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Monday, June 5, 2023

Finising the Porkies - Day 428

It was a beautiful morning in the UP! Sunrise over our campsite.

Three "monsters" entered the woods. The mosquitoes are bad, but not epic. But bad.
hikers in headnets

We finished the miles I had to abandon in the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park. It was a much prettier piece of trail than I realized it would be. We followed the Carp Lake Inlet for several miles, climbing over a ridge.
mountain stream

We were so close, we had to take a drive to just look at Lake of the Clouds again. Compare to the day I hiked through there. Link below.
Lake of the Clouds

And we also began the Trap Hills. The climb up Bergland Hill is not the steepest, but I think it's the highest single climb in Michigan at 750 feet. The fire tower is still at the top. Also a radio tower
Bergland fire tower

Miles today: 9.4. Total miles so far: 4712.3

Short and sweet post. We are at a restaurant. No service at the campsite. See you sometime!

See https://myqualityday.blogspot.com/2023/05/mccarthy-lake-day-427.html">McCarthy Lake
See Lake of the Clouds

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Travel Day

It was an all-day travel day, but all three off us, Bill, David, and I are settled in at a National Forest Campground where we will base camp for this trip.

No service, no internet. I'll blog whenever I can.

See McCarthy Lake

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Spirit of the Woods Meeting and a Surprise

Today was the annual meeting of the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. We were welcomed at the venue with the electronic sign just for us.
Spirit of the Woods sign

If I counted right, we had 21 people there. That's a pretty good turnout. Our membership is highly scattered, and a number of people are away. President Loren Bach conducted the meeting. The same officers got re-elected, but hopefully we'll get some new takers for next time as officers are only supposed to serve a total of 2 two-year terms.

The enticement to show up was food. Nice selection of salads, soup, and desserts. Great for a hot day.
table with food

Almost everyone chose to hike following the meal. Just another group picture, but we like to remember who came. Also, almost everyone hiked farther than I did, but I needed to get back home to finish packing.
group of hikers

The meeting place was really near the trail, which was perfect. And where was that? Bowman Lake, one of my favorite spots in our section.
Bowman Lake

You know I can't stop looking at plants. This is an oddly-colored wild columbine. Usually they are maroon with creamy edges. But several plants in the vicinity were only the creamy color. They didn't seem aged, and that's not how the flowers fade anyway. So perhaps they lost their color genes. Actually, this is how variegated plants appear from time to time. Or perhaps they are lacking some nutrient.
yellow wild columbine

Of greater interest to me was finding this patch of the native forget-me-not, Myosotis laxa. This is pretty rare. The one you'll almost always see has larger flowers and is native to Eurasia. The native one has much smaller flowers, as this does. Strangely, this is a wetland plant, and it's not growing in a wetland. Perhaps there is a little seep just under the surface. The picture has a maple leaf in it too, but that was a good background for the flowers.
Myosotis laxa

And now for the surprise. Wow! I sure did not expect this. Look what was open when I first went outside this morning. And it's one of the red-orange ones. I'm super happy, and I got to see it. That bud sure didn't look close to opening. (see yesterday's post)
red oriental poppy

So, I'm not quite packed yet. I have to move into high gear, but I needed to rest just a bit. Eight hours of driving tomorrow which I'm not looking forward to.

And here's the possibly "bad" news. It could happen, but I'll be surprised if I can blog from our campsite. So, don't worry if there is no post tomorrow, or possibly the following days. I'll try to quick put an occasional picture on Facebook when I have signal. Bill, David, and I are meeting in the UP tomorrow afternoon, and we hike on Monday.

See you!

See Last Garden Post for a While

Friday, June 2, 2023

Last Garden Post for a While

Surprise! I have one iris blooming. Hey, it beats none.
purple iris

I doubt that I'll have any time tomorrow to garden. I really wanted to get the front bed finished before I left for the hike completion. I came close, but no cigar. Well, maybe a cheap cigar. All the hard parts are done, so it won't take long, but I really need to stop and focus on getting ready.

