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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


The first time I ever saw this creature was not too long after we moved up here. I was mowing. This big shadow eclipsed me and the mower…and several objects surrounding me. The shadow reminded me of a pterodactyl flying over. I looked up to see what it could possibly be but the sun was in my eyes and I never saw the creature that made this huge shadow. Several days later, I heard this God –awful clattering sound coming from some animal. Again, I thought it was something prehistoric, yet to be discovered in the U.P. I couldn’t see the animal and had no idea where it was…or even if I WANTED to know.

Finally, I saw the thing that was making this racket. I realized it was a bird, but I’d never seen one before. I’d seen herons where we use to live, but never had seen this. I finally found out that it was a sand hill crane.

Since then, Dan and I anticipate the appearance of the cranes and we can tell when fall isn’t far off when we no longer hear that clattering sound. We are privileged enough to usually have 6-8 of them living across the road in a big grassy field which has woods to the backside of it. I had one confront me on our nature trail when I was walking Nick. As far as I was concerned, this big bird, flopping those massive wings and stomping his feet and clattering at us had the right of way. Nick and I turned around and went back the way we had come. Fortunately, Nick was only about 6 months old and had no more desire to stick around than I did.

Many of our guests have told us they have seen a very large turkey across the road or on our nature trail. We ask them how large this turkey was, how long were the legs, etc. At this point, there have been no turkeys spotted in our area, so we are always confident that the “very large turkey” is a sand hill crane. Can you imagine trying to get THAT bird in your oven??

We have also had guests ask us if emus run loose up here or is it “someone’s herd”?

So, I don’t feel quite so bad thinking there was a prehistoric creature of some kind that summers in da U.P!

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