Wildflowers, Bears, and Thunderbirds

Photo by Teri Jensen

We woke up to another soggy morning. It had rained all night. The rain soon ended, but the sky was filled with dark gray clouds all day and the air felt heavy with moisture. The National Weather Service says that much of Northern Michigan has already received its average monthly rainfall in just the past 7 days alone and that most locations across northern Michigan are currently running 1 to 4 inches above normal June precipitation. I don’t mind the rain because it keeps the plants from withering. However, I sort of dislike the soggy squishy straw I have to walk through on my way to the coop. 

When I walked down to the mailbox today, I kept my camera ready in case I saw the Mama deer and her two fawns. I wasn’t surprised when I saw only their hoof prints–although I was hopeful. Instead I took photos of the wildflowers along our driveway and then I made an album of them at this blog. I also ordered the book, “Wildflowers of Michigan,” from Amazon today. It’s supposed to be here on Monday. I can’t wait to get it and start identifying the flowers.

I played around with using an audio player to play my favorite Michigan songs at this blog, but I could find most of the songs only at Youtube so I gave up on the audio player and just listed links to the songs at Youtube. I love listening to songs about Michigan; I totally love my state. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. When I was younger, my friends used to tell me that I should work for the tourist department for the state.

JJ texted me from work today and said that someone had reported seeing a bear in the park he works at. I excitedly urged him to take photos if he saw it, but he seemed to think he would be too busy trying to avoid being attacked and eaten. I texted that he could always throw the bear a picnic basket, and I sent him an image of Yogi Bear running with a picnic basket and being chased by a park ranger.  He laughed. He rode around on his golf cart looking for the bear, and officers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources were called in to search as well, but they couldn’t find any signs of a bear. So either there wasn’t really a bear, or the bear was clever and didn’t leave any traces behind, or maybe the MDNR just couldn’t find it. For years Michiganders tried to tell the MDNR that there were cougars in our state, but they denied it until finally people showed them proof–like photos, videos, and clawed dead horses. When we lived downstate, EJ, JJ, and several of our friends say they saw cougars. Sadly, I never did.

I found a bunch of flies in our house today. I don’t know where they are getting in at, but I had fun zapping them with JJ’s zap racket. JJ calls it a “death racket.” I took a video of my efforts. The video didn’t really capture the spark and zap when I swatted a fly.

Something bit me on the back of the neck today and left a big itchy boil. This is why I kill insects with the JJ’s death racket. Nasty bugs. EJ put Benadryl cream on it for me and says we will keep an eye on it.

This weekend is Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival. The area has many, many cherry orchards–and also apple orchards and vineyards. There’s always an airshow during the festival. We are hoping to watch from outside EJ’s company so we can avoid the thousands and thousands of people who attend the festival. It worked very well last year when we went to see the Blue Angels. JJ had to work last year so he missed it, but he will be able to go with us this year.

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