Adios, August!

With two gigs this week, I have no choice but to practice, practice, practice.

With two gigs this week, I have no choice but to practice, practice, practice.

August die she must, but she sure gave us a graceful 37th wedding anniversary on the 13th at the Berrien County Youth Fair here in Southwest Michigan.  We enjoyed the maturing of summer this August, and we bicycled the backroads of Berrien County and ate more fresh corn and fruit than the farmers could grow.  We say farewell to August and to many of our summer neighbors with hearts grateful for all the good times brought by the 8th month.

A late afternoon swim around the buoy in lovely Lake Michigan off Harbert, Michigan.

A late afternoon swim around the buoy in lovely Lake Michigan off Harbert, Michigan.

How swing it is!

How swing it is!

The anniversary couple at the Fair.

The anniversary couple at the Fair.

Lara Turner and Jason Gresl gladly play, and they gladly teach.  Full disclosure:  Jason is my clarinet teacher.

Lara Turner and Jason Gresl gladly play, and they gladly teach. Full disclosure: Jason is my clarinet teacher.

Superb southpaw Chris Sale warms up in the bullpen before the game.  He had the catcher's mitt crackin'.

Superb southpaw Chris Sale warms up in the bullpen before the game. He had the catcher’s mitt crackin’.

I was starting a ride on the Kal-Haven Trail yesterday with Natalie in a bad frame of mind, worrying over things I cannot change.  And then, lo and behold on the Black River:  Serenity!

I was starting a ride on the Kal-Haven Trail yesterday with Natalie in a bad frame of mind, worrying over things I cannot change. And then, lo and behold on the Black River: Serenity!

Traffic was flowing over the Black River Wednesday despite Tuesday's storm.

Traffic was flowing over the Black River Wednesday despite Tuesday’s storm.

Rudolf Haken and Jasmin Arakawa performed three Paganini Caprices Arranged for Piano and Viola Pomposa August 11 as part of the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival.  The Festival continues August 13 at 7:30 p.m. (CDT) at the First Presbyterian Church.  Contact: www.mccmf.org

Rudolf Haken and Jasmin Arakawa performed three Paganini Caprices Arranged for Piano and Viola Pomposa August 11 as part of the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival. The Festival continues August 13 at 7:30 p.m. (CDT) at the First Presbyterian Church. Contact: http://www.mccmf.org

Posted in August, BCYF, Bicycling, Rudolf Haken, Travels with Charley | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gull-Able

All right, already:  It's just another frickin' Ring-billed Gull looking for hand-outs on our beach, but it's one handsome bird nonetheless.

All right, already: It’s just another frickin’ Ring-billed Gull looking for hand-outs on our beach in Harbert, Michigan, but it’s one handsome bird nonetheless.

 

Posted in BBC, birding, gulls, Labor Day, Lake Michigan | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Michigan Swimmer

A late afternoon swim around the buoy in lovely Lake Michigan off Harbert, Michigan.

A late afternoon swim around the buoy in lovely Lake Michigan off Harbert, Michigan.

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States of Stone

United States of Stones as seen on the beach in Harbert, Michigan on August 30, 2014.

United States of Stones as seen on the beach in Harbert, Michigan on August 30, 2014.

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Nature’s Sarabande

This gallery contains 20 photos.

Originally posted on composerinthegarden:
Sarabande – A Baroque dance that is said to have come from the Saracens. It is in triple meter, and characteristically the second note of the measure is lengthened, giving the dance a stately, majestic flavor.…

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Hinsdale Flyer

IMG_8053(Hinsdale, Illinois) While waiting for an eastbound Metra train to take us to Chicago Union Station on Wednesday, we were treated to the passage of a westbound express.  Last time that happened, I thought, Gee, I should have the camera at the ready. Well, this time I did, and I did the get the following short subject for your armchair travels:

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Signs of Winter

Stop Snow

Seasonal Adjustments

by Charles McKelvy

Would that these signs near Bridgman, Michigan had magical powers.

Would that these signs near Bridgman, Michigan had magical powers.

(Bridgman, Michigan) Labor Day beckons, and the boys and girls of summer are reading schoolbooks not trashy novels.

That great lake, Michigan, waves at us and wants us to know that those folks who published the Farmers’ Almanac 2015 Winter Outlook are right in predicting that the forthcoming—and I do mean forthcoming—winter is going to be as severe as the last snow train that roared through town.

Wonder where all the motorboats went?

Wonder where all the motorboats went?

Farmers who are friends and friends who wish they were farmers agree.

They say Jack Frost and Susie Snowflake are tying one on in Vegas and are going to heave all over the Midwest this forthcoming—and I do mean forthcoming—winter.

We’re going to get nailed again, probably starting in late November like last year when a gale-force wind snapped the Norway Spruce out front and toppled the top half down against the telephone line. Thankfully, the line held and saved our Honda Civic from a crushing blow, but that big November blow let us know we were in for one heavy-duty winter.

And, if there was any doubt left in my mind, I found myself on a bus full of monastery-bound men in southern Indiana inching along the snow-clad clutches of I-64 in search of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. We were off on our annual first-weekend-of-Advent retreat in December 2013, and this wasn’t supposed to be happening.

The boys on the bus met Old Man Winter earlier than expected last year.

The boys on the bus met Old Man Winter earlier than expected last year.

But it was!

And it was happening to us, because Jack Frost and Susie Snowflake had decided to put an end to wimpy winters.

And did they ever, and did winter wallop us from the end of November until the outer edges of April.

I said there would be snow in April, and there was.

Even in May. Yes, in May!

And now, with Labor Day looming, we worry that we are faced with another doozy of a winter.

The Farmers’ Almanac 2015 Winter Outlook says so, and the signs of winter are already here along the West Coast of Michigan, the so-called Sunset Coast.

Of that I am certain, because I saw them on a late summer bike ride from home in Harbert to Bridgman and back.

The signs said: Stop Snow.

Would that these signs near Bridgman, Michigan had magical powers.

Would that these signs near Bridgman, Michigan had magical powers.

But I know they are merely a trompe l’oeil—a trick of the eye if you will—because I can already hear Jack Frost and Susie Snowflake clinking glasses of White Russians in Vegas.

Remember: You read it here first.

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Posted in Farmers' Almanac, Labor Day, Lake Michigan, Michigan, winter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment