Ready for a Holiday

Northwoods Journal

Friday, July 3, 2015

Up at 4:15 a.m. and on the road by 5:10. Even though we weren’t the only ones to have the bright idea of getting on the road before dawn, we still made quick time and would have arrived at the cabin by 9:30. That is until we got just north of Mio, in Amish country, and Mark started seeing signs for garage sales. That meant a detour and not arriving until after 11 o’clock.

As soon as we arrived, Mark finished putting in the window screens while I unpacked. In a blink it was time for lunch so we made sandwiches and ate out on the porch. I put out the bird feeders and hung the nectar feeder, but nothing was stirring in the bird world, at least not close up.

Of course, as soon as lunch was over, the dogs wanted their hike. After six hours of riding in the car, I guess they figured they had earned some exercise! Mark has cut a nice path from our fire pit back through our woods to the clear-cut area. This means we can get to Stevens Spring Road and all the trails without having to walk through the “neighborhood” and worry about other dogs.

We decided to just walk back to Sportsmen Dam via the two-track behind our place. The first thing we saw when we got into the rye field at the lake was that someone had recently camped back there and left a whole pile of trash (pop bottles, beer cans, etc.) in the fire ring. They also had set off all kinds of fireworks and there was paper and cardboard and crap EVERYWHERE. Don’t even get me started on people who litter!!! Ugh!! Makes me so angry!  If you can haul it in, you can haul it back out!

At the little boat launch area Milo plunged right in the water! That was unusual. He is not big on swimming. And it wasn’t even that hot of a day!

Milo plunges into Sportsmen Dam Lake.
Milo plunges into Sportsmen Dam Lake.

This bright green frog was not the least disturbed by our presence.

Bright green frog.
Bright green frog.

There were plenty of birds flitting about in the brush around the lake. We saw two different birds that were unusual to our eye but I was unable to get photos (mostly thanks to having a dog on a leash!) so we were unable to identify them. After we brought the dogs back – we saw a deer in the clear cut area behind our property on the way back – Mark and I drove back to the lake hoping to see those birds again but they were long gone. There were several turtles sunning themselves, so I busied myself getting a few photos of them.

Painted turtle sunning itself on a log.
Painted turtle sunning itself on a log.
Painted turtle with nowhere to go.

Painted turtle with nowhere to go.

And then I crawled around in the tall grass getting pictures of this badly battered swallowtail butterfly.

Badly battered butterfly.
Badly battered butterfly.
Tiger swallowtail that has been munched.  Still beautiful!

Tiger swallowtail that has been munched. Still beautiful!

I know an “artist” isn’t supposed to brag on their own work, but I have to say I was pretty pleased with the butterfly shots! Hey, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. There was a song sparrow willing to pose for photos.

Song sparrow high in the tree.
Song sparrow high in the tree.
Mark thought this was a Savannah sparrow but I say song sparrow.

Mark thought this was a Savannah sparrow but I say song sparrow.

We also saw savannah sparrows and Mark thought the bird in the above photo is a Savannah sparrow, but I thought it was a song sparrow.  It’s not a good photo as the camera decided to focus on the green leaves behind the bird and not the bird itself.  And then I had to crop it.  I did get a few shots of this cedar waxwing.

Cedar waxwing.
Cedar waxwing.

Back at the cabin we went to work setting up the hammock and all the yard things that make us feel at home. We were in the process of doing this when a man came up the driveway on a backhoe. It was the septic guy come to dig another test hole, this time in front of the trailer. (The hole he dug in the back a couple of weeks ago showed the water table was much too high to put the new septic system in the back.) They had contacted Miss Dig and they came out and marked where the electric line runs, so no worries of digging up something they shouldn’t. We were all pleased when the new test hole was bone dry and remained that way.

No water in the new test hole for the septic!
No water in the new test hole for the septic!
Cordoning it off so no one falls in the hole.

Cordoning it off so no one falls in the hole.

Now I guess it’s just a matter of getting the inspector out to approve the location and then hopefully things will finally get started. The one thing I have learned is that things run at a whole different pace up here than they do down home! Nobody is in any hurry to get anything done. We have given our contractor a whole list of projects we want done besides the septic field and well, and all that’s happened in a month’s time is two test holes have been dug. Big sigh…

Dinner was eaten out on the porch under our new string lights that look like fishing bobbers. (Our previous bobber lights got destroyed by red squirrels.) Three tiki torches helped keep the mosquitoes at bay. After dinner we drove down to this two-track called Teets Trail. We were very curious because our GPS told us to take Teets Trail to go home the last time we were up and there is a sign right at the road that says “Dead End”. Mark looked it up on the satellite map and it definitely showed a road going through back there, so we wanted to know if it was passable or not. It turns out it is NOT because there are two locked gates back there! One goes to private property and the other is a gas field. We had no compunction about going under that gate and walking the trail, which eventually did go through private property so we had to turn around and come back out. We did see a snowshoe hair – I was so bummed I couldn’t get a photo! We also saw a deer and I found a little, tiny nest that had blown out of a tree. It is not much bigger than the palm of my hand and it is lined with deer hair.

I had bought this new book and had read it on the way up called Better Photo Basics (more on that later) and so after we got home I tried to experiment some with taking some macro shots at different angles and using different camera settings. I wasn’t that happy with the results as the pictures didn’t come out quite as I had wanted. But at least I’m getting braver about trying things with my camera!

Tiny bird's nest lined with deer hair.
Tiny bird’s nest lined with deer hair.
Trying for the artistic black & white shot.

Trying for the artistic black & white shot.

I was hoping the black and white image would be better than it turned out. Oh well, I still have my butterfly shots! LOL

Since we were up before dawn, it was early to bed. We needed plenty of rest for celebrating the 4th!

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6 Responses to Ready for a Holiday

  1. kathydoremus says:

    I can see why you are pleased with the butterfly shots – they are lovely! 🙂

    Like

  2. tootlepedal says:

    I can sympathise with the slow pace of your to-do list. Very frustrating.

    Like

  3. The photos of the butterfly are great, you have every right to be proud of them!

    It’s a shame that some people are pigs while they are camping, I run into that all the time, and it ticks me off too.

    I hope that you had a great 4th of July weekend!

    Like

    • Thanks, Jerry! I hope your holiday was good, too, and not all work-work-work!! I have more posts to get up and some exciting photos! Well, it was an exciting subject, but that will take me a couple of days to get up. So, stay tuned! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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