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  • Kim Van Sandt

Another Driftwood Artist - Mr Borgeson

Recently, I was exploring the beaches in a new area of Michigan (new to me anyway). I followed Google maps looking for access points to Lake Michigan. I found several when I went north of our summer home base. But as I went south, the big lake access points were a little challenging to find. There were roads near the lake, but most were private. And I try to respect the privacy of the roads, knowing they pay to maintain their roads, and the beach is so tempting, I'm sure lots of us pester them using their roads and disturbing the solitude they seek.

I found a very small road off the main road, that went toward the lake. The road had a curve right away (it was that close to the lake), so driving slowly I realized that under the cluster of shade trees in this front yard I passed, was not just a bunch of greenery, but also a whole flock of these driftwood birds! It was so very sweet, tucked away, only to be seen by a few people, such a peaceful garden of birds.

I was hoping that it wasn't a private road.....

but the size of the road suggested it might be. So I saw a man walking to his mailbox and decided to ask. Well, either I made a mistake or there wasn't a sign, and Mr. Robeson (as I would later learn) said that yes it was private, but it was okay. So I apologized, and complimented him on the birds you see pictured here.

He was very kind as I explained my challenge in finding beach accesses outside of private roads. He pointed out where both of the next two public accesses were south of us. And we talked about the birds. He doesn't sell them, but he said that a few family members had applied a little pressure and convinced him to let go of a few here or there. So he is not selling his art, but they were oh so sweet!

He was also kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes. He shared information about how he has walked the beaches for years and picked up odd pieces of driftwood to make these birds. We talked about the 'knots' of driftwood and the fragrance they contain. He pointed out that those are white pine. I was

really glad to learn this since those knots comprise several of my abstract bird pieces.

Then I asked him if he would mind if I took a few pictures, and if it was okay if I posted them on my sight? And he also kindly allowed my silliness.

If you are a fellow beach explorer I would encourage you to be kind and courteous, respect those private areas (check out what the beach limits are if you don't already know them) and you never know what you will find. I would also encourage you (as others have encouraged me) to have a few plastic bags in your beach bag, and pick up trash while you pick up glass, rocks, driftwood, or just plain enjoy the beach!

Again, thank you to Mr. Robeson! He and his birds were the highlight of my southern beach exploration day!

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