Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo and AnFaMigMo--OH MY!



"I'm doing PiBoIdMo starting next week," I excitedly told Lisa (BarTraStuWoGir--Bear Track Studio Wood Girl) at breakfast. She smiled weakly into her weakly weak coffee.
"I thought you were already doing NaNoWriMo. Is this new acronym an ancient art form of self-defense?"
"AHA! PiBoIdMo stands for Picture Book Idea Month," I shouted. "NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, that's different. See, I can write Holly Wild Book 2 in one month and get picture book ideas and short stories for magazines at the same time. Let things jump out at me and sketch and write notes about them."

I merrily made my way up the hill to scoop the chicken coop when it occurred to me that last month was AnFaMigMo--Annual Fall Migration Month. All month long I noticed migratory action of many species of animals preparing to head south for the winter. There were the late-leaving Monarch butterflies flitting in a line (only thing to sip on was that noxious invasive Spotted Knapweed to keep them on their journey). Noisy cranes, geese and tree frogs. Hummingbirds long gone, but snakes were still moving to and fro looking for their wintering hibernacula (many roadkills spotted on these). But the most fascinating migration I witnessed was last weekend in TC Traverse City and Empire, home of the great SLBD--Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Marie (BarTraStuBirGir--Bear Track Studio Bird Girl) and I (BarTraStuNuClo--Bear Track Studio Nut Clown) had spent the week in TC painting a mural at the Boardman River Nature Center and planned to do a little kayaking on Saturday with family coming to town. A nice break after a looong week.
http://natureiscalling.org/river-wall-mural-at-the-boardman-river-nature-center/
We had heard that Chinook and Coho salmon by the thousands had already been harvested and many more were still in the rivers. So we got to see some in the Boardman River whilst perusing the autumnal harvest of fruits and flowers at the Farmers Market. The mix of delicious fruit and dead fish was interesting.

But Wow! What a fish! I'd never seen such a large, colorful and hideous-looking fish. And to think that we were going to kayak among them on the Platte River in the SLBD--Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park was an extra treat--especially since my daughter who has a big fish aversion had not yet arrived to the said kayking rendevous place. (Oh, this would be a treat once she realized she would be surrounded by them.) She pointed out one smallish salmon when we entered the river. I chuckled. Just you wait girlfriend...heheh.

Once on the river, schools of the large shiny hook-jawed torpedoes shot past us--and move they did--you could hear a slightly audible "swish-swish-swish" as they passed. Some leaped from the water and the water was black with them at the Fish-Thingy-Ladder-Tower-Gate. (see photo)
"Yes, my love, that is exactly where I shall flip my kayak. Yes, down there with the salmon."
This spectacle of finned and gilled nature made my daughter anxious. It also kept her in her kayak. But, not so with my son-in-law, Matt. He felt he must join the salmon on their run and promptly took a river swim after tipping his yak among them.

It was a quick bonding moment. One he will never forget. Tipping into a river in summer is shocking. But in the FALL, with chilled water, not so fun. Fortunately for him my menopausal ways found me with many layers of clothes packed into my yak. He dressed in the prickly brush on shore in a variety of clothes while the others emptied his yak. He did look like a wild man emerging from the bush after two months on the river. In my fleece shirt, jacket, and water shoes; his wife's "beaver fur hat" and socks, and BarTraStuWoGir's pants (she was wearing long johns beneath them for those of you concerned--she did look like an elf when we got out of the water at the end of the trip).

So where is all of this going? PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo? Ummm, notice, experience, write, record, sketch and photograph the events happening around you so you have something to share.

Life in layers (keeps you warm).