandems. I think the PC is a bit less sensitive, but no use taking chances. Grr.


With all of that, my day was rather backward, and I ended up not doing much at all. All the big beads and bugle beads are now separated from the little beads (except for those I missed, of course), so now I'm back to staring at all those little beads I can hardly see. I did finally use a magnifying glass on the little things I thought were white with purple stripes, and the purple turns out to be a blue stripe with a dark orange stripe right next to it. I don't have many of them, so it's probably a good thing I don't like them very well. They're interesting, and I appreciate the skill it takes to make a cane about 1/16" in diameter with three sets of blue and orange stripes in it (seed beads are chopped off a long cane of glass then heated or tumbled to take the rough edges off). However, they aren't the prettiest beads in the bags.


So now my eyes are crossed again, and tomorrow I will have to decide whether to continue sorting or go do something else. I would like to try making a box, but before I can do that, I have a lot of rearranging to do in the office, and I have to oil the sewing machine (I hope I brought the instruction book!). We shall see how far I get. It's also plain from the piles around here that it's time I started collecting things in orange bags for the trash compactor, so I may do some of that tomorrow. And of course, there's the breezeway...the only thing that got brought in from there was the Jack Daniels.


So it was another lovely, quiet day in the field. Even though it didn't get very warm, there was little enough wind that I was able to open things up, and that's nice. It was really very quiet around here, too, which I love to hear.


Now the moon is shining on the field, and so to bed.


September 4

It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do! Like, almost 12 hours worth...When I went to bed, around 10pm, the wind was very strong from the north (25mph with gusts) and the lake was singing loudly...very few times have I heard it louder. There was one strange noise I kept hearing, like a bucket rocking back and forth, but it wasn't very loud, and it didn't keep me awake very long. When I woke around 12:30, the wind and surf were still strong, but the wind had blown all the clouds away and the sky was clear, and there was a sort of glow behind the trees to the north. The trees are good, since they break the force of the north wind, but they make it hard to see all the northern lights. There didn't seem to be much action, so I went back to sleep. The glow was still there around 3:30 (I had been up once in the meantime), but it was lower in the sky and either it had split in two or there were a few clouds. 


The wind started backing off around 6am, to under 20 mph, but it stayed out of the north until just this evening, when it as shifted just a tad toward the west and finally, now, died down almost completely. There were whitecaps on the harbor this morning when I got up (close to 10am), and while there were a few clouds over the mountain, most of the sky was clear and blue, blue, blue. The temperature didn't get below 50 last night and it didn't get to 60 until just an hour or so ago, so it was a lovely, clear, cool day. My kind of weather.


I felt so good this morning that I cleaned up the sink and loaded the dishwasher and did dishes while I was at the north end. I embroidered quite a while, and finished two more greens (I'm doing leaves again). I had intended to do something else I've been avoiding, but I decided to look at the payables file again, and I ended up paying a few bills, then it was the post office and the general store (a very well-stocked store - they even have tomato paste). Since I missed my good dinner last night, I decided to go tonight, and it was good, and besides, I have enough for tomorrow, too. Yum. When I got back from that, I folded the rest of the laundry which has been lying around the laundry room for a week and moved the laundry station back into the closet. So now the only outstandings are to unload the dishwasher and do something about all the stuff in the breezeway. 


It's amazing what enough sleep will do for a girl.


So now the shades of night are falling fast (I don't know who added that phrase to the family archive - both my mother and my father used it), and there is a beautiful half moon shining in the office windows, and a lovely yellow glow in the west. The wind is light, the lake is nearly calm, and it is an altogether beautiful evening.


Peace reigns in the field.


September 3

First off, the camera wasn't talking to the website until around 10:30 this morning - the old "never dial a connection" bug bit again, and I have absolutely no reason why it should have - since I was gone most of the day yesterday, I didn't do a lot on the computer when I got home. So I will have to start checking that again. It's one of those things that never happens when I am checking it, so I decide everything is OK, then it bites again. Ouch! Also, the lights in the office have been on for a while. Sorry about that, but it was an early, dark night.


I started out last night with the door open, and couldn't get the temperature right, so after a while I closed the door and I still couldn't get the temperature right, so it was another rather wakeful night, and I arose late this morning, feeling all creaky from my exertion yesterday. around 12:45 this morning, I started hearing some thunder, but it passed north of us and we didn't even get any rain, and sometime later, I looked out the window and the stars were out. However, it clouded up again, and it was partly cloudy and quite windy when I finally got the camera going - there were whitecaps on the harbor, and when the sun was out it was quite pretty. Most of the day was like that, then around 6pm it got really cloudy and there was even a little rain. The wind is out of the north now, 25-30mph, and the temperature is in the middle 50s. Maybe this will be a night for sleep!


