Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Winter showed up

19 Comments

Beautiful snowy day on the Lake.

Beautiful snowy day on the Lake.


I was hoping we’d slide right past the snow and ice of a true winter…slide quietly into spring while skipping all the angst of blizzards and ice storms and shovels and extra coats and hats. And boots.

Most of you know I’m up in northern Michigan visiting a friend’s cat. It’s been relatively warm here too, but Monday night while I was sleeping about 10 inches of snow silently fell.

And I have to admit it sure is pretty.

Come on a walk with me!

Come on a walk with me!

Today, on the advice of Heather I went in search of a Clay Cliffs, a nature preserve not far from where I’m staying. The roads weren’t great and I was a little worried, but I found the parking lot and it was plowed so I pulled in. My mistake was not looking at the map in the parking lot before I was drawn down the path and into the dark pine trees covered in beautiful white snow.

Someone else had been there, perhaps yesterday, perhaps earlier today, and I followed the footsteps into the woods. More than once I said out loud into the stillness of snow covered trees “Well, snowshoes would have been good.”

Nature's patterns attracted my attention.

Nature’s patterns attracted my attention.

I can tell you walking in snow is a lot slower than walking on a dry path. And walking in snow while taking pictures is even slower. After awhile I began to wonder if the footsteps I was following were actually walking on a path. There were no trail markers. Occasionally I saw dog prints along with boots. Were the footprints merely following a dog as it explored? Or was it someone that knew these paths?

Are you sure this is the way?

Are you sure this is the way?

I didn’t know.

Eventually (ok, maybe only 1/2 a mile into the walk) I came to this sign. Should I take the field and forest loop? What if it just connected to another loop? What had that map at the beginning said?

Which way should I go?

Which way should I go?

I didn’t know.

I decided to take it for a bit and then come back to the original loop that I hoped would fit the definition of a loop and end back at the car. The field and forest loop went almost straight up a big hill.

I wasn’t cold by the time I got to the top and found a huge field stretched out in front of me. I thought I’d go to the next marker which happened to be near a bench where I might rest.

A nice place to sit...in summer.

A nice place to sit…in summer.

If it weren’t covered in snow.

Still, the path lead further across the field. I noticed all the footsteps already in the snow were now going in the opposite way and eventually this began to bother me. I didn’t know where this path led, or why all the boot tracks were coming toward me. When I got to the other side of the big field I turned around.

I walked way over there before I turned around.

I walked way over there before I turned around.

If there wasn’t so much snow to trudge through, and if the sky wasn’t so dark I think I would have kept going, but my fear was that I’d end up having to back track to find the car and I’d already walked a long way. (Not so long once I looked at the map, but it felt long!)

Pretty birch and snow.

Pretty birch and snow.

So I worked my way back down the big hill and continued on my way. Turns out the car wasn’t that far away. And when I studied the map I saw I was within about a 1/2 mile from the destination I wanted to find.

Should have looked at this map first.  I went clockwise on the green loop and then all the way across the field, then turned around,

Should have looked at this map first. I went clockwise on the green loop and then all the way across the field, before I turned around and then finished the green loop back.

So now that I know there are only two loops I think I’ll go back and make it all the way over to the lake. Even if there is still snow to slog through.

More winter texture and pattern.

More winter texture and pattern.

Because there likely will be. Once winter arrives up here it’s not going to leave any time soon.

Snow on spruce

Snow on spruce

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

19 thoughts on “Winter showed up

  1. Doesn’t it always feel like a long walk when you don’t know where you’re going? Beautiful photos. Winter has come here, too, and I’m glad.

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  2. gorgeous photos! We still have NO snow in Michigan! DakotasDen

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  3. Love the pictures of snow on the trees.

    We got ice yesterday and a little lake effect today in SW Michigan.

    When we lived in Traverse City I remember the forecast just about every day (or so it seemed) in the winter was 1-2″, or 3-5″, or 6-8″ or . . . you get the idea.

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  4. Gorgeous photos! We just got snow here in Minneapolis Christmas night (does that count as a White Christmas?) and then another four inches a couple of days ago…so far I’m loving winter, but ask me again in March!

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  5. While the snow is beAutiful to look at, I’m not so fond of walking in it – slippery makes me tense nowadays. I’m really over it now, and would not complain at all if no more white stuff fell on my part of the world this winter.

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  6. I was ready for some snow. I find the mild December weather unsettling. And this looks like a beautiful place to enjoy some winter wonderland! Good for you for hiking out so you could share these lovely pictures of your adventure!

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    • Yes…even while I was enjoying the warm weather it just wasn’t right and I worried about unforeseen consequences to nature. So it’s nice to see a little snow. And it is really beautiful up here. Still…I could be done with it now that I’ve seen it for a weekend.

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  7. What a fun adventure! I am not always brave enough to do those trails alone as I have zero sense of direction . Your pics are amazing!!

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  8. Beautiful, Dawn! I’ve only been there in summer and fall. You were very adventurous!

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  9. Pingback: Back to the walk | Change Is Hard

  10. I’m so happy to read this post! I thought I saw something on FB about this, and now I’m sure. Isn’t that meadow a nice expanse overlooking Lake Leelanau? And I just love that stand of birches. Happy Trails Dawn 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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