Thursday, December 27, 2012

Seasons Greetings - Aurora Borealis

I hope that everyone is having lovely holiday time with their friends and family so I thought that I'd post some little films of the natural phenomenon called the Northern Lights, (also called the Aurora Borealis), which are stunning. Try to take the opportunity if you see them in the sky since they are often equally stunning during the winter months. So if the opportunity to see them arises, take it! I thought that I'd post some youtube videos of some Northern Lights if you can't see them or haven't ever seen them just so that you know what I'm talking about. ;-)


Links if you'd like more information on the northern lights also called 'aurora borealis':

The Aurora Page

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One last walk before snowfall

I managed to get my last walk I think before serious snow arrives here. I’ve recovered from Thanksgiving. It was lovely to have family come to visit together and celebrate this time of year. Thanksgiving dinner included many of the locally grown vegetables and fruits. What incredible flavours! The rest of our time was spent together going on long walks, enjoying the views and each other's company. Sometimes its good to take the opportunity to enjoy each other's company. Carp Lake is still beautiful despite the fact that it's cold outside but the snow is scheduled to start flying on Sunday sometime in the Great Lakes region!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tahquamenon Falls and the Upper Peninsula

The leaves are turning yellows, oranges, with a hint of red amidst the green of the evergreens. I drove up to the Upper Peninsula called UP around here the other day to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park since I wanted to see the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. They were stunning but the trip was a bit of a rush despite it being a stunning drive visually. The sun was shining, there was a slight wind which was warm and I realised that life was good. I found out from surfing on the web that the Tahquamenon Falls was considered an easy drive along M-23 since it offers a loop from Highway M-28 through Paradise, past Tahquamenon Falls, through Newberry and back on the M-28. It was worth the visit and I think that I'm going to do it again this weekend but take it slowly, not rush and visit either Newberry or Paradise! I noticed that apparantly Paradise is considered according to its website the Wild Blueberry Capital of Michigan. Mmm..maybe I can buy some and make some more blueberry jam for the winter!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall is in the air but much fun awaits

Fall is in the air...the temperatures are gradually falling. The lake is still beautiful but every day when I wake up I wonder when I'll start to see mist its only a matter of time. Otherwise its apple picking time and it means that I'm busy making applesauce and apple butter in vast quantities both for myself and for friends and family. But the Fall is also a time of new beginnings...the school year started some time ago. ..but nevertheless there's much to do outside such as the downtown art walk in Traverse City, the Insideout Exhibition on Mackinac Island  which takes place between 14th and 20th September, and I'm looking forward to visiting the Mynorth Farmers Markets over the next two weeks.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Events at Lake Paradise

This week is so busy since there's several events according the latest notice sent by the Paradise Lake Association

On Wednesday July 25, there's the Greenbelt Open House at the Guernsey's on Carleton Cove.  

On Saturday, July 28, is the pig roast at Clyde's benefiting the Paradise Lake Improvement Board.  The meal starts at 1 p.m. and cost is $8 per person.  The news is that if you can bring a side dish or help out at all you should call Angie Berry at 537-3025.

There is also a boating safety class conducted on Saturday by the Emmet County Sheriff's office.  The class is free but you must preregister so call 231-439-8100 if you're thinking of taking it.  Attendees will get a certificate.

Oh more good news is that on June 13 of this year that over 25,000 fingerlings (the name for walleye fry) were put in Paradise Lake. The DNR intends to reistante its three year stocking walleye (its a program that doesn't cost anything to the local community). The program had stopped as a consequence of the viral hemoragic sympton but research has demonstrated that the walleye fry are not infected with the deadly virus.  

Lazy days

Some times it's good to able to be lazy. I was busy 'surfing' the web since it's just been too hot and I'd already spent a good chunk of my day soaking in the lake...(oh yes, it is Paradise Lake - bad pun I know) but I found this blog. Every day a new photograph is posted on a blog called Michigan in Pictures. I also discovered today that the majority of Michigan is suffering from a severe drought which includes UP and North Michigan. Anyhow to take my mind off the hot weather I passed some time checking out the blog.
I discovered that there's a lovely photograph from the Mackinac Lilic Festival which was posted during the month of June. It's a stunning photograph [June in Michigan] and should remind me why I should have gone to this year's Mackinac Island Lilac Festival! Next year guess where I'm going ;-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th July barbeque at the Lake

Woohoo! Today it's Independance Day or 4th July depending on what you'd like to call it.