I didn't get my good dinner tonight, because as I was getting ready to go, all of a sudden I started feeling sweaty and queasy, and I decided it would be better to go light on the stomach. Whatever it was, I have no idea, and I feel better now, but I missed my nice dinner. Maybe tomorrow.


Anyway, I am tired, it's dark as the pit outside, and the lake is speaking loudly, so I will make this a short one and try the bed bit again.


Rain in the field tonight.


September 2

I still don't like writing "September", even though I checked and it's not ten weeks until Friday. September has always seemed so much like the end of things to me.


Anyway, despite not sleeping well again last night, and not getting up until 9:30, and diddling around, I did to to Houghton today. I didn't get off until after noon, but that was all right. It partly sunny and around 70 when I left, and there wasn't any traffic going south. Going north was a different matter. I had to dodge three empty log haulers.


The drive isn't as interesting as it was earlier and will be later. There aren't many flowers - goldenrod and asters, mostly. I did notice that the trees on the other side of Lake Medora had a yellow-green cast to them that is different from the yellow-green of new leaves in the spring. And some of the spindlier maples are beginning to turn color a bit. So it's coming.


I had hoped that WalMart might be less crowded than usual the day after a holiday, but I should have known better - it's always crowded. However, I guess this is Social Security day for some older people, and there were a lot of them in the store. I did a fast turn around, because at this time of year they tend to have really inexpensive towels and fleece throws. They did. I've discovered that their navy blue towels match the ugly chair and their medium blue towels match the denim slipcovers in the great room. I'm currently sitting on a navy towel, since the office chair is leather, and I can't sit in it when I'm wearing shorts. More about that later.


When I got into the car, the temperature outside was in the high 70s and the temperature inside was...entirely too hot! I wasn't in it long, since Ming Gardens is quite close to WalMart. I had a nice lunch, as usual, and it's clear the summer crowds are thinning, because there weren't nearly as many people there at 2:30 as there usually are.


When I moved the car over to EconoFoods, the temperature outside had gotten over 80, and by the time I got out of there, it was someplace between 84 and 86 depending where I was. Much, much too hot! I had to repack my groceries, since despite the fact that the packer asked me what kind of bags I wanted and I said I wanted the cold stuff in plastic, he very neatly packed almost everything in paper. I don't put paper in the coolers, because not only does it get wet, it takes up too much room, especially double-bagged. So I had to put everything in plastic myself, in order to make it easier to cart it into the house.


I didn't start home until 4pm, too late to stop at Hughes (the "veggies" sign was out, but I was in a hurry going south). And I had the air conditioning on full bore!  As I got out of the trough of the Portage Canal, the temperature went down to 81, but by that time I was too hot to open up the windows. The sky was the sort of hazy, partly cloudy, two or three levels of clouds it gets when rain may be on the way, but those clouds are sometimes pretty.


When I hit the covered road, I opened up the car, because the temperature had dropped to the mid 70s, and the nice wind felt good. I had a good trip north until I got to the north side of Medora, and then I became the fourth car behind a RV towing a car which refused to go faster than 30mph!! It did give me some comfort to know I wasn't the only disgusted driver. The guy led us (and a guy behind me - five of us!) all the way to about half a mile from the blinker before he finally pulled over and let us pass. And I can't tell you how many places he could have pulled over before then. So the touron season isn't over yet.


Copper Harbor was absolutely dead at 5pm - nobody parked at Mariner, nobody parked at Zik's and nobody at the General Store. Wow!


Anyway, when I got home, the temperature was 76 with a slight south wind. So the first thing I did, before I unloaded, was to trade  my jeans and shoes and socks for shorts and flip-flops. Then, by opening the doors and windows and turning on the ceiling fans, I managed to get it very comfortable in the office, at least. How the bedroom is, I don't know yet.


I still think nearly the worst part of shopping is unloading the car and putting things away. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of stuff in the breezeway. Tomorrow, maybe.


