This place in which we live is almost as dramatic as our family tends to be (always an adventure and all). Perhaps that’s why it’s such a perfect fit. We have absolutely EPIC weather here. You just haven’t been in a thunderstorm until you’ve been in one that rolls off of massive and mighty Lake Superior. And speaking of, that lake with its legends and shipwrecks and history is like no other body of water. Purest, cleanest, most beautiful water you’ve ever seen. And yes, we swim quite happily in it, contrary to popular opinion! We’ve had a most epic night ever one summer evening as we watched the most beautiful sunset on the beach next to our bonfire and the sky boasted with meteor showers topped only by a northern lights show!
It is said that Lake Superior never gives up her dead. The thousands of bodies from shipwrecks will remain forever since the temp of this mighty water holds steady right around freezing in the depths. Most experienced sailors refuse to sail her.
Sailors on the lower Great Lakes regard Lake Superior with a mixture of awe, respect and—frankly—fear. Tales of cold and fog, shipwrecks and wind keep most of us from exploring Superior’s shores.Charles Scott — Sailing Superior
We literally have different bug seasons. Just after the thaw, we kick the fun off with Tick Season which makes every walk outside quite an adventure, and every shower a treasure hunt in the nether regions. But then, just as ticks wrap up, Mosquito Season starts. You guys. You’ve never seen anything like this. They can bring me to tears. It’s plague-like. We sleep with mosquito netting around our beds and still lose sleep in that month due to those hateful suckers. We have at least 6 rackets that zap them that we keep charged and still we have had hundreds bugs in our house at a time. Once we went to the movie theater in town on a particularly bad year to get away from them (town is always better) and had mosquitos biting us during the movie. Apparently, much of the inland areas were uninhabitable by the native people before they could charge their mosquito racket zappers.
After that come black flies and gnats. The gnats love hair products and make me so mad as they burrow into my neck (!!!!!! what the crap, gnats?) and leave a blood trickle and huge lump behind as evidence until the itch kicks in. And the black flies have induced certain family members into extreme panic as they were attacked by hordes so real that there was no such thing as getting out of the car and tears ensued.
I didn’t even mention our winters. This was a low year at around 200 inches. We’ve had storms come in overnight that dropped over 30″ of fresh white stuff. Do you realize how much snow that is? We have several feet on the ground beginning in November and often have snowstorms into May. I’ll tell you a secret — we love the snow. :o)
August and September can be pure perfection. Because of the short growing season, our plants and trees unfold what seems like overnight and look practically tropical in size and richness. My hostas and hydrangeas grow MASSIVE and break out of the dirt in record speed. It’s bizarre. We never have to water our grass as the tropical north takes care of itself somehow.
When the cold starts to creep in toward the end of September, out come the Cluster Flies. Yup. You’ve probably never heard of those beauties. They look like a housefly but they aren’t attracted to food at all and don’t bite or do anything but swarm. And I mean by the millions. The air buzzes with the sound of them and they can literally cover our entire barn wall so it looks like its moving. When the cold comes, these lovelies camp out in house walls (old house or new house; it matters not) and come out whenever the sun shines and go to any sunny window. Or thwack you in the face at night. I literally have cluster flies by the hundreds in a window at any given time. We vacuum them daily all fall and they continue until spring when we can open the windows. I took this pic today in one of the second story bedrooms, and also just bought a few dozen more tape strips for my windows.
You guys, I have flies WHILE I have several feet of snow on the ground. Does this seem fair? It’s about as fair as having gray hairs and wrinkles and getting a big zit on your face. Not cool, man. Not cool at all.
And yet, this…
It is the most beautiful, rugged, pure and untouched land I’ve ever seen. And most folks don’t come here because of the drama which keeps it beautiful and untouched and pure for the rest of us.
Having just arrived back home to our desolate, dramatic wilderness from all things hot, southern, and sandy, we just couldn’t see ourselves anywhere else. We’re such weirdos.
Could you do it? Is there any part of you that could pretend you’re Elsa and run away from civilization to this land? Any questions about anything you’ve heard? More on this place in future posts. You won’t believe the amazing history!