2018-01-25 / Columns

Of eclipses, otter tracks and losing Bercie

Phone/fax 386-5686

SIX WOMEN with Omena connections had no problem fitting into one car for a trip to Petoskey, although their luggage proved problematic. Shown, from left, are Kanda McKee, Judy Balas, Linda Kemper, Kim Armstrong, Joan Blount and Doni Lystra. SIX WOMEN with Omena connections had no problem fitting into one car for a trip to Petoskey, although their luggage proved problematic. Shown, from left, are Kanda McKee, Judy Balas, Linda Kemper, Kim Armstrong, Joan Blount and Doni Lystra. The Last Girls’ Book Club just celebrated its annual retreat to Stafford’s Bay View Inn in Petoskey. There were a total of 22 women in attendance this year. The retreat included a discussion of the book, The Little Paris Bookshop, along with Mah Jong playing, wine drinking, movie watching, good food, shopping and LOTS of talking and laughter!

Long time members Judy Balas and Joan Blount attended along with their Omena guests, Linda Kemper, Doni Lystra, Kanda McKee and Kim Armbruster. Their husbands, not to be outdone, had dinner out together one night. Since all six women went up together in one car, their biggest problem was finding enough room for their suitcases and all of their purchases. Next year they may consider taking two cars — or a trailer!


Dick Kennedy celebrated his 90th birthday this past week with his wife Nana, all four of their children, Rich, Don, Kerry and Kristen, his son-in-laws David Magrini and Matt Steketee, and eight of his nine grandchildren - Maggie, Danny and Robbie Magrini; Nate and Olivia Kennedy, and Megan, Katie and Matthew Steketee (granddaughter Elise was back at college but there in spirit); his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Mary Dean, from Two Rivers, Wis., and Ron and Mary Tonneberger. Their son Rich came from Orlando, daughter Kerry from Connecticut, and Don and Kristen both from Grand Rapids. A grand time was had by all.

* * *

Congratulations to Brendan Matthew Duffiney who graduated from the Great Lakes Naval Academy in Waukegan, Ill., on Jan. 19. He is attending a school in San Antonio now. He is the son of Dan and Chrysti Duffiney and the grandson of Terry and Nancy Groesser, all Omena residents.

DICK KENNEDY celebrated his 90th birthday last week with family members from around the country. DICK KENNEDY celebrated his 90th birthday last week with family members from around the country. * * *

Mother Nature is providing some pretty good entertainment this month. January sky-watchers are in for a rare treat: a Blue Moon, a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon all in the same month.

A Blue Moon is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month; lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes into Earth’s shadow; and supermoons happen when the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth in a single orbit — coincides with a full moon. In this case, the supermoon also happens to be the day of the lunar eclipse.

The second full moon of the month and the lunar eclipse will occur on the night of Jan. 31. The supermoon will take place on the night of Jan. 30, which is technically one day before the moon reaches peak fullness, but even NASA is willing to call the event a supermoon nonetheless.

Blue moons are not as rare as the old saying “once in a blue moon” implies; they happen about once every 2.7 years. In our part of the world, 2018 will feature two Blue Moons — one in January and one in March (with no full moon in February).

A total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a Blood Moon, owing to the reddish tinge of the eclipsed Full Moon. While Blood Moon is not a scientific term, it is used colloquially to refer to a total lunar eclipse, because a fully eclipsed Moon often takes on a reddish color. So why does the Moon turn red?

A total lunar eclipse happens when the Moon travels through the Earth’s umbra, the dark central portion of its shadow, and the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from falling onto the Moon’s surface. However, the Moon does not turn completely dark during a total eclipse as part of the sunlight still reaches the lunar surface indirectly, via the Earth’s atmosphere.”

* * *

Rink Smith is still seeing new and interesting things as he watches the water birds in winter. He spotted some goldeneye ducks that he thought might even be Barrow’s Goldeneye. Marlin Bussey doubted that they were Barrow’s since they do not inhabit this part of the country. Although, Marlin said, one was seen here about four years ago, and some experts even came to see it. An amazing sight that Rink and Karon and Molly watched was a bald eagle “row” with its wings in the lake with its recent catch to get to the ice so that it could take off. It couldn’t take off from the water with the weight of its catch.

* * *

Bob Mosher saw otter tracks in the orchard on Omena Heights. It’s the first time he has ever seen them up here. He is familiar with otters because they are common around the Lake Leelanau Narrows. In the snow (or mud), otters glide across land, using their webbed front paws to propel themselves. So the tracks are a rounded trough from an otter’s belly with a groove on each side. At first, Bob thought of cross country ski tracks, but quickly recognized what they were. The otter came from the west and crossed all the way through the orchard to go down the hill on the east side, most likely moving from bay to bay.

* * *

We were very sorry to learn of the death of Bercie Frohman this past week in Bloomington, Ind. Bercie was a long-time summer resident in Omena. She is the step-sister of Millard Mack, and started coming to Omena over 70 years ago when her mother, Grace, married Bill Mack. She lived most of her life in Cincinnati. She and her husband. Jack Frohman, who preceded her in death, brought their four children to Omena every summer. She was warm and outgoing and had many friends in Cincinnati and Omena, and quickly made friends in Bloomington after moving there to be near her son Tom. Our sympathies go to her children, Jan Atallo, and Dave, Bob and Tom Frohman, and to their families, and to Millard and Helene Mack.

* * *

Omena resident Linda Auer works at the P.I.E.R. (Promoting Integrated & Engaged Recovery) Detox Center in Traverse City. The P.I.E.R. offers twelve beds, group rooms, gender specific programming and accommodations, and a visiting area. Linda and her co-worker, Mike Morey, organized a clothing drive for clients who come in need clothing and shoes, and especially warm clothing in this weather. They need clothing for men and women, younger people and older people. They want to thank everyone who has donated so far. The items are already being distributed and appreciated. The drive will run through February. Items can be dropped off at the P.I.E.R or you can call me, 386-5686, to arrange a pick-up or drop off here in Omena.

* * *

Be sure to get your tickets from the Northport Community Arts Center (NCAC) for the upcoming dinner theater, “Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell” at Tuckers in Northport. Performances will be Friday and Saturday evenings, Feb. 9, 10 and 16, 17, and Sunday afternoons, Feb. 11 and 18.

* * *

Happy Birthday to David DeWitt, Betty Wheeler, Julie Krist, Amelia Roman, and Bill Singer.

Return to top