Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Active winter

26 Comments

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.

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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.

26 thoughts on “Active winter

  1. It looks like spring down there!
    Lots more snow up here, and also lots of folks out enjoying whatever the weather brings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well we’ve now had two days of snow, nonstop, though very fine flakes. Weather people said we’d get 2 inches….It looks more like 7 or 8. But I don’t care…I just chose not to drive in it. Except for having to go to band last night. While doing that I did curse winter just a bit.

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  2. Yes we Michiganders have been having a crazy winter! It was so nice this past weekend as you said, that I got some video of Dakota playing ball that I posted on Facebook over the weekend and hope to post on his blog in the not-too-distant future. We better enjoy it because I am SURE there are blizzards on the horizon for JUNE…….hehehe DakotasDen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People were out on their motorcycles here,,,on superbowl sunday! That must be first. Crazy winter.

    I get out there no matter what the weather, but it sure is nice to have a warm sunny day in february.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have high hopes that spring is coming. It’s 58 out there now, sunny, and I am happy.

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  5. It always amazed me how the people in Minnesota embraced the winter with such enthusiasm and never seemed to notice the cold – I guess if you grow up there are use to it – it is just a normal part of life

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  6. Monday here in Leelanau dawned bright and sunny, and I couldn’t wait to get out in it. Everywhere we went, people had big smiles. Everyone was loving the sunshine. Now today we are out again but bracing for a big storm this afternoon that may bring as much as a foot of snow. It’s Michigan being Michigan, never the same two days in a row. 🙂 Love all the active people you found in the midst of so many different ways of enjoying the day, Dawn.

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    • Did you get the big storm? We got about 7 inches of snow over two days. And it’s going to get colder. Sigh. I was thinking we’d get away with no real winter.

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  7. I think it’s hard for someone who isn’t used to it, to understand how one can cope with the cold winter. I do it enjoy myself, because it brings a change every year – and not the least because I enjoy winter sports. Thanks for showing us in lovely pictures what people of Michigan do in winter weekends. 🙂

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  8. I love the picture of the bird eating out of the hand — what a great capture that was! As for winter snows, well, you haven’t had near as bad a time of it this year as we have in Central Illinois. We’ve got snow on the ground right now and more falling from the sky. Plus, it’s grey and there’s a stiff northwest wind. Not very conducive to running around in shorts!

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  9. How thrilling it must be to have a little bird eating out of your hand. Perhaps I should see if I can train the birds here to do the same. I enjoyed seeing what you folks do on a winter day. It reminded me of my other home (NE Ohio). 🙂

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    • It is thrilling. The birds out at the park are so used to it if you don’t have anything when you walk on the nature trail they buzz your head in protest.

      There used to be a thing you could order that was a flat form in the shape of a person with a hand out…you put your own clothes on it and set it out in your backyard so the birds got used to it. (You also didn’t put any feed in your regular feeder.) After a few days, YOU put the clothes on and stood out there (eventually there was the same form but in a seated shape so you could sit while you waited.) In the end you were supposed to be able to go out in any clothes, stand still with feed in your hand and the birds would come. I don’t doubt you could train your chickadees and titmice..they are brave little birds.

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  10. Being a transplant from Canada to Alabama, I was appalled at the lack of physical activity among my neighboring Southerners. Unless it’s 100’F, the weather is conducive to activity 12 months out of the year. They have no idea how long it takes to get into a snow suit! I guess they don’t know what they’re missing. Probably missing that good Scandinavian blood that makes you dream of skiing in July!

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    • It takes me forever to get dressed to take the dog out for a 15 second pee break. She is always impatient. Hat, scarf, boots, coat, gloves…then we move on out and she gets out there and doesn’t have to do anything. Today I ran errands all day in a sweat shirt though it was 15 degrees out. Didn’t want to mess with a coat.

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  11. I agree with the core belief that you let noting stop you; I grew up in Minnesota so I have been walking 5 to 10 miles each day since January 2nd.

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  12. This is a real upper. We’ve had some really sunny days, too – and some snowy blowy ones. Sigh. But today was beautiful, so we are restored for the moment. It’s good to have dogs. They make a person get up and out whether a person wants to or not.

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  13. Pingback: Creative types | Change Is Hard

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