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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, February 05, 2009


Yesterday was an expensive day and I didn’t even leave the yard. Heck, I didn’t even get outside!

First, Bowman Gas showed up. They filled up the propane tank at the cabins, at the Little Lodge, the small one at our house and the one at the bathhouse (which we had not requested but might as well get it while the price is “SO LOW” @ $2.37 per gallon and that IS the commercial, buy ahead rate). So that was a total of 695 gallons. Then not even an hour later, the fuel oil man arrives for our home heating fuel. That took 142 gallons at $2.12 per gallon. So with all of that said, let us turn our thoughts to spring….

The Weather Weenies lied….it hasn’t been warmer. It HAS been sunnier. And they still say we are going to start warming up today and for the next week “normal and above normal” temps.

So these are some of the things I look forward to in regards to the coming of spring;

1. Turning all the thermostats down (remember, we have to heat our lodging accommodations even if they are not being rented!)

2. Shutting cupboard doors under the sinks and leaving them shut.

3. Being awakened by the sound of birds chirping instead of the county plow truck roaring past.

4. Being able to go outside without having to spend 15 minutes preparing to go outside (meaning, not taking shoes off to put boots on, not bundling up from head to toe to avoid hives…things like that and then of course doing it in reverse when I come in)

5. Not having to let the truck warm up FOREVER.

These are things I look forward to that are signs of spring;


2. The snow starts to melt and form puddles and wet areas (which usually freeze over night and then make walking treacherous the next morning).

3. Lower branches of trees once again are visible.

4. Birds are singing their spring songs.

5. Crows are screeching at each other in search of a mate and nesting rights.


1. Blades of grass are now visible

2. The yard looks like a feed lot from all the various bird seeds fed over the winter

3. Red Winged Blackbirds have arrived and are singing!

4. Sandhill Cranes are observed flying overhead and casting shadows on the “close to bare” ground!

5. The damn little red squirrels are back in the yard.

6. (And these are my favorites), depending on the weather, sometime in May everything starts to green up. It is such a brilliant green, it almost hurts your eyes…seriously! The buds on the trees are starting to open, the grass is getting greener, FROGS ARE CROAKING ALL DAY AND NIGHT, hummers are soon to arrive.

Yeah, # 6 is my favorite and that brilliant green I wrote of, that’s no joke. Two years ago in May when we decided it was time for us to move on with our lives and sell our property, when the realtor came out to take photos, etc, it was about mid May. We stood in the driveway looking out into the campground and it was just so beautiful. It was an early spring that year and everything was on the verge of busting out in all its green splendor. When I was trying to explain to the realtor some of the features, I had such a lump in my throat because I was not ready to leave this beautiful place that Dan and I have had the good fortune of owning and living at for 17 years.

When we purchased this place in 1992, our intention was to build it up and make it the prettiest campground of its “type” (small, mom and pop type I guess is the best way to explain it) and I feel we have accomplished that. Even with the economy as bad as it is, we are still so thankful to have had this opportunity and to have given something back to Nature.

Hey, I’m digressing again! What I hope you will do, oh my faithful readers, is share YOUR “signs of spring” in the comment section! It should make for interesting reading!



  1. My signs of spring? The days are getting longer! No longer dark as night when I wake my kids up for school!
    Smells from a spring rain.......
    Piles of winter hats and mismatched gloves can be stored away.........
    Fall bulbs I planted begin to appear.........
    I heart springtime!

  2. The singing of birds is one of the best features of being here in Arizona. We had lunch on the balcony yesterday and enjoyed watching hummingbirds in the trees and the songs of other birds. (I'm not good at identifying them yet. But I found a podcast that will teach me.) But I, too, are looking forward to spring in the Upper Peninsula. I'm hoping to bring some cactus home and make a cactus garden at the cabin to bring some of Arizona with me. I know it won't survive the winter, so it will have to be portable.

  3. DVM's wife..ah, a gardner! I manage to have daffodils and jonquils...the shrews and squirrels don't eat those. My tulips have all but disappeared.

    SBW..Cactus is da U.P! That will be different. Let us know how it goes!

    Right now I have hives on the bottom of my feet and my ankles...driving me NUTS!!

  4. Anonymous7:01 PM

    We're in Georgia and can't wait ti get the Harley out and head north!

  5. Anonymous in Georgia, THAT sounds like fun! Must be a lot of people are traveling by motorcyle this summer. Many of our summer reservations are from bikers! THINK WARM THOUGHTS!!


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