Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

As regular readers may have noticed, I’m a big meat-eater. And though I don’t hunt anymore, I hunted as a kid in Texas. So I was interested in Steven Rinella’s new book Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter. (And since Rinella went to graduate school in Missoula, where I’m on good relations with the local weekly, I had a venue to review it.) It’s a good read, and an effective corrective to what you probably think of when you think of hunting adventures as told by hunters.

A tangential excerpt:

Too many hunters—Montana reader-hunters excepted, of course—are assholes. I’m thinking of the hunters I grew up with on deer leases in Texas, who use electronically timed corn feeders to train trophy bucks to arrive at their predetermined opening-day doom at 7 a.m. sharp. I’m thinking of the hunters I ran into in the wild and scenic lower canyons of the Rio Grande this spring, zipping up and down the remote river in a jet boat with a sawed-off aoudad sheep’s head strapped to the bow, leaving a glittering string of discarded Coors Light cans in their wake. I’ve never seen Rinella’s shows, but anyone who’s ever flipped through the low-budget hunting programs on a slow TV day will recognize the hyperventilating kill-thrill that characterizes hunting’s lowest common denominator. Giddy bloodlust may not be hunting’s driving evolutionary force, but it’s real, and it isn’t a character trait likely to draw many converts.

To hunting’s credit, and his own, Steven Rinella is not that asshole.

You can read the rest of the review here.

Read Full Post »

This is a little on the promotional side for my self-sabotaging taste, but the Big 10 Network recently produced this video on the Knight-Wallace Fellowship, and if anyone has been wondering what the hell I’ve been doing with my year, this might provide a little insight. Plus, there are lots of pictures of the back of my head. Find them all and win something!

Read Full Post »

river rocks

Okay, this doesn’t have anything to do with books, but I’m going to post it anyway because I like it.

This is a little film thingie I made at the request of the Huron River Watershed Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They’re planning to run it as the outro end of their upcoming Miller Creek Film Festival, which is a community PSA-type thing they hold every March.

This is my first sustained experiment with iMovie. And I’d like to thank and apologize to the Texas band Toadies, whom I dig, dig, dig, for poaching their music, which is being appropriated here for completely non-commercial uses. TURN IT UP!

Also, since this has more to do with rivers than with books, I might as well take advantage of the occasion to cross-post to my new blog, WATERWORKS, which I’m just ramping up to aggregate river news. I’m not entirely sure why I’m doing that, but hope to figure that out along the way. One possible reason is so I can get more or less back to books in this space.

Read Full Post »

P1020876
Sorry, this is turning into a photo/river tripping blog. When in Michigan…
This is me on the Upper Peninsula’s Two-Hearted River, a twisty tea-colored little woodland stream that finally slips through a gauntlet of dunes and dumps into Lake Superior, which, as you know, is like God’s own birdbath. The Two-Hearted is the nominal setting of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Big Two-Hearted River,” which is collected in The Nick Adams Stories.
My friend Fred Maxwell says that he read on Wikipedia that it’s thought that Hemingway, like a true stingy-ass honey-hole-hiding fisherman, was actually describing the UP’s Fox River in his story, but gave it the Two-Hearted’s name, perhaps to throw off tourists and poachers, or maybe because Two-Hearted is just such a goddamn beautiful name for a river. I haven’t bothered to look it up. I’m not sure it matters to me.
I spent two days and one night on it, maybe 24 miles’ worth, the first day portaging 13 unstable logjams and the second day blissing the fuck out.
When I put in there was a guy walking down the bank fishing. About halfway downriver at the state campground where I camped there was another guy with an RV and an ATV who left in the morning to fish for steelhead. The night before he came over and looked at my anemic little sock-drying campfire and offered to let me borrow his chainsaw. I thanked him but no. I asked and he explained to me why there are salmon out there nowhere near the sea. It’s because they were imported to the Great Lakes purposefully to eat a smaller fish that was imported to the Great Lakes accidentally, and they started spawning up these little tea-colored woodland streams. More or less. They’re stocked as sport fish as well.
I threw a spinner out from the sand ramp for a while but I have yet to discover the finer joys of fishing, though I’m not through looking.
I did take lots of what came out looking like portraits of trees, among other things, and posted the better ones to flickr. The one at top links to Part 1. The one below links to Part 2.
P1020800

Read Full Post »

IMGP2845
Last weekend I traveled with my fellow fellows to northern Michigan, in the neighborhood of Boyne City and Lake Charlevoix, for some quality time with the leaves. I stayed over on Sunday and paddled about four blustery hours down the Jordan River, Michigan’s first-designated Wild and Scenic such. Spectacular.

Read Full Post »

balloon shroom

IMGP2212

So my place in Ann Arbor is a 13-minute walk down a two-lane blacktop road that dead-ends into something called Bird Hills Nature Area, a couple of hours worth of forest trails. I’ve been walking down there for an hour or so every morning, but it’s too dark in there to take pictures then. Today I slept late so I got my walk in this afternoon and there was a bit of nice light filtering in.

14631559I noticed this mushroom on my walk the other day, though I wasn’t sure it wasn’t some sort of discarded ball until I got up close to it. When I got home I looked it up in the Falcon Guide to North American Mushrooms and found out it’s a Calvatia booniana, or Western Giant Puffball. It doesn’t seem to belong where I found it, according to the habitat description, but there it is. Apparently it’s edible, having been “collected and eaten since pioneer days.” I can’t see my way to taking it, though. I haven’t seen any others out there, and it’s pretty magnificent, about the size of a small bowling ball. That, and this whole shroom-identifying thing is about three days old, and if the ID seems close to unmistakable, early overconfidence is a long habit, and I’d just as soon not start my way up the learning curve by poisoning myself.

I took a different trail through the woods today, but I doubled back to see if I could find this thing. When I did, it had a rare shred of glow on it for just the amount of time it took to snap about four pictures, of which this one turned out the best.

I posted some more pictures to flickr.

Read Full Post »