Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Smoke on the Water U.P. Forest Fire

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Trout Lake, MI during Duck Lake Fire
Saturday we made a quick trip up to Rudyard, as we returned about 3:00pm we noticed smoke on the horizon to the north.  We had heard about the 20,000 acre Duck Lake forest fire near Newberry, and we were concerned about the potential outbreak of more fires.  It has been unbelievably dry here this spring.  While that means few bugs to bother, it also means forest fires. 
Smoke at Birch Lodge from Duck Lake Fire

As I unloaded groceries, I smelled smoke.  I thought that someone had perhaps started a campfire.  As I stepped outside, the smoke haze was everywhere.  My heart stopped--did we have a fire coming toward us?  The wind was steep out of the north and north west.
 I ran to close up the lodge and the motel windows.  I noticed you could no longer see the other side of the lake!    I thought about loading the computers and the dogs into the cars just in case. 

Bill more logical, went into town and asked the guys at the bar what was going on.  No nearby fires they new about, but the wind had shifted, and we were now directly downwind of the big fire.

  I was relieved to hear the news, but I was still nervous with such a strong wind and so much smoke in the air.

 By the next morning the wind had shifted again, and we were almost back to normal.  Sunday night brought calm wind and a little rain to ease the fire and my nerves.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Anna Badgley - Little Trout Lake Preserve

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Badgley Preserve behind Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI
The latest news in the area is the acquisition by the Little Traverse Conservancy of about 25 acres with roughly 4,000' on Little Trout Lake.  This property is just outside of the village of Trout Lake, MI., and borders the Birch Lodge property on our east property line.  The woods behind the lodge and motel are now contiguous with the new preserve.

River Connecting Lakes Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI
Ann and Cliff were both concerned with conservation, and Ann donated the mouth of the river connecting Little Trout Lake with Big Trout Lake (aka Carp Lake) to the conservancy in 2006.  She had previously attempted to buy this property to protect it from development so we are sure she would be very pleased.

Little Trout Lake, Trout Lake, MI
Little Trout Lake provides shelter to many species of waterfowl when activities on the big lake increase in the summer.  Loons and diving ducks, eagles and osprey are frequently to be found there.  Also, moose have been seen to frequent the shores, as well as white tail deer, porcupine, and beaver.

Osprey at Batdgle Preserve, Trout Lake,  MI
The preserve will be open to fishing on Little Trout Lake, but camping and fires are prohibited.  The conservancy has plans to improve the dock, and to provide access via the trail from the northeast corner of Little Trout Lake.