Friday, March 24, 2017

First Creek Bluff Hike

For exercise yesterday I climbed up the bluff to the west of First Creek and hiked around the forest with friends, Jamey and Lois Fite.  It was chilly with a stiff breeze, but we had a great hike.  I love that forest above the lake.

First Creek looking south....


Jamey broke the ice off the footbridge.


First Creek looking north....


Jamey spotted a tree that had a branch connected on both ends to the tree.  We're not sure if we have ever seen that before....



Climbing up one of the hills....







Thursday, March 23, 2017

Grand Sable Dunes Hike

Yesterday the sunny skies convinced friends, Jamey and Lois, and I to go on a hike.  I had heard that people have successfully driven to Sable Lake -- so we gave it an attempt.  Since temperatures were in the mid-20s, the snow was frozen enough on the road (due to being packed down by snowmobiles) to allow us to in fact get to Sable Lake.  Up into the dunes we hiked.....

Less than ten percent of the dunes (not including the forested sections) are covered in snow.  In places there is a bit of snow left with very interesting melt patterns.  I think they look like little ice communities.



Sable Lake is still ice covered...


Grand Sable Dunes....


We were surprised by the impact of erosion.  We noticed several places where several feet of sand that have blown away to re-contour the dunes, and in some cases, expose old trees.



This time of year there are a lot of ridges in the sand.  Over the course of the summer, these ridges erode away.



Right from the beginning of our hike, we saw evidence of snowmobiles.  These machines are not allowed up in the dunes.  I heard from a friend that he saw them up there this past weekend.  Thus, the snowmobiles had to drive on sand since there was not much snow in the dunes last weekend.  As a result, the amount of damage they did to the vegetation was extreme.  We only hiked about two-thirds across the dunes and saw snowmobile tracks and damage the whole way.  PLEASE:  IF YOU HAVE DRIVEN YOUR SNOWMOBILE UP IN THE DUNES, OR IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS --  PLEASE STOP!  Below there are broken trees.




Notice the snowmobile tracks....


End of a 120 year old telegraph pole.




In the photo below you can see two partially buried telegraph poles, long since toppled onto the dunes.





More snowmobile tracks...


We found an area with several puff ball mushrooms.  Some were open and still attached....


The puff ball below still had its spores.  When we tapped the side, the spores went flying (brown to the left).


One of the puff balls was broke off ....




Back to Sable Lake...



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Whitetail Deer

Last night friend, Renee Beaver-Stocking, came over to play cribbage.  While we were playing cards a deer wondered by feeding at the edge of my front lawn.  It was a good looking deer! 








Sunrise this morning...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Another Beach Fire Picnic

Warm temperatures (upper 30s) and sunshine convinced friends and I to have another beach fire dinner last night.  We had brats again (they are easy to cook) as well as potatoes, broccoli with almonds and blue cheese, and carrots with pecans.

While we were gathering wood, an eagle flew by....


We spotted two people out on the ice.  This is not a safe thing to do.













The steps are waiting for tourists.