How come June passed by so quickly? Where did it go? Anyhow today is a day off from work and just a day to spend by the lake to swim and enjoy the water and the company of one's friends and family all the while looking forward to a barbeque in the evening. We'll be having hot potato salad, grilled corn on cob, with a freshly sliced onion and tomato salad all accompanied by homemade burgers cooked over the grill will all the toppings. (I hope that I have all the ingredients as I want to follow the recipe for the burgers by Curtis Stone since they just look so good despite being published this morning!)  followed by Flag Cake and vanilla ice cream. Simple but good. Yes, admittedly its all homemade but I have used Smitten Kitchen's cake recipe and David Lebovitz's ice cream recipe so it should be good!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend is coming and the Race Across the Mackinac Bridge, also called the Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race, is happening on Saturday starting at 6:00 AM.  But the Hansome Hills'100 mile Mountain Bike Race – Michigan Cup Endurance Series race #2 is also happening this weekend! What a weekend and one could get really exhausted.

The good news, which is not so stressing and full of exercise is that June sees many of the local Farmer's Market's starting up. This means that its possible to buy fresh local vegetables and fruit.

Here's a list of some good ones nearby worth checking out:

Bill's Farm Market
4450 E. Mitchell Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770, 231-347-6735

Petoskey Farmers Market
400 Block of Howard St, Petoskey, MI 49770, 231-347-4150

Habor Springs:

Harbor Springs Farmer's Market
Main & State Streets, Harbor Springs, MI 49740, 231-330-5575
Enjoy the best of Northern Michigan's fruits and vegetables in downtown Harbor Springs.

Indian River:
Indian River Growers' Market
3435 S. Straits Hwy, Chamber Parking Lot, Indian River, MI 49749, 231-238-9325

Charlevoix Farmer's Market
East Park-downtown, Charlevoix, MI 49720, 231-547-2101

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Views, walks, bicycles and fun!

The maple sugar season is over...until next year since the buds on the trees have appeared. 

Spring is clearly arriving in full force and the 23rd 23rd Annual Zoo-De-Mackinac is coming up! Woohoo. It looks really exciting as it’s a weekend of fun (as well as exercise) which involves a scenic bike ride which is 51 miles in length along the shores of Lake Michigan. The ride starts in the morning at Boyne Highlands Resort and the route passes through rolling countryside so that riders can experience the stunning sight of trillium covered forests, sandy beaches as well as the views of Lake Michigan from 400ft bluffs!’s amazing. There’s a scheduled stop at Legs Inn for lunch and afterwards everyone continues to Mackinaw City where the Arnold Ferry Line have chartered boats ready and waiting to take everyone to Mackinac Island. Once everyon is on the island everyone can attend the party and listen to several bands. The bicycle ride is good fun and preparation for the 9th Annual Mackinac Memorial Day Bridge Race which is if you don’t remember one of only two unique opportunities of the year when runners are allowed to run across the bridge.

Otherwise Mother’s Day is coming up! What activities exist nearby? Perhaps hike in the Historic Mill Creek or in the Wilderness State Park which is 11 miles west of Mackinaw City, at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula or even the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum. Decisions...decisions.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring is here!!

Spring is coming and all sorts of good fresh foods are becoming locally available including asparagus, rhubarb but more important if you’re a gardener it’s time to consider start planting any seeds indoors so that you’ve got time to mature before they’re planted outside as sprouted seeds. This is because Michigan is in the hardiness zones 4a to 6b.

But let’s get to the question of asparagus and rhubarb which are already available. Asparagus is grown on the western side of the State and Michigan grows more asparagus than any of the other states. Asparagus is delicious cooked in a variety of ways – baked on pizza, or boiled eggs and soldiers, or baked in a tart with ricotta or just steamed with topped either butter or drizzled with olive oil.

Rhubarb is not a fruit but a vegetable as well as a member of the Polygonaceae family. Michigan is considered the third state in terms of quantity of production and the plant is highly suited to its cool climate and soils. The fact that it has a tart flavour means that it is often combined with strawberries and raspberries in pies and cobblers or made into sauces, or jams and even jellies. But if you’re a keen baker is delicious combined in bread, muffins, cakes or even puddings. Consider trying the cornmeal pastry tarts by Kim Boyce, or strawberry rhubarb pie crumble, or a variant of Eton Mess where the author uses yogurt instead of cream which I use, or even just as a chutney which is delicious on melted cheese on toast! But if you really want to not bother it's sometimes faster to just go by some from 'American Spoon' in Petosky!

