Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


WordPress Photo Challenge: Out of this world

I suppose anything, photographed in closeup, could seem out of this world.

And as I walk the backyard here at the lake and step on the sweetgum tree seed pods I notice that many of them look like horrified alien faces.

Can you see the faces in there?

So I gather some up and set them out on the dock in order to take advantage of the late afternoon light.

Does it help if you get closer?

You can’t deny there’s someone or something out of this world hiding in there.

Would you like to see a few other out of this world images? Here, here and here are a few of my favorites so far.

What’s out of this world in your world? Share with us, we want to see!

Don’t step on these with your bare feet!



It’s a winter wonderland!

Katie here!

It’s a perfect day to play!

HEY! Mama’s been complaining about the snow and I had to point out that some shelties never even get to see snow! In fact we were just reading over at Arron and Arthur’s site, that they were playing in something called sea snow! Go see, it’s really cool, and it’s nothing like my snow here in Michigan! It jiggles!

This is one of my trees.

I’d sure like to see it, I’m a traveling kind of girl you know, always up for an adventure. I have to say it’s been kind of boring around here. I go outside and do my business and sometimes mama takes me for a walk through the neighborhood. But geeze.

Mama needs to stop taking so many pictures.

Oh wait. I did have some excitement last week, but not the kind I like. Mama took me really early Friday morning on a car ride and we ended up at my vet! MAMA!! We were just at my vet a couple weeks ago and I got a clean bill of health, so why were we there again!

And even worse? Mama left me there!

Now things get a little fuzzy in my recollection at this point. I know a nice girl picked me up and took me in the back. She had to pick me up because I refused to come out from behind mama’s legs. This made my mama tear up for some reason. I don’t know. Mama is weird like that.

Mama and Daddy planted these trees for me before I was even born!

Anyway, next thing I know I’m in a crate and all woozy and my leg is shaved and they have an IV in and I’m really really hungry and then I take another nap. After a million years they take me out of the crate and I pull on my leash looking for a way out of there and they open a door and there’s mama!

She’s trying to pick me up and hug me and I’m pulling for the front door. No time for kisses mama! We’ve got to blow this pop stand before they find out I’ve escaped!

Hey! Wait for me mama!

I have no idea what that adventure was all about, but mama says my toothies look nice and shiny. Whatever mama.

So now she owes me. BIG time. Yesterday I was still sort of sleepy and pretty quiet, but I’m BACK NOW MAMA! I spent today asking to go out and play in the snow. We’ve been out several times.

Tastes good!

I make mama throw snowballs for me to catch. And then we chase each other around the trees in the backyard. And mama is letting me sniff stuff out there as much as I want even while she’s getting super cold and wet. I make sure to spend extra time with my nose in the snow just to aggravate her. I think it’s working.

It’s still snowing here, I think we’ll get about 5 inches today. That’s a perfect amount, not to deep for me to run around in, but deep enough to get inside mama’s boots.

What’s that over there??

Yep, today was perfect. I expect tomorrow will be too; I plan on asking to go out four or five times, and I know she feels bad enough about the vet that she’ll stop what she’s doing and go out to play with me.

I just love snow!

We have an agreement, mama and me, if she takes me somewhere bad one day, she has to do fun stuff with me for about 5 or 6 days after to make up for it. It’s taken her awhile to come around, but I think she gets it now.

Mama. I think I’ll keep her.

Guess I’ll take a nap now.

Wordless Wednesday



This gallery contains 7 photos

Wordless Wednesday



Wordless Wednesday




Surprise visitors

It’s been a weather roller coaster here in lower Michigan. We’ve had record breaking cold, with temperatures well below zero (-17.77 C) and lots of blowing snow. Then this week we had one glorious warm day with temps topping 50 (10 C) followed the next day by plummeting temperatures and more snow.

Crazy, but not unusual.

During one of the cold days, in between snow showers, Katie and I ventured out for a walk up the road. I was attempting to get her to hurry up while she looked for pee-mail from all her doggy friends when I heard a chirping from a tall spruce tree nearby. It didn’t sound familiar, so I searched the tree, trying to see what was making the noise.

Much to my amazement a pair of birds shot out of the tree, chased each other over my head, and then disappeared across the street. I wasn’t even sure what I had seen, but they sure looked like bluebirds. I’d heard that sometimes bluebirds overwintered around here, but I’d never seen proof before.

Hmmmm….interesting. But maybe just a fluke. Or maybe I didn’t really see bluebirds at all.

Yesterday afternoon husband glanced out the kitchen window and exclaimed “bluebirds!!” Out on our heated birdbath were two of them, all puffed up against the cold, taking their time while sipping their beverage of choice.

By the time I got the camera there was just one, and I had a dirty window and a screen between me and a clear shot. Still. How could I resist? I only had one shutter click before he flew away, and it was very very underexposed against the brightness of the snow. The original image is just about black.


I call this my impressionistic bluebird.

Today we have sunshine, though it’s still very cold. Katie and I were looking out the back window, debating whether to go out and play in the snow when I saw a chunky bird fly toward the house. It swooped in toward the deck, but I couldn’t see where he landed because the blinds were down on that side of the room. Darn! It looked like a very fat bluebird!

I crept around the corner of the room to a door with open blinds. There were three bluebirds sitting on the heated birdbath! Again I had to shoot through the dirty glass and a screen door. And the light was a problem too.