I am going to miss the blooming of two plants. So few of mine are actually happy enough to bloom that I'm disappointed, but THE HIKE. MUST BE FINISHED. Anyway, the peony is going to have quite a few flowers this year. It's plain blah pink. But this may be the most buds I've ever seen on it. Some years, it doesn't even bloom.
peony buds

This one... I'm really sad to miss this one. This is not the salmon poppy I show you every year. Actually, I don't think that one is going to bloom. We used to have a row of stunning bright red and red-orange poppies when we lived down nearer the road. The lilac hedge shaded them out. But at least 5-6 years ago, I found a tiny one alive and moved it up here to the front bed. I figured if the salmon one was happy, it would be too. It has slowly grown, and this is the first year it is going to bloom. I thought with the heat it might pop open this week, but it's only got one more day, and I don't think so. Well, the sun made the bud look nice.
oriental poppy bud

I may also miss the yellow oriental lily that is in a tight prison since the deer love to chomp it off. It has a whole circle of buds. But maybe it will be blooming when I get home. There's another oriental lily that I have no idea what it is. I'd never seen it come up before. I'm sure it came from Ester. Her garden is such a dense collection of things, almost every transplanted clump has multiple items. (This has resulted in the enhancement of my plant collection!) It's tangled with a blue hosta which I think was the goal of the gift, so I'll separate them later this summer.

I've learned that I have three giant Krossa blue hosta growing- also serendipitous gifts from Ester. They are also now in prison for their safety. They aren't giant yet, but one of them is looking large-ish.

Here's my lost cause project for the summer. Yeah, I'm playing in the rock garden. I forgot to take a completly "before" picture. But maybe with some spaces cleared it shows that there is something under the weeds and grass to recover. Anyway, there are about 80 identified and numbered niches nestled in the rocks. They are not all the same size, but each has a "map" and a plant list. Ha! Not much is still alive. So far this year, I've weeded 10 spaces. You can see a few in this picture, working from the bottom up. The geranium is everywhere, but it gets to stay for now. There's no sense ripping out something pretty if everything else is dead. Some of the light pink one is still alive too (those light spots near the wall).
weedy hill

Speaking of things being dead or alive, I have so far found remnants of four other of my Sedums. If they have survived this long-term neglect, they are definitely hardy. I'm REALLY happy about two of them which were particular favorites. They are tiny, but have the potential to recover. One I have not found yet is common and hardy and grows all over the area in bare fields and lawns. If none of it shows up, I can get more for free, easily. I'm shocked that I haven't found any of that one yet.

Some of the cleared spaces are at the top of the hill. This includes the hybrid sedum I bought in 2020. It has turned a deeper purple- a common reaction of plants to the hot, dry environment. I like it even better this way.

I've found a few tiny Sempervivum (hen and chicks) survivors. Those usually recover quickly. There is so little that's still alive (think about how many plants were in 80 spaces- and they almost all had multiple plants), it will be almost like starting over. However, I think I have a little more sense about what kind of plants will live on the hill. I can give you a long, long list of ones that are not suitable!
rock garden

Tomorrow is a Spirit of the Woods Chapter meeting with a pot luck meal. I am taking this salad made with pearl couscous. The recipe looked so good on the box, and the reality fulfils the potential. I had to make myself be good and not eat a bunch of it for my own dinner! But I get fresh juice from the leftover citrus fruits.
cous cous salad

OK, if I can make myself be good, there is one more task I should do this evening. The heat today really got to me. I was productive enough to get by, but nothing great.

See A High Probability of Naughtiness

Thursday, June 1, 2023

A High Probability of Naughtiness

I can not be trusted in a garden center. Especially one that has great plants at reasonable prices. I will probably kick myself later for spending this money, but...

I'll tell you more about them when they are placed where they belong, but basically, I got another Brunnera, a Heuchera, and three hardy sedums for the rock garden. If the labels can be believed these really will survive. They say at least 8 hours of sun a day and the wimpiest one is hardy to -10 degrees.
potted plants

If you look carefully, you'll see wire cages over the hosta that are in the ground. That has saved them from being chewed. Pretty much. I see a few nibbles gone, but not wholesale destruction.

In other news: I got the big editing job done. I have one other fairly big job to do tomorrow, a bunch of small stuff, packing, and a pretty-much-all-day event with the Spirit of the Woods Chapter on Saturday. I have to be ready to roll to the UP Sunday morning.

See What's Blooming Today
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