So, spring is here and summer is not far behind!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why come?

Why rent a cabin (sometimes called by some a cottage) on Lake Paradise, in the village of Carp Lake in northern Michigan?

Good question.

Answer: Well, there are several.

If you're an artist iyou might want to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life so that you can contemplate the peacefulness of life by a lake such as Lake Paradise.

If you spend your time writing or teaching then perhaps this is a place where you can have some downtime away from one's students and one's colleagues away from the stresses of academic life.

Or may be just for a holiday in the peace and quiet away from it all to relax and just have a lovely view.

Finding local good eats in northern Michigan

Trying to find local foods grown in the region is important if you're interested in eating locally or finding new foodstuffs that are grown in the region. Indeed, sometimes its just good to have a change from what you can buy at the local supermarket or convience store:

The few links are interesting since they show that people who live in this part of Michigan are interested in what they eat and where it originates.

An interesting food website contributed to by 30 people.

This is a midwest touring company which intends to teaches people about the natural link that exists between sustainable farming, great cooking and the environment.

An equally good source of information on the foodstuffs of Michigan.

This company below is well known across the US for its jams, chutneys, sauces etc. It's well worth checking out if you're nearby one if it's stores.

This company is well known amongst people who consider themselves "foodies" in the US. The original American Spoon store and kitchen is in Petoskey’s historic gaslight district but there are also stores in Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, Williamsburg, Traverse City, Saugatuck and American Spoon Cafe & Gelato in Petoskey. The fruit for these jams, since the company was founded has come from small family farms in Northern Michigan. It uses fruit varieties such the Red Haven Peach, the Early Glow Strawberry, the Damson Plum, the Rubel Blueberry and the Northern Spy Apple.

Sometimes even visiting a local farmers markets is enjoyable and different from going to the supermarket! Here's some links to places closeby to the cabin:

It is two miles south of Petoskey on US-131. It is a working Michigan Centennial Farm owned and farmed by the same family for more than 136 years. The farm was an original homestead under President Grant in 1874. The next five generations saw the farm change from being a dairy and livestock farm until 1960, to growing potatoes during the 1940s - 1960s, to cereal grain from the 1970s until 2000. Since 200 the farm has changed again to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers and seasonal trimmings and focused on providing high quality products that are directly marketed to the public.

Lavender Hill Farm, near Horton Bay, Michigan was acquired in 2003 by Linda and Roy Longworth and it has been groomed for lavender production. Lavender thrives on the 45th parallel in both the northern and southern hemispheres. It lies on the 45th parallel and the natural limestone deposits common in the Great Lakes region provide the soil with an ideal Ph of 7 out of the 6 to 8 recommended for growing lavender. The farm currently has over 8000 plants of 30 different varieties.

The Mackinaw Trail Winery is based in Manistique, Michigan and it is open year round but it has two tasting rooms in Mackinaw City and Petoskey.

The Sugary is 4 miles east of Petoskey on 80 acres of property. Here one can tour the sugary and sample items such as maple syrup, maple candy, maple ice cream and even maple root beer.

This is a group of northern Michigan family farmers who are committed to grow and marketing organic produce, juices and hard ciders.

Harbor Springs Vineyards and Winery is located at Pond Hill Farm in Petoskey. The winery is open year round. It's possible to attend winery tastings by the bottle and the glass. Wines include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cherry Wine, Cherry Finale Dessert Wine, and a fantastic Tunnel Vision Hard Cider. They will soon be bottling their Regatta Red Wine as well as a new Peach Mead. The tasting room is made using lumber harvested from the property. Be sure to hike up to the top of the terraced vineyard on a clear day to see the beautiful view of Lake Michigan.
Open daily year round 11am to 6pm.

Institutions of Higher Education

Nearby Institutions of Higher Education:

The station was founded in 1909 and established on land acquired from lumber barons after virtually all the trees had been cleared. This 10,000-acre property has since been reforested via natural processes but new environmental challenges have emerged, climate change and invasive species foremost among them. The aim of this station to encourage students, faculty and researchers come together to learn about the natural world, to examine environmental change, and to seek solutions to the critical environmental challenges.

