“Gather ye…

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…seeds while ye may.” With apologies to 17th century poet Robert Herrick, rosebuds aren’t interesting our resident bold chipmunk. He’s busy collecting all the seeds and nuts he can given the impending assault of winter.

In fact, he’s stuffing his cheek pouches to bursting. It’s a wonder Chip doesn’t just tip over from being so top-heavy.

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This year’s amazingly prolific crop of acorns is fattening this guy for winter. And inflating his cheek pouches.

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He refuses to be deterred even by cameras in close proximity.

Chip’s been living in the drainpipe off the back of the house–the one that has a final length of plastic piping.  Some predator nibbled away at it, probably thinking he’d make a tasty bit. We replaced that plastic length with aluminum. So Chip now has a nice new home for his winter hibernation. That wasn’t exactly the plan, though.

Chipmunks are in the genus Tamias. Wikipedia says that’s Greek for “treasurer,” “steward,” or “housekeeper.” It refers to this critter’s role in plant dispersal through their habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.

It’s November on Long Lake. The woodpile is stacked and the snowblower is ready. The cold is coming.

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Jeff’s Big Fish, Chapter 8,947

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Jeff caught this big smallmouth bass on Saturday morning, October 10th. He caught it in the southern part of the upper lake. We happened by in the pontoon just as Jeff was reeling him in. His pole was almost bent in half. The fish was jumping as it neared the boat. Definitely a pair of worthy adversaries.

This bass measured 20.5 inches. Yipes!

Jeff releases the big guys. They go back into the lake and hopefully grow even bigger and then he has a chance to catch them again.

You know you are a great fisherman when you have a pet sea gull. Lately one has been hanging around Jeff’s boat begging for minnows.

This amazing Long Lake

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It doesn’t get much better than Long Lake in the fall. The sunsets can be dramatic or, as here, peaceful. The weather lately has been great. A bit warm for late September–into the high 70’s and even hitting 80. Cool nights. The mosquitos are gone. This is a wonderful month for napping in the Adirondack chairs.

But this was the lake last Saturday afternoon.

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On Saturday morning, Nick braved the rains and winds and was skiing the lake. By afternoon, it was raining at one end of the lake but not the other. The waters were looking mean and green. And the sky. Well, the sky was what you see here.

Pure Michigan, for sure.

Starry, starry night

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The weather has been amazing for the past week or so. Perfect temperatures in the 70’s or low 80’s, with clear skies at night. Steve headed out to the end of the dock to capture the night skies. The Big Dipper was clear, even though the glow of sunset hadn’t yet faded.

From the end of our Long Lake dock’s vantage point in the Milky Way, here’s our galaxy. It’s framed at the earth-end by the trees of our bay.

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The night skies give a different sense of “up north,” with an emphasis on the “up” part. Humbling.

Long Lake Carving

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How cool is this! This is a topographic carving of Hillman’s Long Lake. Tom ordered it special for us from Backwoods Carving. Every depth on the carving is the equivalent of 10 feet for real.So the deepest places are 90 feet, just north of Belly Button Island.

The carving even includes the little island in the south part of the lake.

Compare from the Michigan Fishweb site:

mapWe’ve had a little printout of the fishweb site map framed and hanging at the lake for nearly ten years now. We show it to people, complete with a little house drawn on the map so visitors will know where we are on the lake before they head out to kayak.

The wooden version has now replaced our little paper map. Beautiful! (Our 294 acre lake and now our carving of it.)