Entries to Win Afghan


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Changing Moods

 
Today was still fairly pleasant. It wasn't raining. But the air has a chill, and the leaves are coming down.

The far tree line is dominated by bare branches with just a lingering few aspens.

golden aspen trees

The golden leaves are reaching to the gray sky as if begging for a few more days.

golden aspen trees

But the wind is going to have its way. It won't be long.

aspen tree in the wind
The forest is now upside down, with all the leaves below the branches. The trunks float in a calico sea.

fallen leaves

November is coming.

See Just a Little More Color
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Birthday at Work

 
Our supervisor at the paper has decided we are having a party a month, and in October it was Patty's birthday. The paper actually has a budget for some bit of employee entertainment, so we get some decorations, and we all chip in on the food.

Clear a work table and set up the feast.

Patty's Birthday

The birthday girl has a broken thumb... not too handy, but she managed to put her burrito together just fine.

Patty's Birthday

And the seating... really high class. Just pull up a pallet or ten.

Patty's Birthday

Patty cut the cake, which we all managed to sample even if we were already stuffed. And yes, we made her wear the party hat all morning.

Patty's Birthday

I have to say this sure helps the morale. Can't beat a party on a rainy day for quality!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Silver Lake- A New Perspective

 
Today was a wonderful surprise gift. It was supposed to be raining, the end of our nice weather. Instead we had another blue sky, mild day. I was out doing assignments.

One of the best parts of this job is that I often get to enter private communities which gives me the chance to see views from perspectives usually denied to the public. Often this involves bodies of water because people like their private lakeshore homes.

This time I got to see the south end of Silver Lake, the one with the really big and bare sand dunes. These views work you around the end of the lake. This one just said "north" to me.

Silver Lake

The very end where the shoreline turns is marshy. Pretty typical of small lakes.

Silver Lake

Working north again on the far side, there was still late fall color to enjoy. I like the rusts and golds as well as the earlier, brighter colors.

Silver Lake

And finally, the long view, showing you how far down the lake those bare dunes are. They are the dominant feature of the public areas. Here, not so much. Just about a mile from the Silver Lake shore, up over the dunes and down the back side, is Lake Michigan. One small creek drains from the end pictured here out into the big lake.

Silver Lake

And, just because I was at a location on Lake Michigan again today, it was in a mood for changes. Waves moving in. A cold wind off the water that made me put on my coat. Sand fence already installed to slow the drifting. Today was also the last day of the sailing season for the S.S.Badger. The Great Lakes are known for bad November storms that take ships down. They always stop running the ferry at the end of October.

Silver Lake

That next season is on its way!

See Silver Lake
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Ag Report 3- Fruit

 
Fruit is the biggest agricultural industry in this area. I took more pictures, but can't find them all right now. That's ok, a few things is enough.

The first picture is taken in August. It's a peach orchard. Although we produce mostly cherries and apples there are a fair number of peach and apricot orchards too.

peach tree

One picture I can't find shows a cherry orchard "put to bed." Basically the rows were mowed, and the trees were wrapped (because they were still very young) to protect them from rodent damage over the winter.

Now, and for the last month, it's apple season. Things are winding down because we've had a couple of hard frosts, but there are some varieties that are still being brought in. It's been a good apple year.

apple tree

Apples are picked by hand. That's why the trees are pruned to keep them low and open. This also allows the sun to reach the interior.

apple harvest

Speaking of apple harvest. I finally went out today and brought in some of our scaly but usable apples so I can make some cider. Yum! Don't want to miss out on that.

See Ag Report #2- Odds and Ends
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blogoversary Number Six- Win a Book

 

Can you believe it? I've been doing this blog for six years. I've missed a few days but even so, this is post number 2154. I've survived the demise of Entrecard, CMS, and Adgitize (as have many of you fine readers). I've lived through changes at Blogger and have figured out how to make Facebook work for me.

You've hung in there (if you are reading this), and some of you still comment here. I appreciate all of you, even though I manage to respond to comments less often than I used to. I've met some of you face to face. Many of us have lived through the anguish of pets who have passed away and shared our grief.

In appreciation, here's a chance to win one of my books. I know I tend to make contests too complex (because that is the kind I like), but the goal was always to increase the traffic here. So here's how this contest will work. It's pretty simple (I hope). From now until November 26, every time you promote this blog somewhere else, you get one entry. That includes sharing it on Facebook (not just liking a post of mine), tweeting it, blogging about it, writing an article about it on some writing site that's still viable, etc. Please say something about your opinion of the blog. Send me the link, or take a screenshot- some way to show me you've done this. For every time you do this, you get one entry. My email is jhyshark [at] gmail [dot] com

On November 27, yes, Thanksgiving, I'll draw two of the entries at random, and each of the two winners will receive a book of mine, of their choice. That includes any of the books pictured below.

books by Joan H. Young

North Country Cache: My adventures hiking the North Country Trail- even non-hikers enjoy this. It's not a journal.
News from Dead Mule Swamp (includes the Hollow Tree at DMS): books 1 & 2 of the Anastasia Raven cozy mysteries
Paddy Plays in Dead Mule Swamp: book 3 of the Anastasia Raven cozy mysteries
Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp: book 4 of the Anastasia Raven cozy mysteries
Would You Dare?: Twelve short biographies of historic Christians.

You can read blurbs and even excerpts at Books Leaving Footprints

Ready, set, go!

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Big and Blue

 
I had to get up a little earlier than I wanted today to go do a work assignment. I think that's going to result in an early bedtime.

Nevertheless, the day was all about BLUE- blue sky, blue water.

This is looking across Pere Marquette Lake (where the river widens before flowing into Lake Michigan. That's Ludington on the far shoreline, and the Spartan at dock (sister of the Badger). Amazing how a small city disappears in all that blue-ness.

