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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. 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. 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…

The wood splitter in action

The wood splitter in action

The used wood splitter we bought a couple months ago is finally ready to split up our humongous pile of wood lying in the driveway.  We bought the splitter for $250 and Barry has labored on it faithfully to get it in working condition.  Today was the day for its maiden voyage to the wood pile.

Except.  The weather has been just frightful.  It’s truly bi-polar these days.  Yesterday it was in the 70’s and lovely and sunny and we planted garden seeds.  Today the wind howls fiercely, spits snow, and features temperatures in the 30’s.  Not pleasant.  I did not want to go outside.  Did not want to split wood.  Almost wanted to whine… (well, only for a few minutes, mind you, before straightening the old backbone and opening the door and walking outside bundled up with two pair of pants, hooded sweatshirt, old flannel jacket, winter hat, boots and gloves.)

Oh look at all that wood we need to split...

Oh look at all that wood we need to split...

I guess one of the reasons it was acceptable to go outside was that we had lost our power around 11 a.m.  The electricity has been going out a lot this spring.  One minute you’re sitting cozy at the computer or washing dishes or listening to the woodstove hum…and the next minute the lights flicker out and you’re planned activity needs to be altered.  You never know when it will start working again, although two to three hours is a good guess.

Here’s what you do:  Start the splitter motor.  If it’s a maiden event, this might involve a little smoke when the oil overflows.  Never mind.  Put on your ear protection.  The stronger of the partners lifts the heavy logs onto the splitter.  The weaker…no, the person with more manual dexterity…handles the lever.  That would be me.  I pull the lever to the right until it connects with the log and pushes it against the splitting wedge.  The wedge cuts the log into two chunks.  If you want to cut it into four chunks, you feed it through again.  The lever-operator must push the lever to the left to return it to its starting position.

Both the lever-operator and the log-carrier throw the finished pieces of split wood into another pile.  Which eventually must be loaded into the ’49 Studebaker pickup truck, driven around to the wood pile, and stacked in even rows.

Yep.  That’s the fun we go through here in the North Woods.  Today we worked on load number one.  We split it all.  And loaded half the truck.  However, due to various time restraints and other constrictions, we haven’t even loaded the second half of the truck and stacked it in the pile.  Alas.  This is going to be a long season, isn’t it?

Wood splitter attached to tractor as we prepare to tackle small pile & throw in Studebaker

Wood splitter attached to tractor as we prepare to tackle small pile & throw in Studebaker

Strangely enough, by the time we finished for the day (about an hour and fifteen minutes after starting) I was having a lovely time.  Felt like a good work-out.  It didn’t even feel the slightest bit cold.  Barry even threw off his jacket. 

And this is what the split wood looks like, for anyone unfamiliar with it.

And this is what the split wood looks like, for anyone unfamiliar with it.

Nothing like spring chore season.  It must almost be time to go on another trip…  🙂

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