Michigan

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Cabins, Cottages & Homes

Did You Lose Something?

floaterIt seems that every year during the summer season I will notice something floating by. No, I am not talking about a duck or other wildlife, although I appreciate nature very much.

Every season, someone’s boat floats by unattended. I have seen everything from a loose canoe, to some one’s ski boat. Last year I noticed someone’s Jet Ski floating by.

This year, even though it is not yet Memorial Day, the floating parade has started. Early one morning when the water was perfectly calm and crystal clear, I noticed what appeared to be a flat wooden structure floating by. I expected to see Tom Sawyer aboard, but after looking a bit more closely, noticed it was just a piece of dock quietly floating by.

Who knows how it happens, but it does make an interesting subject for my camera. Tie up your toys, secure your docks and enjoy the season.

Written by Dave.

St. Joseph River

postcardstjoeriver‘Dear Wife: Just arrived at St. Joe. No train out to Stevens, but have several chances to ride out in a machine. Expect to go soon. Everybody owns machines here. Am feeling fine. Mable is out of state so I will get something to eat. Bob”    dated July 27, 1918

The St. Joseph River, or more commonly called the St. Joe, is a Michigan river of over 210 miles running through southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. The St. Joseph Watershed starts near Hillsdale Michigan and flows thru Colon, Mendon, Three Rivers, Constantine, Union City, Niles, Buchanan and Berrien Springs. It then flows out into Lake Michigan between Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.

The river, as it runs through Berrien County, is home to the St. Joseph Venetian Fest. This year the dates are July 16 -19. Every year for the last thirty years, it has been the time for the Appointment of the Admiral & the Blessing of the River.


For a round of golf on the St. Joseph River try Berrien Hills Golf Course. There are several boat launches as well as park located along the St Joseph River, perhaps the best list is found at the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council.

The St. Joseph River, along with the other Michigan rivers, streams and lakes, make Michigan the place to be in the spring, summer and fall.

Written by Dave.

blackberry3I can’t believe it happened again! A few weeks ago, having been overcome by a bout of spring fever, I decided to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh spring air by mowing the lawn. But, just like last year, try as I might, the mower would not start. After finally giving up, I called the repair place. It seems as if many others had the same problem because they told me it will be four weeks before I can pick it up.

Last year I put a reminder in my Blackberry to get the mower serviced on March 1. Since that time, I replaced my Blackberry with a new one. That entry did not get transferred over to the new one, so the mower remained in the garage until spring.

My Blackberry is the most useful tool I have. The phone is great! I get coverage in nearly every area I travel to. I can text people, take pictures, surf the net, enter an appointment on the calendar, set an alarm and a host of other things that I may never use.

As great as the Blackberry is, it is only as good as the information I put in and what I do with the information I put in. If I put something in the calendar and never check my calendar, it doesn’t do much good.

So, I guess I had better stop writing for now. My lawn is beginning to look like a foreclosure, so I am going to get on the phone and see if I can borrow a mower.

Written by Dave.

Partly

partlycloudyWhen planning an event or a trip, I often check the local weather forecast. The terms “Partly Cloudy” and “Partly Sunny” have always been rather confusing to me. I went to the National Weather Service hoping for some clarification.

On their site, I found the following definitions: Partly Cloudy, “Between 3/8 and 5/8 of the sky is covered by clouds.” Partly Sunny: “Between 3/8 and 5/8 of the sky is covered by clouds. ” The term “Partly Sunny” is used only during daylight hours.

While I did not learn much from their definitions, partly sunny always sounds better to me than partly cloudy. Maybe I am more optimistic when I hear sunny rather than cloudy. It must be all attitude. Is your glass half full or half empty?

Written by Dave.

Michigan's Show

morningOne of the benefits of being on or near the waterfront in Michigan is that the scenery changes not only in the four seasons, but throughout each day.

The water is constantly changing and always amazing. From the predawn mist on a cool summer morning, to the reflection of the brilliant sunset in the evening, the beauty of nature never ceases to amaze.

The water continues it’s light show far beyond sunset when the moonlight sparkles on the rippling waters.

And the next morning, the show begins again, refreshed and renewed.

Written by Dave.

Ready for a Move?

movingfromthelakeThe other day I ran into an old aquantice. He is a younger gentleman who used to show up for a breakfast group I’m in. I have not seen him for some time and thought maybe his schedule had changed.

After some chit chat, he explained he had been thinking of moving. My first thought was to ask him what state he was moving to. A place where the financial climate was better? Perhaps a place where the winters were warmer and sunnier?

No he explained he wasn’t leaving the state. After all, he had been born and raised in Michigan. He met his wife and started his family in Michigan. His family and friends are in Michigan and he has a good position in the financial services sector. He came to the conclusion that he and his wife could really live pretty much anywhere in the state. At least anywhere within a two hour drive of Grand Rapids. All they needed was a phone line and a high speed internet connection.

They had been considering a lake side community. They had been visiting as far south as South Haven, as far north as Traverse City and everywhere between. He is leaning a bit to the Ludington area.

He felt they were young enough to make a move, and why not live along the big lake.

Talking to him really got me to thinking, do I live where I really want to? How about you? Do you yearn to wake up in the morning and have your first cup of coffee looking out at a lake or river? Or, do you prefer the solitude of living up north in the woods? Are you in a small town and yearn for the excitement and culture in a big city? Or, are you tired of the noise and traffic of the city and would love to live in a small town?

Whatever your dream, now is the time to explore it and make it a reality.

Written by Dave.

