Blush Lake, Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, MI

Blush Lake, Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, MI
Blush Lake, Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, MI

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Goodbye to Blush Lake

We sold our property at Blush Lake, but the new buyers have decided to sell.  The property is currently listed, and although we are no longer the owners, still feel it is a very special place.  We hope that someone who appreciates the beauty of the wilderness will find and treasure this home. 

I am leaving the blog up to perhaps let others see what was our "back yard".   Now we will continue  to explore the Eastern Upper Peninsula from Birch Lodge at Trout Lake, MI.  Stop in and see us.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Neds Lake, Big Island Lake Wilderness Area; an Early Season Look

The trail into Ned's Lake,(in the Big Island Lake Wilderness Area) is about a mile north of our driveway. North of our drive, Kentucky Trail is a seasonal road, which is traversed by snowmobiles in the winter. It is always an interesting time to try the road for the first time in the spring. But with all wheel drive we had no problems. The road still has some packed drifts in spots, but we made it to the trail with no problems.

Blush Lake, where our home is, now is open water, and we have just patches of snow in the woods. Odd that just such a short distance North there was so much snow. The trail was covered with snow about a foot deep. It was crusted, and you could walk on top and only fall through now and again which kept things interesting, but the trail in is only about a quarter mile, and we were up for a hike.

We did not see any animal tracks, although there must be at least one porquipine nearby as we found his "calling card".

Primitive camping is available at a site near the lake, and this seems to be a popular choice for those who are not up for a long hike in and want trout.

Based on the condition of the snow, and the fact that Ned's Lake is small and well sheltered by the trees, we weren't totally surprised to see that it was still ice covered. I was surprised that it didn't appear to be breaking up at all.

The last Saturday in April is the opening day for trout, and Ned's Lake, as well as Twilight Lake, are stocked with trout by the DNRE. I think that even with the projected warm weather this next week, that ice might make it hard to fish!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sunrise; Big Island Lake Wilderness Area

In the past five years we have been here, we have enjoyed countless sunrises from the deck. Each has it's own character, yet all are beautiful across the lake. This April, Bill photographed another very outstanding one. The colors here are not enhanced. Imagine this across a whole sky....

Then it gets better:

So bright it looked like a fire....

And Finally this...
Hope you enjoyed it, we did!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Big Island Lake Wilderness Area --Seeking Conservation Buyer

Big Island Lake Wilderness Area Property
Our property is the white area on the west side of Farm Lake (aka Blush Lake) on the map above. It is literally surrounded by the Big Island Lake Wilderness Area. It is truly a very special place. Being in the designated Big Island Lake Wilderness Area means that the forest next to us will not be cut for timber. We won't come home to logging trucks next door. Motors are not allowed in the Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, and it is also in a voluntary no-fly zone. We are surrounded by wilderness, yet we have year round access (we are only three miles off of paved roads), underground utilities, and high speed Internet. Main House, Blush LakeBlush Lake
Our lakefront (roughly the entire west side) is the only private frontage on 93 acre Blush Lake, and the only public access is by carrying in 1/4 mile through the woods-- about twice a year someone else will be on the lake. The lake is shallow, but does have fish, which we leave to the eagles and loons.

View from Bedroom

The four bedroom 3 1/2 bath home overlooks the lake, and is set in the woods, 1/4 mile off the road. We are spoiled. Having the Wilderness Area at our doorstep, literally, means we can go for a hike into the wilderness on a whim. We watch spectacular sun rises from the deck.

Sunrise, Blush Lake

Under a true dark sky, the reflection of the moon and stars across the lake at night, and seeing so many stars it is hard to find the constellations, is amazing. I also love to have the lake to myself, and let my kayak be pushed by the wind, and listen to the only sounds--the wind and birds in the trees.

Lone Kayak

We are in the heart of the Hiawatha National Forest, 1/2 hour south of Munising on Lake Superior (Grand Island, Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore), and 1/2 hour north of Manistique on Lake Michigan. We are about 1 1/2 hours from Marquette and Escanaba, and two hours from the Mackinac Bridge.

It is only because we bought Birch Lodge that we would consider selling this place. After consulting several realtors, we listed the property last summer at $650,000. We hoped for more, but have been disappointed in the market. Our price was dropped to $499,000, well below what we paid, and the listing has now expired. We are dropping the price again, to $450,000, a big loss for us, and will list it again this spring.

The Forest Service would like to buy the property, but lacks funding. We would love to have an agency purchase the property, about 32 acres, and sell the land as unimproved to the Forest Service, and sell a life lease to someone for the home. This has been done elsewhere, but given the state of the economy, most are lacking the funds.

