By Ken De Laat
“The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.” -Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses
OK Mom Nature. We get the message. Be careful what we ask for.
Following a spring drought that fostered a gypsy moth population explosion, lowered lake and river levels and demanded a daily hose handled soaking of the gardens at N3 World Headquarters the citizenry began clamoring for an urgent delivery of the wet stuff.
Pleas went generally unheeded through much of April, all of May and a good hunk of June.
Then this week the appeals seemed to get heard and so, came the rains.
For the past few days we have done a pretty good impression of Seattle in winter. It’s not been the occasional shower. No no, we’re talking monsoonish type torrents pummeling the landscape with a (granted, much needed) soaking.
But enough already. The forecast calls for a pretty good chance of rain each day for at least the next week or so and while we were desperate in our need for some county wide hydration it is after all, summertime in the Mitten. A state, mind you, not known for lengthy months of warm weather. So each day the rain continues throughout the daylight hours it takes out one of the precious few days when outdoor frolicking is at its peak.
So can we modify those requests a bit? Maybe a few less daytime deluges and a shift to more pre-dawn precipitation? Perhaps a steady 11pm-4am shower every third day or so?
C'mon Mom. It’s summertime and we want to play outside.
By Doug Harmon
As the spring days fade away and summer proceeds to take over, most people are sharing stories of the mushrooms they recently found or the deer sheds they discovered on their spring hikes. Talk is of planting flowers or their upcoming gardening chores ahead of them. Not for my wife Holly. One of her exciting times of the year is the snapping turtle's egg laying season. For about a month, two weeks pre-Memorial day to two weeks post Memorial Day snapping turtles lay their eggs.
For twenty five years my wife Holly and I have been the owners and caretakers of a parcel of land on the White River. This land has been in the family for fifty years and every year the turtles make their way up a 20' embankment to lay their eggs.
Semi-retirement is allowing us to spend more time observing the exciting movement of the snapping turtle. With the enthusiasm and excitement of an opening morning deer hunt, my wife awakens at 6 a.m. to start her morning turtle watch. Sipping on her coffee from the porch, binoculars in hand, she watches at first from a distance, giving the graceful turtles their privacy. Then the excitement overwhelms her and she has to get a little closer to observe this circle of life.
Routinely there will be 4-6 turtles each morning. Some days only one lonely turtle has the area to herself, some mornings the number will be as high as 12.
All of the turtle egg laying activity takes place in a 20' x 20' area. Most egg laying activity is done by late morning. The heat of the day takes over and the turtles rush to the 20' bank they had conquered to lay their eggs and they simply enjoy a tumbling slide back into the river.
In the fifty years of family ownership only once, my wife's grandpa Anderson, has someone witnessed this mythological hatching of an entire nest of turtle eggs.
On my wife's bucket list is to witness this phenomenon. We do see hatchlings from time to time but have never witnessed the entire nest at one time.
Her vigil includes keeping pesky critters of all fashion away from the eggs to allow the eggs to hatch, which takes about 30 days. Her enthusiasm has drifted over to some of our family and friends, who are also enjoying the simplicity and ceremonial task momma turtle goes through to complete the circle of life.
It has to be said that sometimes Mother Nature provides us with the most simple forms of satisfaction if we slow down long enough to look!
Reader takes issue with State Senator's stance on elections
To The Editor:
This Memorial Day I remembered the American heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice to help protect America’s democracy. Unfortunately, I also had to wonder why our Michigan State Senator, Jon Bumstead, is working so hard to undermine that same hard-fought democracy by parroting completely baseless claims about election fraud.
The week before Memorial Day, I, like everyone else in the area, received a postcard flyer from Jon’s office touting his support of various unnecessary election “reforms.” His postcard said that Michigan’s election integrity is in question and that confidence needs to be restored. However, given the outrageous lies upon which this “election integrity package” is built, the only thing missing integrity is Senator Bumstead.
Senator Bumstead is using his position of power and possibly tax dollars to spread propaganda that directly undermines our democracy by creating fear and distrust in our election process. He is not working for Michigan residents when he alleges impropriety in our election without evidence. He is working for himself and serving his political party, endorsing completely false claims of voter fraud all in an effort to stay in power.
