Lurking in the Woods by Nick Sterling

I saw this creature in the Manistee National Forest one year ago. It scared the ever Living Daylights out of me. I only saw it for a short second but I remember enough of that thing to have an artist sketch it. This is about as close as I can get to it. I could almost smell its foul breath. I ran to climb a tree and when I looked back it was gone. I climbed the tree anyway. I stayed up on that tree a good hour before I came down. I quickly packed my gear and got out of that area. Everytime I look at that artists sketch I tremble to this day. I will never go back to that area.

A Night of Fear by Bob Hamilton

I took my Blushing Bride of 3 weeks on a camping trip to the Manistee National Forest. On our first hike Into the Woods we came back to a campsite that had been torn apart. Everything was scattered around. But Sharon and I pitched in and righted the camp in no time. The next night we took another hike and then we came back the camp was ruined again. We couldn’t figure it out? On the third and last night of our stay, Sharon Made some of her chili for dinner. She likes it very spicy. You almost have to have a cast iron stomach to be able to handle that chili. After supper I had three or four doses of Alka-Seltzer to settle my stomach before our last hike. On our way back to camp we heard a hideous Roar. We ran back to camp only to find this. That will settle his hash. He ate all the leftovers! Sharon’s Chili is something that creature will never forget. He Scrambled Into the Woods as if it’s pants were on fire. That’s my darling Sharon.

The Manistee National Forest Is Downright “Cool”

It’s been a long summer and hot as well so I thought a little preview of coming Michigan attractions was in order by way of some “natural” air conditioning.  As much as I love Michigan summers, I also happen to like its winters, within reason of course.  I never like sub-zero weather but some of what I can observe here is rather welcome especially today after another sizzling day.

Mike and Ben are off fishing somewhere so I thought I’d take a break from gardening to post a winter feel that might serve to cool us all off.  Now, to tell the truth, I don’t mind the hot weather but I don’t care at all for the humidity which is a mosquitoes best friend.  And, as I type this post from the comfort of my great air-conditioned house, I have to reflect on just that.  A lot of us can’t wait for the summer and then spend countless hours INDOORS with air conditioning which we can get naturally in the winter?  There’s something wrong with that picture!

Oh, well, back to my gardening and my brain is getting tired thinking about all this.  Now from the cooler back into the oven!  Isn’t life in Michigan grand?

A Howling Wolf

On a light day hike in the Manistee National Forest with a few kids from the Marion YMCA we not only saw a wolf we heard him. We are on top of a very high hill and he was below us a good 400 yards away. He lied on a few howls and then lit out after something that we could not see. On another trip with the boys club we saw a wolf through a window in a cabin we had rented. In all the trips we took to Michigan those are the only two wolves we saw. They are fascinating animals and look like Husky dogs only bigger.

Horror Filled Eyes by Bob Hamilton

to avoid a thunderstorm I ducked into a cave in Michigan where I had been pursuing Dogman. In the middle of the night I heard some noises outside the cave. I could still hear thunder and rainfall but I moved to the front of the cave anyway. I have gotten separated from several of my friends earlier that night in our pursuit of Dogman. As I reached the front of the cave. A flash of lightning illuminated this creature and I headed back into the cave quite scared. I just couldn’t believe my eyes but some kids had made a model out of that to scare people. It had worked with me. If I had seen that coming in I probably would have seen it as a fake. But at night it was downright horrifying. In some ways I would have liked to have met those kids I’m scared the heck out of them somehow. The dinosaur in question was paper mache and wiring and a great paint job. I kept wondering all night what I would do in the morning if that real thing was still there. But in the morning I could tell it wasn’t real and felt like a real fool. I wonder if I ever encounter Dogman how I’ll feel?

Bear in Bear Swamp by Ron

when I spotted this bear in Bear Swamp last year I generously gave him the right of way. After all discretion is the better part of valor. Fortunately I had a long-distance lens and that was close enough for me. He looked like he could eat me in one bite. I could use a bear rug in my living room and I plan to get one someday but not today. I didn’t stick around after getting this photograph. I had to get it to the store before it closed. I’m sure the bear understood.

Tree Maintenance

Having worked with the National Forest Service for several years one thing I understand is tree maintenance. Over the years several kinds of hardwoods have come up with diseases and that is why periodic spraying of our national forests is vital to prevent more outbreaks of diseased trees.

The easiest way is to spray by air as it saturates the entire area with chemicals that can reduce tree disease. These are akin to crop dusters that help prevent plant diseases. Since a national forests reputation, as it is, depends on trees, it is vital to have a tree maintenance program for without it, our nations forests would soon disappear or be populated with dead trees.

Already the Manistee National Forest has been thinned somewhat with new homes going in and new businesses that have taken the tree line further from various roads across the area. I am ever so happy much of the acreage is under federal protection. Trees are in a large part my business and I want them preserved so that people can enjoy them for centuries.

Like Mother, Like Son by Bob Hamilton

my photographer and I caught this picture this past winter in the Manistee National Forest near White Cloud. We are both taken aback by this picture and we weren’t about to interfere lest daddy dearest be around. It does appear that this creature has family. My photographer thought this might be Bigfoot but it doesn’t appear that large. The adult was just about my size. Whatever it was I don’t believe it was Bigfoot. It’s not dog man either. Maybe I came upon a new species? After a few minutes they moved away fast. There are no footprints in the snow as they Shuffled their feet making no tracks what so ever. They must be capable of quick movement because they were out of sight in no time flat. I will return in the spring to check this whole area out.

Burp!! by Benny Bear

well, after about 40 picnic baskets I think I’m full. I don’t know why all those people took off when they saw me coming and left me such a banquet? I might have settled for a few handouts. Someone should have had some Alka-Seltzer at least. In my shape now I couldn’t chase down a turtle with arthritis. Oh well, I guess it’s time to hibernate. I sure hope I have enough blubber on hand for a long night sleep?

Our Hiking Trail

two of my best friends, Betty and Dolores, and I used to hike this trail a lot fairly close to Branch Michigan. It was about a 10-mile Trail in all. The three of us walked about 5 miles each time. There used to be a little stream off the trail where we can wash up. Sometimes it was dried up depending on the time of the year. It was a nice refreshment break. We took a lunch with us and at the halfway point we Munched down whenever we had. We tried to do this weekly from May to September. I miss those times and fellowship.