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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Walk With Cooper...................

Gabby and I went for a short walk, Cooper came along. First off he fell over on the road so has a boo boo on his knee.
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Well that didn't go over well but he was easily distracted and so off we went
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It was rather hot out but nice in the shade, only one stretch was in the open and that was hard going for me, I hate the heat.
I don't know if Cooper has been there before but it was a frequent walk with Tristen. Here is Cooper at Tristen's rock.
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We stopped by the pond and the ducks are already grown, teenagers I suppose. They were certainly hoping we had treats but we didn't
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Was hard to get the dragon fly to sit still but I did get two.
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I really wanted the brilliant blue but no such luck.
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Lots of flowers.
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I used to love these yellow flowers when I was a child in England, or something similar anyway
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Cooper was interested in the flowers he really wanted to pick one for his Mum but she said to leave them for everyone to enjoy.
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Kids Creek the babbling brook.
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I saw a bunny but it was gone before I could get its picture and the birds were not cooperating either. The Red Wing Black birds were brilliant. No picture though.
Well that was a short walk but we managed to get out after several days of rain and heat and humidity. Too hot for me. Maybe tomorrow we can get out. Enough storms thank you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Goodbye to Dudley...............

We lost Dudley last night.........words I dreaded to hear.
"We lost Dudley in TN today. He had a ruptured ulcer that tore apart his stomach. There was nothing the surgeons could do to repair it. I don't know why these things happen, I don't know why extreme loss is a part of our earth experience, but I'm so deeply grateful to have been graced by Dudley over the last 2 years, and if we could do it all over again, we would. Jay and I, Andrea and all our staff and volunteers are in deep, deep, deep mourning. I know you loved him too and grieve with us." Ellie Laks
Dudley was a steer/cow who lived at the Gentle Barn in Tennessee. He was the reason the barn was started there. The original Gentle Barn was in California.
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When someone calls the Gentle Barn and asks for our help, or we find out about an animal who is suffering and has no one else, we try our best to lend a hand in some way. This week we got a call from a woman and heard the most horrific story.

A cattle rancher in Tennessee spent many years buying young cows at auction bringing them home, fattening them up, and then selling them for a profit to be slaughtered. A few months ago, this man bought a group of baby cows and among them was a small boy cow later named Dudley who got bailing twine wrapped around his foot which constricted the blood flow and caused his foot to fall off. The calf could barely walk and for some reason the rancher took pity on him. When it came time to send the herd to slaughter, Dudley was spared and the farmer tried to make him well.
The rancher gave Dudley antibiotics to heal the raging infection but later did not have the funds to give Dudley further care, such as, a prosthetic limb or surgery. Over the last 10 months, Dudley had a very hard time standing or walking. Because he was limping so badly, his spine was out of alignment, his muscles had atrophied, and he was in pain.

In Tennessee, there was a vegan woman who found out about Dudley and begged the man to let her get Dudley to someone who could help him. When she called us, we immediately started calling veterinary hospitals and companies who manufactured prosthetics. With one of the leading bovine surgeons in Tennessee waiting to examine Dudley, and a prosthetics company on alert to create his missing foot, Jay and I boarded a plane bound for Nashville to save Dudley!
Dudley is only a year old. If allowed to, he would have still been nursing from his mom. When we rescue pregnant cows at The Gentle Barn, their babies typically nurse until about two-years of age because we never interfere with the mommy/ baby bond. Instead of being with a loving mom and a protective family, Dudley was ripped away from his mom at only a few months old, lost his foot, and was left to live in pain. The cows that he was with were rounded up and sent to slaughter after a few months leaving Dudley lonely. Like the inner city and at-risk children we host, Dudley had to grow up way too fast, and was robbed of his innocence and youth. Jay and I want to give it back to him!
When we landed in Tennessee, we immediately drove Dudley three hours to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Large Animal Hospital to be examined by Dr. Anderson, an expert in bovine care and surgery. After an exam, x-rays of his foot, blood tests, and fecal exams, the surgeon told us that based on his condition and temperament and the nature of our organization, Dudley was an excellent candidate for a prosthetic limb. Dudley was then prepared for surgery where they amputated the damaged bone and muscle from his injury and fit him with a temporary prosthetic. While Dudley was recovering, a mold was made of his leg and sent to Ronnie Graves of VIP Veterinary Prosthetics and Orthotics to create a permanent prosthetic.

