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Monday, October 17, 2011

Windy Weekend

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the day the horses came to town, and the morning began bitterly cold, with driving rain and gale-force winds. The horses came, anyway, all the way up from Mesick. That's Jade next to the trailer, with Pearl in the foreground.

These beautiful Percherons came to grace the streets of Northport from the stables of Abraham's Carriage Service.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no perfume the equal of the smell of horses and no sound sweeter than the clopping of their hooves and jingling of their harness. Bertie, the driver, told me she would start out and go as long as the weather permitted. As things turned out, the rain dried up, and the wagon made many tours through the village. Rather than leaving early, Bertie was even persuaded to make one last tour after the official four o'clock ending time. Here they are starting out in the cold morning--but don't they look fine?

The sun showed its welcome face on Sunday (in time for the second day of Haunted Lighthouse), but many strollers in the village of Northport were looking downward rather than up into the bright fall leaves. Here's part of the gang visiting our house for the weekend, after breakfast at the North End and a visit to the Wright Gallery, hanging their heads over the bridge next to Barb's Bakery, eyes on Northport Creek below.

What could be going on? If you live Up North, you probably already know. If you live away from the lakeshore, the answer lies in the photos below: we were all watching salmon, driven by blind instinct, thrashing and struggling to make their way upstream.

The lives of wild fish seem as different from the lives of domesticated draft animals as if the two species evolved on different planets. But both are beautiful in movement, and something tells me that fish and horses both appreciate the sun's rays.


Dawn said...

I have never seen this was a real were the photos of the horses!

P. J. Grath said...

"Are there fish in the creek yet?" people ask around town. When they appear, hanging over the bridge to chart their progress and take pictures of them is irresistible. Salmon-watching: a fall spectator sport Up North.

Deborah said...

I had no idea you could see salmon in Northport!! I just can't wait to be up there again. Marvelous post Pamela. thank you!

P. J. Grath said...

Pretty funny to me that everyone focuses on the fish and not the horses! But Deborah, if you'd been here on Saturday, I know you would have ridden in the wagonette.

Valerie said...

What a beautiful post. Those horses!

P. J. Grath said...

Oh, it's okay, Valerie. Feel free to admire the salmon!

Deborah said...

Pamela - the 'marvelous post' comment included the horses! I exclaimed @ the salmon because I had no idea they were up there in the little stream. (And I've been up there how many times?) Regarding the horses I've already send this blog on to 2 horse-loving friends and copied the words "no perfume the equal of the smell of horses . . . "
to send to a number of other people. And yes, I most definitely would have been riding in the carriage, right along side of you!

P. J. Grath said...

Perhaps some clarification is in order. As Deborah observes, Northport Creek is a “little stream.” See the dorsal fins of the salmon sticking clear out of the water? A mighty force is at work in those fish! Lake Michigan is stocked with hatchery-raised salmon, so it isn’t as if each fish is retracing its personal history when it heads upstream in the fall. I think they just head for the nearest stream. But the whole rest of the year there are no salmon in the creek, only in the Big Lake (Lake Michigan).

Deborah, I knew you appreciated the horses. Just teasing!

Kathy said...

I liked that first photo of the horses very much. Also the photos of the salmon. Wasn't it windy recently? We couldn't believe how much the wind was blowing, and for how many days. It's a wonder more people didn't lose electricity.

P. J. Grath said...

Incredible, punishing wind! I was glad to get a note from Bertie, after writing to thank her for coming Saturday. Despite the wind, she said they "had a blast" and that there were "very fun people" going for rides with them in Northport this year.

BB-Idaho said...

With that beginning "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" I raced to the end to catch
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far..." regards salmon running, we
are well inland here, but numerous
steelhead and salmon varieties come upstream (some times with Corp of Engineer help). Ours spend their lives at sea, while the Great Lakes salmonids spend theirs
in fresh water. Lessee here now..
anadromous, diadromous,, a steelhead is
a steel head, world around.

P. J. Grath said...

Ah, BB, you are sending me to the dictionary!!!