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Showing posts from September, 2021

Birding in Michigan in September

 Somehow, I found a worse place worse to bird than the Texas Coast in May. I set out with only middling hopes, so am not to be blamed. There’s a spot near here, Haehnle Sanctuary, that looked decent for birds. I drove the seven minutes it took to get there, listeing to country music and feeling strangely nostalgic for my life just a week ago, when my family and I were driving through the south, trying to  find something on the radio that not country. This time, I didn’t flip the channel, not even when the morning DJ asked people to call in about being lost, and they did exactly that. I pulled into Haehnle and parked. It is a well-maintained space, with signage and more benches than I have ever seen at a bird sanctuary. Some sort of a trap, it turns out. For the moment I stepped from the car, I was completely swamped with mosquitoes. They whirled about me, an irritating, incessantly buzzing swarm landing on the few inches of skin I had left exposed on my hands and face. I immedi

FIVE things to do in Detroit with kids under FIVE who wake up at FIVE and eat dinner at FIVE (And FIVE (Minus Two) Things to Avoid).

 We spent the week in Detroit, and my cousin Audrey showed us the joys and wonders that this city can do for a family. So, I present to you FIVE things to do in Detroit with kids under FIVE who wake up before FIVE and need dinner at FIVE (And FIVE (Minus Two) Things to Avoid).   1.     Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve   Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve is an unassuming little loop through the woods. Fine and good and all, but the reason to visit the park is a massive (art?) installation of boulders at its entrance that can be climbed upon, crawled through, and used to play pretend being billy goats. The place is a rocklover’s dream and has beautiful views hidden among the seemingly strewn-about boulders. Try to find the two benches (the only polished pieces of stone in the whole place) and sit to enjoy the arranged view. Great place for hidden angles, kid-friendly bouldering, and a wall of trees to look for birds. 2.     Henry Ford Museum We went for a Muppets and stayed

Climbing Dunes in Indiana Dune State Park

  After a week of driving we found ourselves on the shore of Lake Michigan, in Indiana Dunes State Park. We had been driving for more than three hours ( a long time for our two kids) so were happy to be out and stretching our legs. The conditions weren’t safe for swimming, and despite coming dressed to swim (if everyone’s doing it , we can too, right?) we did not venture into the water. No one, in fact, dared to swim.   Instead we piddled around on the beach, tossing rocks into the crashing waves, while I checked every single gull I could. Most of them were ring-billed. One was a herring gull. None were the monstrously large Greater Black-Backed Gull that I so desperately want to see. I mean, it’s the largest gull in the WORLD. How cool is that?  Because we couldn’t swim, I had it in mind that we could climb to the top of one of the dunes (there was a trail, Leo reiterated many times that we were not to walk on the dunes because birds might be nesting there) but it quickly became appar