Pere Marquette Lake

The sky was clear and perfect. What a backdrop for the last of the fall color, like this maple.

maple tree

And since I was out near Lake Michigan, were it breathes in and out over the edges of the sandy point of land that separates the two lakes, I sat and watched it come and go.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

See Twin Queens of the Lakes
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Antique Martin Steel Silo

 
Tuesday was a glorious October day and I found a different silo construction for our edification. This one is made entirely of curved sheet metal plates, bolted together. To tell you the truth, I don't recall ever seeing a silo like this, but surely this one is not unique. I've looked on line, and can't seem to find any information about this kind, however, the search results are overwhelmed with links to modern metal silos, so there could be something if I search harder. Obviously, this one is not new. The barn is probably 100 years old, given that it has collapsed.

historic metal silo

I thought the top was particularly interesting.

historic metal silo

The silo is made of curved pieces of sheet metal with lipped edges which are bolted together. Here's a view looking up.

antique sheet metal silo
I just had to get a little bit artistic. Well, I tried. There was too much breeze to get the grass to hold still. I was trying to get that interesting rust spot, the grass head and its shadow all in one view.

antique sheet metal silo

Now I have more questions. When I look at an enlarged photo of the connections between the plates it really looks like bolt heads. But that's a LOT of bolts. Isn't it more likely they were riveted? I need to take a picture of the underside of the connections which are in shadow in the pictures I have.

Thanks to some help from Vanilla, I have discovered that this is a Martin Steel Silo. We found pictures of them from Pennsylvania; Menominee, Michigan; Wisconsin; and Vermont. I'll have to do some more sleuthing.

It's a long way from home. I won't be going there any time soon, but maybe I'll have another chance. It actually wasn't too far from the Stone Silo.

See Concrete Stave Silos
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Buried Child

 
Tonight was opening night for the local production of Sam Shepherd's, Pulitzer-Prize-Winning, play, Buried Child. This is not a play for the faint of heart or mind. It's a postmodern tragedy about the death of the American Dream that outdoes Shakespeare in some ways. If you are at all interested I suggest you read about it on Wikipedia because I'm not going to give you the plot line here. This is a drama that will tear your heart out and leave it there on the floor, while all the while you realize that it's all too true. It's disturbing on many levels.

There are only seven characters, all related except two.

Dodge is the family patriarch who is dying and avoids responsibility for anything by denying the problems.

Buried Child

The oldest son is Tilden. He has come home after time in New Mexico, and is now damaged goods.

Buried Child

Dodge's wife, Hallie, bullies everyone, but clearly is somewhat lost in her own reality as well. She mostly talks about their son Ansel, who was killed. She has turned him into a hero in her memory.

Buried Child

While Dodge and Tilden are home alone, Tilden's son, Vince, and his girlfriend, stop by unexpectedly. Vince hasn't been there for six years and no one seems to remember him. Vince doesn't understand why no one recognizes him. Here, he tries to convince his father who he is.

Buried Child

Meanwhile, the other brother, Bradley (who only has one leg as a result of a chain saw accident) has come to the house and assaults Vince's girlfriend, Shelly.

Buried Child

Hallie and Father Dewis are involved in more ways than just creating a memorial for Ansel. This is no secret, and yet the family has a huge secret they don't want to talk about.

Buried Child

Vince goes to the store to buy whiskey but doesn't return until the next day. He is drunk and not making any more sense than the rest of the family.

Buried Child

As I said, I'm not going to tell you the story line. I'd rather just let you have a sense of the drama from the pictures.

The set for this production was absolutely fantastic. I love sets that create different spaces for action that let the audience see more than one "stage" without a set change.

Several members of the cast were outstanding, and that's saying something because this is an extremely difficult play. It's so dark that one has to let that spill over into humor from time to time or it becomes rather unbearable.

I'm really glad to have been able to see this, but it's probably not a play for everyone.

This is the play I tried out for- the part of Hallie, but because it was a college production, roles went to students first and there were more girls who tried out than female parts.

See Theatre
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Still Looking for My House

 
No, the piles aren't quite that deep yet, that I've completely lost the house.

I got "stood up" on a work assignment, so I had some extra time to wander home. Since it was a clear, crisp day I decided to go over the Mason County high point. We've been there before. Even tried to find my house before. But it was hazy when I took those previous pictures.

The road cut is probably 30 feet short of the height of land, but the view is more sweeping from the road. Not to mention how good it looks in autumn! This is a full long shot.

view from Mason County Michigan High Point

Then I went looking for my house. It's easy to find the water tower, which is a mile east of me.

photo label

I saw the sun glinting off something to the west of that. Aha! It's the space station (er... grain elevator)

view from Mason County Michigan High Point

Can you find them both in this shot?

view from Mason County Michigan High Point

Now I worked my way west from the space station. I also went closer to the top of the high point, trying to preserve a sight line to the correct spot, as more trees closed in around me. Something looked familiar. The yellow arrow in the middle of this picture is pointing to our copse of aspen trees that you can see in My Kingdom From On High. Interesting that the leaves were mostly down on Oct 19, of last year.

view from Mason County Michigan High Point

The arrow on the left is the clump of white pines on the hill just west of us, featured in this awesome sunset Timing is So Important. Those are about 10 miles away from where I took the picture.

From almost the very top (you can get 3-4 feet higher, but it's all filled in with sumac and grape vines, so no view), I pulled in a shot straight north. You are seeing more than 10 miles there, but nothing I can recognize.

view from Mason County Michigan High Point

That was a satisfactory stop!

See Mason County High Point for a previous attempt to do this
See The Highest Point for a view of that hill from our house
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