Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Escape to the lake side


Here it is Saturday already, and I’ve inadvertently left you hanging on my last two posts. Wednesday many of you wanted to know, “What IS that?”


and in the post before that you wondered where I went on my little mini adventure.

From a crispy but beautiful morning.

Both posts were related to the same adventure I was inspired to take last weekend, on our one completely sunny day so far this year. After so much rain, snow and dark skies I eagerly set out early Saturday morning anticipating bright blue skies and endless sun, looking for something magnificent to photograph.

But, as those of you who have been reading know, I got tangled up in beautiful frost before I made it more than a couple miles away from the house. Not a bad thing, you understand, but it certainly slowed me down.

So nice to see sunlight!

My first stop was Katie’s park right in my own town, where the tall grasses were shining. The Wordless Wednesday post was in the parking lot there, a car had driven over the unplowed lot, probably the day before, and then deer had crossed that track. In the early morning light what was concave appeared to be convex and I couldn’t resist capturing the image.

As to where I went next? Well, I had no destination in mind, and even though the sky was bright blue and there was still a little snow on the ground, as I drove nothing in particular caught my eye. So I kept going.

Surely I can find pretty stuff on a day like this!

Eventually I found myself half way to my favorite lake, so I went for it and headed for Warren Dunes State Park, someplace I’ve always wanted to visit.

I’ve always liked images of sand and snow. Blue sky doesn’t hurt either.

It’s down near the Michigan/Indiana border, quite near Chicago. I didn’t know what to expect, but the first sight of the giant dune sure made me smile.

It’s a long way to the top.

I watched families as they trudged up the dune or ran back down. Everyone was having a lot of fun on a chilly but sunny Saturday afternoon.

A long line of trees led to the water.

Of course I couldn’t be at Lake Michigan and not walk on the beach, even though the sun was beginning to descend and the shadows were growing longer.

Pretty patterns.

So I headed down the beach, just for a bit, so that I could say hello to my lake. There weren’t many people out there, the wind was picking up and my fingers were chilled. But I know there’s always something pretty to photograph when you’re walking on a Great Lakes beach.

A chilly afternoon on a beautiful beach.

And of course there was.

Ripples in the sand, driftwood, and the brilliant sky.

Soon enough, though, I knew I should head for home. I hadn’t seen the St. Joseph lighthouse, something I really hoped I would have time for, but it was 30 minutes further south, the wrong direction. I checked to see what lighthouses might be north of me and found one near Saugatuck, not so far away. I put it in my phone and headed out.

Not real, but still pretty.

Turns out it was a replica of a lighthouse, tiny, being used for educational purposes. But it was still photogenic. As was the giant tug boat moored next to it.

All prettied up in festive holiday colors.

It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but what the heck, it was still an adventure, so after a couple shots I headed toward where I thought the freeway to home should be.

I was wrong, and ended up lost in Holland, which turns out to have several murals painted on the sides of it’s downtown businesses. I only stopped for one, because it had a parking lot where I could park and get my bearings, study the map, and set a true course for home.

One mural in Holland, there were more.

Early that morning I set out to find some barns, always a goal of mine on any adventure. I didn’t find any on the way over to the lake, not because they weren’t there, I suppose, but because my heart needed something more.

The last light of day made the barns glow.

Satisfied by a visit to my lake, I found several, all red, on my trip back home.

Worth stopping for.

Since last Saturday we haven’t had another day that was all sunny. No bright blue sky, no warming rays.

Just waiting for me to find it.

But I know we will again someday. And I hope, when the sun shines, I’ll be off on another adventure.

There’s always my lake.

You just never know where or when.

Every sunset promises a new tomorrow.

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.

44 thoughts on “Escape to the lake side

  1. Somehow I’ve missed that you’re so close to Lake Michigan. The photos are great. I especially like that first abstraction, and the driftwood. Of course, I admire any photographer who gets out in cold or snowy weather. Even allowing for warmer clothing, it still makes me shiver. I’ve been here on the Texas coast too long!


  2. What a perfect day! Beautiful snowy features, frost-coated grasses, YOUR LAKE!, red barns, all blessed with blue skies and sunshine. But Dawn, maps? Or were you referring to maps on your phone? Map apps are my friends, often my saviors because I have no sense of direction.


  3. Red barns. I love red barns. That’s plenty of driving to get good shots.


    • It WAS a lot of driving, and the reason I’m not over on the lakeshore more often. Lots of pretty in between too, that gets me distracted and sometimes I don’t get all the way over there.


