Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Wordless Wednesday

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Trees and color and sky oh my!

I drove down a side road to turn around and look what I found.

People go north around here to ‘leaf peek;’ to drive and wander while enjoying the fall colors that are usually stupendous in northern Michigan each year.

Looking for color, but can’t ignore the lake!

This year the color is a bit muted, a bit late, sometimes not there at all. Everyone has a theory about why that is.

Still pretty green back in the woods.

Maybe it’s the lack of rain earlier in the year. Or the above normal temperatures.

I found these way back on a dirt road while looking for a lake. Never found the lake but that was OK.

Maybe it’s because we haven’t had a frost yet.

Even without a lot of color I just had to stop at this field.

Maybe it’s all of that and more.

These maple trees made us stop and take notice.

For me, heading up north is usually about the Lake, and last week was no exception. But we did spend one day wandering the interior of the peninsula, looking for color where we could find it.

Color hides everywhere, even underfoot.

If you look you’ll see it’s there. Sometimes brilliant…

Glowing.

..sometimes more demure.

Shades of neutral fungus.

But it’s definitely there.

I hope you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy whatever’s around you too. Take a wander and share what you find with us!

Around here it won’t be long until winter descends. We need to make the best of these warmer temperatures while we still can!

A little blushing pink tucked underneath.


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It’s October – let’s walk!

It was a windy day.


I’ve been on lots of great walks this month. Casual walks around the neighborhood, fun walks with Katie the dog, beautiful walks through the autumn woods. I could have done a Walktober post about any of them.

But this week I’ve been in a very special place that I thought was perfect for Robin’s challenge to share a walk with her readers.

So let’s take an October walk in northern Michigan along the beach of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, and as far as I’m concerned one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I arrived ‘up north’ late in the afternoon and after a bit of chit chat we headed down to the water. For me it’s all about the lake.

It was a windy day and the lake was racing toward the shore, big jade green waves and pounding foam.

Rollicking waves danced.

The water was high, leaving very little beach to walk and sometimes we had to leap back up on the dune to keep our feet dry. We’re weren’t always successful.

It’s dryer up here.

Along the way we saw remnants of the summer just past. A pretty boat resting after weeks of riding the waves…

A day of rest.

…a bench hoping to be used a few more times this season…

Come sit for a bit.

…the artwork of people who have walked the beach before me.

A mini stonhenge with evening light.

The sun was getting lower, bathing everything in a warm golden light. Nature’s artwork on the landscape was evident too.

Shadows and lines.

The grasses waving in the wind began to glow, and we knew it was time to turn back.

The grass began to glow in the evening light.

Walking toward home, into the wind, we watched the sun lower and the sky warm the tips of the waves and the water swirling on the packed sand.

Rose gold on the beach.

The light made everything glow.

Pretty in pink.

We watched the entire sunset as we walked, making it back to the house after dark. I felt so lucky, lucky to spend an afternoon walking with a friend near my lake in mid-October. Lucky to hear the lake roar, to see the leaves changing, even lucky to get my feet wet as the waves raced to shore.

See you tomorrow sun!

I hope you can imagine yourself there with us. It’s a very special place that I am pleased to share with you all. And thank you Robin for coordinating the annual Walktober. It’s a wonderful way for us to see such wonderful places.

I can’t wait to see your Walktobers soon!

Friends


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My drive home – a study in green (plus a few other colors)

Click on any photo and you’ll be able to scroll through larger versions of all the images above.

I stopped at a few places on the way home. What would have been a five hour drive turned into nine. And I got rained on. A lot. Still, it was so much fun.

I have lots of other things to show you, but they weren’t necessarily dominated by green…so they didn’t fit here. I suppose that will mean a post with random photos coming soon.

On the other hand, Katie-girl has much to say and you know how hard it is to silence a princess.


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A walk in the woods…and sunset too

Yesterday, after the fog lifted I wandered in the Leelanau State Park hiking trails that wind through cedar and beech trees, then up to the dunes that separate the woods from the shore of Lake Michigan.

Come with me for a walk in the woods!

It’s a magical place, and I was lucky – there were very few bugs! I loved how the light sifted through the newly minted leaves.

Spring green.

And though there were few bugs, there were plenty of natives scurrying around in the leaves on the forest floor…

Anything good to eat down there?

…and scolding me from behind tree trunks.

Stay away lady!!

I enjoyed the cool trail through the damp deep woods…

What’s down there?

…but after a bit the trail left the dark woods and began to climb up and around sandy and more open dunes. The trees changed too, from deep dark forest to open and airy.

Let the sunshine in!

Eventually the trail spilled out onto perfectly beautiful dunes and provided a view of the lake. What a pretty picture!

Such a pretty place.

