Ancient Club Moss

This is our second full day here at the cabin and we are settling in nicely. Over the last couple of days, it has gradually warmed up here. It was in the forties when we awoke on our first morning. I fixed a fire in the stove. It eventually got warm enough outside to feel a wee bit hot in the afternoon, when we walked the beach, me for the first time. The Doelle end of the beach continues to show further signs of human development from last year. It got warm enough that on the way back, I end up wading through the water, which is supposedly somewhere between forty and fifty degrees right now. In the late afternoon, we had company, Peter and Liz arrived to see the cabin, Liz for the first time and Peter not since our wedding of over forty years ago. We snacked on wine and cheese, but when I offered them some of Jan’s freshly baked pasties for dinner, that sent them scurrying for the door. I guess that they had already had the opportunity to experience this Yooper delicacy and wanted no more of it. In the end, after they left, we too also passed on them, having filled ourselves on cheese and crackers all afternoon, but tonight we will partake with pleasure.

This morning was warmer and there was no need to fire up the kitchen stove. After lunch, Mister Bill arrived. We conversed until Kevin the Jambalaya-Dot-Com tech showed-up. He was already reading our phone line’s last rites when we first noticed that he was here. He was not optimistic. Another test indicated that the line was cut some sixty-two feet from the cabin, along the driveway. He informed us with perfect disgust that last year’s contractors had likely cut our line when they were trenching in our neighbor’s new fiber. I guess that with a full year of having to clean up after those guys, he is pretty much fed up with them altogether. Later on, while we were on the way back from town to the cabin, the telephone company’s home office called to tell us that the expediency of getting DSL first was no longer an option. We will have to fill out a paper copy of a map that will show them all underground obstacles (septic, water) on the property. We’ll do that tomorrow. Any ideas how the waterline was run?

That Woman…

One is not like the others

Two dredges and a sailboat cruised into a bar… Only to find that “That Woman” from Michigan had closed them all down. I’m speaking of the governor around here. The down-state bars have been closed for some time now, but as of this morning all bars state-wide have been shuttered. I don’t know if this edict will actually affect any of the drinking establishments that I have visited in the past, because there is a loophole. If food is served and if food represent a sufficiently large percentage of sales, then they won’t have to close. Not that I care to frequent either type of watering hole these days. Our big adventure was to go to the Brimley post office yesterday for stamps.

We needed to mail the signed contract for a new porch roof. After repeated calls and some frustration I finally raised the roofer by calling him on his cellphone. He satisfactorily answered my questions and I awarded him the job. Mailing the contract made it official. So, sometime this fall the cabin will get a new roof “system.” Because it is a system it will cost more, but should last longer too. I got an inkling of this, when on one of my many calls, I got the roofer’s wife. These two obviously don’t talk, because the first thing she announced was that they weren’t taking anymore new jobs until spring. When I explained my situation and said that I wasn’t ordering a new shingled roof, but a roof system that changed her tune. This system must be quite lucrative, enough to let us jump the line.

We thought that we had heard the squirrel in the loft again, but now I’m not so certain. Anne went up in the loft and the sounds continued. Didn’t see anything, but when she went outside the sounds ended. I think that the squirrel was on the roof. We trapped a fourth mouse in the loft, which seem to be never ending. Anne thinks that we have not heard the squirrel lately, because it has been so windy. This morning it is much quieter and still. She may have something with that idea. Anyway, that’s the rodent report for today.

Anne that other woman from Michigan, got to show off her new quilt to her cousins and garnered sufficient admiration from them validating her sense of self worth. After being somewhat too cool here for the last few days, it looks like we’re due for a warmup. Anyway, it looks like it will be quite the beach day today. Time to step away from the blog.

Stag’s-Horn Clubmoss

Stag’s-Horn Clubmoss

Down the beach by Doelles, we found these plants. It is an ancient species. One of the first vascular plants or plants with tubes to conduct water that ever existed. It dates back over 400 million years from the Devonian epoch, to when life had first risen from the seas and begun its terrestrial conquest. Name aside it is not a moss. Appearances aside it is also not a fir, but something more ancient. Named for its club-like projections or “candles” that can be seen held above the small leaved, conifer-like stems, they stick up and are known as strobili. They produces numerous minute spores for reproduction, for 400 million years now and counting.