It wasn’t enough to focus solely on the leg. Dudley’s whole body was out of alignment and muscles were atrophied due to hobbling on a missing leg for so long before we found him. So while Dudley was recovering, he received acupuncture to help with pain and inflammation, E stim to help with muscle developments, chiropractic to straighten his spine, and underwater treadmill therapy to work out his muscles without straining his joints. Dudley was also neutered during this time so when he is released from the hospital he can live with a bovine family at The Gentle Barn.

The prosthetic foot was delivered a month later and it fit perfectly. We were warned by Dr. Anderson of the University of Tennessee, and, Ronnie, that fitting and acclimating someone to a prosthesis is a lengthy, very involved effort that would take some time. Each day Dudley’s residual limb had to be checked for swelling, blisters and sore spots, while his prosthesis was cleaned and inspected. About a week into the process, Dudley’s leg swelled and the piece didn’t seem to fit. It seemed that when Dudley was laying down his leg pushed the prosthesis and created a problem. So the prosthetic was sent back to VIP Veterinary Prosthetics and Orthotics for some adjustments. Meanwhile, we took some x-rays of his leg and discovered an infection and abnormal bone growths developing in Dudley’s legs, residual problems from his original injury. While we awaited the adjusted prosthetic’s return, Dudley had his fifth surgery to smooth the bone and clean the infection. The process was quick and the recovery easy; Dudley was soon back to normal.
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Dudley stayed in the hospital for another couple of months, patiently going through the process of adjusting to life with a prosthetic limb. He completed his physical therapy to build his muscles, walk comfortably in his prosthesis, and obtain overall health. Once Dudley was completely healed and his prosthesis fit correctly, we needed to bring Dudley home to a Gentle Barn where he would finally find a loving family for the rest of his life. Since the drive to California is long and there is no large animal hospital nearby, we chose to keep Dudley in Tennessee where he can be on grass and near the University of Tennessee Hospital. It has been a goal of ours for years to start a Gentle Barn in every state so this is a perfect opportunity to start a second one. When Dudley is ready, Dudley will give hope and inspiration to thousands of war vets, seniors, and children dealing with physical challenges.
We couldn’t have done this without your support! Dudley's surgery, post-operative care, and prosthetic cost thousands of dollars, but we believe he is worth it! Thank you for helping us save Dudley, make him well, and enable him to pay it forward to people who need him.
Dudley and Destiny
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Dudley now has love, health, happiness, and family; Dudley finally has his happily ever after. Destiny deserves a happy ending too. Will you please continue to support us so we can help Destiny have the same happy ending as Dudley.
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Well the story ends with Dudley having to have a skin graft on the wound on his limb that was not healing. We don't know what happened but somehow Dudley had a burst ulcer that damaged his stomach and they could not fix it.
It has been a devastating blow to all who loved Dudley. Not just a bovine, but a gentle loving soul who was able to share that love with all who met him. Because of him we gave up eating meat. Knowing that the meat on our plate could be a soul like Dudley, a character, a loving spirit........Dudleys spirit was too great for this world and he has gone ahead to whatever comes next. Bon Voyage Dudley, I hope that heaven is open for all creatures like you. I wanted to meet you in Tennessee, well now maybe some day in heaven?
The Gentle Barn has some wonderful people who devote their time and money and love to the animal they rescue. Dudley did not have a long life but he was soooooo loved and he knew it.

More about the house........

