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Hint: This is NOT the Upper Peninsula, I can guarantee it.

 

This blog is dedicated to the many readers who randomly discovered this blog by utilizing a search engine.  You know who you are.  The reader who types in “close up pictures of puddles” or “never mind what I have posted yesterday” or “cauliflower brocoli salad” and end up on this blog. 

WordPress.com gives us all sorts of statistics, and search engine statistics are some of the funniest.  You wonder why in the world people would type in “people running in snow filled night”.  You sometimes even make up funny stories about it. 

I am here to tell you the all-time top searches that resulted in finding this outdoor blog during the 365 day commitment.  Are you ready?   (Don’t tell me you already can figure it out, based on the title!) 

The first and third top searches were status quo.  Centria.wordpress.com and Opening the door, Walking Outside were to be expected.  But who would have thought that 111 hits have resulted from the search “Palm Trees”?? 

Look at that palm tree blow!

 

(For all you new or itinerant visitors, the palm tree photos came from a trip to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, back in late March.) 

Search Term #4:  wood splitter.  Well, this is a perfect Yooper (Upper Peninsula) search engine term.  And do we know about wood splitters!  We are expert wood splitters.  (I can say this with assurance after a whole year of operating the lever.  We have not split off any fingers or other accessories and hopefully we never will.  Perhaps I should leave out the word “expert”.  Let’s substitute “experienced” wood splitters.) 

My husband with our lovely wood splitter (back in April)

 

Search engine term #5:  Sand movement on Lake Superior.  I am curious about that one.  Eighty seven hits followed these words.  Were they all the same person?  Is there a group of sand movement analysts?  Did my blog offer them anything concrete for their research?  (metaphorically speaking, of course…) 

Sand movement on Lake Superior. In and out, and out and in...

 

Then we have the feather-searchers.  Eighty two feather searchers have landed on this blog.  I have posted a few photos of feathers, and we have lots of birds in the Upper Peninsula, that’s for sure.  Here is one of my favorites from late June: 

Bald eagle tail feather in the sand

 

#7 search engine term:  dead bird.  Hmmm….  Sixty two views on this post from searching for “dead bird”.  Unfortunately, my own search on this blog did not find a photo of a dead bird.  They apparently had more luck.  I have a vague memory of photographing a dead–maybe–robin or chickadee in the yard.  But neither my memory nor the blog search engine could discover it.  It’s hiding somewhere in this year-long blog.  Fifty cents to the avid blog reader who can find it!  Just kidding! 

#8 (and we’ll stop here):  the infamous Vegetable Scraps!  I have told you before that searchers keep landing on this blog seeking Vegetable Scraps.  Maybe they are looking for soup recipes.  Maybe they want to make brocoli-cauliflower salad. Instead they arrive at a photo of scraps we throw out for the deer during the winter time.  I thought this photo back in January looked almost artistic. 

The infamous vegetable scraps

 

If you have a blog for two or three or more years, the search engine hits can reach into the thousands, so I’m told.  It’s odd to think that years down the road people may still be typing in “palm trees” and arriving at this Upper Peninsula of Michigan 365-day outdoor commitment blog. 

For any of you who are reading this post (having typed in palm trees, wood splitters, sand movement on Lake Superior, feather, dead bird and vegetable scraps) I have a little note for you: 

Sorry I missed you!

 

P.S.  very cold today for the outdoor adventure.  Eleven freezing degrees.  It took three trips in and out the front door to fulfill the commitment.  In and out…kind of like sand movement on Lake Superior…

Memories of autumn

Memories of autumn

Day 34 of this Outdoor Adventure Series.  A couple friends and I were just chatting.  I asked for help next time I get carried away with a silly idea….like dedicating 365 days spending time in the Great Outdoors.  Don’t they say “moderation in all things?”  I must have forgotten….

So, out the door I went this afternoon, once again.  The temperature has maliciously dropped into the single digits.  It’s amazing how quickly one forgets what it means to experience Cold.  In the last several days we’ve lounged near the 30 degree mark.  It’s kind of like childbirth.  You forget.  But when you emerge from the front door at 9 degrees, it all comes back.

I enjoyed playing with the digital camera again.  Look for unusual views; snap picture.  Then try to figure out if you’ve captured anything of interest.  But before you even determine if the last shot of bare branches resembled Zen beauty, the next dried fern arrangement presents itself.  Snap!  Keep aiming that camera, for there’s something interesting at every turn. 

