Friday, February 12, 2016

Snow, Snow, and more Snow

Our snow total for the year is not as high as the past two years, but the weather is trying hard this week to catch up.  We have yet another lake effect warning today, as we have had most of the week.  With single digit temperatures and 20-30 mph winds, the wind chill is well below zero.  Since the UP 200 starts in Marquette tonight at 7pm, the mushers and dogs will have Alaska-like weather again this year.  Since the event is a qualifier for the Idterod, it will be a good test.

My virus relapsed this week so I have not been out much.  So for today's post, I took photos of the snow that is piling up around my house.

First:  the current white out....

I have been trying to stay ahead of the game for this summer.  Here are a couple of agate lamps that I have recently made.....

Research on the Grand Marais history book continues.  I hope to start writing next week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Sable River

Although I still have a cough left over from the virus, I just had to get outside yesterday.  So exercise partner, Lois Fite, and I snowshoed along the Sable River.  It was snowing quite hard so to protect my camera, I kept it under my coat most of the time.  As a result, I only took a few photos.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sugar Island Weekend

This past weekend I went to Sugar Island, located south of Sault Ste. Marie, with a group of friends.  This is the 29th year that our group has gotten together.  The first several years we met in Grand Marais.  The large house that we used to use for our weekend gathering no longer is with us.  It was located on the bluff east of town.  Due to beach erosion, the house is no longer with us.  For the past decade or so, we have been renting houses around the U.P. and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. 

To get to the island you have to take a short car ferry ride.  The ferry dock is located just south of the Soo.

Once we arrived on the island, it was around a 25 minute drive to the south point of the island where our house rental was located.

Sugar island is sandwiched between the U.S. and Canada.  The location of our rental is shown below by the red arrow.

The St. Mary's River was mostly frozen....

Some deer wondered by....

A Coast Guard ship also traveled by.....

While on the island I ended up getting a virus, so I was not able to get out to get more photos. 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sable River Snowshoe

Yesterday I went on a long snowshoe with friends, Jamey and Lois Fite.  We parked at the Sable Visitor's Center and snowshoed the trail along the Sable River to the footbridge above Sable Falls into the dunes. It was beautiful, although in the dunes it was VERY windy.

Jamey slid down the dune on his Iverson snowshoes....

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Google Change regarding Blogging Platform

I am still trying to figure out what Google is doing regarding this blogging platform.  They made changes without even alerting us bloggers.  When I realized that the number of people following my blog dropped significantly, I looked up the reason.

According to Google: 

Starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post) that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

 As most of you know, I have been posting on this blog since 2009. I decided in the beginning to not accept ads. The whole purpose of my blog is to share my photos as well as some scientific news and photos. I don't want Google to make money from my work.

There is quite an outcry from other bloggers using this platform that do generate income from their blogs. I did send a message to Google complaining about their change, but I am sure that it won't make a difference. 

New Product For Sale: Mineral Wine Glass Charms

For Christmas one of the gifts I received was a set of holiday wine glass charms.  I thought about it and decided to go all in.   I researched, designed, and developed a new product:  mineral wine glass charms.  They sell per set of six for $15.00, not including sales tax and s/h.  If anyone is interested in purchasing a set, please send me an email to

The bin of completed sets (around 46 so far!).

As part of the packaging, I am using kilt pins to hold the set together.

I am using both silver and brass wine glass charm rings.

I am using dozens of different beads including carnelian, agate, labadorite, tigers eye, unakite, jasper, goldstone, green moss agate, black onyx, and more.  Some examples are shown below.