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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, August 23, 2010



This has been perfect U.P. sleeping weather for the past couple of nights.  There has been a HUGE full moon, a gentle breeze and just the right temp for leaving your bedroom windows open and still needing a bit of a blanket.  It makes it awfully hard to get up in the morning to head outside.

It is getting that time of year when my hives start bothering me.  By the time I came back from checking/cleaning the bathhouse this morning, I had hives on the bottom of both of my feet and on my wrists.

The air just has that "fall feel" to it.  It doesn't smell like autumn yet but you know it is only a matter of time.  We are supposed to get some hot temps this week, but it doesn't appear like it will be anything like it was a week or so ago.

The hummers have been VERY active for the past 10 days.  They are acting like they do when they are getting ready to head out.  It makes me think that they will be leaving before mid September.

We have been busy too!  Campers were coming out of the woodwork the past 10 days.  Today is a bit slow, but the first part of the week normally starts out that way.  And the grass has slowed down so there isn't quite as much mowing for Dan to keep up with.

One of my readers posted a comment wanting to know the story about the close encounter with a bull elk (see previous post "84 Things").  Well, this is the story....

Dan and I use to go to Pigeon River forest the first 10 days of October for deer bow hunting season.  We'd just camp out in the woods for those 10 days.  At night, we would hear the elk bugling and could see them walking around the rye fields near the edge of the woods.  It was wonderful.

In the morning, we'd get our camo garb on, grab our bows (and of course my 35 mm Canon) and head out to hunt for deer.  I had a spot that was up on a slight hill over looking one of the rye fields.  Someone else had made a blind there and since we were the only ones there, I thought I would sit in it.  It basically was just a bunch of junk wood and bark. 

After I got situated, Dan said he was going to go across into the other side of the woods.  After he left, I got to looking around and noticed this "blind" basically was sitting on either a deer run or an elk run...lots of tracks and lots of poop...LARGE poop.  I figured it must be an elk run so I decided to go a bit further.

I found a stand of 5 pine trees that I was able to get into and still be able to draw my bow and have a shot should a deer come into the field (I'm only good for about a 40 yard shot).  While I was standing there watching and waiting, and listening, I heard Dan coming up behind me.  He was NOT being quiet and it was irritating me.

I turned around to say "Can't you make anymore noise?"  I managed to get out "Can't you maaa..."  There was a large bull elk not 12' from me.  I couldn't breathe let alone try to get my camera up to take a photo...actually I had sense enough to not worry about the camera. 

He stuck his nose into the air and started sniffing and then he pawed the ground once.  It seemed like he stood there forever.  Then he finally started walking towards me, but was actually walking away from me at an angle; me watching him, him watching me.  Then I heard Dan say "HEY!  HEY!!" and the elk saw Dan. When the elk finally looked away from me, I looked to see Dan coming across the field trying to draw the bull's attention.

The bull just slowly sauntered off away from me and disappeared back into the woods.

I didn't realize I'd been holding my breath the whole time but I sure let out a big lungful of air.

Dan and I both had a laugh over it later...much later for me!  But it was an experience I won't forget and I'm glad that I had.  He was a beautiful animal.


  1. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Are there many moose around your campground Cathy? From Tenn.

  2. Gary H.9:13 PM

    Didn't know there were any moose from Tennessee......LOL. Had a whitetail doe sneak up behind me/my blind once, by the time I got resituated she was GONE.

  3. Anonymous, all we have ever seen is there the moose has been...prints and poop! One of our guests said she saw one at the head of the nature trail early morning.

    Gary, there ARE elk in a certain part of Tennessee but the ones we've seen there had radio collars on them. Too bad about the doe, but hopefully something bigger came along for ya.

  4. Wow, Cathy...I probably would have left a pile bigger than the ones you saw if I saw an elk that close..how magical! And, I would have KICKED myself for not capturing him with my camera, for sure! ha


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