Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Monday, July 31, 2006

7/31/06 Monday

Tired this morning. It's just before 7 AM, and already I can feel the humid air close in around me. We had quite the storm yesterday afternoon - they even had "severe thunderstorm" warnings in the morning. We should have guessed it given the fact that we'd just finished clearing the downed trees the day prior. No more trees are down on this side of the lake - the other side remains to be seen.

The past several days have been extremely humid and in the '90s. Not sure when relief will be coming.

Found lots of mushrooms in Blocks 3 and 4 yestarday. One kind in particular really liked the oaks.

Also yesterday, I had my first unpleasant encounter with a talk walker. HT + I met this man while we were cutting wood during the first couple weeks. He mentioned then that he didn't like runners. When I ran by the first time I told him that dogs needed to be on a leash. He said his was well behaved, and I nicely explained that they still needed to be on a leash. He said he didn't care if he was breaking a rule. The next time I passed him I apologized and said it was my job. "What's your job?" To enforce the leash law, I told him. He said that my job was to "get out of here" - I don't know if he realized that I was the caretaker, and I should have introduced myself as such. He then said he hated all runners and that included me. I told him that he'd been warned and that the next time I would have to call the UM Police. He then started swearing at me.

He seemed to be on his way out, so I jsut called to report him rather than to have them come out.

The H20 in the lake is the highest we've sen it. The sandbar by the boats is entirely submerged. The "seasonal" creek was running yesterday.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


  • Spent 1 hour digging out the drainage trench along the road on 7/27.
  • Yesterday, HT and I spent 2 hours cutting up and removing downed trees from the yard and the trail.
The standing dead three that was down proved tough to cut - we could see burn marks from the chainsaw on the ends.

The humidity + heat has been incredibly high of late. We're in for a few more days of it at least. HT slept downstairs in the cabin last night. We've continued to keep the dehumidifier on 27-7 and all of the windows shut. This does make a huge difference inside. Our clothes actually dry inside, whereas on the screened porch, they've remained wet. There was a nice breeze yesterday, but none today so far. It could be quite the scorcher.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Well there are three things to report since L.'s update.
  1. The ants are back and in full invasion mode. Big black carpenter ants. There seem to be concentrations around the NE and SE corners. We have ant trap/baits in all corners. That had done the trick but they must be wearing off a bit. About 1 in 3 ants is dead so it's not completely worn off. We've been vacuuming them up and using citrus cleaner (L. read online that ants don't like that stuff…) I think we're going to try some drops that we saw @ Downtown Home and Garden. Will get back to you on that.
  2. The sink seems to be fixed. We had tried to snake, then plunger, then use a CO2 cartridge (made by CLR) None worked. We then put in some "microbial clog eater" stuff. It seems a little sketchy esp. since it was 3x the cost of drano (we don't want to use that stuff since no one seems to know where the water drains). Anyway we left that and didn't use the sink for 24 hrs. It was still clogged yesterday but then we CO2 cartridged and plugered again and all's cleared up!! Much better now.
  3. When we pulled in the drive yesterday @ 8PM a top to a huge cherry tree had blown off and was still attached about 40' up. We called emergency U of M services since it was blocking the driveway (no research or emergency access). The # is XXX-XXXX. They seemed a little confused but within an hour there was a crew out which sawed the small stuff then attached the tree top to their truck and drug it down. They chopped up the big pieces and threw them to the side. The whole thing took them 30 minutes, pretty impressive! This morning there was another Grounds crew that let themselves through the gate and shipped up all the small pieces (completely unnecessary given that we're in a forest). Just hope they don't charge SNRE for it.
Anyway, all's well at Saginaw; the fish are jumping, the woodchuck (fatt) is chowing away, the barn's clan, and the boletes are out.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Spent 1/2 hr. clearing trails on Saturday - we still need to chainsaw some trees.

It's again a beautiful clear morning on the lake - mist sweeping over the top, especially at the eastern end of the lake. Two large groups of Canada Geese just flew overhead - one group began well out of formation - I'd never seen anything quite like it before.

There's a woodpecker pounding away overhead - I should have brought my binoculars. A frog beside me is croaking and clicking. Martins are swooping along the lake's surface for breakfast.

I find it strange that we never see deer prints around the lake. Perhaps the lingering scent of dogs keeps them away… although the suburbs that they often frequent are full of dogs.

