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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!

Friday, April 03, 2009


Before I go any further, I want to ask you for some advice. I want to get a couple of those eagle photos enlarged but can’t decide which ones. My friend downstate says when she makes any of them full screen size they look blurry. On my laptop, when I make them full screen size the only ones that look blurry are the last couple of shots. So, I don’t know if my friend needs glasses or if it is a computer thing. (I don’t print my own photos so I would be sending or taking the shots elsewhere to have printed). If any of ya have time to check them out (I think they are in the March archives by now), please let me know your thoughts. If you want, you can either post it or email me at northcountrycampground@gmail.com. Thanks!

OK, well, if ya checked out yesterday’s posts, ya know Dan and I went to the Falls and a couple of other places. It was great to get away! We only have about another 6 weeks before we won’t be able to go anyplace together again.

I went prepared for the weather. It can be colder at the Falls than it is at Whitefish Point. Even though it was a beautiful, sunny 40 degree day, I had my usual attire on plus I put on my glacier boots (which I swear weigh 5 pounds each). I took my cleats in case it was icy. I had my knit stocking cap in my winter coat pocket. I had my cold finger gloves and my regular gloves on. I was NOT going to get hives!! (The only thing I forgot was to take the bottle of Benadryl with us!)

As I stated under one of the Falls photos yesterday, there still is about 3’ of snow on the pathway to the Falls (about ¼ mile walk). Due to others who had gone before us all winter long, and due to some thawing and re-freezing, you had to watch your step…the other foot prints had become like concrete in some places and slop in others. If you were to stray off the path, you would sink in up to your knees in snow. So, Dan with his bad knees and me with all my clothing (hat in pocket), it seemed further than ¼ mile.

When you get to the end of the pathway, there are those 94 steps down to the deck by the Falls. They were not snow covered nor slippery so we went down. I have a depth perception problem so it takes me a while (especially trying to place my 10 pounds of clodhoppers on the steps properly). After spending about 20 minutes at the bottom, we had to make the 294 step climb back up (yes, some how those 94 steps down become 294 back up).

We hadn’t even got half way back the path before I was sweating like a pig. I took off my coat and my first layer of gloves. Dan was a bit upset that I would take off my coat but I told him I was just too uncomfortably warm. WHAT??? DID I SAY THAT??? ME, WARM??? About that time, I realized Mother Nature was calling and the bathrooms seemed very far away yet. Ya just can’t walk any faster in that type of snow without risk of slipping and possibly falling (which I figured would mollify Mother Nature to no end).

By the time we got to the bathrooms I was REALLY sweating (for more reasons than one). The bathhouse is slightly heated so at least it wasn’t a shock once my “sit upon”(AKA BUTT) met with the plastic. By the time I got back outdoors, I could feel hives starting on my hiney (the plastic must have been colder than I thought!). Dan took one look at me and said “You are breaking out!”. HOW IN THE HECK COULD HE SEE THAT? It felt like my worst nightmare! Had I actually forgotten to pull my undies, long underwear and jeans back up!? After I took a speedy glance downward, I said “How can you tell?” He said “Well, your cheeks are all red” (THAT could be taken two ways) “and so is your neck.” It all ended up just fine, but it shows ya how fickle cold urticaria can be.

This morning I have muscles in my “sit upon” that, according to the grapevine, haven’t been used for a very long time. My back is tender and my calves are letting me know that they are feeling slightly dumbfounded. But it was a glorious day and fun to get outside!

I realize this is getting to be a LONG post, but I do want to tell you about something else that we saw yesterday that left us both stunned. There was a young family that came down to the viewing deck at the Falls shortly after we did. Mom, Dad and I think 3 kids. There are at least 2 signs TELLING YOU (not just warning, but telling) to NOT go beyond that fence railing. What do you suppose the first thing was that the oldest kid (maybe 10) did?? YES!! AND WITH HIS PARENTS WATCHING!! He went through the fence on the side where the river AND RAPIDS come crashing through! True there IS ground and snow there, but anything can happen. Even if that kid had been tethered to a parent with a leather harness, this should not be allowed to happen! Fortunately, everything ended up being just fine.

I THINK I have a newspaper clipping still out in our lobby about a gal that went over the Falls several years ago. If I can find it, I will copy it here for you to read. If I can’t find it, I will try to write it as I remember it. Maybe I’ll get to it later today.


  1. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Looking at those really great eagle shots, my pick would be part one shot 2 . Have you done any sharpening and tweaking on the shots? We print our own pictures most of the time. My eyes aren't real great so I don't always do the best judging of sharpness. Tom is the technical guy in our photography business and wants everything sharp and perfect. I shoot what appeals to me and many times print shots that aren't perfect shots but I like them! And I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet, so that doesn't help! But I think you have some good choices there for enlargements. And sometimes, when I have a picture that I really like that is not perfectly crisp, I try printing on canvas , which gives you almost the effect of it looking like a painting. I've done this with humming birds in motion. One of my favorite framed enlargements. We have one excellent wildlife photographer here who only prints on canvas. For me some shots it works with and some it doesn't. Not having them under glass is a plus for the canvas prints. Good luck! Eagles are tough to get good close ups and I think you have some great shots there! Sandy

  2. Only the last two pictures look fuzzy to me. Let us know which one you decide to blow up!

  3. Sandy, thanks so much for taking the time to look at them and offer advice. I don't know if I can get them on canvas...maybe I can get them in a matte finish and that would help??? I bet to get a shot on canvas (at least in OUR area!) you'd have to be able to print it yourself...any thoughts there?

    Get your coffee so things will look straight!

  4. Ashley, I appreciate your input and it is good to know that someone else sees the last two as on the fuzzy side. I mean, it's not GOOD to know they are FUZZY but good to know that someone else's computer seems to "line up" with mine!
    I'll see if I get any more advice and then go from there before I decide.

  5. Something similar happened to us at Canyon Falls a few years back.
    When we got there, I saw a friend of mine and her husband. We stopped to chat for a moment and the wife seemed very nervous and not herself. We quickly went our separate ways and walked to the falls.
    There was a guy there (Father?) with FIVE kids, ranging from ages of about 3 to 9. He was holding the youngest's hand and they were (get this!) walking across the top of the falls to get to the other side on the slippery rocks right at the crest of the falls. People were yelling at him and motioning to him to turn back. We were horrified and were sure that one of then would fall.
    Across the falls was what I guess was about a 7 yr old girl, clinging on to the wet wall of rocks right below the falls.
    I told my husband..."honey, she is going to fall! He began to take his shoes and socks off in case he had to rescue her.
    I no sooner said it and down she went! She fell in and started floating and screaming down river.
    A younger man jumped in and swam towards her to save her.
    He just reached far enough to catch her by the collar!
    Everyone was screaming. It was awful.The father finally turned back and got his kids back to the near shore at the top of the falls, the young man brought the wet girl back up to him and they started yelling at each other. The young man was calling him a "dumb ass" and we decided to leave (now that all the kids were on dry land).
    I remember the Father did not even thank the guy and was swearing back at him to "mind his own business".
    I was tempted to call Protective Services for endangering the kids lives...but had no way to know his name.
    Why oh why do people take chances like that????
    They would probably be the type to sue the state for not having "safe" parks.

  6. Retired One...just reading this makes me catch my breath and my chest hurt! And you are right; people are so suit happy you never know what to expect.


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