Drink up little guys!

Still, what joy to see bluebirds on this cold winter day!

I sat and watched them drink and chatter to each other for a long time. And then they flew off — looking for lunch I suppose.

Come back anytime!

I guess I’m going to have to figure out what they eat and make sure I have some of that here for them, since obviously they plan on sticking around for awhile at our hot springs bird spa extraordinaire.

May a bluebird of happiness fly into your world this winter weekend, and may you be lucky enough to notice!

Everybody’s welcome here.



First snow!

I wish I could be as enthusiastic as Katie about the first snow of the season.

Really mama? It’s snow. I should be running, not sitting here getting my picture taken again!

I know that people in the South had much more snow than we’ve received. I guess I should be thankful that we don’t have more.

That’s better mama!

But I also know this is only the beginning of the long winter in Michigan.

Let’s do that again mama!

Katie thinks it’s about time there is snow to play in.

I think it’s time for a treat!

Of course she’s not going to shovel the driveway.

Silly girl.

This is my woods mama!


Wordless Wednesday




Fall flies

A bit of color among all that green.

It seems like fall is flying away. It’s been unseasonably warm, and by the end of summer we had had days and weeks with no rain.

A soggy marsh.

It’s still warm, even now, but this week we’ve had days filled with waves of rain. Yesterday we got over an inch, the day before was similar, and though it’s barely noon we’ve had half an inch already.

A little bit of peachy yellow shines in the wet air.

The few colored leaves we had are are sailing across the yard on gusty winds. Sometimes the rain blows sideways too and we are feeling a bit of cabin fever.

So in between rain bands Katie and I ventured out to see if I could capture just a few photos of what little color we have. She was hoping to read a few pee-mails left by neighborhood dogs.

The most color we have right now is sumac.

The maple trees, the sumac, and the wild grapes are turning color, but most of the rest of the trees are still green, or just turning brown.

Katie and I only went a block or so in each direction, but we saw what color there was. The wind was picking up again, though, so I urged her to move faster toward home.

The wind scuttles across the pond across the street.

In our own backyard, while I was concentrating on the leaves left on our burning bush I felt the first splat of new rain. “Katie!” I yelled, not looking back at her, “COME!”

Damp burning bush.

I tucked the camera under my arm and sprinted for the back door. As I got there I looked over my shoulder and she was standing out there just looking at me. She didn’t want to come back inside. “COME!” I yelled again. She stared at me.

Berries provide some color too.

She is, after all, a princess.

I ran back out, head tucked into the wind, grabbed her leash and tugged her into the house. And just as I closed the door the rain slammed into the windows. She looked at me as if to say “Gee mama, what was all the rush for anyway? We’re still relatively dry.”

Safe inside watching the rain.

Silly girl.

Hey mama! Wanna play now?

PS: This is not my Walktober. I’m planning something next week when I travel to a special place. But if you’re inclined to do a Walktober, and if it’s not pouring rain where you live, this might be the perfect time to do one! Link to Robin’s blog and she’ll compile them all at the end of the month.



Mountains and a wedding

Yesterday afternoon we attended the wedding of friends of ours – a sweet wedding in a beautiful backyard filled with friends and family. It was a good day. And the sun shining over the mountains as we left the party made us smile too.

Beautiful clouds on a beautiful day for a wedding.

Today, the weather guy said we’d have more of the same sunny weather so we drove a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, looking for those beautiful blue ridges undulating off into the distance. We started out hopeful. But the higher we got the closer we were to the low hanging clouds.

The valley filled with clouds.

Until we were swallowed up entirely.

The cloud surrounds us.

The overlooks no longer overlooked anything.

What’s out there?

We drove very very slowly, but there was nowhere to go but on. Sometimes, depending on our elevation we’d get lucky and be able to see a mountain far off in the distance.

See Table Rock Mountain way over there?

The sun worked hard to burn away the mist, and eventually we started to see things. Like this orchard down below…

Apples are in season here now.

…and the beginnings of layering mountains showing their true colors.

And that’s why I love them…

We stopped to hike along some trails to a set of waterfalls. This was definitely worth the walk, the climbing up root covered hills…

Twin waterfalls! Aren’t they cute?

and flights of stairs to get higher…

When we were looking at the twin waterfalls we were standing near the top of this bigger fall!

…and higher in order to see some of the wonders that nature has hidden way back in the mountains.

Can you see the people?

We had a great time hiking through the woods, all the way to the very top overlook.

What a great day for a hike!

By the time we got back to the car and out on the Parkway again the sun was making those mountains glow. Just about everywhere we looked was a beautiful view.

I think I should build my house right here.

It was simply amazing.

Abstract art, but real life.

It was like this around every bend in the road. And there are a lot of bends on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

And now the clouds are pretty accents instead of hazardous fog.

Even though it was a very long drive, I didn’t want it to end.

Goldenrod signifies summer’s end, and the end of our mountain adventure. For now.

Sadly we have to move on to the next thing on our agenda.

But wait!

You say you wanted to know more about the wedding? Well, here’s the happy couple, very much in love. And of course they made us all cry when they shared their personal vows with each other. Plus they had really good food at the party after!

Here’s to many happy years together!

Congratulations Jackie and John!!

The cake was yummy too!