Friday, August 21, 2009


If you enlarge the above photo, you will see a chipmonk;Tamias minimus, A.K.A. Chocolate Chip Monk. All the animals in our yard have names, you see. I digress. Chocolate has been running around getting in all kinds of trouble. He ate his way into a 40 pound bag of sunflower seeds. Rather than exterminate the little guy (I do kind of like him, why else would I name him), I decided to cater his meals. That's right. I hand deliver a cup of sunflower seeds and a handful of peanuts to his cave a couple of times a day. He never has to leave the confines of his humble abode. He is living large. And that's the problem. He is too large to get out the front door. He's stuck. I will be gone for about a week. Some business matters I have to attend to in the South. When I return, Chocolate will be finishing his diet and, once again, getting into trouble. See you soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This is another of the Famous Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix. This shot was taken from street level. While there is not much "mushroom" to see, you can see a good bit of the stone work. It is amazing to behold. I did not have a wide angle lens, so this shot will have to do. It is said that the architect/builder hid these stones till he could find a suitable use for them. It seems that he found it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


While cutting back some brush yesterday, I came across this rather beautiful specimen of fungi. While I'm no mycologist and couldn't tell the difference between a Death Cap and a baseball cap, I do have an eye for the unusual. This struck me as different, colorful, and photogenic. It certainly is something I have never seen before. It also raises a question, are all non-poisonous mushrooms edible? Curious minds want to know.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This is another example of unusual things people put in front of their homes. This Totem Pole sits at the start of the owners driveway. I apologize for the poor quality of the photo;a pocket camera and a moving car. It features fish at the bottom, a bear, and an eagle. It is beautiful, expensive and one of a kind. I can't imagine what they would do with it should they ever sell the house. They will just have to find a buyer with the last name of Hodges.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We were driving down the road yesterday and saw a small sign that said POW WOW. Being the curious sort, we decided to check it out. We drove into what was the 16th annual Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow or "Jiingtomok." The Odawa Tribe of Native Indigenous people has about 15,000 members living in Michigan, Ontario, and Oklahoma. The Pow Wow featured men and women's traditional dance and other activities.  There was a drum competition (I can still hear them resonating in my ear), Native bead work and authentic cuisine. The colors of the costumes were incredible. The use of beads, feathers and fabric blended to form an amazing sight. Another slice of America that is preserved and, from what I witnessed, flourishing. 

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I have to confess, when someone mentioned Wildflowers to me, my first thought was a Dandelion by the side of the Freeway. Little did I realize, "The Hills Are Alive" with wildflowers. The past couple of weeks every field, road  side, and spare piece of land not paved or covered with a manicured lawn, has come alive with all the colors of the rainbow and every shade in between. Suffice it to say, Timothy Leary and Cheech and Chong would have loved this area. I certainly do and have no need of additional stimulation. Nature is more than enough. It really is phenomenally beautiful. I think of this as the warm-up to the main act (Autumn) which should start in about 5-6 weeks. Stay tuned. 

Friday, August 14, 2009


I stumbled upon this unusual birdbath the other day. It is rather ornate. I should think any bird worth his or her feathers would love to swoop down and splash around for a spell. If it only had a couple of hydrojets,  I might like to give it a go. Care to join me? Enlarge the photo to get a better look.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


There have been several photos on this blog showing what people put in front of their homes. You have seen stately lions, welcoming pineapples, and even a stop light. This one may top them all. I present to you, "The Guard Rabbits." The significance and the symbolism escapes me. I did check, and no member of The Jefferson Airplane lives here. Maybe the inhabitants were a little too fond of one of their records! Maybe, just maybe, a former magician makes his home here. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I came across this car in a small strip center. I was taken by the excellent condition it was in. The car looked like it was entered in a car show. I looked all around it and could find no defect, not even a speck of dirt. It looked brand new in spite of being 45-55 years old. An elderly gentleman got in the car and drove away before I could talk to him. I know there is a story here but it will have to wait for another time. In the mean time, sit back and admire a true work of mobile art.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is another in the series on gates. This particular gate doesn't belong to Bill Gates although he could buy it with his spare change, should he so choose to.  I have no idea who lives within but they do have a nice gate. Somewhat unconventional, like nothing you might see at Versailles;more Miami Beach than Monte Carlo. I can see myself driving up, pushing a buzzer and driving in to one of my many garage spaces. How about you?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Over the last few weeks, I've shown you some of the beautiful homes of Harbor Springs. Most were built in the early twentieth century. Today, I thought I would show you a preview of what a CDP blogger will be posting one hundred years from now. The little number above is a prime example of an historic home in the making. It sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It combines traditional architecture and modern materials to produce a house that is ageless. Hopefully, I can get another photo before I head south (in other words, before the first snow fall). Another reason I chose this house, you are gazing at only half of it. It is huge. Far too big for me. Good help is hard to find these days, don't you agree?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


As you drive down the road and see a large set of gate, don't you wonder what is behind them?As a little kid, didn't you used to go up and stare in expecting to find who knows what. In todays world, nothing can be as interesting inside as the gate itself. The above serves as a case in point. This certainly is a one of a kind offering. It certainly would be easy to find this house. How many other homes on the block could possibly be mistaken for this one? Tacky? Maybe. Unusual? Definitely!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


As we continue on our road trip from yesterday's post, we drive through Charlevoix, Michigan. We happened upon this house. It is one of the famous Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix. They are the product of the late architect and developer Earl Young. Allow me to quote from Marj Levin of The Free Press, "The best way to describe them: Think about the digs of Hansel and Gretel. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Little Red Riding Hood's grandma." Well, you get the picture. They are charming beyond belief. If you are interested in reading more about the Mushroom Houses, you may click the above link or here. This area of Michigan is really into mushrooms.

Monday, August 3, 2009


While taking a drive the other day, we passed through a little town called Boyne City. It sits on a very nice lake and seems to be a nice place to visit. I came across this mural while getting gas and it seemed to be rather unusual. I made some inquiries and discovered than Boyne City plays host to The National Morel Mushroom Festival which takes place about the middle of May. In addition to all the usual carnival things, there are prizes awarded to the largest, smallest, best dressed Morel mushroom and all kinds of other categories. There are seminars on foraging, cooking, identification, etc. While not as popular nor as valuable as it's relative , The Truffle, it is still a prized and tasty relative. So if you are in the area next May, leash up your pig and take to the woods;it's Morel season.