Summertime Toys on the Loose

lostjetskiWell, it happened again. I woke up recently to see another jet ski bobbing lazily along in the middle of the lake. Obviously, someone had once again failed to secure it adequately the night before. We often see teenagers on the jet skis, so someone probably got into a little trouble with Dad!

The water, usually filled with activity, was quiet. Nothing was there but the jet ski. There was something sort of lonely looking about that jet ski out there alone, kind of like a child whose friends have all left him to go play with someone else.

Actually, as I think about it, I don’t believe I have seen as many boats on the water this year. I am not sure why, maybe because of the cool weather people have not been out on the water as much, or maybe as the summer progresses people get a little more careless and I will see more later.

Whatever the reason, I am glad I haven’t seen as many. It can’t be much fun starting your day retrieving your boat or jet ski. But, this always serves as a good reminder to check and double check the security of your watercraft!

Written by Dave.

Wabaningo

wabaningoWabaningo was originally the name of an Michigan Indian chief. Today it is the name of small Michigan village located where White Lake flows into Lake Michigan. Originally the community was known as Sylvan Beach, receiving it’s post office way back in 1897.

Today it is at the end of the road that leads to the White Lake Lighthouse. Located adjacent to condos, cottages and the boats slips on White lake. It has endured the ravages of time and weather.

I had thought I should check and see it this quaint post office branch needs a new postmaster. I was interested till I heard the recent news that the post office was going to cut some 3200 smaller offices across the county.

I was reminded of that old saying, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

Thanks to all our postal workers who bring our mail, no matter what the weather!

Written by Dave.

Rules of the Water

rulesThe State of Michigan has some rules, well frankly a lot of rules and regulations in regards to Michigan lakes and the use of them.

Here are just a few:

*PWC (Personal Water Craft) operation prohibited from one hour before sunset until 8:00 am

*PWC shall not cross within 150 feet behind another vessel other than another PWC or at a no-wake speed.

*You are responsible for your wake.

*Clear anchored vessels, piers and docks by at least 100 feet.

*Boaters must always keep at least 200 feet from scuba divers when dive flag is displayed.

*Sailing craft have the right of way over moving power craft.

*Water skiers and tubers must have an observer in the boat along with the boat operator.

*Skiing/tubing is prohibited from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise.

*Boats and PWC must travel in a counterclockwise direction.

For more, read our boating reminders.

Enjoy your Michigan summer!

Written by Dave.

Harbor View Grill

harborviewgrillOne thing my wife and I like to do when traveling along the shore of Lake Michigan, or any town in Michigan, is to try new and interesting places to eat. And when the weather is warm, one of the criteria for picking a restaurant is outdoor seating.

Recently while on our way home, hunger struck while we were traveling through Whitehall. We didn’t see any restaurants along the way that caught our interest, so we stopped at the Visitor Center and asked for advice on casual, outdoor dining. The friendly woman at the center gave us a few suggestions, but the place that sounded interesting to us was the Harbor View Grille, which was just up the street from where we were.

We were not disappointed!

It was a little earlier than the usual time for dinner, so we were seated immediately. We got a corner table on the deck, overlooking the White Lake and the White River Wet Lands. The breeze was a little cool that day, but the location of our table and the warm sun made for a very pleasant eating experience.

Our server, David, was friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and very helpful.

After perusing the menu, my wife decided on the Pesto Chicken Ciabatta sandwich. I settled on one of the specials of the day, a rosemary pork loin. Both meals were very tasty and my pork was fork tender. The total for both meals was less than $20.00

We left the restaurant happy, full and ready to make a recommendation to anyone who asks us where to eat in Whitehall!

Written by Dave.

Take Your Trash with You

trashLast year I posted on Put Your Junk Back in Your Trunk. So often whether in the Michigan woods or along the lakefront, I come across reminders that I am not the first person to be here enjoying the outdoors.

There have been so many times I see a shot I want with the camera, but first I must go and remove the crushed beer can, or other discarded bit of trash.

I do not understand what these inconsiderate people are thinking when they leave their trash behind. Most, if not all, public access sites have trash receptacles readily available, but if you are really out in the wilds and there is no receptacle, my motto is, “ If you can carry it in, you can carry it out.”

So, this is just a gentle reminder to take those few steps to the trash receptacle, or before leaving the woods, take a few minutes to pack up what you brought in. The next person will be glad you did!

Written by Dave.

Storm

As I sit here at my desk overlooking the water, I see storm clouds looming on the horizon and I hear a faint rumble of thunder in the distance.

I haven’t checked the forecast, but I really don’t need one to know we are going to get rain. I am not one to forward a lot of emails and videos that are sent my way, but recently a friend sent me this one and I was intrigued.

I thought you might enjoy it too, so I am sharing it with you. Even if you don’t want to listen to the entire song, make sure you listen to the thunder storm. It seems as if an African thunder storm sounds pretty much like a Michigan thunder storm!

http://youtu.be/yjbpwlqp5Qw

Written by Dave.

If you live on one of Michigan’s many lakes or rivers, I am sure you would agree that the scenery is constantly changing. Not just season to season, but with Michigan’s constantly changing weather.

Last night I caught just the tail end of a rainbow with my camera. Not the best shot, but it is a refreshing sight. Then the sky turned a golden color, it lasted only for a moment, but just enough time for another shot. For that brief time, all of the colors of the sky were reflected in the water and everything was bathed in gold. For a moment it almost felt surreal and eerie. And then the colors quickly changed, so I kept shooting.

Tomorrow it will be something different, something new. And I will be sure to have my camera ready!

Life in Michigan is beautiful. Enjoy.

sky

rainbow

Written by Dave.