Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Starry night 2


After our first night under the stars I went back to the hotel, arriving around 5:30 a.m. ready to get some sleep. Unfortunately most of the hotel housekeeping staff, whose laundry room was across the hall from me, were arriving as well. And don’t even talk about the family with three kids who were in the room next door.


I gave up on napping and drove around a little bit looking for barns. And as the afternoon wound down I went out to the lake to see what kind of sunset was going to happen.

And to people watch.

Both were fun, but I was really waiting impatiently for the skies to darken again.

My friend and I were meeting at Esch Beach at midnight where we hoped to shoot the Milky Way amongst a stand of tall, dead trees. It seemed promising.

It turns out that on a warm Friday night the beach is a busy place. Lots of people sitting next to lots of fires which lit up the trees with a bold, red glow. OK then. We’ll just consider that our light painting and work with it.

While we were shooting the trees we listened to the group of people sitting right behind us discuss what we were doing. “Are they taking pictures of the Milky Way?” “IS that the Milky Way up there or just a bunch of clouds?” “Do you think I can get it with my phone?” “Look how cool that looks on the back of their cameras!”

When we moved off, closer to the beach, to see if there were northern lights (my friend was getting alerts for the lights on her phone) over the lake they were all standing up pointing their phones to the sky.

Made me smile.

And guess what? Though we couldn’t see anything but darkness out over the water, the cameras told us otherwise. It was my first time ‘seeing’ the northern lights. I was pretty excited.

Then more carloads of people began to arrive, so we decided to drive back to Point Betsie and try to get some more Milky Way images. The night was young. The air was warm. The lake calm. No time to waste!

No one was out on the beach at Point Betsie, and I shot my favorite house in the dunes again.

Then we walked up closer to the lighthouse, for a different angle.

It was pure magic and I loved being there in the warm darkness. I took a few images and then just sat down on a piece of cement in front of the lighthouse and watched the sky and listened to the gentle waves.

We didn’t mean to stay out all night again…it just happened. And when we finally left it was hard for me to say goodbye to my lake.

Lake Michigan is special no matter the season or circumstance. The lake under the stars?


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.

29 thoughts on “Starry night 2

  1. Wow! Spectacular photos 🤩


  2. You must get incredible grades in your night photography class! What an artist you are, Dawn!


    • LOL. I don’t think there are grades….but you do get to post images on a private FB page, filled with lots of other students at different levels of experience so they can give you pointers. That can be intimidating. Or fun, depending! 🙂


  3. Dawn–these are fantastic. What a sky!


  4. My goodness, Dawn. These are so beautiful I am in awe of what you captured.


  5. Hmm, is that the Milky Way? I wondered… lol. Great photos! I have seen the northern lights several times – once from the cockpit of an airplane at 39,000 feet, but never photographed them.


  6. oh my heart! oh my.


  7. WOW! Just wow!! Dawn, thank you so much for sharing your magical adventures! You make me want to move to Lake Michigan, er’ near Lake Michigan!! I can’t decide which photo is my favorite, maybe the lighthouse with that gorgeous milky way above! 😲 Or the Northern lights, WOW!!! Thank you! ❤️


  8. Dawn – those photos are amazing! I have not been looking up at night lately I have been up late on the baseball trip – it ends tomorrow and I’ll return home then take off for the lake house in Michigan. Your photos inspire me to learn how to use my DSLR for starry night photos.Take care stay well. Peace.


    • You’ll be able to see the sky from your lake house. But we’re now going into a period where the moon will interfere and there’s less time of dark. You’ll still have some time for the next week, and then the middle weeks of July the moon will be a real problem….but also beautiful in it’s own right. The end of July will be better Milky Way viewing.


  9. Thank you for sharing your beautiful night. You are so right – priceless! I wouldn’t mind living on that lake, except for – winter.


  10. Awesome photos! I’ve never seen the northern lights either, so I’m glad you got that one. And that lighthouse under the stars is amazing. I can practically hear the healing in your words, Dawn — yes, you’ll have difficult days still ahead, but I like to hope you’ve turned a corner on the really painful loss. Perhaps Katie was there in spirit with you??


    • Yes, had a difficult morning today. Facebook memories. Sigh. BUT there’s always other things to keep me distracted. For example, apparently last night there were amazing northern lights…so there’s lots of those images to drool over on FB.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful! How awesome that you caught the northern lights as well. What a special night.

    I love that you inspired some other people too. I wonder how their iphone photos turned out. Maybe one of them will catch the nighttime photography bug from you!


    • I think phones are so good these days they may have gotten some amazing shots! We had such a fun couple of nights. Wouldn’t have really mattered if I didn’t get anything, but I’m glad I did. Wish we lived closer to the lake!


  12. Amazing! What a wonderful experience, and you captured such great skies. Thanks for sharing


  13. Wow!! Just… Wow!!! Really amazing.


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