I have a little anniversary. Two years ago today, I saw my first ever Eastern Bluebird. We had moved to the house about a month before, and I was eager to get into bird feeding and watching. It was a glorious time because each day brought me a new bird. It was especially exciting because I am from Germany, and some of these guys I never even heard about before. I think this was the day when my infatuation with birds really started off.
So this post is dedicated to the wonderful birds of Michigan, and extended to the wonderful birds of North America, and extended to the wonderful birds of the whole of America and extended to the wonderful birds of the whole world! These feathery little wonders of nature are an immense source of joy in my life, and I would not want to miss them one single day. I am passionate about them, I am passionate about the environment they life in, the environment that we share. And I want them to succeed in this whole thing that we share together. Peace out, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.
I was a little luckier with my regular camera though. These two were the ones I hoped to lure to the booth. A Cedar Waxwing and an Indigo Bunting. I love both of them, and am happy I at least got these two shots :)
Made it to Houghton/Hancock, Michigan! These cities are awesome, and totally ethnically Finnish. This part of the U.P. (Keweenaw) is really the only true Finnish communities in the United States. People from a few different countries (Ireland, Cornwall, Sweden, Italy) but primarily Finland, moved up to the far northern U.P. to work in the copper and iron mines, and because it was the place in America that reminded them most of home. This included many of my relatives. I knew that there were still some Finnish communities here, but didn’t really expect much in the way of it as a part of the identities of the people here. I was totally surprised - the city of Hancock has Finnish flags on every lamppost, all of the street names are Finnish, most of the businesses and people have Finnish last names, and Hancock has a sister college to Finlandia University and a Finnish cultural center in the middle of the city. The really great thing is that even after the mines closed down, the people didn’t all just disperse and find other jobs in other places. A very large percentage of them found ways to get by up here in copper country by creating other industries - lumber, fishing, tourism, etc, and built a community that is arguably even larger and more prosperous than before, while still having an extremely strong ethnic identity. I was honestly really surprised, as I remembered it being really nice, but I kind of expected there to be a lot of abandoned towns, suffering people, and falling apart buildings like most former mining communities in the United States. Instead, even though they are really far (geographically) away from much of the rest of the country, the communities all over the Keweenaw are thriving, with many people whose families have connections to this place or have lived here for generations, as well as a booming (but somehow not at all bourgeois) tourism industry. This part of the country just doesn’t change at all, or lose it’s character, and is just as wonderful as I remember it. It almost seems like an anomaly in today’s world. Also, I have family with the last name Moilanen, which might explain why my dad is so tall.