Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Photogenic farms

As most of you know I love to photograph farms. And on my way back from Northport this week I drove, slowly, through miles and miles of farmland. It was all so beautiful that I was constantly stopping to catch a shot, and there were many more that I didn’t get. Those were recorded only in my memory.

I’ll show you a few of the beautiful farms I saw on my trip home. A trip that usually takes four hours took almost twelve. And I loved every minute of it. I hope you do too.

What is it about barns that are so photogenic? This first one is not far south of Northport itself, still ‘up north.’ I’ve photographed it before, and while I was parked on the side of the road two more cars drove up and stopped.

Tucked into the hills.

Tucked into the hills.

I guess I’m not the only barn lover out there. I especially liked the wild sweet peas blooming in the foreground, and the way the barn is set against the hills behind it.

And with nowhere to turn around to continue on my way I wandered down a back road that dead ended with this view. How could I resist?

Fields of grain.

Fields of grain.

Sometimes getting a bit off track will find you a beautiful place few get to see. I never mind getting lost when I’m out with the camera and unlimited time.

Further downstate (which to you that don’t live here means further south) I came across the windmills. Once again I was on a road I hadn’t planed on traveling. But the faster way home was under construction, so there you go. Another nice surprise.

Making electricity.

Making electricity.

I got off the freeway and drove down empty country roads to get up close.

Power amid the corn,

Power amid the corn,

They are controversial. Some people love them. Others don’t. There’s a hum that comes from them that I suppose could be annoying to those that live under the giant wings. I think they are beautiful, but I think the final vote should be from those that live with them day after day.

As the sun got lower in the sky I couldn’t stop shooting. There was beauty everywhere, and more than once I turned around to go back and get something. Like this tractor in a shorn field set against a wall of clouds.

Resting after a hard days work.

Resting after a hard days work.

And these wagons filled with bales of straw, glowing in the last bits of evening light.

Full up.

Full up.

And who wouldn’t stop and turn around when a field of sunflowers nodding in the late day sun suddenly appeared?

Makes you smile.

Makes you smile.

Even after hours on the road I was sorry when the light and my photo shoot came to an end.

So much beautiful farmland. So little time.

From years past.

From years past.


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Moon over Michigan

This morning I was out early, thanks to Katie the Sheltie-girl, taking pictures of the moon.

Amazing

Amazing

Were you out in your yard looking up at the big full moon this morning too? I wondered, as I stood, feet in the damp grass and a bit of chill in the air, how many other people were out just as the sun was beginning to tip the tops of trees with golden light, all staring up at the beautiful moon shining down on us.

I was busy fiddling with the camera when I heard a flock of geese. I lifted my head just as they flew overhead and thought to myself….”Well..THAT would have been a great shot.”

Noisy moon watchers

Noisy moon watchers

Turns out I got the last couple of them, though I didn’t know it until I looked at the photos long after the sun came up. What you can’t see is that the underside of each of them was rosy with morning sun even though the moon was still hanging low in the sky.

But if you use your imagination you can see it in your heart.

Good morning moon.

Good morning moon.


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Overnight in paradise

Peaceful

Peaceful


I went north to Nortport this week, specifically to listen to Loreen Niewenhuis talk about her latest book “A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure.” This is the third in her trilogy of Great Lakes adventures — I loved the first two; the first about her walk around Lake Michigan and the second about her walk on the shores of portions of all five Great Lakes.

Her talk was excellent and I can’t wait to read the new book. I opened it at random in three places last night and laughed out loud each time. She can write! Even while you’re learning about things you may never have thought about you’re enjoying the adventure of it all in her books.

Sunset glow

Sunset glow

I love Northport, the little town at the tip of Michigan’s pinky finger. I can’t think of a place more lovely, more welcoming, more serene. Lucky for me I have a friend or two there, so I was able to camp on a lawn near Lake Michigan on Tuesday night after Loreen’s talk at the local library. The sunset that night was spectacular.

Beautiful water.

Beautiful water.

I didn’t take a lot of photos this trip, other than the sunset, at least there on the lake. Instead I enjoyed swimming in the cool clear water of Lake Michigan, listening to a bit of jazz at a local restaurant, conversation with friends, and sleeping out under the stars.

OK. So I didn’t really notice the stars much. I slept better out there on the front lawn than I’ve slept in a good long while and I don’t think I woke at all until morning. Must have been the lake air.

It’s cherry harvesting time in Northport and I stopped on my way out of town to get a photo.

Looks like a good year for cherries.

Looks like a good year for cherries.

Don’t they look good? In my family we love tart cherries even more than the sweet versions. I wanted to grab a bucket and pick a few pounds, but I guess that would be stealing. So I bought a quart at a stand and ate them on the way home.

Have I mention I really love this place?

Sand clings to my memories.

Sand clings to my memories.


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Don’t rush me

Over the weekend I saw a couple of television advertisements that inferred school was right around the corner. Then late Sunday night I saw the National Football League talking about Monday night football coming soon.

Does anyone know what this is?  It was in the pond.

Does anyone know what this is? It was in the pond.

Soon?!

Is fall really right around the corner? Is my summer of freedom winding down already?

