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Friday, February 22, 2008

A Break in the Clouds

The eclipse happened without us, but I did catch the moon Thursday morning about 6:30 a.m. Even partially hidden by clouds, it was bright enough to make visible the remaining black locust trees on the hill destined to be the newest orchard around us.

Now today, a beautiful, sunny morning, after yesterday’s beautiful, sunny afternoon! I just can’t help the exclamation, either: sunshine makes such a difference this time of year. The air is just as cold, but spirits warm in the light. “It’s like Florida!” I exclaim to David, who shakes his head and says, “No, it’s not at all.” And then we reminisce about our time in Weeki Wachee two years ago, when a killing frost hit Hernando County in February and we had to make an emergency space heater purchase to get through our time there.

But this is Leelanau County, Michigan, and tomorrow is Northport’s annual Winter Carnival! Here’s the line-up for the day:

11:00 a.m. Poker Run Registration and Start
11:30 a.m. Curling Tournament Begins
12:00 p.m. Broomball Games Begin
12:00-2:00 p.m. Snowshoe Walk for adults and kids
(Snowshoes available for those without)
12:00-3:00 p.m. Chili Cook-off (judging at 3 p.m.)
12:00-4:00 p.m. Free hog dogs, coffee & hot chocolate
2:00 p.m. Cardboard Sled Races
3:30 p.m. Outhouse Races

Events for kids:
12:00-12:30 Ice Pond Fishing
12:30-1:00 Frisbee Throw
12:30-1:00 Nerf Ball Target Throws
1:00-1:30 Snowball Spoon Race
1:00-2:00 Snowman Building Contest

A day like today would be perfect for all that—sunshine and new snow to make everything clean and beautiful. And of course, anyone who needs to warm up is welcome to pop into the bookstore and work on the sky, the only part of the jigsaw puzzle still remaining undone. (There are books, too.)


Anonymous said...

The carnival sounds like so much fun! But I'd be the one sitting in your bookstore working on that puzzle - I'm cold all the time, especially lately! Brrrr! But it is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Wait - you mean that when the earth's shadow eclipses the sun, it really does happen, even when all of us beneath the cloud cover are not there to see it? No fair.

But I can deal with anything in this sparkling sunshine.

Deborah said...

I was fortunate to see the eclipse. On the drive from Springfield to Sadorus earlier that evening the moon was massive. Joe and I enjoyed watching it rise higher and higher.

Right now I'm wishing I were in Northport for Winter Carnival (especially the outhouse race) and planning my trip for next year!

P. J. Grath said...

Susah Och saw the eclipse, Gerry, and now my sister Deborah has filed her report, too, so I'm taking it on faith. My most memorable lunar eclipse was coming back from Charlevoix one night. The eclipse was off to one side, the meteor to the other, and I thought that if I looked behind us and saw Northern Lights, I'd know the end was near. We lived to tell the tail.

Beautiful sunshine today for the Winter Carnival and good "packing" temperature for snowmen!

P. J. Grath said...

Don't know how to (or if I can) correct one of my own comments. It was ECLIPSE to the southeast, COMET to the southwest (no Northern Lights behind us) on that memorable evening.

Anonymous said...

There must be something special about that stretch of US-31 south of Charlevoix. One late afternoon, just after a rainstorm, I saw a triple rainbow arching over Antrim County.

P. J. Grath said...

Should be a great stretch for rainbows, with all the lakes and bays surrounding and long views in every direction!