  4. Hi, Dawn,

    Even though your trip did not go exactly as planned, I’m glad that you had an enjoyable day exploring. Your visit and photos of the Warren Dunes brought back memories. Growing up in Chicagoland, I had been to the sand dunes a few times as a child. It was great fun to run down the dunes! Trudging through the sand uphill was not as fun…but once we reached the top, down again we raced! Thank you for sharing your trip and photos…and most of all for triggering my sweet memories. 😊


    • We used to go to the dunes at Muskegon State Park as a kid, similar memories, trudging up the sand, one step up, half a slide back, then we used to run or summersault back down. Up and down all day. We were probably 10, 8,7 and 5 years old. By the time we went to sleep in the green canvas tent we had sand everywhere, in our hair, in our ears, in our socks, in our sleeping bags…my poor mother!


  5. Dawn, thanks for clarifying — I’d hoped you would. Every time I drove Domer to or from South Bend, I wanted to stop and see the dunes. He’s been out of school several years now, and I’ve yet to do that. One day…. I love your barn photos! And I’m right there with you on the sun. I think we’ve had one sunny, clear day all month. Sigh.


  6. Looks like a great little outing. I have visited the Great bear Dunes much farther north at the other end of MI’s coast with Lake MI, and they are a lot of fun. I’m sure these were too, even in the winter cold. The photos all look great. Hope your weekend is going well and that you have a wonderful week ahead!


    • Yes, those are beautiful, and I think taller, dunes up there. I’d neve been to these and I’ve always wondered, so I’m glad I went. I might even go back when it’s not so cold!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is possible that we stopped there once when I was a little kid. Something seems so familiar, but I’m not sure – we often drove between Cleveland and Chicago (well, we lived west of Cleveland, and relatives were slightly south of Chicago, but…) It is possible. Anyway, hope you have a great week!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great day and a great adventure! I visited Warren Dunes many many years ago, when we lived in the Chicago area. It would be so nice to visit any of the Great Lakes again. 🙂

    Your barn captures are so beautiful, especially with the snow.


  8. All right. This gets a Wowsah! You live in such a beautiful area and one that I know almost nothing about. What a treat to go on an outing with you. My favorite? Hard to choose, but those dunes are at the top of the list.


  9. Most excellent adventures!! I love all your photos, the dunes and the great lakes are just gorgeous. My favorite though are the red barns! Thanks for the smiles and the trek to all your parks! ❤️😀


  10. Lake Michigan! Those pictures really made me smile! The red barns were good, too — but oh, the LAKE!


  11. A great series of images Dawn! It looks like you had a nice adventure. I need to go searching for barns, they have always been a topic I wanted to explore.


    • I would LOVE to see you find barn images! It’s such a fun thing to do…you never know what you’ll find as you randomly drive around farm country. And I bet there are some beautiful ones out there!


  12. Perfect adventure! Thanks for taking me along.


  13. Well done! And I love old barns…I always feel like if I could just go and sit quietly in them they would tell such stories!


    • When I was a kid I spent a week or two each summer at my grandmother’s farm. They had 2 or 3 big barns and one had a hayloft that we weren’t allowed to climb up into. But of course we did. I sat up there a lot. You are right, barns have their own stories to tell.


  14. Sand and snow under blue skies, what an interesting mix, Dawn! Your pics are perfect for my color challenge today, glacier blue!


  15. I think you are always sauntering as you head out on your trips. Never sure what will happen next! Enjoyed looking at your pictures and imagining your adventure down to the lake. And once again admiring the barns…


  16. We love the pawtographs. Neither of us have experienced snow. We are enjoying cooler weather in the Keys though.

    Dog Speed,

    Gemini & Normandy


  17. Too bad you couldn’t find anything pretty to photograph. 😉
    Another lovely collection, and thanks for taking us along, and I really need to be inspired to find places where I can go where there won’t be many people but that have things to photograph and don’t require much walking. Difficult, around here. I was planning on an early hike today (8 am) until I realized how crowded the stores & parking lots were, AND WE’RE STILL UNDER THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF STAY-HOME ORDERS! Because our covid wards are all pretty full. And yesterday, today, and maybe tomorrow are all supposed to be record-high temps for this date (72 or so) and sunny, and I could just see me and my thousand closest neighbors out there– so I’ve put that off. Good thing I have your photos to look at!


    • I know, right? Such a bummer that everything was so boring. 🙂 Hmmmm…places to go to do photography where no one else is around. I imagine that IS hard. I’d want to go to Muir Woods, or the beach near the Golden Gate on a foggy morning…somewhere like that, when the weather isn’t great. Fewer people. Meanwhile…how much more time before you can retire?


  18. The barn glowing in the last light is magnificent.


  19. Love the driftwood pic its huge. I have yet go out and about on a photography hunt. Everything I have taken pics of has been here. I need some warm weather then I will go out. Have fun Dawn.


  20. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 1/11 – 1/17/2021 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  21. You visit beautiful places and then you snap beautiful photos. This is just the kind of pleasant positive post I needed to see this morning. Thanks.


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