It was founded in 1892. Central Michigan University is considered one of the nation's 100 largest universities. It offers more than 200 excellent academic programs in locations across the globe and online.

It became during the late 1800s as a place where faith and learning could meet as a small elementary and secondary school. It has become a top-tier, liberal arts Christian university with over 4,000 enrolled students whose faculty teach in 19 locations throughout Michigan and in Ohio various locations as well as online.

Lake Superior University is in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and it is the State’s smallest public university with an enrollment of about 3,000 students. Given that its proximity to the International border with Canada (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) it has many Canadian students and a close relationship with its international neighbor.

Activities connected to the history of Northern Michigan in the Lake Paradise

Activities connected to the history of Northern Michigan in the Lake Paradise region:


Places to visit:

Cross Village, on the shores of Lake Michigan, was once a thriving fishing and lumber town, exists on the northwestern tip of the Lower Peninsula. The settlement is considered as one of hte oldest settlements in the state and it has strong ties to the Ottawa Indians. This group has their original homelands in Manitoulin Island which is near the north shore of Lake Huron and on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada and in the state of Michigan. Cross Village, according to historical records has a long history. Historical records indicate that the Jesuit, Father Jacques Marquette had placed a huge white cross on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan before his death in 1675 here. This was according to historical records considered an important meeting place for the twenty tribes who lived in this region and it became known as “Land of the Cross”.
This region also has ties to Bishop Frederic Baraga who came to the region, from Slovenia, in 1830 to serve the local indigenous Native population and the isolated small communities here. He is well known for speaking and having developed written Native languages, spreading the Gospel among the local Ottawas and Ojibwe and creating the first dictionary of Ojibwa and English. In 1853, Baraga was elevated to Bishop and became the first Bishop in Upper Michigan. Father Francis Xavier Pierz, who knew Baraga and was also from Slovenia, was based in Cross Village for a long period of time many years but he eventually left in 1852 to the Minnesota Territory in 1852.
             Emmet County, in 1855 was reorganized and four new townships were created. One of these was "La Croix", whch means “The Cross” in French”, and in 1875 it officially changed its name to Cross Village. The Holy Cross Church whose members were principally Ojibwe was used tunil at least 1930. A replica of the cross erected by Father Marquette exists on the edge of the bluff and is visible far from the shore.
            The village is also known for the “Tunnel of Trees” which is a portion of M-119 which is a breathtaking scenic drive down the winding Lake Michigan shoreline between Cross Village and Harbor Springs to the south. The drive is famed for its fall color scenery. Cross Village also hosts “Blissfest” which is a summer folk festival and the annual pow wow. Blissfest takes place on the Festival Farm on Division Rd. The area around the village is considered as a protected nesting ground for the endangered piping plover.

The Mackinaw Bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsula's of Michigan. It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge opened to traffic on November 1st in 1957 so that people could cross by car, rather than by boat, the Straits of Mackinac. It is 5 miles long and it is possible to walk across it during the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk.

This is a reconstructed fort built during the 1770s which functioned as a for as well as a fur trade post. Today it can be visited and children and family can play games from the colonial period, be a voyageur in a reenactment, or drill in the King's Army. It's possible to watch an ongoing archaeological dig and visit the thirteen reconstructed buildings from the fur trade period, displays, and the demonstrations such as open hearth cooking, Native American crafts, as well as cannon and musket firings displays.

It is also possible to visit five historic buildings from the 18th built in French-Canadian style of the period so as to see how they function at this time. Inside each building various activies are taking place.

It contains the colonial Michilimackinac, the historic buildings as well as Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum which provides people to view historic treasures from the Mackinac State Historic Parks' collection. It is designed to contain the art of the island in one building created over a two hundred year period.

