Mystery Rock

The rock in the photos below was found last week (not by me)  along a Lake Michigan shore. Any opinions from rockhounds? It weighs in the neighborhood of 8 pounds. Some agate, some chert, some carnelian perhaps, or possibly some jasper? Very interesting visually.

Top of the rock. Some chalcedony agate perhaps?
Top of the rock. Some chalcedony agate perhaps?
View of another side. Chert, perhaps?
View of another side. Chert, perhaps?
The point of the rock, from above
The point of the rock, from above

Flintknap?

Pal Mike Cook, flintknapper extraordinaire and primitive hunter (arrows with stone heads), sends word that he is holding a workshop at his farm near Portland, MI, July 18-19. Mike once made a bow for me out of  orange osage — and two sets of arrows (practice and hunting tips).

I picked out the chunk of wood one fall, and promptly had a stroke. I spent the winter recovering and when I drove up to his farm in the spring to pick up the bow I  saw that it was named Snow Fly.  He had been looking out the workshop window, trying to think of a name for the bow (he names all of them he makes) and the snow was whipping around and thus the name. What Mike didn’t know was that my book,  The Snowfly was at that very moment in preparation by Lyons Press. Talk about both spooky  and cool!

When Midwest museums want to do exhibits involving fluted stone tools and weapons (arrows, spears, prismatic blade knives) Mike Cook often gets the call and the commission. The workshop is geared to intermediate level knappers. Mike will provide the necessary rock. Attendees can camp at Mike’s farm or stay in motels 10 or so minutes away. Bring your bows for target shooting and your bassing and bluegill gear.  Directions will be sent when you register. There will be campfires at night and primitive fire-starting contests. The cost is $225 and limited to 6 students, who will pay $125 to secure their spot and the rest when they arrive. The registration deadline is June 30. Children under 15 register for $100. Call mike at 517-242-1352, or with email at macook@hughes.net.

Mike is an original and I’m sure the class will be outstanding. If we valued craftsmen as the Japanese do, Mike Cook would be declared a national treasure, but our federal and state governments are pretty clueless and uncaring about such things —  or art support in general. Too bad. I’d love to go to the workshop, just to watch Mike work (and to cast to the big old fat bass in his pond) but we’re committed to the Yoop at that time and can’t make it. If you want a unique summer experience and introduction to a unique skill with historical antecedents, don’t miss this chance.

Photos from yesterday’s walkabout/ramble, in  one of the local game areas.

Oh me, oh my, cried the fly, I think this plant done growed some eyes!
Oh me, oh my, cried the fly, I think this plant done growed some eyes!

When did Tar-Jay start sponsoring maple ringworm?
When did Tar-Jay start sponsoring red maple ringworm?
Pink Lady Slipper in cluster. Not many out there in the red pines, only a plant here and there.
Pink Lady Slippers in cluster. Not many out there in the red pines, only a plant here and there.

It’s About Time…

In 1939 the U.S. government “allowed” women to fly in the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which was designed to teach college pilots with an eye on a bigger picture.

After fruitlessly lobbying the White House to bring female pilots into the military in 1940 to ferry aircraft from US factories to military bases, several US women  joined the British Air Transportation Auxillary and soon thereafter that the Women’s Auxillary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) came into being. Followed by the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD).

In 1943, the year of my birth, the U.S. created the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).  More than 25,000 women volunteered, a total of 1,830 were accepted into training, and 1074 graduated from WASP during its existence. The program was disbanded in 1944 after logging more than 60 million miles in operation. Thirty eight women were killed, including some in training accidents.

In 1977, the first year the USAF finally graduated it’s first post-WASP women pilots Congress granted military veteran status to former WASPS, and in 1979 gave them official honorable discharges.

Now, finally, Congress is in the process of passing a bill that would grant all WASP pilots with the Congressional Gold Medal.

It’s about damn time. Over.
On other fronts, some photos from recent wan’d’rings:

Bambis soon. Around June first we should start seeing this year's fawn crop.
Bambis soon. Around June first we should start seeing this year's fawn crop.

Trillium time in southern Michigan usually means morels are in.
Trillium time in southern Michigan usually means morels are in.
Need stumps removed? Ask for Shanahan.
Need stumps removed? Ask for Shanahan.
Da Stoodioh!
Da Stoodioh!

Russian Olive (elaeagnus angustifolia), not native to this country, but proliferating. They have a wonderful sweet scent this time of year.
Russian Olive not native to this country, has a wonderfully sweet scent this time of year.

The largest of our orchids, the pink lady slipper, which grows in conifer forests and is just popping in recent days.
The largest of our orchids, the pink lady slipper, grows in conifer forests and is just starting to pop in recent days.

High Warm Water = Troutless

Finally got the fishing license and went scouting trout water today. Checked two trout streams, both having yielded great fish in the past. The best of the two streams had temps ranging from 68 – 74 degrees, and the other one was also 70ish. I can understand this in August, but in May? Add to this that the wind was blowing out of the northeast and we just didn’t bother, but these water temps this early down here bodes ill for the entire season. It may have to be north or nada this year. But the north, I’m hearing (Grayling area), has had really spotty fishing as well. Tomorrow, will go search for plate-size lighting rocks. They aren’t affected by water temperature (at least after the volcanic activity has subsided).

Memorial Day Weekend. Remember them all, including those still out in harm’s way.

Over.

Mo Road Trip Pix

Some things under the macro lens look scary. It seem, this tree is growing crab claws.
Some things under the macro lens look scary. It seem this tree is growing crab claws.

Sunny blue on a lawn in St. Lou(is). No idea what these are, but they are as my old teammate Reg says, "Booteyfull"

Sunny blue on a lawn in St. Lou(is). No idea what these are, but they are as my old teammate Reg says, “Boodeyfull”

There's always one in the crowd that doesn't read the memo!

There’s always one in the crowd who doesn’t read the memo!