Posts tagged ‘northern Michigan’
The March Melt has officially begun here in northern Michigan. I’m not naive enough to believe that this is The End of Winter. I know this back-and-forth dance well. We will probably get another storm (or two), but will it last? Hmm. I’m not betting on it. There are more trails to ski and rinks to skate, but fun winter might be mostly behind us now, no?
I’m itching to get some dirt under my nails. You?
Oh man, we are in the midst of a major grey and blah winter funk. Pretty much everyone I know is either figuring out a way to get outta here or figuring out a way to eat a helluva lot of sugar, fat and caffeine before the Lenten fast begins. Oof. Speaking of funk, here’s some winter funk of a different sort for you.
Funky clouds and funky trees. And some blue skies from last weekend. Enjoy!
Real winter is finally here and not just according to the calendar. It’s alive and well in northern Michigan as our nest is tightly tucked underneath a fresh blanket of white. Finally! Let’s just hope it lasts beyond just a white Christmas. I’ve got skiing and sledding and snowman-making on my mind. You?
We started the shortest, darkest day of the year with a candlelit breakfast. Everything tastes better by candlelight, no? Although crepes always taste good to me, who am I kidding?
To take advantage of the few hours of sunlight we have today, we promptly headed outside to our winter wonderland. Snow days are so fun!
We came in to get warmed up and dried off.
And to make some more cookies this afternoon because Christmas Is Coming! Thank you, solstice. Thank you, snow day. Thank you, family. Thank you, advent. Thank you, readers!
What a strange garden we’ve had this year. Hardly any peas, beans or melon, not one single carrot, but lots of tomatoes, basil and oh my goodness, the tomatillos! And radishes as big as the human heart. I am not joking. Potatoes, yes indeed. And just the perfect amount of delicata squash to get us through the winter. We harvested the last of our bounty just the other day. It was a long, strange growing season this year, lovelies. How did your garden grow?
To kick off my favorite season, I took the girls apple-picking one day after school. Turned out to be a great activity for little hands and short attention spans because it didn’t take long to pick about a peck of apples and be on our way! Like the cherries in our area, the apples are in short supply this year because of the crazy spring (hot then cold) and are really expensive. U-pick was a great way to get them on the cheap. We took them home and within a few hours had eaten two fresh and eight more in an apple pie. Yum. Happy fall!
After a great night’s sleep, Wren woke up at 5:30 this morning. This is rare for our birdies so I almost didn’t know what to do with her so early. I pushed her in the Chariot for an early morning run and then she bopped around the house for a while after breakfast. She started whining about wanting to watch a movie, which I almost caved to, but then she started talking about wanting to go on an adventure to Sand Mountain. Again. At first I said “no, not today,” but then I thought “why not?” because we’ve got HOURS until she has to go to school. Let’s do it!
We brought some snacks and we kidnapped our good friend, Heidi, for part of the fun. It was a perfect morning. Warm sun, cool breezes, hardly a cloud in the sky. Thanks, Wren, for the great idea! And here’s to impromptu adventures, lovelies. I’m going to try and do more this fall. You?
Sometimes when I have the camera around my neck I feel like I see things in a way my Dad might, or at least I am hopeful that I will. The lines at the Northport Boatyard caught me eye and I had to grab a few shots. I know almost nothing about boating, but there is beauty in the mundane, no? Enjoy.
I overheard a couple of the boaters talking as I was grabbing a couple shots. “What is she taking pictures of, the lines?” Funny looks were exchanged. A chuckle. I felt a bit smug that I was enjoying a tiny bit of the beauty that they walk by fifty times a day. Sometimes it takes an outsider’s eye to draw our attention to what’s right in front of us.
May your day bring you beauty in the mundane day-to-day routine. Enjoy!
Don’t forget the beauty in the messes…
I just love it when I get some new work that involves a bit of everything I enjoy: spending time with my family, exploring something new in northern Michigan, photography, writing and design. Bonus: riding bikes!
I was hired recently to create a brochure for the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and I wanted to share some of our family’s first afternoon on the trail and at the Glen Haven beach. We spent some time in Glen Haven this past spring flying kites, but it’s also one of our favorite beaches. Far enough away (25+ miles) to feel like we’re on vacation for the day, but close enough to remind ourselves that this IS really home. And to be trite (because someone’s got to excel at it), there’s no place like it.
We spent most of the early afternoon at Glen Haven’s rocky beach, beating the heat in Sleeping Bear Bay and collecting rocks for Wren’s growing “cool rock” collection. When we thought we had enjoyed enough of the sun and collected enough sand in the little birdie’s swim diaper, we embarked on the second leg of our afternoon adventure. We (well, Chris) got the bikes and Chariot set up for our exploration of the new paved trail.
And off we rode! It was a beautiful late afternoon to explore the trail. First we headed north out of Glen Haven toward Glen Arbor. This section is mostly shady and forested and goes through the DH Day Campground, which we hope will be the spot for our first family camping trip later this month (eeeek!). Ahem.
It felt so great to be back on bikes. It was our first real family-of-four bike ride now that I think of it!
After we hit the northern end of the trail, we headed back south out of Glen Arbor. I enjoyed the southern piece of this leg even more. The trail meandered through forest, an open meadow-meets-dunes area and ended at the Dune Climb, aka Sand Mountain.Then we turned around and headed back to Glen Haven. The trail is about five miles, but with our traveling style it was more like a ten mile ride. Plus a bit more with me yelling, “stop there so I can get a shot,” or “turn around and come back toward me.”
My favorite part? Chris repeating, “I’m so inspired! This is so cool!” Indeed.
When completed, the trail will be 27 miles long and will go from south of Empire to the Port Oneida area of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Can’t wait? Me neither. Help support the expansion of the trail by contributing to the community-supported campaign here.
I know you think I might be cursing us by saying this, but I can’t wait to ski it this winter…
How ’bout you, northern Michigan lovelies? Have you explored the trail yet? What did you think?
We’re in the midst of the National Cherry Festival here in Traverse City and while I love my annual corn dog (check!) and ferris wheel ride (and elephant ear, ahem) just like the next fair-goer, the traffic and craze and dust and heat and cheese factor of it all gets to me after a few days. The girls and I were in need of a quick escape from it and I remembered there were some hosta gardens about twenty minutes away I’d heard about. People have been telling me about them for several years now, but I hadn’t made it a priority to go see them. And although it wasn’t on my summer list, it’s one of the best times I’ve had this summer.
Cedar Hedge Gardens (no hosta in the name at all!) is really a private home with four acres of Japanese-style gardens for wandering, chimes for listening, gongs for banging and ponds for gazing. It was just what we needed: calm, serene, beautiful. I wanted to take a really long, cool nap under the big trees with the elephantine hosta leaves to shade me. Aaaah.