Tag Archives: nature

A River Runs Through It

Oh yeah, I totally jacked that title just because a river runs through my town.

The last couple of weeks have felt very hectic. We’ve been doing something every weekend, so it was good to take a morning and sit by the river. Mr. C&M loves to fish, so he fed all his worms to the nice fish while I took pictures and just soaked in calm, lazy river atmosphere.

What was your favorite thing that you did this past week/weekend?

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law – Book Review

Published Date: September 14, 2021

Publishing Co.: W.W. Norton Company

Pages: 308

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Are some species just dicks?”

A poignant question poised by the author. It’s rhetorical of course. Animals are just being animals whether humans enjoy it or not and this book is mostly about humans trying to stop them from inconveniencing them. Like the time some people tried to take caterpillars to court to get them off their property. It went as well as one would suspect if you had half a brain.

Humans have created a lot of the problems themselves. British immigrants to New Zealand missed their rabbit hunts back home, so they imported some. New Zealand doesn’t have any large predators, the rabbits, boinked like rabbits do and overpopulated the land. Humans then brought over stoats and cats in an attempt to take care of the problem only to ultimately be overrun by rabbits, stoats and feral cats. These imported species take up the habitat and kill the native species to the island. Now, it’s a race against time to save endangered species before they’re gone forever.

So, what I’ve learned here is that it only takes one nostalgic human to ruin everything and years and years of research to try to fix anything. Often, without any success.

The battle against nuisance species is a delicate balance. Back in the day, humans would happily slaughter any animal that was inconvenient or effected their livelihoods. Even to the point of extinction because how dare they? People are slowly becoming more cognizant to animal suffering. Less people want so-called nuisance animals harmed. Preferring relocation if possible. However, relocation doesn’t tend to work effectively according to research in Fuzz. Scientists are busy trying to come up with more humane (or less harmful) ways to manage species that get in our way or cause us problems. The results are years off but provide for a fascinating read.

And maybe, just maybe, take the time to remember to lock down your garbage properly so some bear doesn’t get euthanized for stealing your scrumptious muffins you didn’t finish. A little mindfulness goes a long way in saving lives.

This is my first Roach book. I enjoyed her writing style and extensive research. I’m sure I will check out her other publications down the road.

Happy Place

Welcome to my new happy place folks. Mr. C&M and I were wandering around, checking out state parks and happened across this secluded fellow.

It’s a state park and waterfowl preserve. Certain times of the year, endangered bird species come here to reproduce. No boats allowed and you can only fish during certain months of the year (the ones opposite of breeding season). So, Mr. C&M took up his reel and caught a decent number of perch and sunfish while I wandered around taking pictures of everything under the sun with my fancy camera. (These are phone photos.)

A small herd of deer came down and walked through the water, not caring very much that I was there. A great blue heron flew back and forth across the lake catching his breakfast. Massive bullfrogs called to one another and there were red-winged blackbirds everywhere. The air randomly smelled of wild roses. It was perfect and it’s only 20 minutes from our house. With gas prices being so high, this is probably where you will find us for most of the summer.

For anyone interested, there is a wonderful app called iNaturalist, where you can take pictures of plants and search their database in order to learn what you’re looking at. That is how I learned that this lovely purple flower is called Spiderworts. Not sure what it did to deserve that name but there you have it.

I hope you’re finding peace in your day-to-day. ❤

Pulled

Potted, Planted, Pulled. We have a theme going with titles here. Everything is plant related recently. I hope you’re enjoying it because it’s what I have going on right now.

I’m still plucking away at Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. It’s 700+ pages and I’m only sitting down to read it once or twice a week.

This past weekend was the last Saturday to go harvest invasive species at the local fen. I went the week before that however a thunderstorm rolled in. It was the day after a tornado hit the town where I grew up, so I wasn’t so trusting that Mother Nature would be gentle even though another volunteer claimed that, “We’re here to help Mother Nature, she will take care of us.” I bailed.

Pretty field, yes? This is the plant we were pulling. Beautiful, but invasive, Dame’s Rocket.

After that, we spent the entire Memorial Day weekend with Mr. and Mrs. Moth at their place. We bowled, we partied, we ate fantastic food, and we had a drunken night in the hot tub. It was exactly what we needed.

When was your last forest adventure and what was your favorite thing that you saw?

Attacking the Invasion

I have a LOT of plans for the summer. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide which thing to tackle first. I recently came across a volunteer opportunity near my home and decided, yes, I will be doing that. (I would really love to volunteer at an animal shelter but I’m not ready for that yet. It also requires more of a commitment.)

Yesterday, I met up with other volunteers at a local nature preserve. It’s a fen, so it’s partly covered with water. (Which means I had to go out and buy new muck boots.) We got to go to the less traveled part of the preserve and pull-out garlic mustard and dame’s rocket, both of which are invasive species in Michigan. They choke out our natural flora, so it was time for battle. Turns out your girl is a weed whacking warrior. I thought I was slacking but when we all returned to our vehicles, I noticed I had the second fullest bag of the bunch. The only person that beat me was a guy who worked for the conservancy. People kept offering to carry my bag for me since it was so large, but I needed the workout, so I held onto it. Here is the beast:

One of my big missions this summer is to get out in nature more and with this volunteering effort, I will be out there every Saturday until the end of the month. (Aside from next Saturday because I work.) Then, in the fall, we return to harvest honeysuckle.

