Aurora

Went out tonight to see if the Aurora would show, it did, but not that much. It might get stronger later, but from what I can see, it’s going a tad north of us for a big show. Besides, it’s way past my bed time lol.

Aurora Over Keweenaw Bay

Stars Over Keweenaw Bay With Aurora Glow

Forest Road Truckin’

Headed out this morning with Eli to hit some more of the Forest Service Roads in Southern Baraga and Southern Houghton counties. The roads south of me seem to be never ending, there many many roads to explore, and most of them are in really good shape. Many of the woods through this area have some nice large old growth trees, making the drive real enjoyable, just driving through the woods. Along with coming across river, lakes and such, this time I found a couple tidbits of history. One such bit of history is that there were 5 WWII POW camps in the UP, this I did not know. I came across one of the POW camps today, Camp Pori.

POW Camp Pori – 215 POWs; 2 Officers; 39 Enlisted Men
An unusual activity here was the establishment of a Zoo. The POWs captured mice, squirrels, snakes and other small animals. It was not their only activity. The 16 piece orchestra was often heard. The education at this camp was strong. Classes in English, German, French, math, shorthand and music history were offered allowing the men to increase their work skills. To this end, workshops were offered for machine construction, technical drawing, electrical skills, and agriculture development.”

The rivers and swamps I came across all have a very low water level, some of the swamps are dried up.

Anyway, was good to get out again, as I’ve been staying at home too much lately.

Sturgeon River – Very Low Water

Bob Lake

Pori CCC Camp/POW Camps and Wild Blue Phlox

Old Railroad

Damn Bear

The damn bear came and raided my bird feeders again last night. Two of the shepherd’s hooks are bent down to the ground and things are scattered around. I don’t know why, but none of my cam captured anything. I took a snap-shot of the scene with one of the cams, but that’s all I have. Eli has been busy sniffing around the feeders with all the fresh smell of bear.

Update: Cleaned up stuff and bent the shepherd hooks back into shape. But why, why does he feel the need to always take one feeder with him. This time it was a nice glass and metal feeder. Funny thing though, the hummingbird feeders were empty, but still hanging. He must have stood there on his hind feet sucking on the things.

Bear

So I’m up super early due to a bad back ache, anyway… I was just looking at my cams and there walks a bear around the back of the house. Knowing what direction it was walking, I turned on the front light and went outside, and sure enough there it was. I then pointed my flashlight at him/her as he was looking at me and told him to go away. Off he ran.
I watched him walk off in the same direction he came on my cam, but couldn’t trigger it quick enough to get a video.
That was fun.

Saturday and Sunday

I did end up going for a little drive Saturday, it was too damn hot to stay home. Eli has been having a hard time with the heat, panting and panting, and it seems he’s missing Griz quite a bit, so I thought getting him in the cool car would help a little. We headed out Herman Nestoria Rd, again, thinking I might see some more wildflowers. I did see some flowers, but the deer and horse flies were horrendous, so I couldn’t get out to take any photos. After coming out to the highway I turned toward home, but saw a two-track to the left and took it. After driving for a little bit, and after passing a nice large pond, I came across another old concrete bridge. The bridge crosses the Tioga River. When I first saw the bridge I couldn’t get out due to the flies again, but once on the bridge they let up a little, so I hopped out with enough time to take a couple photos of the river. We continued on down the road, but it ended shortly due to a large pond/swamp that had swallowed up the trail. Turned around and headed for home.
I want to go back to this area once the bugs have died off.
Sunday I didn’t due much of anything, with the exception of some work on a step leading up the front deck. This one step has bugged the shit out of me because one of the boards is raised higher than the board next to it, and could be a trip hazard. Well, I started out just looking at it to see what was wrong with it, big mistake, now I had to fix it. Hard to explain how fucked up it was, but I got it done and it’s now in a proper placement.
Later in the day I got some pretty cool photos of a White-spotted Sawyer Beetle that was crawling on the deck.

First sight of the concrete bridge

On the bridge

Tioga River

Tioga River

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

Old US-41 and More

Headed out to start the day on Old US-41 today with Eli, it’s been a few years since I’ve driven it.
The old bridge over Sturgeon River is always a bit strange with it being a narrow two-track at both ends. Beyond the bridge there is a long up hill, then back down in to some pretty deep and muddy holes. The Subie is like a tank going the the mud holes, with mud and water about a quarter way up the doors.
No photos of the mud holes, I was too busy driving. 😬

Once we came back out to the current US-41, I crossed onto King Lake Rd. That turned out to be a dead end at a small camp ground on the lake. During that little drive I crossed the old Soo Line Railroad tracks.

After that, headed back out to the main road then turned on Old Michigan 28. Found a turn that said Vermilac Lake Public Access. This turned out to be a very pretty spot. It’s also the only area we got out and did some walking around. Every other spot I stopped at the deer flies where thick as mud and biting as if they haven’t eaten this year.

Next jaunt I took was back up to the current US-28, turned west on Section 16 Rd and followed that until East Plains Rd, which is part of Baraga Plains Rd. Interesting area. There looks like there use to be a couple old towns along Section 16 Rd, but I not sure. There was and old cemetery.  As I was cruising along, I saw a sign that read Tibbets Falls, so I turned down the two-track. Went all the way until a small parking area. As I sat there thinking about going to the falls, the deer flies started to attack, so no way this time. I’ll go back there this fall now that I know where it is.

From there, headed down Plains Rd which did turn into Baraga Plains Rd, then down Menge Creek to home. About a 4 miles down Menge Creek Rd, which is about 8 miles from home, there were signs of a forest fire, a pretty recent fire. I haven’t heard anything about it, but I’m going to ask around. I then carried on home.

Once home, I sat down to unload the photos I took, then felt something crawling on my leg. Damnit! A fucking tick! I grabbed it and down the toilet it went. Then quickly sprayed Eli down real good with tick stuff, threw my clothes in a hot wash and took a shower to look for any more. None. That’s the first tick of the season. I hate the little fuckers!

Old US-41

Old US-41

Old US-41

Old US-41

Abandoned Soo Line Railroad

Birds-foot Trefoil

Wild Geranium

Malva moschata / Musk Mallow

Drive About

Went out for a drive yesterday, just couldn’t be around the house. I headed out Arvon Rd to start, and as things go, I made a few turns here and there, a dead end, and I was a little lost. Along the way as I was going only about 5 MPH looking for wildflowers, I heard water, rushing water. I pulled over for a look and could tell a river was only about 50 feet into the woods, so I grabbed my camera and went in. What a beautiful spot, with lots of large boulders and a good sized river (later on I looked and think it was the Slate River, only way up stream from where I’ve been before).
After driving a ways heading back home, but not really knowing where I was, I came to a garden nursery that I’ve seen many times, but oddly enough, only in the winter. This place is out in the middle of nowhere, but they were quite busy and looked like they had some nice plants and flowers. Too bad I didn’t have the money for anything otherwise I would have stopped. Knowing where I was now, I headed home.

River I found, Slate River I think

River I found, Slate River I think

One of the roads I was on. Saved by beaver

Star-flowered Solomon’s Seal

Common Blue Violet

Star-flowered Solomon’s Seal

Star-flowered Solomon’s Seal