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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day with Edna.......

Today I went out for the day with my friend Edna. Since Nancy left she is rather lonely sometimes. She always seems busy so I didn't really think she is. Anyway, we had gone out the other evening, we do that sometimes. We go out and eat and then shopping, maybe once a month. I had asked her what she did on weekends. Lately she had not been doing a lot. Well, she does way more than I do. I had said that when Tristen was at his aunts we could do stuff if she wanted to. So today we went down to Scottsville to some farm markets and quilt shops.
Edna wanted stuff for canning.Here is Edna at a roadside market.
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That was at Bear Lake. We continued downstate and stopped at The Amish country store where I picked up some supplies. Its a great place to buy spices and herbs and stuff.Things like dried beans and things for making stews. Will soon be time for that. Across the road is a quilt shop. Needless to stay we stopped there too. Below is Edna chatting to the owner. Nice lady.
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I think I did well there and didn't buy anything. Next stop was another farm market and I got some lovely corn on the cob and some flax seeds. We used to stop for lunch there but they have stopped doing that. Sheesh, they didn't ask us for our opinion on that. So much fresh fruits and vegatables grown on the farm there.They also do the baked goods but as I am on a diet, I also passed up the butter and cheese at the Amish store.
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We went to lunch in Scottsville instead and stopped in some Antique shops. In one of them I found an old Tonka toy for Tristen, he is going to love it. A road roller. Remember those with the big drum on front that flattens the asphalt or stones? He will have fun with that. Then after lunch we went to one of our favourite quilt shops "The Pig Patch"
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I love going through farm country........The Pig Patch is a lovely farm house. The lady runs her business out of her house. She has converted rooms very cleverly into a beautiful display for her fabrics. Its one of our favourite shops. Some places just grab the imagination and this is one of them.
In the garden are Fall Crocus, have you heard of such a thing. I must get some.
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The fields near by had Pumpkins growing.We will soon see those for sale no doubt
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We were gone all day, came back through Interlochen and by chance I said "I wonder if the quilt shops open" well it was so in we went. I made up for lost time. I bought some patterns and got ideas. So away with my paints after tomorrow and out with the sewing machine. I have to make a start on quilts. I really must. I hope I can get enthusiastic about this. I need to make some Christmas gifts







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cedar Lake Trail...............

Tuesday was a lovely day, it was cool and clear. Laura had to go to a place on Cherry Bend Rd so after that we decided to mosey around. There is a trail around Cedar Lake that I wanted to check out so this seemed like the right opportunity to do that. Found it easy enough. The trails go off of the bike trails.
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So many very generouse people have lived here, they have had the foresight to protect what they loved. Now we can all enjoy this beautiful area. So many have given their farms up now and the land, barns and homes will be protected forever. I just hope that future generations will be like minded. The land is worth so much if it was sold and built on, rather than make millions these families have given for the good of us all unselfishly. I honour them. A few farms are still being worked.
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This is the trail head. The old barn on the property provides parking. The bike trail runs right across the area. We now have miles and miles of bike trails, and skiing trails. That is another wise choice of the people who protect this area with great forsight and integrity.There is so much beauty and so much is protected now.
First stop
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Lets look at Cedar Lake.
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This man was fishing. Mr JabberJaws made a bee line for him. I guess he was packing up as he was not catching anything. Tristen advised him that it was the wrong time of day to catch anything and that he should come back later. He was itching to get those 10 little fingers in that tackle box, but restrained himself.
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Tristen chatted on until we turned off the trail. The man told us that the one we were taking lead to a meadow and so Tristen lead the way. He has learned about trail markers this day. Ours was red and so he led us along through the Cedar (swamps) woods. Its a magical ethereal place that the deer like to head into for the winters.
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Look at some of the shapes of the roots, imagine a scene from Snow White when she ran through the forest at night.
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I can imagine this one, scary.......but a great place for an animal to sleep
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Some of the dead trees provide a home for new ones to grow. Nothing in nature is wasted.
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We saw a woodpecker but was not able to get a picture. This above is what they find in trees, bugs. Even in death its beautiful. The next picture is a part of Cedar Lake. On the other side are houses. Its a lovely lake right close to town.
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The water is very clear.
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After our walks we drove along the back roads to Suttons Bay. We went into a Cafe and had coffee and a scone. A cookie for Tristen. Next door was a sweet shop. I bought him a huge sucker. He is still enjoying that today. On the way there and back I took pictures of old barns. I will do another post on that. I will show a couple of views though. This is going back into Traverse City.
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Leaving Traverse City you go up a hill in most directions, except along the Bay........it sort of protects us from storms somewhat
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The snow belt is just at the top of the hill and across country all the way to Kalkaska. We are down in a sort of valley. Then again we get the Lake effect snow. Wont be long now. I am hoping for a very long Autumn but I do not think that will happen. Can still hope though

Linking with Create with Joy, Inspire me Monday
Also with Adorned from above

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beautiful Weekend part 2......