Transportation Links to get to Paradise Lake

Transportation Links:




Airports and Planes:

Local festivities in the region

It's always fun to get to know a region better by its local festivities. I've listed a few of the fun events but its possible to go to car shoes, flower festivals, cycling tours, sailing, yacht races, historical re-enactments:

Mackinac City Special Events 
So, I'd suggest that you check these out: 

Memorial Weekend Pageant in Mackinac City:
This is a great deal of fun and this year the Fort Michilimackinac Pageant Committee along with the re-enactors are celebrating their 50th consecutive performance of the Re-enactment at Fort Michilimackinac, on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Memorial Day weekend of 2012. The re-enactors will re-create events that took place between the French, British and the local native american groups, on June 2, 1763. Here's a link so that you can get the latest information: The Fort Michilimackinac Pageant

9th Annual Mackinac Memorial Day Bridge Race:
This year it will take place on May 26, 2012 (Memorial weekend). If you're thinking of being a runner then it is important to register in advance and be capable of running a minimum of 12 minutes per mile to race in the event. Here's a lnk for more information: Mackinac City Memorial Bridge Race

57th Annual Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island:
It takes place between June 9th to 17th 2012 where it possible to see over 100 different species of lilacs growing throughout Mackinac Island.What a wonderful experience! Here's a link for more information on this event: Lilac Festival

4th July in Mackinac City:
These take place at dusk at the Conkling Heritage Park, Mackinac Crossings, Marina Lawn. Check this link for more information: 4th July at Mackinac City

104th Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race:
This is worth checking out if you love boats and sailing. The race takes place between 21st and 22nd July and at 12:00pm in MacKinaw the boats will pass under the Mackinac Bridge heading East. 104th Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race 

3rd - 6th August 2012 - Rendezvous in Mackinac City:
This Rendezvous enables visitors to experience 18th and 19th century life in a Native American, Military and Civilian encampment. Here one can see crafts, clothing, activites from this period. There will be cannon and mustket firing demonstrations, hawk and knife, archary and numerous other competitions. Check out this link for more information: Rendezvous in Mackinaw and the 18th Century Market

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ever thought of renting Clift Cottage?

How about renting Clift Cottage from May to September?

Clift Cottage is in the village of Carp Lake, just south of near Mackinaw City, Michigan 

Clift Cottage with the screened in porch overlooking Paradise Lake
About Clift Cottage: The back wing was the owner’s father's design studio. This section of the log house was the original Roman Catholic Church from the Cross Village, Michigan when the French settled in Cross Village. This section was brought over to Carp Lake where it exists today during the 1930s. Cross Village is a well known settlement in the area. The Porch is a glassed/screened porch overlooking Paradise Lake and it is very comfortable on cold windy days.

The Lake. The railings beside the steps is visible down to the dock and there is a gentle slope to the lake.

Location:  Clift Cottage is in the village of Carp Lake, on the shores of Lake Paradise. It is on the lake. It is in the northern tip of the southern penninsula, south of Mackinaw City, Michigan.The cottage sits on 100 feet along the shore of Lake Paradise. The cottage sits on a bank overlooking the lake. There are approximately 10 steps down to the shore which translates into a beautiful view overlooking the lake.

Accommodations: Cottage, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Double beds & 1 Single bed, Full Bath w/Shower, No Bathtub. 
(The carpet has just been replaced. It is now beige and not the one in the photographs.)
Full Kitchen: microwave, stove, fridge, Heat is Fireplace and Owner provides wood.
Renter bring their own linens.
Rate: Monthly - $1000 US a month plus utilities. Owner pays grass cutting.
Renter must be over age 25, very kid friendly, no pets.
Internet: No wireless but it is possible to use Virgin Wireless, (Cost: 20 dollars a month for 24 hours of wireless). But Internet access is available at the public libraries in Mackinaw City, Petoskey, Cheboygan, and in North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan.
The Interior: Please note that the carpet has been replaced in all 3 bedrooms. The colour is beige. The living room remains the same, kind of a brown/gray.

NOTE this area of Michigan is probably the hottest resort area in the state. Famous Mackinac Bridge, Mackinaw Island, and Lakes Michigan and Huron, the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake, Bay View Music Program in Bay View Michigan and the inland waterway. Restaurants in Mackinac City, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs.  Or just be lazy, bring a book and spend your days swimming. So, bring your swimming costumes and your floating devices, beach toys and walk down the steps to the shore so as to dip your feet into the water. The waters of Paradise Lake are clean and pure according to the Watershed Council.

Staircase to the second floor

The Dining Room

Entrance to one of the bedrooms

The Bathroom

The Fireplace and the Staircase

Part of the Master Bedroom
Another of the Bedrooms