So, expect lots of nature pictures over the summer friends.

Currently Reading:

Have you began attacking your summer plans yet??

California 2022

FINALLY had an out-of-state vacation. Our last adventure outside of our state was New York in 2019. It felt good to adventure again but an almost 5-hour plane flight is just TOO much. I really don’t know how some people spend 10-20 hours on a plane. I guess I will have to slowly build my tolerance if I ever want to get across the globe.

The original reason we chose this location is because Mr. C&M wanted to hit the biggest (second biggest?) video game fighting competition in the country. Genesis. So really, the location chose us. Genesis decided it would be in San Jose, so that is where we made our plans. We met up with THREE online friends and their significant others, which was really cool. We’ve made a few really great friends online so it’s always exciting to meet up with people, even if some people aren’t as cool as others. The boys all won their first matches and one friend made it all the way to 25th place. (I should mention they were playing Rivals of Aether.)

There were quite a few adventures had, but this just highlights a couple of them.

We spent Easter, exploring a redwoods grove like a bunch of hippies and we loved every second of it. If there was one reason I would move to California, it would be to be a mountain hermit. That forest was magical.

Monday, my 35th birthday, we spent the day in San Francisco until we had to fly out later that night on a redeye. First, we went to Pier 39 and had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Alcatraz hung out in the background while we ate.

After, I FINALLY saw sea lions in person! They smell. They also appear to only sleep or fight and occasionally swim. It was still exciting. I’ve wanted to see them since I was little and did a presentation on them.

We ended the adventures with a trip to the California Academy of Sciences. There was a biodome rainforest, planetarium (we missed that show), and a sweet aquarium.

There is SO much to see and do, just in the little section that we saw of California that I am positive we’ll have to return to check out more. Perhaps we’ll make our way back out there for Genesis next year. We’ll see. Either way, thank you for a fantastic birthday California! ❤

Autumn Adventure

I have finally gotten around to uploading some of my pictures from when we went up north for opening day of bow hunting season. My husband is the hunter, not I. I prefer to wander around, soaking in nature and adventuring with the dogs. This was just after Ozzy got his staples removed and he was ready to get out and stretch his legs.

We head back up there mid-November for rifle season. Knowing the area, I will be coming back with snow pictures then. Hope you enjoyed these. 🙂

July 2021 Vacation

I finally got around to sending myself the pictures from my vacation back in July. The plan was relaxation, exploring Michigan and trying new beers in celebration of Mr. C&M’s birthday. He’s a big craft beer fan so he did a lot of drinking of beers he’s never tried and beers that we just can’t get in our area of Michigan. He says the birthday was a huge success and now he doesn’t want to drink any beer for awhile lol.

You don’t want/need pictures of all the breweries we went to so here are some of the pretty points of the trip:

Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula – Highly recommend.

Mackinaw Island – We didn’t take a lot of pictures outside as it was pretty rainy half the day. This was the big beer goal. Inside of the Grand Hotel is a bar called The Cupola, Short’s Brewing Company does an exclusive beer that you can only get at this location so of course, Mr. C&M just HAD to have it. The Grand Hotel requires you to pay $10 per person if you’re not a guest of the hotel just to walk around it. With the right swagger, acting like you belong there, no one questions your presence and you can get in for free. At least, that’s how we did it. He says Big Porch Ale is totally worth it. The butterfly house is a lot of fun too.

Sunset on the Mackinaw Bridge.

A whole day was dedicated to the dogs having fun. We hit a lake for swimming and followed that up with ice cream for everyone.

My dad bought me an informational book about the Upper Peninsula for more places to check out. I’ve done some traveling in the U.P. as we Michiganders call it, but a lot of it was when I was much younger so I want to get back up there and see what other adventures we can get ourselves into. Honestly, just driving place to place in the UP is fun as the scenery is just breathtaking pretty much everywhere you go.

It was a much needed getaway from day-to-day life and helped refill the gas tank so to speak. It also reinforced my desire to just sell everything, get a camper and travel. :3

Reset Achieved.

Do you smell that? It smells like August this morning. That means my hiatus is officially over! I am ready to get back to blogging. I should have content for the next month without even trying very hard. There will be a vacation post, a book review or two and hopefully a recipe besides my usual ramblings.

This coming week is finals for Accounting and then I am free for 3 weeks until school starts back up for the Fall semester. I passed my Public Health and Disease class two weeks back now. That class was mostly about Covid so it was rather easy. While on my 3 week hiatus from school, I have big plans around my house as well. I need to make some good progress on the bathroom and set up a desk area for school. I currently take up about 1/3-1/2 of the dining room. :3

I am not taking any school courses next summer if I can help it. The summer is just too busy to be locked inside, LEARNING.

To reset my brain before finals, and to get out there and enjoy the outdoors, I went for a hike by myself on our local trail while my husband took his little brother kayaking down the river. It was the peace, quiet and beauty I needed. Until the mosquitos came and made me their personal slurpy machine.

The goal this summer was to get out hiking more. I did achieve that but not quite on the level I was hoping. Of course, there is still summer left and autumn is my absolute favorite so we’ll have to squeeze in some more outdoor adventures before the snow hits.

Exciting new adventure status: this coming weekend, we will be doing a paranormal investigation in an old prison in Ohio. I will definitely have to post about that.

How was your July? I lurked in the shadows while on my hiatus, liking and commenting on things here and there but tell me something exciting I may have missed!