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)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Too hot Sunday..........

The weather was oppressive this Sunday, it was so hot and humid. Even with fans and air con and dehumidifier going it was headachy. So we decided to go for a drive. The air in the car kept us cool. First off there was a road I had wanted to explore. I am pretty sure we had to have taken it before but not that I remember. so we drove towards Empire on M72. The Iris are about done at the farm, so are mine in the garden. FLowers just do not last long. The road off of 72 is Frederickson Road and there are some pretty old barns along the road.
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Some are well cared for but others are falling down, very expensive to upkeep. Shame because they get replaced by metal.
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The barns that sit in meadows are particularly attractive.
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Well anyway, Frederickson road proved to be a shortcut for us, it bypasses Empire. So we will probably take that road a lot. Roadside flowers
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We took a drive up onto the Dunes, one good thing for us is we get a pass because we are old haha and so we go frequently. The day was hazy so we didn't stop at the views and being hot there were a lot of people. It was cooler and breezy so we had the windows open. This made that trip worth while.
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I had seen the deer or what I thought was a deer and we stopped and I walked back to see if I could find her. They are in their summer coats now and so pretty. Someone asked what I had seen and I said I was looking for the deer but they didn't wait, pity because she had a baby with her. Ah well, patience is a virtue with bonus.
She watched me watch her and the baby was just oblivious.
So that was just a quick trip with only that one stop along the way.
We went slow along the road where the pond is. I thought last time I saw a Swan nesting and I did, this time I used the zoom on my camera and I saw at least 4 babies in the nest with Mama, Dad was fishing.
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We went down a side road instead of into Glen Haven but nothing to see but meadows and beautiful trees and dunes.
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I love the back roads. Had to laugh when we went through the dirt roads. Gerry says "Do they get worse?" I said "Worse than what?" they were perfect for dirt roads, I said Old Betsy (the car) knows all these roads and is fine on them. He will learn I hope.
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I love the back roads because as I always say, we have them to ourselves. Next time I think when we go to Port Oneida I will have him drive through the woods. We didn't stop there either because by then it was 3pm and he was getting restless. I did stop at the lake though to see if I could see Turtles but none out today, they would have fried.
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Lots of birds very happy and singing their hearts out. It was burning hot standing there.
Not sure what this is. I must get my book out
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Lots of Redwing Blackbirds and this guy left as I was trying to focus in on him dancing across the Lily Pads
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By then we were hungry so headed home for a sandwich and potato salad. I sure was not cooking and now he is retired we won't be stopping to eat very often. He
doesn't like to do that much anyway but I will just have to train him better............he needs to lighten up, he will given time.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

State Hospital Farm..................

