Storm warnings

Posted on August 22, 2009


I had business in Elk Rapids today, and decided to tack on a stroll around town.  It was a great day to inspect the harbor, as all the boats were huddled right there where you could see them.  I wonder why . . .

Elk Rapids Harbor - storm coming

Then over to the other side of town, where the Elk River looked just about as stormy as the Bay.  A century ago heavy industry filled the riverbanks: an iron furnace, charcoal kilns, a chemical plant, a sawmill, a flour mill, all of them built in the 1870s, all of them closed by 1915. But today there were water lilies, and one swan on patrol, so it was fairly picturesque.

Elk Rapids - Swan amongst the lily pads

Elk Rapids - Swan conducting close inspection

The swans on the Bay near the Writing Studio and Bait Shop usually keep their distance, but Elk Rapids swans are bold. I was surprised when this one glided right up to the dock where I was standing. Dollars to donuts people have been feeding them picnic scraps.

It was spitting rain on the way home. Instead of pulling over to take pictures of wildflowers and butterflies I kept driving, thinking about how transitory the industrial era was up here. The plunderers poured in on the lakes and rivers, used up the lumber, and left as suddenly as they had come. The ebb and flow of commerce has left us in a backwater for quite some time now. That’s not altogether a bad thing—backwaters are often picturesque. The trouble is, you can end up relying on picnic scraps.

Ah well.  We have invited quantities of people to Lemonade in the Park in the morning.  Right now it is 59°F. and windy, with the promise of more rain, and a red Advisory! blinking in the weather widget.  I am not optimistic about getting a lot of Public Input on the Recreation Plan.  On the bright side . . . um, I haven’t thought of a bright side yet.  Maybe in the morning.