Senator Bumstead’s flier speaks of voter integrity, implying that the voting process in Michigan is corrupt. This is the same voting system that got him and many of his GOP members re-elected. Let's be clear, Mr. Bumstead and the GOP legislature are intent on making voting more difficult for Michigan voters by limiting the amount of time to count ballots, making it more difficult to vote absentee which makes it more difficult for veterans, working women and men, and elderly to vote, and limiting the availability of ballot drop-off boxes.
If you want to improve voter integrity, Senator, introduce a measure to allow more time to count absentee ballots. Currently Michigan only allows one extra day to count absentee ballots, which turns out to be a monumental task during a disruption like a pandemic. Allow online voting, it's safe enough to pay my taxes and renew my drivers license online. Auto-register voters when they renew their driver's license. Expand early voting to reduce lines, thus expanding access for those who are unable to get to the polls on a Tuesday in November.
There is no issue more important than the defense of American democracy. It is unacceptable to have members of our state legislature prop up the Big Lie because their chosen candidate did not win.
Your efforts, Senator Bumstead, are a gross distortion and misrepresentation of facts around the 2020 election. The propaganda that you spread is a danger to the state of Michigan by sowing distrust and fear that destroy confidence in our elections system. There is nothing more Un-American than that.
An update on this years version of Detroit baseball
By Ken De Laat
After 55 games the Tigers are one game better than last year and possess the same record as they did in 2019.
In ‘19, the last regular length season, they proceeded to take that 23-32 record into June where they ended up going 5-20 before following it up with an identical 5-20 July.
But this year will be different. You can write (type) it down.
My previous ‘Take on the Tig’s’ earlier this season expressed my long nurtured pessimism forged by decades of disappointment in Detroit sports. It seems in those years when the Tigers have already cashed it in (generally mid August or so) here comes the Lions and we all know what they do to a sports loving soul. And don’t get me started on the more recent versions of the Pistons and Wings.
And yet despite hovering near the cellar, if not residing in it, since the season onset there exists a glimmer of hope taking shape at Michigan and Trumb...oops... I mean whatever streets CoPa is on.
They’re getting some nasty pitching from their young starters, a few guys that are supposed to hit are starting to and they don’t seem to be rolling over once they get behind. There’s a bit of spark to this collection of players who might not be starting on some of the better teams, but seem to be finding where they fit and taking advantage of it.
And waiting in the wings are more live arms and a few unproven but singing with potential bats polishing their skills down on the farm.
This year? Nope. No pennant race. The Sox (hate ‘em but not nearly at the loathing level of the Yankees) are likely going to walk away with the division and there are way too many teams the Bengals would have to overtake to get even a whiff of a wildcard race.
But they're finally a bit fun to watch, especially Akil Baddoo who possesses the best baseball name for a Tiger since Coot Veal. Even the beloved Miggy, with his seemingly sempiternal contract, while still struggling to reach Mendoza is getting some key knocks from time to time.
Yep, a glimmer of hope.
I was just turning 17 when they won it all in ‘68 and in my mid 30’s during the magic of ‘84.
And while those 16 years seemed like an eternity...
Now it’s been 37.
At least for awhile.
Local Community Steps Up to support Local Family
In October 2020 Rob Slate, formerly of Fremont, passed away unexpectedly.
Rob was an avid sports enthusiast and loved tennis, soccer, snowboarding and mountain biking. Rob is the son of Dan and Lori Slate. His untimely passing inspired the creation of a fundraising project to sponsor a bridge on the new Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam. Thank you to the many contributors that have supported the effort so far.
To date just over $18,000 has been raised towards our goal of $35,000.
One final push is in the works to obtain our goal.
Contributions can be mailed to
Fremont Area Community Foundation
4424 W 48th St.
Fremont, Mi. 49412
Or go online
Select "donate" button to go to FACF donation page for the Dragon
Indicate that the tribute is in honor of Rob Slate.
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