I probably should have climbed over those dunes to the lake. You never know what you’ll find. But it was getting late in the day, so I headed on through the woods. I met a new friend sleeping in a sunny spot on the trail. He wasn’t as excited to meet me as I was to notice him, and he silently moved away.

See you later lady!

And just before the parking lot I found a sweet little patch of forget-me-nots.

As if I could.

Later in the evening I waited in anticipation for sunset. I must have run down to the beach a dozen times, hoping that this was the one great shot. Turns out it was a pink and purple, more gentle kind of sunset. Still it was pretty. I’ve put together a short slide show for your enjoyment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That way you don’t have to do all those stairs yourself.

Magical


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Foggy morning

No swimming today.


Overnight I listened to a lighthouse fog horn warning ships that the shore wasn’t visible. This morning the horn was still blowing and the lake had disappeared behind a heavy veil.

My plan for today was to explore nearby orchards; I’ve never been here when they were in bloom, and I saw several on my drive that looked promising. But in the fog?

Mysterious beach.

I thought about it while I was eating cereal, staring out into grey nothingness. Contemplating. After all, a flowering tree is beautiful in the sun, but might it be more interesting in the fog?

Certainly worth a walk.

Going for a walk.

Everything is so green up here, and the fog made it seem to drip green dew into the green air.

Green green everywhere.

At the top of a hill was an orchard in full bloom.

Standing in formation despite the weather.

I’ve tried many times to catch the patterns and symmetry of orchards. It’s hard to show the patterns, they’re so large. But every time I’m up here, whatever the season, I try.

Trunks create a pattern.

I guess I find orchards fascinating.

Rows line up.

I love the patterns and textures, especially when they’re in bloom.

So pretty.

Later this afternoon the sun came out. I went for a walk in the woods, and on my way back I drove by the orchard to see what it might look like without fog.

Hills full of orchards.

Turns out they are just as pretty in the sunlight.

Sun shines through blossoms.

I’ve got to organize the photos from my walk in the woods. Maybe you’ll see those tomorrow. But the sun is still shining here, sparkling on the water. There’s a chance we’ll get a sunset tonight.

If so you’ll probably see that first.

Sun diamonds.


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The skies they are a changing

I’m off on a little vacation; just me myself and I plus one cat. And a really big lake.

On the five hour drive north I saw a couple sights worthy of stopping, even though it was a drizzling, damp, grey, kind of nothing in particular sort of day.

New corn.

Still, there was evidence that spring was marching on regardless of the dreary weather.

A hillside full of trillium.

At the lake mist was still clinging to the hilltops above the gentle giant of a lake.

Misty morning on the lake.

I went for my first walk along the shore, glad to be near the water, not caring what the weather would bring. And then I noticed a lightening of the air; the sun was fighting the low hanging clouds.

A bit of blue to brighten the day.

But looking the other way down the beach, the clouds were piling in.

Purple clouds.

The sun and clouds tussled the rest of the day, until late in the afternoon when the sun finally broke free.

Sunshine, clouds, it’s all good.

I thought perhaps there would be a spectacular sunset, but now mist is moving from the horizon toward shore. There probably won’t be any sunset at all.

An lake freighter slides through the mist.

Which works out fine, because I don’t think I can stay awake that long anyway.

Happy to be here.


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Happy Anniversary

Point Betsie Lighthouse stands in for my folks.

Point Betsie Lighthouse stands in for my folks.


My parents’ 1952 honeymoon was spent camping in northern Michigan. One of their favorite places was near Frankfort — Point Betsie and it’s beautiful lighthouse.

And so, over the years, it has become one of my favorite places too. I visit when I’m up in that part of the country, sometimes for only a minute or two, sometimes for a longer walk.

Before kids.

Before kids.

I stopped on my way home from Northport last week. It was a pretty day with blue skies and high white clouds. The waves lapped peacefully, the sun made the red roof glow. As always I spent a few moments imaging my parents there, years before I was born, enjoying each other and the beautiful lake.

I thought about how young they were, how they had no idea they’d have four children or that they’d run a small business. They didn’t know that someday they’d move away from the lakes and the state they loved, far from their family, and that they’d settle on another pretty lake in a faraway state and enjoy it almost as much. Way back then they never dreamed they’d live in the South or that most of their children would follow them there.

But I know they hoped they would live happy, contented and fulfilled lives.

Empty nesters back at their favorite lake.

Empty nesters back at their favorite lake.

And they did.

Today is their 64th wedding anniversary. I like to think they’re enjoying each other and a beautiful view — maybe even a gorgeous lake with a lighthouse standing tall behind them.

And I like to think they are happy with the way things turned out even though their lives were shorter than any of us wished. I know they are proud of us and happiest when we are happy. So I guess the best anniversary gift we can give them is to enjoy and be content with the lives we are living today.

And to make every day count. Because you just never know.

Happy 64th anniversary Mom and Dad.

We miss you.

Always there.

Always there.