I was telling how we came to end up in this house on 9th st. My husband is a builder, builds houses. So when we first came to the States he was working with his dad. His dad was well known at that time in our town and was building homes in this area for many years. Having just got out of the Air Force Gerry went to work with his dad. They built our first home, we moved in after spending time in a trailer. A very small trailer. The kids enjoyed the new house, the subdivision was not yet built up so the holes dug for houses made great places for toddlers and kids to play. We wanted to live out in the country so when the time was right we put that house on the market and built a larger home out on 40 acres.
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Trouble was the first house didn't sell right away so we were paying two mortgages. Eventually we had to move again because of lack of work, the economy was crashing and Gerry needed work, building was in a decline. We built for us twice more for the that reason, he needed the work. We had decided we wanted to go back to England.............That didn't work out and we ended up here, in town. The last house we built was on the market too long and we decided to stay. Then at the last moment the house sold and my parents were coming for vacation. Panic.........
So here we are. This house was built sometime in the mid to late 1800s. It is on a double city lot so lots of garden space. Originally it had two bedrooms and a small room off the bathroom that we supposed was a nursery in years gone by. There was an adjoining door into the main bedroom. Over time Gerry worked on the electricity and plumbing. Dry walled and redid the inner walls putting in insulation etc. Eventually we added on a dining room and redid the kitchen and even added an upstairs wing so that we now had 3 full bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. Downstairs had a dining room added and a redo of kitchen etc. We finished the basement and made 2 bedrooms there.
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So anyway...........soon after we moved in, it was at that time the old pink and green colours of the depression era, we got it painted and fit for company. Mum and Dad came for a month. They had been before a couple of times. So now they got to enjoy living in town. We had not yet began to expand and so they had our bedroom and we slept on the living room floor. That worked well so that we would be up before they were and they could be comfortable.
On this one day my dad was standing at the dining room window and said matter of fact like, "there is a naked woman in your drive way" ............stunned silence. Someone looked and "bloody hell, there is". My Mum says "get away from the window Harry and stop staring" hehe. So the police were called and the said lady was duly picked up. In the closet was an old coat left by the owner of the house, so I gave that to the police officer to cover her up. It turned out she was from the apartments over the road. It was at that time that the State hospitals were being closed down. The apartment over the road rented to several people who came from there. One day my neighbour called us to tell us that same lady had been in our house. She came in and must have seen us sleeping on the floor and left. We never locked doors back then. We have had some adventures with the clientele from across the street. One kid would shovel his drive and bring the shovel of snow over to our side of the road. He also would worship (?) the sun. Standing in the road, arms raised in supplication and prayer and turn in all directions while praying. After a time I do believe the man stopped renting to the ex patients of the state hospital because its been quiet there for many years now. Long term residents who are quiet.
So we settled into daily living, on working on our house and gardens. We had the 3 kids with us and a poodle named Charlie. Charlie was a country kid, he got out one day and was run over. Devastating. We got other pets, I had a horse by then kept out on a farm 20 miles away.
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We rescued two rabbits from there who were raised for meat. Well we were not letting that happen so we brought home Baby and BoBo, They lived in the house and were litter trained. We loved those rabbits. By then Laura was married and moved out. The boys were preparing for the Marine Corp and Baby and BoBo had the run of the house.........Jason would take them out in the yard on a leash.
Bonnie, Baby and Bobo.
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About that time I picked up a pidgeon on 8th st who had a broken wing. We named him Walter and he lived with us for 12 years or so.
We were out one day and had seen a sign "Poodles for sale" we found our beautiful Bonnie. We named her that in memory of Charlie (Bonnie Prince Charlie) Charlie was the kids dog mainly, we still had Lady(the dog not the horse) who we got way back in our first house. She lived to be about 16 years old. As Bonnie aged we got another poodle who was born out where I kept my horse. We called her Buttons. They got along well and were together for some time. They would both go out with us on trips and out for rides. I was working by then at Empire National Bank and one of the ladies found a little white poodle out in the woods near where she lived. It was a stray and only liked men, it would bite the kids when they tried to sit with her husband. So I took the poodle home and called her Bambi. (she came out of the woods so....)
Buttons and Bambi
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We then had 3 poodles.
The boys eventually each went into the Marine Corps and Laura was married. We had a few trips to North and to South Carolina during those years taking our dogs with us. When Laura's husband was on deployment she would come home while he was away with her children until they reached school age and it was no longer possible.
Sometimes she brought pets with her.......
Quite the crew (Buffy and Beatrice...cats....Sam and Toby 2 ..Lauras cats....Buttons and Bambi and Laura's dog Rupert)
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As the poodles got old and died they we got others. Justin bought me Bodicea (Bodi) who was a black and white tuxedo poodle and later we got Bridget who was a tiny toy.
Bodicea in stripes and Bridget.
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She died by accident at 5 and that was a tragic thing to happen. We then got the two we now have, Bella and Brea. Over the years we acquired cats as well. Buffy, Beatrice and now Boots and Bessie. (strays mostly) The house saw many changes during those years, we remodeled upstairs and added on a bedroom and bathroom.
Dan and Laura got divorced and she remarried. When Dan retired from the marine corps he came back to Traverse City and stayed with us until he finished nursing school and remarried. So for a time we had him and the 3 girls living here.
Before that the boys had got out of the military and had each spent a year at home working and going to college. It was a busy time.
Things settled down for awhile and as the girls got older they finished school and moved in with us one by one. Sometimes we had 2 of them at the same time. One of Alex friends was wanting to finish school in TC so she stayed with us for that last year of school when her family moved away.
Alex came and went, first at 16 and again later, she had her baby and lived here with Tristen until she died. We then raised Tristen until he was 6 1/2. Laura had come back for a time after her 2nd marriage failed until she moved in with Robert, her current husband. For one year one of the boys friends lived with us. This house has been busy, full all the time with kids and animals.
At this time we now have 4 poodles, 2 cats and Gabby, Tony and Cooper living here...............will it ever be an empty nest? I don't think so. This house has lots of room and seems to enjoy being full to the brim..................

