Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Chasing windy weather


Last week the weather people started talking about a wind advisory for Saturday. Lots and lots of strong wind, they said and I wondered if there would be big waves over on Michigan’s west coast.

Heading out to surf Lake Michigan’s waves.

I wondered if it would be worth driving over there to see. It’s a long drive, between 3 and 4 hours, depending on where I go. Still…it was going to be warm, unlike other drives I’ve made to see storms roll in.

St. Joseph lighthouse, taken from a safe place with a long lens.

So about 10 a.m. I made a snap decision, grabbed my camera and jumped in the car. Even on the way I wasn’t sure exactly where I’d go…but construction on the roads made the decision for me.

People NOT in a safe place on the other breakwater.

I ended up at St. Joseph Michigan, where I’d never visited before. I knew there was a lighthouse out on the end of a cement breakwater, and I was hoping to see big waves crashing over it.

A beautiful place with dunes and a big sandy beach.

But what I found was very different.

The wind was coming from the southwest, and just south of the lighthouse pier was another breakwater, which did what it was supposed to do, and broke up the waves before they reached the lighthouse. So…in reality it was sort of boring, even though the wind was blowing very hard and just as I left the rain began to whip sideways.

And then it started to rain.

I figured the trip was something of a bust…and was going to head back home when I decided to just stop by Grand Haven on the way (even though it isn’t exactly on the way home. At all.) for a sort of drive-by look to see what the waves were doing there.

Of course there was a barn waiting to be noticed along my way.

Well. Even though I’ve been to Grand Haven before, seen waves crashing there before, I was thrilled to see it again. The red lighthouse against a changing sky is always photogenic.

My first glimpse on Saturday of the iconic lighthouse under dark skies.

When you add white capped green waves, well, it’s just stunning.

Lake Michigan’s green, almost tropically colored water froths around the brilliant red building.

I don’t know how many images I took…but it was a lot. Sometimes I was just holding the shutter down while trying to stay upright in the gusting wind.

Wind gusts changed the image, always something photogenic.

I actually turned around to go back to the car a couple times then turned back because it was so mesmerizing.

I was not alone out there on the beach!

I tried to find different angles, moving up and down the beach…running away from the water whenever a rogue wave slid up the sand overcoming where I’d just been standing.

Standing safe behind the rocks at the base of the breakwater.

The sun actually peeked out for a brief moment just as I was leaving, so of course I stayed. But the wind was getting stronger and I had plenty of images.

A bit of sunshine makes the lighthouse glow.

Luckily I was inside the car when a huge burst of wind began throwing sand around and people began running for their vehicles.

The dark clouds moved off to the east.

I smiled all the way home, even though I arrived long after dark.

Was it worth the drive?

Nice place to walk the dog.

Oh yea.

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.

35 thoughts on “Chasing windy weather

  1. The power of nature–you captured it beautifully, Dawn. Wow!! Those waves were really breaking.
    ‘Standing safe behind the rocks’…whew! That is some kind of wonderful photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy cats, look at those waves! Could be on the coast of Maine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, Dawn! These are absolutely stunning! I don’t blame you for sticking around for “just one more”. I would say it was definitely worth the drive! That little red house in the waves… wowzers.


  4. An impromptu detour can really be worthwhile! It certainly was for you and your camera, Dawn. That first closest shot of the red lighthouse, “Lake Michigan’s green,” is my favorite, but I can SEE the excitement in others, too.


  5. OMG that is SO gorgeous! Takes my breath away and I’m not even there!


  6. Wow! Wow! Wow Dawn! The photos of the waves and the red building are spectacular! What wonderful contrast. It is easy to see why it was hard to leave! Thank you for sharing.


  7. Wow!!! Those are huge waves. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a red lighthouse (and I’ve seen a lot of light houses). Beautiful!

    Definitely worth the drive.


  8. These are gorgeous! You’re a brave woman for getting out there in that wind. We had vicious winds over the weekend, too, and they basically stripped the leaves right off the trees. Now we watch them blow from yard to yard, wondering where they’ll finally end up. Love that barn and lighthouse!


  9. Stormy Skies always makes for a good picture great job on the pictures Dawn.


  10. Your lighthouse pics were certainly worth the effort, Dawn! Wow! My hubby always thinks he might windsurf on a lake here in Eastern WA, when we get big winds, but the water is 40 degrees. So…no LOL!


  11. Wow! Holy cow! Ok, once I catch my breath, I’ll pick my favorite photos. Ahhh, me. Ok, #5 and #9 … and #7. So glad you went.


    • LOL I’m glad I went too! I always regret it when I consider the trip over there and then don’t go. I have regretted multiple times in the past months not going over when the northern lights might be out. I’m hoping to see those again this winter.


  12. Every one of these photos are beautiful – inspiring! Thank you for sharing.


  13. Hi Dawn…

    These are great shots. You’re quite the photographer, lady! I LOVED your work on the lunar eclipse, too. And it’s always so poignant, but nice, to see your pics of Princess Katie.


  14. The waves! Beautiful photos that make me long to be near a shore. Even if it did look a bit cold out there.


    • It really wasn’t cold at all. Which was a nice change. This November has been super warm around here. It was in the low 70s that day I think. Maybe 60s. Most of the time when there’s wind like that in November it’s in the 30s and miserable!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow you got some great shots!


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