Entries to Win Afghan

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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Last Minute Details

Today is my last day with Ester for this trip. We concentrated on final things that needed to happen for me to hike. We got the final groceries. We tried a pan of protein bars I wanted to try. They aren't very good, but now I know that. We did laundry.

We talked about taking a walk, but then it began to rain. We did go out to dinner at one of Ester's favorite places called Riverlake Inn. They have a pond and landscaping out back

landscaped pond

The bullfrogs didn't mind the rain.


The lawn has a number of purple martin houses. I was carefully stalking the birds I saw on top so as not to frighten them away. The joke's on me! When I got close enough to really see them I realized they are decoys!

martin houses

We did see some real martins fly in while we were eating. And on the way home we also saw a number of sandhill cranes standing in a field. But I didn't have the good camera with me.

The rain and gray skies made the colors of the redbud pop.


Tomorrow night I'll be at the campground with Marie. Hope to blog fairly often from the hike. We'll see. At least I'll put a picture a day on Facebook.

See Bullfrog
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ester has Even More Flowers

I'm loving a walk through Ester's woods and flower garden in the evening. I love the little confederate violets which are everywhere.

confederate violet

Ester also has a pond. It really makes the property something special.

woodland pond

I found one lone hepatica.


But there are lots of the delicate wood anemone.

wood anemone

Purple violets everywhere too, but also a lot of yellow violets.

yellow violet

And in her garden, bleeding heart.

bleeding heart

What a wonderful start to this vacation!

See Ester has Flowers
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Ester has Flowers

It's been a calm and fun day with Ester. She's 150 miles south of me, and at least I'm getting a dose of spring here.

She really likes her double bloodroot.

double bloodroot

I had to look this one up. Sure looked like a corydalis, but I didn't know there were purple ones. Indeed, there is one, a garden variety called 'Blackberry Wine.' She says it appeared probably part of the rootball of something else she purchased.

purple corydalis

Squill, a typical spring bulb


One of Ester's favorites, Virginia bluebells.

Virginia bluebells

And, one lone tulip with striped leaves, no less.


Expect more flowers tomorrow!

See Single Bloodroot
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Joy

Just getting ready to go out the door to head to Ester's. Handbells today were awesome.

I got more pictures of the plant I've been teasing you with, but will post another time. Gotta go!

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Trade-Off, and More

Today it was suddenly spring. Pasqueflower blooming in the remnant of my rock garden.


Forsythia instantly bright yellow.


The problem is, I'm going to southern Ohio for the next two weeks where it's pretty much summer already. Spring is just starting here, and will be well along when I return. I've planned myself into missing spring this year. That wasn't the smartest move I've made, but the dates just worked so it will be what it will be.

The really nice thing about today is that the Manistee National Forest awarded the Enduring Serivce Award jointly to the Western Michigan and Spirit of the Woods chapters of the North Country Trail Association for our many years of partnership to maintain the 120 miles of North Country Trail through the Forest. In the picture (L-R) are Mark Weaver (National Park Service), Beth Keloneva (President WMI) with their plaque, Luke Jordon (NPS), Bob Dunning (President SPW) with our plaque, Chris Loudenslager (NPS), and Dave Jaunese (National Forest Service).

We told a lot of mutual trail tales and sharing the good things that have happened because of these partnerships. And, everyone in the chapters who wants one also gets a patch. You know I wanted mine! This award is kind of a big deal, so I'll gladly share it with you.

Enduring Service Award

The house is completely trashed with stuff piled in the living room, boxes of food on the kitchen floor, and half-finished projects everywhere. But there is a semi-good chance I may actually leave tomorrow.

Also on my to-do list is get a new picture of the shrub I've been teasing you with. You'll see that tomorrow, and then I'll be on my way to spend a few days with Ester before meeting Marie to hike. I should be able to blog most days with the phone as a hot spot.


See Rock Garden Remnants
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