Tenacity is the human trait I most admire and something that grabs my vision in the natural world when I observe and then photograph it. The Finlanders here in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a native term for it…..SISU. You will see bumper and window stickers everywhere in this area adorned with this label. Each year, there is a well attended cross country ski and snowshoe race of the same name. It is said that you need SISU to endure our legendary harsh and long winters, but the word also implies with a positive attitude. The Upper Peninsula is not a place for whiners, and if they do end up here for one reason or another, their departure is a foregone conclusion.
My son will arrive here for bow season next Wednesday, followed by my brother after he is done hunting. I am hoping that they will both take their buck here. Deer hunting is of such cultural significance, that the public school systems across the U.P. close religiously for opening day of rifle season in November 15th (as if they did not, even most teachers would call in sick). Customs, geography, and culture, are all interwoven in fascinating ways.