Friday, as usual, was our errand day. We were planning to buy some straw bales for the chicken coop. I called a farm store and a hardware store where we have bought bales in previous years, but EJ said they were much too expensive. We will try to buy some straw directly from a local farmer. We crossed that errand off our days’ errand list and instead, we just went to Meijers for a few groceries.
Saturday we drove to Pigeon River Country State Park to look for elk. There is a large wild herd of elk in that area. We figured that we had a better chance of seeing the elk–and hearing them–if they were still in rut. We drove along very narrow roads, called “trails,” that wound through the almost 10,000 acre State Park. The roads were seasonal–meaning they don’t get plowed in the winter–and they were so narrow that when we met another car coming in the opposite direction, we both had to pull a little off the road to pass each other. One forest-lined road looked much like another and I would have been hopelessly lost without EJ.
We found an open area that we felt would be attractive to elk. When we pulled up, a man got out of his truck and walked over to our vehicle. Turns out he was a hunting guide, helping a customer hunt an elk. Michigan has regulated elk hunting to manage the number and location of elk in northern Michigan. This helps balance the negative impacts of too many elk, such as habitat degradation, disease, and property damage. Approximately 36,000 Michigan hunters apply annually at a chance to hunt an elk but typically, only about 100-200 elk licenses are available annually.
I have no problem with hunting but I really didn’t want to see an elk get shot–our goal was to enjoy living elk–so we moved on. The hunting guide described an area where we were likely to see elk, so we drove there and parked along the road. We saw a Mama deer and her two babies in a field, but after a bit we decided to drive back into the forested area. We drove until it got too dark to see. We saw several more deer, but no elk, but we had tons of fun driving together through beautiful forests so we didn’t mind. We still haven’t given up on the elk. We will try again next year, driving through the area earlier in September while the elk are still in rut.
Searching for elk was part of my birthday. For my birthday gifts, I like going on beautiful autumn drives making memories. My birthday is actually in October (next weekend) while EJ’s birthday is in March. I told him that I would celebrate his birthday by going on adventures, but we agree that March is usually too cold and snowy, and seasonal roads are impassable, so we take turns celebrating our birthdays in the autumn. One week is my birthday and the next is his. Next week we plan to drive along M-119, called the Tunnel of Trees, and the following week we hope to drive along beautiful M-22.
Rosh Hoshanah, or Biblical Feast of Trumpets, began this evening. The Biblical Feasts actually all highlight an aspect of the Yeshua’s (Jesus’) ministry so we enjoy celebrating them even though we are not Jewish. They are beautiful feasts, filled with deep meaning. If you are interested, you can learn more about Rosh Hashanah at this link: Rosh Hashanah
As soon as I had completed my chores this morning, I began making beautiful braided Challah Bread for our feast. Usually, they are rectangular, but for Rosh Hashanah, they are round to symbolize the cycle of another year. It also looks like a crown, for crowning God as king on Rosh Hashana. I filled my Challah bread with diced apples. It was beautiful and yummy.
I also made a meal of the traditional foods, all of which have symbolic meanings: Leek soup, carrots, beets, apples and honey. We had to forego the pomegranates and fish because we couldn’t find them at the store. I blew our shofar. Hannah Joy likes to participate as much as possible in our celebrations.
Here are photos of our meal.