Four ducks just flew overhead - then crossed the lake 3 times more. Perhaps my presence made landing unsuitable. I would guess they are mallards, but tough to tell with the sun's reflection.

There's a tall white bird at the west end of the lake in the shallows. I only just noticed him now that the sun is upon him - before he appeared as a log in the shadows. Now that I have my binoculars I can see that there are two birds. One seems to be a heron and the other a kingfisher.

We collected a great many mushrooms yesterday! Two types of boletes - red/orangish, and then a couple of gilled mushrooms. One of the boletes stained blue, the other didn't. We found them south of the cabin, off the trail that runs across perpendicular to the road/driveway. Walking west along that trail towards the driveway, they are mostly along the wood margins/woods south of that trail.

Sometimes I wonder if the squirrels throw nuts + pine cones at each other - it certainly sounds like it sometimes!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Someone has spray-painted blue lines, arrows, and numbered circles along the paths at Saginaw. Happened between Thurs. pm + Friday 1 pm. Our gess is that someone is giving instructions for a running trail?

Friday, July 21, 2006


The electricity went out Mon. night to Weds night. He had to keep calling DTE to get them to believe that it was still out (we were probably the last people we [sic] served in A2).

Just prior to the storm that took out the electricity, we spent 2 hours cleaning trees from the trails. Of course, we woke up the next morning to find a tree in the clearing in front of the house. Numerous other trees fell across the trail and will need to be cleared again.

Mowed the lawn Weds evening, and swept out the barn. They finally took the rest of the moldy straw bales from the campfire. Yes!

Between yesterday at 5 pm and today at 1, someone spray-painted blue lines on the trails - mostly on the main road. I'm guessing that these refer to H20 lines somehow, but I don't know.

Monday, July 17, 2006


It's a lovely morning on the lake. Came out here about 6:15 am or so. A couple of large flocks of birds have flown over the lake this morning - don't know what kind but I should. Must work on my bird ID skills. I've heard at least 6 different types of bird songs just sitting here. A mink (or a muskrat) took off from my side of the lake to the opposite side - I'd never seen it before. The dragonflies are beautiful - I catch their reflection on the lake before I see them in the air.
  • Spent 2 hours clearing trails today - many trees down in recent storms.
  • Been mowing the lawn about once a week.
  • The dumpster finally came yesterday and we sent them off with the old carpet, sofa, etc.
It's been quite humid lately - the upstairs smells musty due to the increased heat (about 91° the past 3 days). It should rain tonight + bring it down to 85 tomorrow.

We heard some impressive "thumping" from a woodpecker tonight. We think it's likely a hairy, downy, or pileated woodpecker based on the thumping (and a brief bit of pecking).

Friday, July 14, 2006

7/14/06 Fri.

We walked out of the cabin to find two people swimming in the middle of the lake w/their dogs! We headed over to the clearing on the far side (the "dog swim" area) and informed them that there was no swimming. It was a woman thirty-something in a bikini w/her older mother - apparently a UM alum - and they [sic] younger woman didn't care about tumors + and dioxane. She asked if we were the new caretakers + declared we were "better than that ogre, M." Whatever. Annoying people.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

7/12/06, 11:30AM

Woman walking her cream colored husky-type dog - not on a leash. She was at least 30 m. ahead of owner. She had long salt/pepper hair wearing mosquito net, green raincoat. Rather surly. I asked her the dogs name 2x - she mumbled it and I didn't get the name. Told her that dog had to be on a leash - she finally did so.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Around 9PM we walked across the lake to inform 3 people w/their dogs that the forest closes at 6PM. "You're going to enforce that?" they asked. Yes… It's not new. I basically blamed it on the Building Manager, but I'm sure D. won't mind.

H. + I posted lost of signs recently; only on standing dead trees and metal signs.

Things we've added to house:
  • Curved rod to curtain off shower area
  • Wine glass racks above sink
  • Towel racks (re-use center)
  • Screened in the porch
  • New toilet seat in the outhouse (wooden one replacing ancient plastic one) - actually not new but from re-use ctr.
Fatty (the groundhog), the squirrels, and the birds are all going nuts over the mulberry tree. But we have managed to pick 2 pres worth of black raspberries (10 cups) from the bushes around the yard - and we should have plenty more coming still.