Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wildlife Visitors at Birch Lodge

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Trying to wrap up last-minute work around the property, we have had some feathered and furry visitors "looking over our shoulder." The unmistakable call of trumpeter swans echoed over Trout Lake as an adult and three adolescents arrived to rest before journeying further south. They've been on the lake for over a week. We'd like to think their calls are offering us moral support . . . Or are they laughing???

Some of our "lake-sidewalk supervisors" are more circumspect. In a bare earth area near the lake about 100 feet from the old lodge, a deer or small moose left evidence of a night-time visit.

When we went into the cabin to take a break, we noticed movement in the swale between the lakeside ridges - a covey(?) of grouse was sauntering through. (Look closely in the center of this image to see one of the birds.) This picture was taken through the cabin window(!)

And to think - all the bird hunters who were here this year spending all day out in the woods with mixed success - Guess the grouse knew where they'd be SAFE!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

'Scrutiny on the Bounty' at Birch Lodge

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Seasonal weather has returned,and Autumn is in full force -literally - with 40 mph winds. Quite a change from the sunny 70s we had just a few days ago. We're ready to throw in the towel on our attempt at UP agriculture. We tried a garden, but to be honest, our thoughts and efforts were generally occupied with that other undertaking on our 20 acres here in Trout Lake. Yes, in case you could not recognize it, that's a garden in the image to the left (with thornless raspberries behind).

So, how did we do? Well, you can be the judge from the pictures above. Pitiful. We'd be OK if we could live off the raspberries and the little apple tree that's producing kick-butt tasty fruit (in the picture below, right) near the motel.

In sum, looks like it would be rather lean times if we had to live off the "bounty of the land" as did the pioneers up here. Anyone depending on our "green thumb" would be perfectly justified if they'd mutiny. Heck, we'd probably join them! We have to hope and pray we are better stewards of historic buildings than of tomatoes, squash, and peppers.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Peaking" at Fall at Birch Lodge

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We enjoyed peak Fall color this week at the lodge. We were nearly fully booked as guests arrived to experience nature's artwork.

The view driving east to town was great as was the color heading west from our place along the county road.

The lake put on quite a show, with good color to the west and south over the lake, and our beach was also enveloped.

Perhaps the best show, however, was put on by the sun, with spectacular displays of light and texture. A little competition never hurts.

Which is better - the color of Fall or that of night-Fall?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses and Critters at Birch Lodge

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With all the planning, budgeting, construction, and better-than-expected business at the motel, we sometimes forget what a wonderful place Birch Lodge is, because we don't take the time to just sit down and look around. Should a person feel guilty about watching a sunset?

If we tire of looking out on Trout Lake (Well, NEVER!!!), we can jump in our kayaks and paddle up the stream off the end of the motel to Little Trout Lake and look for nesting osprey and eagles. How many times have we done this this year - twice???

Every day we see all kinds of wildlife without even trying. We hear loons call most every day and have watched a pair raising its young. We were going to step out our cabin door, and were greeted by a Pileated woodpecker - impressive!

Maybe we should take a hint from our domesticated family. They take the time to enjoy their "purrfect" surroundings and "lap it up".