Anne and Bill arrived. They brought the contract for the roofer that caused way more problems downstate than expected. Maybe I should have gone the printed route as he first suggested? Thanks to Anne and Bill for their assistance.

Not much new on the squirrel front. It went 36 hours without a peep, but then at first light I heard its tale-tell scratching. They sounded weaker than before, either he is becoming more cagey or he is really trapped and is growing weaker. It was quiet enough that I was able to fall asleep again and Anne never even woke up. If you are out past midnight gazing at the stars, you are not going to be a morning person. I googled squirrel bait and peanut butter is recommend, which is what we are using. Anne added the tops of strawberries that we had had for breakfast. The guinea pigs always liked those. Anne crawled beneath the cabin looking for holes, but couldn’t find any. We only ever hear or see this critter in the loft. I think that it is trapped up there and our only hope is to lure it into one of the smaller traps before it dies.

I cooked up a storm, fixing maque choux to go with the taco meat I cooked the day before. We’ll be living off of this combo for days yet to come. I also made creme brûlée. Haute cuisine has come to the cabin, but we’ll top it with ice cream to maintain our roots.

Second squirrel 🐿 update: This morning Anne was awoken by the squirrel at 4 AM. It is definitely a morning person, woman, man… Then she felt debris (pine cones and pink insulation) falling near her from above. She also heard stuff falling near the door. I had just swept the floors yesterday! Then she heard a loud snap. Rising to investigate she found a rather dead mouse 🐁 in the rat trap. Using a coat hanger, she took it all outside. Later I was informed that it is a gentleman’s job to dispose of the body in the swamp. I did it, but I should point out that she is the landlord around here. While writing this a squabble erupted between a pair of squirrels outside and Anne ran to the window to investigate. Waving my hand, I had to say, those are not the squirrels you are looking for.

My Better Half

My Better Half

Anne is seen here styling a blue & white plaid wool shirt-jacket that recalls a similar article of clothing that her parent’s once shared during their courtship. Last X-mas she gifted it to her mom and when this spring her mother passed, she inherited it back. It becomes her well and she enjoys the fact that it at least had its all too brief connection with her mother.

After some delay, we were able to pickup our groceries curbside at Meijers via Shipt. Anne got her drugs too. So all is right with the world again. It is a beautiful beach day. Not too hot and not too cold. With just the right amount of wind to keep the bugs at bay. Best beach day so far this summer. The forecast for the weekend looks pretty good too. It’s still hours before nightfall, but the sky this afternoon looks favorable for taking another run at the comet Neowise tonight. Although, the comet is already a bit passé.

Tonight, I’m gunning for Saturn. Currently, it is at closest approach to earth. It is also in retrograde, but most importantly it is tilted so that its rings are facing us broadside. All that extra luminous surface area makes it especially bright. I don’t think that I can photograph it, but I have a spotter scope that I could like to look at it through. I’ve only seen the planet up close enough to resolve it once. That was way back in college at Michigan State. I was taking an intro astronomy class and the teacher led us on a field trip out to the school’s observatory. It looked just like the photos, only tiny. I probably can’t do as well with my equipment, but I won’t know until I try.

In other news, we received the bid for work on the cabin’s sleeping porch roof. I’ve forwarded the bid to the commissariat, for their study. Finally, it’s squirrel 🐿 update time. Last night before we went to bed the rat trap was sprung. It didn’t get the squirrel, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of it since. Knock on wood, which is what we’ve been doing in its presence all week long. We’ve become those grumpy old downstairs neighbors who bang on their ceiling whenever the upstairs neighbors have a party. It is unusual for the squirrel to be absent for so long. I can only hope that its near death experience has helped it come to the realization that these people are trying to kill it and it has been scared away, hopefully for good.