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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, November 12, 2009


Today is Veteran’s day and Dan and I are going to go to Applebee’s in Nags Head for their free dinner for Veterans. We also need to get groceries which we will get at Food Lion. Prices are pretty reasonable there.

We are “riding out” the remnants of Hurricane or possibly it is now called tropical storm, Ida (I can’t even be sure that is her name!!). The other workers who have been stationed at Pea Island NWR were told to leave there yesterday and come out here with their RV. The weather and flooding was expected to be pretty bad in that area. It rained consistently overnight and is still raining off and on, but it could be a lot worse. The other workers hope to be able to go back in a couple of days.

There is something else that is supposed to be happening soon…an “on purpose” flooding of various fields. I think the field across from us is one that will be flooded. When this happens there will be an abundance of water fowl so hopefully I can get some good photos. The flooding is behind schedule due to waiting for the farmer to harvest the soy beans. His combine broke down so HE got behind schedule. For me, how this all happens is very interesting….and I hope to find out more! They only flood it to a depth of about 18”.

So why did I call this The Shining??? Well, that is what we and a group of others did Saturday night for about 2 hours! It was all part of the Wings over Water Festival. Persons who wanted to participate in a night time ride through the refuge shining spotlights into the fields paid $25.00 per person to do this. I think there was a total of around 18 paying participants. 3 vans were used to transport everyone; Dan and I still had the company truck and it was just us in the truck. People were asked to share the “spotlight” so everyone hopefully had an equal chance to try their hand at shining and see what could be seen.

Our light died to about the strength of a candle within minutes of starting out, so I was shining in the ditches looking for alligators. Others however, did spot bear and deer and various birds in the lights. It was an interesting evening but on the chilly side, so I was kind of glad my light DID die or my hands would have been total hives! The heater nor defroster works in our truck. We fondly call the truck Chiti-chiti-bang-bang. It kind of sounds like that at times! It also sounds like it has wind chimes; which is just the wind blowing through certain areas of the truck…kind of a neat sound!

I digress; Dan and I were asked to take one of the participants back to his vehicle so he could get a different spotlight and on our way back to the Creef Cut parking lot, we had two cubs cross in front of us and up ahead, we saw a good size bear crossing a log that crosses the ditch. I know we see bear in “da U.P” but it is neat to be able to legally go out looking for them like this! True, it only happens once a year, but we were glad to have been a part of it.

I didn’t finish writing this the day I started it, so this is Thursday, November 12, 2009 and it is about 6 a.m. I just want to add that if the “remnants” we are experiencing of this storm was snow instead of rain, we would probably have about 5 foot of the white gold stuff. I can’t imagine what it must be like at Pea Island area….or other places. It was “exciting” enough in Nags Head yesterday for our lunch and grocery shopping.

BTW, I want to compliment all of the Applebee restaurants that participated in the Veteran’s meal. There was a special menu with 6 or 7 very good choices on it for Vets to order from. Dan and I both had the Fire Broiled bacon burger with chipotle sauce and fries. It was very good. The place was packed. We had to give our name and wait in the holding area…I KNOW WE ARE GETTING OLD WHEN A YOUNG WOMAN GAVE UP HER SEAT SO WE COULD SIT DOWN!! I told her it was not necessary but she insisted. Seriously, it was a very nice surprise to have someone actually be that considerate.


  1. sfeutz8:11 AM

    Hope you are riding out the storm OK. You continue to interesting happenings there. We were at an event a few days back where all the seats had been taken and a preteen boy and his father offered us their seats. Did make me feel my age but thought it a lovely,courteous gesture. I had to think of a sign that I had seen. "Every home is a school. What do you teach?" Evidently the lessons were good and by example at their home! sf

  2. I was concerned about you guys when I saw the path that the storm was taking...so glad you did fine.
    I saw that Applebees was doing that, I think it is fantastic, and we will go there more because of their generosity with Veterans. Both my mom and Dad served in the military..my dad was a lifer in the AF. He was in Korea, WWII and served in Vietnam.
    That shining night for wildlife sounds like fun...but I am like you, I would want heat in the truck the whole time for sure.
    And looking for alligators? No thanks! ha


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