I was just too tired to finish this story yesterday, we did so much in one day. After we had done climbing the Dunes we went into Glen Arbor and got us some coffee (a coffee icecream affair) and a drink for Tristen and as the "boys" were squabbling about who would divide the remaining donut, I bought Gerry his own and I had a pastry. So then we headed for Port Oneida. I wanted to show Gerry the new way down to the beach. We used to climb down and enbankment but it got so worn down that it was no longer an easy climb for me.
So..........to the beach.
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As you can see its just how we like it. Empty. Woo Hoo........with a touch of Autumn in the air the holiday makers don't get down to the beach so much if its cooler. Thats how I like it though. We look for beach treasures like Petoskey Stones. I only found one. It was a lovely walk though, saw a large Turkey Vulture flying over but the picture was not clear enough.Tristen collecting feathers
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The beach is at the end of this road, and you have to know its there in order to find it.
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The water levels are high all over and we have more storms coming tonight. I have never seen it so high. Thats not a bad thing really, but there is no beach left and we don't need any more erosion. The farms above have been there for centuries but who knows.........
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This schoolhouse is a part of Port Oneida. There is a cemetary by the road along with a farm house. This school must have served all the farms around there, and there are a few. The bell tower is intact. I wonder if they used it as a church too. I must read up. Tristen loved the outhouse.
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He enjoys exploring these old farms. I wonder how long that will last? Meanwhile I will enjoy him enjoying our company. Meanwhile Gerry had bathroom duty, Trissie had to go. Lucky we always have a roll with us.
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I think the people who lived in these places were so very fortunate. I am sure that at the time it was harsh. Especially in winter. They must have been a tight knit community though. I think of the lonely grave yard up on the bluffs and wonder why they are not in the bigger one next to this house. I have more reading to do,
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Exploring is fun.
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We left there rather tired. It had been a full day. We saw lots of fields that had been mowed for hay and fields of straw. I told Tristen how that is used for bedding and food for cattle and animals in the winter months. He soaks up information like a sponge.
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I always think of how my childhood influenced me, and I want that for him. Country life is just so beautiful. I was a lot more naive though, I knew nothing of the harsher side of things. I don't think Tristen will be able to avoid that, but meanwhile..............as his mother would say "Live Life to the Fullest"









Monday, September 8, 2014

Beautiful weekend.....................

I know the weather will not last and so we decided to take the day and just go. It was cool and sunny, perfect weather for walking and enjoying the start of Autumn. The trees are only just beginning to change, the sky was clear and blue. We could not stay home, even though there is much to do. So we started off by stopping at Gallaghers farm for some donuts for Tristen and Gerry. Tristen went right to the play area to amuse himself and went right up to the child who was already there playing.He is not shy and loves to play with other kids.
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After we left the farm we did a side trip along a road we have not been on for years. Things have grown up considerably. There are several ponds along the road, they have gotten overgrown since last we were there. We used to take our poodles walking along there quite often, not so much traffic then. We saw bunches of Sandhill Cranes along the way and a lot of Turkey's too.
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The pictures not as clear as the last ones I saw. These Cranes were not as close and were a greyer colour.
The turkeys look like a bunch of old ladies in black weeds
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Anyway the ponds were beautiful. Frogs, dragonfly, toads and a Blue Heron.
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The lakes were pretty all the same. Strange phenomena on one of them. Bubbles coming up from the bottom, we figured it was an artesian spring under the lake. Only thing we could think of. There are a few houses now along the shores but not many. It is still quiet and is close to a horse camp, where riders can spend the nights with their horses on cross country trails.
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We explored for quite some time and Tristen always enjoys the lakes, just poking around and never wants to leave. We held the carrot of "climbing the sand dunes" in front of him whenever we wanted to move him on.
So after that we got ice cream and then on to the Drive up Dunes in the hope of seeing deer. No deer this time out. Seems like everyone was out that day, a coach was at the Dunes and we stayed ahead of that lot. I only went to get a few pictures, hoping that the sky was clear, it was hazy. Still enjoyed it though. As always we like it when no one is there. Won't be long. Then again, it will soon be colour season.
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After taking my pictures (I will share more in the garden blog) we let him run up the climb up dune. Gerry went with him once and then I went once and thank heaven he only wanted to go half way this time. The Dunes are not as high as they used to be, so a bit easier to climb but........they are still difficult for me. I dont like to walk in sand.
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It was a long day, we had only just began. Next we went to Port Oneida and I will write about that tomorrow.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Photography..........

Someone asked me what camera I used. She liked my pictures. Very nice to hear that and I do so love to hear what people think. My answer was really, its not so much the camera...........I used a Kodak and I left it out in the rain. I thought it was ruined so got another camera. Well my Kodak really came through for me it dried out and is back in use. I liked it better than the new one. The new one is fine, takes as good of a picture but I need to tweek it and instead of that I use the old one. Actually its nice to have two, that way I never run out of space or batteries woo hoo.
Well.........I am going to show what a (free) program can do for you. I will post a picture and then show how I can zoom in on the picture for a great shot.
Flowers are a favourite subject
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You see, instead of trying for the close up with a point and shoot camera (as mine is) get a good crisp picture. Start with a good clear shot and you can zoom in with a program. You can get a really really close up that you can not get with the camera, but it has to be CLEAR.
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Depending on how clear the picture, then thats how clear and how far you can zoom in.
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Here are a few other examples.This is Brea
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A black poodle is not such a great subject to pick for a close up but if you choose a bird or butterfly, the image can be spectacular.
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Again, not the best example but I have had some good ones over the years. This is one more example of how a program like (for example) Photobucket can help you
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If the picture is really clear and you can see that one is not. At this point it begins to be fuzzy. I tried one more
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Not quite as crisp is it.........the next one a squirrel. I believe that flowers are the easiest subject because they dont move, but this guy posed.
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Another program I like is Faststone that is free too. There are loads of them out there, just find one that does what you need. Anyone can take a good picture. Its choosing your subject, get a clear shot, crop it and zoom in. Easy. Good luck.