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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!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I am a farm girl. I know where the beef in my burrito came from. I know where the B in my BLT came from. I have raised many a deacon calf from a bucket to being grain fed and sold them at 900 pounds or better (and it was hard to not get sentimental over that!). I love animals. You know I don’t like spiders, but I even cried over Charlotte’s Web. I don’t like being surprised by snakes either….but I don’t kill them. (Truth be known, they are probably as surprised by my reaction to them as I am to confronting one. I think that is why we both slither in the opposite directions with our tongue’s piercing the air…or maybe that was my scream piercing the air).

Apparently I offended a couple of readers with my skunk stories and the “methods” used to get rid of them. I firmly believe in protecting my home and MY pets from being sprayed by a skunk. I don’t want our guests being surprised by one either. And skunks ARE one of the “top carriers” of rabies. So, yes, we will do what we have to do to keep them away from the office, our pets and our home. There are thousands of acres for these critters to hunt, sleep and play and they don’t need to do it under our office, around the cabins or in our yard. If Dan had actually wanted to kill one, he wouldn’t have been using a BB gun or a broom. (The other night, there was a small one out by one of the cabins and Dan tried to “shoo” it away, but it wouldn’t “shoo”. Dan had gone out “armed” with a broom…why a broom I don’t know. Dan got about 20’ from the skunk and threw the broom at the critter. Contact was made which basically toppled the skunk end over end. We still cannot believe that these skunks are not “firing”. This one picked itself up and started walking in the opposite direction. Dan encouraged it to keep going towards the woods and it finally disappeared into the trees).

So to anyone who was upset or offended, all I can do is apologize if you think I am insensitive to animals. I assure you that is not the case. But I will continue to eat pepperoni on my pizza and get chicken from the Colonel.

On another note, I had a man call from Ohio the other day wanting to know if we had cabins available for such and such a date. He said that he had planned on tent camping but after what he read in his newspaper he realized that wasn’t possible now. I asked him what it was that he had read that made him think he could not tent camp in the U.P. He said there was an article in his paper that the “bears are running wild in the Newberry area since the fire and that the local officials are telling everyone not to camp in a tent”!!! I told him that was the first I had heard about that and if it were true I think the DNR would have passed that bit of information along to campground owners. I also assured him that we have yet to see a bear since the fire and that he would have a better chance of seeing skunks and raccoons at this point. THIS IS HOW RUMORS GET STARTED. I should have thought to have him bring along a copy of that article.


  1. Anonymous6:06 PM

    With skunks you have to do what you have to do tokeep yourself or your property from getting sprayed. Had this happen to 2 of my borthers. We had to burn their clothes and make them take tomato baths to get rid of the smell. I am an animal lover but skunks are not pleasant to have around. I love the critters from the marsh pics, they are adorable!!!! Jo kolka

  2. Jo, There is something much better than the tomato bath idea. I will have to look up the recipe, but it involvest a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, some Dawn dish soap and I think baking soda. I'll try to remember to find that tomorrow and post it.

    Those kid critters are cute!



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