Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


WordPress Photo Challenge: Life imitates art

Several years ago a friend and I were visiting an art gallery.

Times two.

Times two.

I snapped this picture of her, never noticing until I saw the shot later that she was standing in a similar pose to the piece of art hanging behind her.

Sometimes life imitates art unconsciously.

Here, here and here are a few of my favorites, so far, from this week’s challenge.


Active winter

Sunday afternoon at the heron rookery.

Sunday afternoon at the heron rookery.

My folks moved to Alabama when I was working in the Upper Peninsula, so I stayed behind in Michigan. I’d visit them and sometimes meet their friends. As they introduced me to people who had lived their entire lives in the South the response was almost universally horror stricken. “You live in MICHIGAN? Doesn’t it get awfully cold there? And how do you handle all that snow??

Well, yes it does get cold here, and it snows too. Sometimes a lot. But seriously, we don’t sit in our homes and mope — we get out into the fresh air and enjoy it. It’s the only way to get through the winter, to not let it get us down. Because yes it does get old.

But not this year, at least not here. Not yet.

I was out at my favorite park on Sunday and was amazed at all the activity. though I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was chilly and clouds were chasing the sun, but it was a beautiful day. So I thought I’d show you what people in Michigan do on a winter weekend. There was hardly any snow on the ground, and people didn’t want to waste a chance to enjoy some time outside.

Nice day for a long run.

Nice day for a long run.

This particular park is centered on a very large lake. There’s an eight mile (12.8k) bike/walk/run paved path around the lake, and many other miles of paths through the hills and fields including nature paths through the woods.

It’s incredibly beautiful no matter the season.

People were out doing everything you could imagine. Aside from the expected walking and running, it’s a perfect place for well socialized dogs to take their humans for an afternoon walk.

Let's get going!

Let’s get going!

And the fishing is great too, no matter the season. Lots and lots of fisher people stand on the banks of the lake and catch their supper, as evidenced by the lures tangled in the high branches of a tree above the bike path.

Remnants from last summer.

Remnants from last summer.

But this time of year it’s all about ice fishing. I can’t say I understand that sport, but I fully support a person’s right to sit out on the cold lake staring at a hole in the ice waiting for a fish to strike. It’s gotta be fun for some people. Just not me.

It's a chilly sport.

It’s a chilly sport.

On this Sunday the weather was so warm that people were out riding their bikes…

Out for a spin.

Out for a spin.

…and even inline skating.

Faster than running, more exercise than biking.

Faster than running, more exercise than biking.

It felt like spring, and I’m sure we all wish that winter was over. Of course we know it’s not — snow and cold is forecast for later this week. If the snow arrives you might not want to be out on skates or your bike, but you can still wander the nature trails and feed the birds.

Feeding the birds.

Feeding the birds.

Yes there are signs out not to feed the wildlife, but enough people hold sunflower seeds out for the little birds that they now follow nature walkers around asking for a handout. It’s a special feeling to have a wild bird flit to your finger for an instant. Especially for young kids, and those of us still young at heart.

He weighs nothing at all.

He weighs nothing at all.

Sunday there was also a large group of artists at the park, each painting their vision of the paradise that is this park. That was so special it’s going to have to go into it’s own blog. Stay tuned.

So that’s what people will do on a nice winter day at a beautiful public park way up here in Michigan. The next semi-sunny day you have during the rest of this winter head out to a park near you. I guarantee you’ll see something interesting and fun and maybe even beautiful.

Regardless of whether or not it’s cold or there is snow on the ground.

Running in shorts.  In February in Michigan.

Running in shorts. In February in Michigan.


I don’t understand advertisements

Spring fashion.

Spring fashion.

Superbowl Sunday is tomorrow. If you’re not in the US that probably doesn’t mean anything, but trust me, it’s a big deal. Even if you’re not into football it’s a big deal, the culmination of our football season supposedly between the two best teams of the season.

And then there are the advertisements.

Advertisers are paying $5 million for a 30 second ad to run during the game. Superbowl ads have gotten more and more creative over the years until now they are as much a draw to watch as the game itself. This year they’re already showing us bits and pieces of some of them, though many people want to wait until game day to see them for the first time. Sort of like the groom waiting until the wedding day to see the bride in her dress.

Brighten up any kitchen.

Brighten up any kitchen.

But even before the Superbowl I’ve begun to notice I don’t understand today’s television ads. For example, right now there’s some guy with a drum and cymbals strapped on his back, playing them with a line attached to his stomping foot while he’s also playing an accordion and singing (I guess it’s singing) something about how he loves to eat ‘pepperona.’ I had to see it several times to figure out he is advertising pepperoni that goes on pizza.