People keep searching wordpress for “how many additional minutes of daylight do we get this time of year?” and guess whose blog they find?  This one!  As if I have some official tally.  (If anyone’s googling this:  Centria is not a Statistician.  Centria likes to Estimate, to Approximate, to Gauge.  Centria even likes to ask readers for insights.  Centria knows very few facts; instead she likes gray estimations which may or may not resemble Truth.)  However, for the sake of meandering inquirers I’m going to try to find the Official Answer.  Hold on five seconds while I check a reliable Internet source and I’ll get back to you.

First, I’ve checked the National Weather Service.  They route you to the U.S. Naval Observatory, as naval folks will obviously know these facts. You type in your state and town to determine the hours of daylight for every single day of the year.  On January 23rd, in L’Anse, Michigan, we experience 9 hours and 16 minutes of daylight.  By January 3oth our daylight hours creep to 9 hours and 34 minutes.   For any lazy or reluctant mathematicians, the increasing amount of daylight hours per week at this particular longitude and lattitude is 18 minutes.   (Oh, all right, I said 10 minutes at this time of year in a previous blog.  My unofficial measuring technique involved when you couldn’t see the garage clearly any more….)

My husband says this means just under three minutes per day.  If you happen to be visiting during summer solstice, June 22nd, it’s often light until near 11 p.m.  If you don’t believe that statistic, come visit!  The National Weather Service says we get 15:52 hours of daylight then.  During Winter Solstice’s blackness it’s more like 8:32 minutes. 

OK!  You random searchers & googlers can count these numbers as Official.  Or look them up yourselves at: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php#skipnav

For less finicky numbers-oriented sorts, all you need to know is this:  it’s getting lighter every day.  Look at your garage every night and notice the difference.  The sun is leaning its angle back towards us northerners.  We’re getting warmer now every day.  Believe me.  It’s true.

Weatherman says:  -22 below windchill at 6:11 a.m.  It’s the 16th day of this 365 day commitment to spend time outdoors.  That means there’s 349 more to go.  Should we keep counting?

Sun reportedly rose this morning at 8:32 a.m.  I missed the auspicious event, having left through the front door at 6:40 a.m.  Arrived at work at exactly…shall we say… 7 a.m.?  From 7 a.m. until 11:15 (exactly 4.25 hours) I worked on budgets, lunch charts and quarterly reports.  You can perhaps determine that Numbers are a big part of my life.

The thermometer outside the kitchen window announces it’s 8 degrees right now (1:06 p.m.) and I’ve just returned to the house after a 1.1 mile walk up to the main road.  The fiercely blowing wind has abated, but it’s still coming out of the southwest at 9 mph. 

Brightly colored purple finches and dapper chickadees sang in the treetops along the road, but I have no idea how many.  The snow crunched underfoot, surprisingly covering the previously-slippery turf.  No cars disturbed the serene beauty of the early afternoon until the mailman sped by in his Jeep at 22 mph, waving his hand.

We had eight envelopes in the mailbox, none which looked particularly intriguing.  I decided to measure the snow in deference to this “numbers” blog.  Out on the side yard, in the non-drifted areas, the snow averages nine to eleven inches.

The sun sets tonight at 5:17 according to the weather service.  I will  venture outside yet again at 6:30 p.m., this time to a meeting 9.3 miles away where I will explain numbers and finances to probably fourteen or fifteen people.  They will nod and smile as if they’re interested, glad that someone else has the job of keeping track of these details.  I’ve been doing this particular job for nigh on 23 years.  Who knows how many more to go?

I have an interesting numbers statistic for anyone still reading.  Guess how many minutes of daylight we gain at this time of year?  I’m not talking dry & cold weather-service numbers.  I’m talking night-time numbers only.  A couple of years ago I attempted to figure out the extra minutes of light we gained in January.  Every night I’d write down when it was no longer possible to see the garage.  You will be pleased to know that we gain ten minutes of light in the evening every week at this time of year.  This is a very vital statistic for those who suffer from Cabin Fever or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s vital to know that the hours of daylight are increasing.  Ten more minutes of evening light per week!  You may want to remember that….

As of this week, there’s between 50 and 80 people reading this blog daily.  Five of them have decided to spend more time outdoors this winter.  One of them says she’ll possibly attempt writing.  Who knows what anyone else thinks?

We have six and a half rows left in our woodpile to make it until spring.  We have 76 days until Spring Equinox.  But since spring doesn’t come to this area until April or May….let’s just say….it’s a long time until spring!

***despite all this chatter about statistics and numbers, I’m pretty certain that in the larger scope of Nature and Earth and love and beauty numbers really don’t really count…..***

Who's the counting the logs left in the woodpile?

Who's the counting the logs left in the woodpile?

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