Yellow glow

Yellow glow

Sunday on my walk in a local park I saw….gasp….horror…..goldenrod! I didn’t have a camera with me and I didn’t want to record it anyway.

Much better to ignore all of this.

Grass ready to go to seed

Grass ready to go to seed

This morning, early, I headed back out to the park. But instead of the usual walk along the bike path I took the camera and wandered among the nature trails. At the beginning of my walk a man, also with camera, was coming off the hill. He smiled at me and said “Just about perfect isn’t it!?” I smiled back and agreed.

Reaching for the sky

Reaching for the sky

The nature trail winds around a hill behind the nature center. It’s surrounded with fields and hills popping with wildflowers. I scared up a rabbit or two, a few larger birds, a few bumble bees.

Mostly I was on my own, listening to the crunching of my own feet, and lost in the photos around every corner.

Hills are alive

Hills are alive

This is what summer should be. Aimless wandering through fields of wildflowers under a blue sky, a slight breeze tugging at your hair.

Nowhere to be. No to do list. Just sunshine, flowers, fresh air and delight.

Dew

Dew

Fall will show up soon enough, but for right now I’m going to concentrate on summer.

I wish each of you a day like this, somewhere close to you, sometime when you get a moment.

Go for a walk.

Go for a walk.

Soon.

Bench for contemplation

Bench for contemplation


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Close Up

Do you know what this is?

Do you know what this is?

WordPress suggested this week we look around the house and find things that might make interesting photos up close.

I’ll let you guess what this is.

Meanwhile, stop at a few of my favorite submissions, showing bits of people’s lives up close, here, here and here.

Don’t miss this one either.

And look around your own home. I bet you find plenty of things that are more interesting up close than they were ever originally designed to be. I look forward to seeing them all!


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What gets reported?

This morning you’re waking up to breaking news about a horrible movie shooting in Louisiana; a gunman killed two people and injured nine more before killing himself. The details, minute by minute, are being discussed with great urgency. It is pointed out that this is the third mass shooting in the past month — the Charleston church, the military shootings and the theater shootings last night.

It’s all horrible and demands our attention.

What you won’t see discussed on the morning news is that around midnight last night in Indiana traffic was slowed in a construction zone. A semi didn’t slow, hit a car from behind, then another semi. Five are dead, including a child. You won’t see an urgent discussion about the spike in truck crashes that has occurred in the past year or that these crashes have gone up in each of the last four years.

I don’t understand why one story is newsworthy and the other is not.

This is one of the problems we face while fighting for safer roads; the fact that no one is noticing the deaths of individuals, usually one by one, across the country. Five people died in Indiana this morning. They died horrific, violent deaths. Why doesn’t that make anyone in the news pay attention?

Death caused by a truck is just as random as death caused by a deranged shooter. Maybe more. Death by truck doesn’t pick out a certain race or ethnicity. It doesn’t care about gender or sexual preference. It doesn’t even care about your politics.

Death by truck can happen to anyone, anytime.

They say the President was notified of the theater shootings as he traveled overnight to Africa. You can bet no one is calling him about the 5 people that died a few hours later on an Indiana road.

I’m not taking away anything from the mass shootings, certainly this is an issue that requires our attention. But violent death is violent death, no matter what its cause. A mass shooting in a theater is no more important than a mass death by truck. It deserves the same media coverage, the same attention, the same concern.

The Senate is debating a bill today that will increase the length of double trailers on trucks. If you are not in favor of longer, heavier trucks traveling the roads, perhaps following your family’s car, call your Senator right now, and tell them you oppose all anti truck safety measures in the DRIVE bill.

They’ll know what you’re talking about, even though many of them just don’t want to hear it.

11:48 July 24: Please call your Senators and ask them to support two amendments to the DRIVE Act: The Feinstein-Wicker Amendment which will require a safety study to be done by the DOT prior to making 33 feet trailers (up from 28 feet) allowed on all state roads, and the Markey amendment which would take out the pilot program allowing 18-20 year olds drive cross country in semi trucks. Each state has two senators. You can find your Senator’s phone # here

Thank you very much for your support. It means the world to me.


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Share your world

Cee challenges people to share a bit about themselves by answering questions she poses. Here’s the latest list:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ironically as a kid I wanted to be a truck driver. Something about being on the road appealed to me. Of course I didn’t know about the rest of the job, the way they are paid, the stress, or the danger. Still the road pulls at me today and probably always will.

If you were invisible, where would you go?
Once upon a time I would have wanted to go into the executive meetings at work to figure out what was behind some of the policy. But since I’m retired I don’t have that urge anymore. I guess now I’d like to be in my Senators’ offices to see what happens day to day and how they make their decisions.

Would you rather forget everyone else’s name all the time or have have everyone forget your name all the time?
Definitely I’d rather my name was forgotten if in return I could remember other people’s names. I am so bad at names. I forget them immediately even when I’m concentrating on remembering them. I forget my neighbor’s names, people I worked with names, friends names. I’m hopeless.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I have a hard time remembering last week. But I know I’m grateful to be retired and having most of my time to myself. This week I’m grateful for beautiful weather, not too hot, not too cold, not too wet. The dog and I should be able to camp in the backyard a couple of nights and that’s always special.

Me and my girl.

Me and my girl.

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