To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


The first of the season for us. While wandering about the city during the flooding, Miss M and I happened upon these along a wooded path leading to a bridge...
I showed her how to pick them whole, she wiped them clean, pulled the roots off, ate one...and then picked more. Sweet, delicious garlic.
Wild garlic is now available in a clearing near you! Go find yourself a salad.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Flood

It has been a crazy month for the weather in my area and yet, no one is complaining. Perhaps it's because we're experiencing history in the making. I mentioned 6 inches of rain in one week and then 4 inches in another 24 hour period...this is what happens to the rivers and streams when that much rain comes down.
Above is the path at the end of my street where I frequently take hikes. It's inundated after the normally placid creek has overflowed it's bank - following the 4 inches of rain. I tromped out there to check the condition of the creek and by the time I returned, the water had risen another 3 inches on my boots. I admit, I was quite concerned about getting swept off my feet as the water rushed down the street, but I had my camera and this event needed to be documented, by me.
lol...this is my neighborhood once the creek finished spilling all it's water into the streets. You could have swam in here, in fact, I watched a huge opossum do just that across here.
The river meter on Saturday. I'm not sure if those numbers are full bank readings, which means the river would be 9.7' over full bank, but there's an incredible amount of flooding going on. It's jaw-dropping how much water there is. There is a benefit to all this water though, Lake Michigan will rise again after years of decline, and that will make my fishing and boating friends very happy.
 The same river meter 24 hours later, submerged, although the river won't crest until 11 hours later, just short of 23'.
This is normally a viewing platform for the fish ladder and there is supposed to be a 10' dam off to the right. The ladder is completely submerged.
The delightful Miss M and her 'someday' iconic photo. To give you an idea of just how high this water is, Nessie, an 18' tall sculpture from Art Prize in 2010, floated gracefully under this bridge. She would be snatching little Miss M off the walkway at this rate.
See those bottom windows? The next couple of photos were taken from inside the building. I didn't take them, but they're all over the news and Internet.

Fish in the window. Talk about living in an aquarium!
Not every day a duck swims past your window like this.
This is normally about a 10' dam. The river is running nearly flat right now with some violent turbulence just there over the dam. I'm curious is anyone has tracked the volume of water flowing through here.  
CSX filled these hopper cars and parked them on the railroad trestle to keep it from getting washed off it's footings. It worked, but I was a little worried that it wouldn't.
The rain has stopped, for the most part, and the river is slowly going down. And now we begin the clean up...I'm sure we'll talk about this for years.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Two weeks of massive, nearly nonstop rains, just shy of 4 inches in 24 hours on top of 6 inches the week before. That doesn't bode well for picture taking and then I lost internet access earlier when my neighborhood became a series of islands after being inundated by Indian Mill Creek surging over it's banks. My street became a raging torrent. I did manage to get some pictures, which I'm working to get edited and posted. We're expecting historic flooding from the Grand River, nearly 7 feet above flood stage. If the flood walls don't hold, which the city is assuring us is not a concern, my neighborhood will really be in for it since my house is situated in the ancient riverbed. What a wild and crazy April!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dinner Out

I took myself out for dinner, my kind of dinner, and it was divine. Of course it included a pack on my back and a little walk of about 14.5 miles through the woods, but that's the kind of dinner I like, you know?
Okay, it was actually a few meals because this was my yummy breakfast of couscous, cinnamon, dates and cranberries with a side of camp coffee. Oh, I do like dining out!
Um hmm, the lakes were still frozen though there was quite a bit of thawing around the edges and in shallow swamps. I was out there just at the cusp of blooms, no flowers to be found, but the trees are full of new buds that are just beginning to swell. Soon. Spring is well on it's way in the forests.
A lovely fire when I stopped for the night. I rehiked a trail I've already been on a year ago, Nichols Lake to 16 Mile and back on the NCT, but it's such a pretty up and back hike, even this early in the spring, that I knew it would make a lovely albeit brief overnighter. Lots of hills and lakes through open forest with a fair amount of snow still on the trails makes for a lovely walk. I kept smiling and thinking to myself, "I'm so lucky!" The temps were low 50's / high 40's during the day with completely blue sky, but upper 20's at night; a fire was necessary, and really, what's a great dinner out without a fire?
Yeah, I took myself out for dinner...