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Family time.........................

So this house of ours on 9th st has been a family home for sure. we often think about selling it in a year or two. We would have work to do first but its too big for the two of us. There are so many memories here
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My parents came several times. Liz came when she divorced my uncle Ray and then she came with Rodney and they got married here.
All of my grand daughters have lived here and some of our friends and friends of my own kids. My parents came when we first moved in so there are lots of good memories.
Over the years we remodeled and added on, added rooms and redid things. So now, we have 5 bedrooms as well as a largish living area. It's a family home. So for two of us, even if we do have 4 poodles and 2 cats, it is getting too much to keep up. So we were thinking that now Tristen is also gone, maybe it's time to give it up.
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That would also mean my garden would be what? Would anyone want to keep that up? Doubt it.
That too has grown over the years...............thing is in order to sell we have to do the siding and roof and replace the windows. Then redo inside carpets etc...........would I want to leave after all that?
Well in the midst of my computer crisis,( it was in the shop). I got a call from Gabby........short story, they had to leave their rental by the weekend. That gave them a couple of days to find somewhere to go.......yup, they moved in with us. That got us thinking about all the people and things that have happened here.
Back in 1982 we had thought about moving back to England. We put our house on the market and sold a lot of didn't sell. As I said the house didn't sell and we rethought things, the economy and other things decided for us really, we would have to stay. Mum and Dad had planned on a holiday here and so we resigned to staying. Then the house sold just as we prepared to take it off the market. We had just a few weeks to get organized and move and get ready for mum and dads visit...........too late to move to England by then. So we looked for a house to move into. Prior to that we always built our houses. This is the first that we didn't build. Well we found this one, we started getting it in shape to at least live in and be OK for my parents visit.
So it began...........................
This house has seen so much. so many pets, so many people.
My kids became teens and finally left home. The boys went into the Marine Corps and Laura got married. Each came back not always at the same time, but the boys to go to college for a year when the left the Marine Corps. Laura came while her husband was deployed overseas. Later bringing grandbabies with her. After her marriage broke up she remarried and again divorced so she came home. When her ex left the Marine Corp and moved back to Traverse City, he and the girls moved in. Over time each one of the granddaughters came to live with us, bringing friends. One of Alex friends came and stayed for her final year of school. One of the boys friends moved in for a year while he looked for a new place to live. We raised Tristen, Alex son, till he was 6 1/2 and now Gabby is back with her little family. maybe it still is and will always be this families home? Maybe we won't ever sell it? Who knows. For now the house is full and happy again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Day out Leelanau County again................

Well it was a couple of weeks ago now but Laura and I took a day for ourselves and went to the beach. Since then we have had nothing but rain it seems. Also my computer was in the shop and I didn't have a way to get my pictures on the old one from my phone. In fact I have probably a lot of pictures now on the old computer. Anyway if I remember correctly we didn't see much in the way of wildlife that day. We began at Leland looking for stones. The water not as cold as we thought.When we were done though Laura was a little damp haha. This is The Whaleback.
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This is not Leland beach we went to the one at Oneida but was brisk, so we left.
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I am trying to remember what we did in fact. I think that was the day we went up the Dune drive. Yes, we did but not sure what order we did things but ah well, was a good day.
We did see some pretty blossoms and a few blue butterfly and small orange ones.
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It was a really windy day, it wasn't cold until you got into the bluffs. We went to the overlook this time. We are usually too tired to walk out there most times but this time we made the effort. It gives a really good view all around from high up. This looking down onto North Bar Lake. Thats a great place for kids to swim in the little bit between the lake and Lake Michigan. When my kids were small it was not well known and a favourite destination. Not so much now. Have not been for several years. We like lesser known beaches.
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We put coats on, lucky we did, with the wind up there it was cold and the sand was whipping us. This is Laura on the edge
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Its about 440 odd feet down there and although people do go down, they are advised not to. It takes about 2 hours to get back up. Also if they have to rescue you then you get to pay for it. You may notice a dot down there, well that may be a person.
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The colours are always amazing.
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Anyway this was a nice view of Glen Lake. The colours of the lakes here are beautiful.
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We never get tired of the views on the dunes.
On the way home we saw these cuties. Not very wild, but there were the Butterfly at least.
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Lots of birdsong but no pictures. Ah well, maybe next time. Laura has to work full time almost so wont be too many trips out this year. Must content myself with my garden

Monday, June 12, 2017

Unintended break.....................