We will re-list again this spring, and hope to find that special someone who will love it here as much as we do. If you would like to learn more please look at our home tour and our tour of Blush lake listed on the side bar. The real estate page will give you a google map location. We can be reached through

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, MI: Birding

I enjoy watching the birds, and it has been fun to be able to see so many species from our deck overlooking Blush Lake. Spring has arrived, even though it is still snowing, we have had the return of our red-winged black birds, and robins. Our first seasonal visitors of course, were our Trumpeter Swans, along with last year's young. We heard them call as they circled and landed on the ice.

We have had some luck last spring getting photographs of some of our seasonal friends, and will be looking for the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings. These seem to arrive later than the Evening Grosbeaks. Our Phoebe, who nests under the eves, won't be here for a bit either I hope.

This winter we have missed our Goldfinches, and have noticed an increase in woodpecker activity. The area has been under attack by the Beech Bark Disease, and many trees have snapped and died in the area in the last couple of years. I think this has increased our number of woodpeckers. In addition to our little Downy Woodpeckers, we have regular suet block visits from two pairs of Hairy Woodpeckers, and a pair of Red -bellied Woodpeckers. We have a Pileated Woodpecker who also is a regular visitor to a snapped Beech off of our deck.

We have also noticed a huge increase in flocks of Blue-Jays. I counted42 this morning, I think their numbers are also up because of increases in insects on the diseased trees.

Our "regulars" this winter in addition to the Jays, inclued Black-capped Chickadees, Pine Siskins, Red Breasted and White Breasted Nuthatches, and recently flocks of Common Red Polls.

We also have a number of Barred Owls, and a few Great Horned Owls, which we can hear call at night. The Barred Owls are very active now, and their caterwalling is something to hear. It reminds me of jungle sounds! We managed to get a shot of one who was checking out the flying squirrels who frequent out feeder at night. Another visitor of the feeder for other than the sunflower hearts, is this guy. I can't decide if it is a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp -shinned Hawk, but he does eat regularly!

As the season progresses, if I am lucky, I will post some more photos of our Warblers and Towhees. Check back later this spring for updates!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

End of Winter

Spring is coming. It is in the air, even at 20 degrees. We had our first red winged black bird at the feeder.

The road is muddy with the thaw of the snow and last night's thunder and rain.

As much as I am looking forward to the spring, I was reminded with the last snow how beautiful the winter can be. I took these photos early in the morning while all was quiet. Sunrise and beautiful fresh snow. The morning rays break across the lake and illuminate the trees on the north point. Our view across the deck, looking toward the south end of the lake seemed like a different world.

A walk down the driveway morphed into a trip through a pristine gateway to the wilderness.

Even though I am not fool enough to believe that spring is here and that we will have no more snow. I know the season is waning, and my days of enjoying the fresh quiet snowy sunrise and the days of snow blanketing the trees is coming to a close. Yes, I do believe it is the end of winter....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blush Lake Kayak Tour

Blush Lake Blush Lake is 93 acres in size, and is totally in the Big Island Lake Wilderness Area. Our property is the only private frontage, about 1100' on the west side of the lake. The lake is shallow, only about 10' deep. It is fed by several seeps and has a small stream feeding it from Nurse Pond. The outlet across the lake flows to the Ponds, and then south as Camp 83 creek, joining the Indian River south of Thunder Lake Rd.Blush Lake

The lake does have a lot of sediment, and the north bays are very shallow. There are surprisingly few water weeds in the lake, and for all its sediment it is quite clear. The lake does have fish, we have seen lots of minnows, perch, sunfish, and pike. It also has a lot of fresh water mussels, which the otters frequent.

Last fall, we took one last paddle around the lake, and I took the video camera along. I pulled some still shots of the trip to post for you here. We started, obviously from our beach and headed north.
Kayak on beach

Heading North

Blush Lake

We checked out the far side of the north point of the lake, where we often see perch. Then across to the far shore line moving west to the outlet.

Blush Lake

This area is a place where the eagles like to perch. We frequently will spot one here, as we did today.

We sometimes put ashore here to walk in the hemlock woods to look for wildlife on McNearny Ponds.
Reeds near outlet

Then we headed back south and west toward home, checking out the submerged logs along the south shore. We often can see fish here if we let the kayaks drift. Minnows seem to find shelter near the logs.
This is an area where we often see otters munching on mussels, or playing on the logs.

Mussel Shells

The clouds were building, and getting gray, so it was time to put in. The temperature was dropping too.

We knew it was time to put in, and pull the kayaks up for the year. Hope you enjoyed our little tour!
Home Beach
Taking out Kayak