After I opened things up, I was sitting here reading my email when I kept hearing a banging. I looked around the house and didn't see anything, but a few minutes later, Buster came into the great room and headed for the front door - oh, oh!  It turned out that the front screen wasn't latched and the breeze was blowing it open. Buster does know the meaning of the word "no!", at least when I say it in a urgent way, and he turned right around and headed away - he had been about to stick his head out! Just what I need! So I can say he does know what "no" means, so he must be ignoring me most of the time instead of not understanding me. Huh!


Now I am very tired, and my legs and feet feel like somebody ran over them with a truck, so shortly I will toddle off to the north end.


One leftover from yesterday that I forgot. I was looking out at the feeders and the harbor to rest my eyes when I saw fluttering at one of the thistle feeders - two goldfinches were begging, even though they were bigger than their dad!  So the goldfinches have fledged, and I guess that does mean their nesting is timed to the thistles going to seed. They seem to have done well this year - there are a lot of sort of nondescript olive colored finches around right now. 


There was also something else in one of the feeders this evening, but I couldn't get a good enough view to tell if it was just another sparrow or something else. It seemed awfully stripy for a chipping sparrow. Maybe it will come back. It also looked sort of fluffy, because its feathers were being blown by the wind.


And that is another day in the field.


September 1

Sigh. I really do not like typing that date, even though I do have about 10 more weeks here. That's not enough!


Last night turned out to be one of those nights. It was fairly warm when I went to bed, and I just could not find the right combination of covers or the right position, and I was awake from about 2:30 till close to 6am...then of course, I went to sleep soundly and didn't wake up until 9:30. I'm not sure what the proper combination of food, drink, bedtime, temperature, bedclothes, etc., are to enable me to sleep through the night (with the usual three or four walks). Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. Last night I didn't.


I should have. I took my bath early and sat in bed and read for a while, which is usually very relaxing, and I went right to sleep when I turned out the light. It's just that I had that wakeful time in the middle of the night, accompanied by a very nasty nightmare. Now, where did that come from?


So we'll try it again tonight, maybe the same way. When it gets dark so early, either I have to turn on the lights in the office (which you can see) or I have to go someplace else. I have a nice reading wedge for my bed that makes reading in bed very comfortable, so for the time being, I will go there. 


Today was another lovely day. It was clear all day, with not much wind and a temperature in the low 60s - surely my kind of weather! The wind, such as it was, was from the north or northeast, so I was able to open the porch doors and the great room slider and not get too cool. 


I think I mentioned that I put a towel on one of the bistro chairs, which has an imitation wicker seat, and Buster has appropriated it, as I thought he probably would. He loves it out there, especially in the afternoon when the sun shines in. For the first six months Buster lived with us, I had to confine him to the porch (glassed in) on Champine at night in order to get some sleep, and ever since he has usually preferred to sleep someplace cool, then go lie in the sun and soak up the rays in his black coat. Yesterday when I came into the office, he was lying nearly on his back, sound asleep, and about as stretched out as I've ever seen him. For some reason, he has always slept curled up in as small a ball as he can manage. He still does that - he's been sleeping in bed lately - but yesterday he wanted the sun on his belly. 


There were stars in the sky last night, but they weren't especially bright. The seeing was pretty bad. Now, tonight, the Clear Sky Calendar is predicting very clear until about midnight, then it's supposed to cloud up. It may even rain late tomorrow afternoon.  The moon has been lovely in the evening, although it is moving more southerly every night and it may be out of the camera's range now.


Well, I didn't do much again today. I did get on to the fourth part of the roses, but I didn't do a lot. There are more stems and leaves before the next flower, and they are fussy, with between five and seven colors in an area about an inch square (each). I did wash one load, the underwear and tops and I got the dishwasher completely unloaded so I can begin to load it up again. I worked on the beads again to try to get the one half-kilo sort of sorted. It occurred to me that before I'm through, I will have touched every bead in that half-kilo at least once - probably a minimum of 50,000 beads (how discouraging). I did bring the magnifier today, and it helps a lot. And by looking at every single bead I have been able to sort out some little white beads with purple stripes. There aren't very many of them, and I don't like them very well, but I think they are supposed to be something special. Also, it looks like I might have close to 100 grams of those dark red beads before I'm through, and that's enough to do something serious. Besides, when the sun shines on all those tiny bits of glass, they are so pretty!


Tomorrow, irregardless, I have to go to Houghton. I am really depleting the stores, and it's time to restock.  So I will get this published and trundle off to the north end...as soon as Beethoven's Fifth ends.


There are stars over the field again...And it's September.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM