Did we ever think we would hear those words, let alone utter them aloud?  Yet, I do believe yesterday we may have heard those famous three little words.  Might have even come from our California guests.  Even our son is no longer used to Michigan humidity.  When it’s in the middle or upper 80’s and no wind, one wilts and sweats quite profusely.

The kids meander ahead on the nature walk

The kids meander ahead on the nature walk

We thought a stroll along the Nara Nature Trail (also known as the Pilgrim River marsh) might be a nice diversion before eating out in Houghton yesterday evening.  Remember when Barry and I hiked along this short trail earlier this spring? 

But, my goodness, was it hot.  Very hot.  And not very shaded.  By the time we returned to the car the air conditioning felt extremely welcome.  I thought about the challenges of going outdoors when it’s freezing cold versus boiling hot.  Different scenarios, but both demanding at times.

Perhaps crab apples?  Beautiful pink against the green leaves.

Perhaps crab apples? Beautiful pink against the green leaves.

At one point during the walk I settled on my hands and knees photographing whorls in the wood of the boardwalk.  Barry seemed a bit impatient.  Perhaps didn’t think a simple whorl would make a good photograph.  I beg to differ.

Close up of whorl in wood

Close up of whorl in wood

The earlier rain had roiled up the river into a murky muddy silty flowage.  Bits of weeds and flowers and debris floated by in the brown waters.  I liked this view from the trestle bridge.

Floatin' down the river on a lazy hot June afternoon

Floatin' down the river on a lazy hot June afternoon

On to Houghton for dinner and shopping.  I could tell you what everyone ate and who we saw and some of the interesting conversation.  But none of that part was outdoors, so you’ll have to imagine! 

After dinner we did walk around town and look at the construction and buildings before strolling down to the Portage Canal.  A welcome breeze blew in across the canal.  All the summer sounds ensued.  Children laughing, jet-skis howling, machinery drilling, families talking.  We felt so happy to be joined with our family members on such an evening.  I even texted Kiah in New York City to tell her we wished she could be with us.

Really close to a pidgeon

Really close to a pigeon

A pigeon lingered in a flower box outside the window of a store.  It refused to move.  We could have reached our hands over to pet it.  Most likely it would have pecked us or flown upright in a flurry of indignation.

An old building and sign in Houghton advertising Wilcox Studio

An old building and sign in Houghton advertising Wilcox Studio

We liked the Wilcox Studio sign painted on that building probably half a century ago.  Maybe a century ago, who knows?  It looks kind of artistic, don’t you think?

Portage Lift Bridge

Portage Lift Bridge

Now we’re caught up to today.  And I suppose someone might be wondering about the outdoor experience for this fine hot Wednesday.  Barry and the kids headed out before 7 a.m. for a fishing trip on a friend’s boat, but I have a meeting tonight and needed to work.  So…about 1:00 p.m…I hauled the lawn chair into the shade beneath the umbrella on the deck and snoozed.  Just lay there half-awake and dozed and listened to the noisy woods with birds calling and squawking and the neighbor’s rooster making his strange half-hearted holler.  Ahhh.  Summer.  Doesn’t get any better than this, especially in the cool shade with only a couple random no-see-ums biting.

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