Not a terribly scenic photo, but it is a sign of horrible economic times in south Alabama. All Gulf Coast beaches have been closed since March 27. Most businesses have closed and tourist rentals stand vacant. There were no spring breakers, no Snowbirds and the Hangout music festival has been cancelled. This portable sign sits at the edge of the Foley Beach Express about ten miles north of the Gulf of Mexico beaches at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Lightening struck and knocked down a utility pole during the late evening hours Tuesday causing widespread power outage to a farm just west of Richmond, Illinois. Richmond is a small town about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.
Both lanes of Illinois route 173 were closed nearly three hours while a utility crew cleared downed power lines. Early morning traffic was backed up nearly an eighth of a mile in either direction. As of 2:30 this afternoon power still has not been restored to the affected farm, although crews are on site working to repair the damage.
As a result of this disastrous electrical outage residents on the farm have been deprived of highly informative radio and TV political advertising campaigns more than 12 hours, just days before the critical mid-term elections. This is not “Fake News,” however, despite the far reaching implications of this natural disaster; the white house thus far has failed to respond.
Residents of the farm have returned to their fields to resume the fall harvest and have been unavailable for comment.
After several days of heavy rain, Twisters Ice Cream shop in Montague is bounded by standing water to the south across the bicycle trail.
Butternut Creek rises with the rain, but quickly drains into the White River, which empties into White Lake. The water level in the Lake is 3 to 4 feet higher than it was two years ago. The beach on Lake Michigan, about 7 miles to the west, is almost non-existent.
A sunny Saturday in Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, Mexico just across the border from Progreso, Texas. It’s a tourist town catering to Winter Texans who come south to escape the cold winter in the north. Primary businesses are pharmacies and dentist offices. Prescription medicines and dental work are less than half the cost for the same products and services in the U.S.
However, street vendors sell food and trinkets throughout the town. Many of the salespeople are very young children. Although they appear impoverished, popular legend has it that these children and their parents go home at night to beautiful homes in various communities in Texas and upscale neighborhoods in Reynosa, Mexico.
(Click on each of the photos to see a larger image.)
Ali O’Connell of Wichita Falls, TX, is the new face at Lipka’s vintage soda fountain in Montague, MI. Every year about this time she travels to Michigan to spend a month or so with her grandmother. (What a sweet young lady. I can’t get my grand kids to visit more than a couple days, if they come at all.) This summer she elected to work part-time while she’s in town and will be dipping ice cream six afternoons each week until the end of June.
Ali will be a high school senior in Wichita Falls next fall. While she plans to attend college, she hasn’t yet decided just where. Her goal is to teach little kids in elementary school. In the meantime, she spends much of her time volunteering and she’s proud to say she has accrued more than 300 hours of community service, primarily at the local hospital – where she also serves ice cream – but she volunteers for other community projects as well.
When at home, if she’s not practicing with the high school cheer-leading team she plays golf and “just hangs with family and friends.”
The state of Michigan offers two free-fishing weekends a year. This year’s summer event occurred June 13th and 14th. The purpose is to encourage children and families to enjoy the great outdoors, especially the wonders of sport fishing. It is thought that people who fish are more attuned to the demands of the aquatic environment and will help to improve and maintain it.
Families with their children traveled from around the state to participate in the White Lake Area Sportfishing Association fishing contest for children.
Sunrises and sunsets on the lake are almost always spectacular. This was taken on my smartphone yesterday morning about 7:00 o’clock. There were more fishermen out than I had expected; 10 minutes earlier we couldn’t see the boat next to us because of the fog.
By 11:00 o’clock, it had greatly dissipated, but not completely. We nearly had our limit of Bluegills and headed for the cleaning station at the Montague boat launch to beat the rush of other fishermen who might have the same idea.
I keep thinking, “I am not a morning person,” nonetheless, I have posted many more sunrise pictures here than sunset pictures. I would much rather go to bed well after sundown and sleep in the following morning, but it seems that whenever my friend, Wes, asks if I want to go fishing, I always say, “Yes, of course. What time?” – Oh crap, he wants to go early in the morning. So, there I am, often before sunrise, helping to launch the boat. Clearly, I am not the man that I think I am.