It’s obnoxious.

And there’s the two guys at the gym, each doing bicep curls, wearing tight shorts. As they banter the guy on the left gets more and more buff, curling more and more weight. I have no idea what they are selling.

It’s gross.

Equally annoying is an ad with a macho guy with some sort of wolf dog on the left v.s. a girly guy in golden light on the right. They are hawking cough drops.

I don’t know why.

Summer sport.

Summer sport.

I hope with $5 million spent on each 30 second Superbowl advertisement that they make more sense, are less awkward, and certainly less obnoxious. And that it’s at least clear what they are selling.

I hope you all enjoy the game. Or whatever else you’re planning on doing with your Sunday.

(Photos on today’s blog are leftover mall ‘vibrant’ shots that didn’t make the cut. After all, everything there is meant to sell something too.)




Happy birthday sister!

Happy Birthday to my sister…

Wonder what's in the news today?

Wonder what’s in the news today?

…life long learner, educator, caretaker, excellent baker, friend.

May your birthday be full of light and laughter….even if that has to wait till after work. In fact, let’s just say that this whole weekend is your birthday!

We love you!

-The rest of the Badger kids

Badger kids all together.

Badger kids all together.


WordPress Photo Challenge: Vibrant

Out and about here in Michigan this winter I haven’t see a lot of vibrant color just shouting to be photographed. Though I’m sure if I really spent time looking I could find some. There was that barn I passed on the way to doggie school last Sunday; in certain light it would be vibrant. And I might have used it for this photo challenge if I hadn’t noticed a friend’s running shoes just the other day.

They were bright pink.

It’s been a few years since I considered myself a runner. I guess it’s been quite a few years because now that I noticed it seems like running attire, shoes included, have stepped it up a notch. You could even say that running attire is now vibrant.

So during my walk at the local mall this morning I took a few shots of running stuff in all it’s beautiful color. These pretty new duds might even inspire me to get back out on the road.


You can see other people’s interpretation of vibrant (and we all need some strong color about now) over at the original post. The link is on the word ‘vibrant’ above. Or you can check out a few of my favorites (so far), here, here, and here.

I liked this a lot too.




Walk in the woods

Camouflaged Katie

Camouflaged Katie

An advantage of being retired is that I can go for a walk in the middle of a weekday and I don’t have to fit it into my lunch hour. Katie enjoys my freedom too because she gets to go along. Yesterday though it was cold and windy we had sun, something we’ve all been missing, so Katie and I headed out to a recreation area where we could walk among tall trees where the wind was less bitter. (Click on any photo to see it larger and with more detail.)

No one else was out there. Poor working fools.

We walked a trail we’ve traveled often, though it’s different each time we visit. On this trip we had bright blue skies, brilliant white snow and enough breeze to make the trees creak. Other than the trees it was quiet.

Lots of coming and going.

Lots of coming and going.

Plenty of animals had been out since Thursday afternoon’s light snow. The tracks I found most interesting were those of what might have been a dog except there were no corresponding human prints. Sometimes the ‘dog’ tracks were headed the same way we were, and other sections of the trail showed him headed the other way. His prints were about half again as big as Katie’s.

Katie's print is on the left., next to the 'dog' print.

Katie’s print on the right, next to the ‘dog’ print.

Sometimes his prints intersected those of a rabbit. Or smaller things like mice or moles.



We also ran across smaller tracks, with a walking pattern that was more linear…more like I imagine a cat might make.

Cat walk?

Cat walk?

All of this evidence of another world made me realize these woods were home to a community that we hardly ever see. After all the people go home these forest dwellers come out and search for food. There’s a whole world right here among the tall trees that we never notice as we walk our dogs, that we’d never notice if it weren’t for the thin coating of fresh snow.

I wondered where all those animals were napping while we were walking and began to wonder if the ‘wolf’ (as I’d begun to think of the one who made the ‘dog’ tracks) was watching us as we moved through his forest. I wondered if the rabbit got away, and what the deer had found to eat. I marveled at all the tiny tracks, picturing little rodents scurrying, always across the path, from one little tunnel to another, never down the trail like the larger deer and rabbits walked.

What's up there mama?

What’s up there mama?

The trees creaked, the sun shone, Katie ran ahead and then urged me to move along faster. We had a great time, she and I. And as we left I thanked the animals for sharing their home with us.

Another great day of retirement.

We're just visiting.

We’re just visiting.


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