The State hospital was built in 1881 It was an Asylum and was self sufficient. The Farm was built and grew all the food. It had a dairy and horse barns, Farriers and everything they needed to be efficient. They even built tunnels under the ground between the hospital and the farm. This allowed for the transport of food quickly and easily especially in the Northern Michigan winters.
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The hospital was closed in 1989.
For a long time it's existence was up in the air but it was finally bought and has been saved. It now houses apartments, cafe's and art/craft shops. Restaurants and many other things. It is gradually being redone and saved and I am happy because it is such a wonderful beautiful property.
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Anyway......the farm, they had no idea what to do with the farm. Fortunately that too has been saved. I have taken Tristen there several times to see what is happening but did not go last year. I heard the Botanical garden was now open so Gerry and I went for a look today. It was supposed to be a rainy day so we didn't want to go far. Indeed the garden has started. Gerry had not been over there since they started renovating the barns etc. The dairy barn was our first stop because this lovely lady was just finishing a tour. We asked to join them.
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The walls are all original stone from Wisconsin. When they came over to pick up produce they had ballast in the ships bottom that was then dumped and used to build the barns. Keeping this short in the way of History, the dairy herd became famous. They had at least two champion cows. One is buried there and is a local phenomenon.
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Her grave will stay there..........we had already looked at the Botanical garden that is a work in progress and quite pretty.
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The lady did not give us a name we just got chatting so quickly that I forgot to ask. I was so happy to know that the walled garden was under way. It was just a dream last time I was there. It's beautiful.'Look at the wonderful gate built especially for this garden. It was once the horse barn. See the horse bits in the design?. The layout was designed by placing garden around each stall( that would have been there) and there is a hedge growing between each "stall" A Robin is nesting in one of the shrubs
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Very clever, a horse trough reproduction.
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It is a lovely thoughtful design, they have lots more ideas so I must go back.
She took us in a golf cart to the top of the hill to show us another garden project that grows fire proof (sort of) plants. Things that are used as a barrier (forest fires) between the woods and the barns. Great thinking. There are many acres of trails and woodland belonging to this Property. All protected for us to enjoy.
 photo 106_0054_zpsrzad4asq.jpgWhen we finished we went into the gift shop where they had an art exhibit upstairs. The Tunnel was open and as Gerry had not been in there she showed us the tunnel and the big barn where the potatoes (for example) were kept. The wagons could then fill up and be transported through more tunnels into the hospital over the way.
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The gate was made by the same Blacksmith who did the other gate and being a local lad had grown up enjoying the woods and fields and so had donated a part of the fee for the gate as it was not at that time in the budget. She even offered to take our picture.
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When we were done I took some pictures around the welcome center and learned about the way they had built the new center and how the wood was used to insulate etc, all extremely interesting. The round area at the top of the steps was an old silo discovered when putting in the fountain and steps. So they kept that and made an area for conversation.
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The whole of the area as you drive in is a community garden. Like the old allotments used to be. It is so popular there is a list, so it will be expanding. So nice to see people enjoying the land. I think this whole project is wonderful, so exciting and so much coming. A medicinal garden for one and Native American healing garden. There is a Maize (Tristen loved that) right now it is just grass but they intend to make it into a proper one in time. Everything is wheel chair accessible and there are areas for picnics. They intend to use the gardens for weddings etc and parties. The art displays rotate so different artists will be there.
There is so much to see and if you are like me, a garden lover it is bliss.
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There are a lot more artists things for sale than the last time I was there, that spells trouble for me but Gerry was with me so I was good. I did have my eye on a few garden things though
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There were many things I would have taken more time seeing but it had began to rain so it was time to go home but I will go back and watch the progress. It was lovely talking to our host who was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She obviously loved telling about it all.............

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Retirement has benefits.......................

So today it was nice cool day, rained early on. I wanted to go to the beach and collect some stones. I said, shall we go to the beach or clean the carpets. We were out the door quite quickly. We headed for Leland, figured may as well look for some Blue Stones. Nothing. Not a thing. I did pick up some small flat round stones suitable for painting. The powers that be have "improved" the beach. They dumped a whole load of sand and made the first part of the beach a lot wider, probably because the rest is fronted on to summer homes and is supposed to be private. So if you want to go to the beach and play, you stay in that area. We can walk the shoreline and that's all we like to do so fine with me.
Gerry took a picture
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I will have to learn to accept his off the cuff pictures. Is my bum too big? I think so.
Anyway, some pictures of the beach.
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When we left the beach we went back through Lake Leelanau. I always meant to stop at the boat launch. So we did. It has a lovely little picnic area there. Quite nice. So I was able to get some pictures. This is Lake Leelanau.
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Saw this very busy mama duck with 18 babies
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A very pretty lake, now very expensive. We next stopped at the Narrows, a bridge that crosses the river that joins the Lake together. I just stopped for pictures.
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So Where we parked was near the river but not an access site so it was all rushes right there. Got some pictures of some Red wing Blackbirds.
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He was so pretty.
Next we stopped for coffee. I got a frozen white chocolate mocha and Gerry got the same only hot. we both got scones. He is not used to doing this.
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He is learning to relax and enjoy. He is also learning what Laura and I got up to, uh oh......
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We will have to pack snacks and drinks now though, can't spend the money and gas is over 3 dollars now. That's OK I can improvise.
So after that we went back home along the southern shore of Lake Leelanau into Cedar. Look who we saw on the way home.
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Two Sandhill Cranes tried to cross the road. One made it but the other went back when we stopped. A Leelanau Co sheriff stopped along side, I gave him a big grin, he just said to pull over we were in the middle of the road. Did not want to hit the Crane. I think he saw them so knew what we were doing. I got out and walked over to take pictures. They were not happy one on one side of the road and one on the other they were yacking at each other.
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I love the Cedar area, lots of Cedar swamps for the deer and critters. Also very pretty.
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I think he may get used to this.