My blogs are all way behind. First off I had computer problems. I had to take this computer, that has all my pictures on, in to be fixed. I went to Mad Mikes who did a good and reasonable job, and was recommended by a couple of people. I add a link as I believe he gave fair and good service. He also sells refurbished computers, I am thinking that as an option the next time I want one. Or maybe keeping this one up now I know.
Anyway, I was lost without it. My other computer still works but has a broken hinge and gets over heated quite quickly. It's also old and has old programs on it.
The second reason I am all behind is that I had a phone call from Gabby. They had to leave their rental place and needed a place to stay. So within a few days they were moving in here. I have given over the downstairs/basement rooms to them so they have their own area and privacy. Well as much as is possible. With that came storing things, moving things around and all that entails, you know, like finding new homes for "stuff" that means sorting cupboards again. Fine by me. All Tristens stuff came out of the cupboards in the living room making way for fabric yeahhhhh. So that is handy now.
Anyway, for those who follow me, few that you are, I will now try to catch up. I will post recent adventures here in a couple of new posts and catch up on the other two blogs as well. So hold tight...............I feel finger cramps coming on.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Walking in the woods in May................

Laura and I have been out and about a few times but it is always so nice to get back into the woods again. We took a nice hike on the Clay Cliffs trail just outside Leland. It was too chilly for the beach so instead we decided on a woodland walk. It was wonderful listening to the birds. We saw Scarlet Tanenger and Grosbeaks. I forgot my camera, can you believe that?. Has to be a first. We were intending on breakfast first and had not quite decided if we wanted to venture out after. So............we went to Rounds for breakfast and then with a very full tummy headed towards Suttons Bay. We wanted to stop at the garden shop that sells wonderful glass stuff, Bayside Gallery. It was on the way there I remembered the camera. We still had not decided what else we were going to do so no worry. The glass items are incredible.
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I can't afford any at the moment but love to look. Inside is even better, some really wonderful glass items. However, I did get some ideas while snooping around. I am going to make myself some wind chimes made from drift wood. I also got a few other ideas. Why buy what I can make myself. Right? Mine won't be copies, just using the idea of materials. I will also repair some of the old ones I have.
Anyway, after that the weather was holding on and warming up a bit so we left Suttons Bay and went towards Leland and Lake Leelanau. On that road there are a couple of trails, we chose the Clay Cliffs Natural area. There are a few trails there, we took the short one that led to the overlook.
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There were quite a few birds that we don't always see, The Grosbeak was having an argument over a female it seemed, they were very vocal in their arguments
Then we saw the Scarlet Tanager, hard to miss that pretty bird. Sure wish I had my camera then I could show my own pictures. I bet if I had it we would not have seen them.
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Walking in the woods was beautiful. The Trillium was out and Jack In The Pulpits.
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Several other pretty flowers the Yellow Trout Lily and Dutchman's Britches.
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The Wild Geranium is pretty and I have that in my garden. I bought that one. I have a few other wild flowers in my garden. Many years ago I dug some up. It is now against the law to do that, you have to buy them. I understand the theory but it seems silly that you can't dig those beside the road where they would die anyway. I would like to put some wild leeks in the garden I would not think anyone would object to that. I would like to get some of the yellow and white Violets too, I sure have enough of the purple ones.
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Anyway, the woods were very pretty and we could not believe the number of Gooseberry bushes we saw. I wonder if they are native? Or how did they get there. Some I can imagine came from old farms but not up there in the woods surely? I will have to research that. I just bought a Gooseberry bush for my garden too.
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Last time we did that particular hike it was a hot day. This day was calm and the water was beautiful looking down, so clear. We saw what we think may be an Eagles nest. We often see eagles when we are down on the beach at Leland and this is not that far from there so maybe it is, or an Osprey? Did not see anyone home so will have to wait to see.
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I spotted one Moral mushroom, could not believe my eyes but we decided to walk first. By the time we got back down from the hike we were too tired to follow up on that haha. So that Moral got to live another day.