Quick! What’s the first thing you think about when I say northern Michigan? Does it include snow? Woods? Lakes? Well, you’d be right, but the western edge of the northern lower peninsula is also a beautiful patchwork of farms, orchards and vineyards.
Every time I’m up here I’m fascinated by the intricate designs and patterns of the orchards and vineyards that dot the hillsides. I’ve always been attracted to repeating patterns, especially in nature. But the orchards in particular have been difficult to capture.
When you’re on the same plane as the orchard, and perhaps too close, it’s hard to show the symmetry of the tree trunks, the shadows interlocking, the sheer beauty of the trees marching in step. Trust me I’ve tried.
It’s the same with the row upon row of grape vines. The scale is often so huge that I just couldn’t get the image that truly represented what I saw. But failure has never kept me from trying again.
Today I’m sitting in the warm living room, listening as waves of Lake Michigan pound the shore, watching clouds scuttle in from the west and white caps racing across the lake. Noting the temperatures dropping; there is a prediction of snow. A perfect day, it seems, to sort through the past two days of photos.
While wading through a number of failures I see there are quite a few orchard and vineyard photos that are worth showing you. So that you can see ‘up north’ isn’t all about snow and woods.
I drove around aimlessly on Friday, even got lost a few times. But it’s hard to get truly lost on a peninsula. If you go far enough you’re eventually going to run into a large body of water or a small village and you’ll be able to get your bearings. I also had a map.
On Saturday I had a specific destination in mind, but saw more along the way, not related to my quest, then I did when I finally arrived. I think I will have to go back and try again.
Meanwhile, this morning I culled a few photos (OK a lot of photos) to share with you. I hope you enjoyed the tour of Leelanau County’s beautiful fruit producing farms! I feel a lot better about my collection of orchard photos now. But that won’t keep me from looking for the next perfect shot.