Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

How to enjoy snow


Once upon a time I lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where snow arrives early and stays late. You learn how to enjoy it or it will beat you down.

Your choice.

“You think it’s gonna snow all day?”

Of course I was younger then.

I learned how to use a U-per Scooper to clear my parking place, and how to snowshoe and cross country ski. It was all self defense, of course, but I learned to love most of it. Maybe not the U-per Scooper so much.

The back yard looks more exotic with snow.

I’ve lived in lower Michigan for 37 years now, my bones have become more brittle and I’m more careful when choosing my adventures. Lucky for me we don’t usually get snow in the amounts I remember from up north.

Even luckier for me I’m retired.

“One picture one treat, lady. I heard that was the rule around here.”

Yesterday, during our all day gentle snow I didn’t have to be anywhere. Husband cleared the driveway multiple times.

Abstract art.

My only responsibilities involved keeping the birdfeeders full. In return I got to watch dozens of beautiful birds all vying for a spot to grab a snack.

The feeder looked Victorian with it’s cap of snow.

At one point I counted 8 male cardinals in my shrubs, on the deck railing, and on the feeders at the same time. There were lots of females as well, they’re just harder to see. I couldn’t count all the blue jays, titmice, goldfinches, chickadees, starlings, nuthatches, ravens and woodpeckers.

“I guess I’ll share my favorite tree with the others. This time.”

Today looks like more of the same, in the bird world anyway. It’s stopped snowing, but it’s still wildly beautiful.

I even took a walk down the road, wearing grippers on my boots, for a little look see.

Didn’t have to go far to see I liked the yellow against the white.

Yep…beautiful down there too.

I wish you all could experience it from a lazy-boy chair inside a nice warm house with big windows and a lot of birds to entertain you.

Hey lady! There’s snow on my suet!”

Winters in Michigan. Be careful, or they’ll get the upper hand.

And then the sun showed up for a moment or two.

But if you can learn to enjoy them…well…then you win.

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.

39 thoughts on “How to enjoy snow

  1. “Winters in Michigan. Be careful, or they’ll get the upper hand.” Tee hee. That struck me as funny. Was a pun intended there? (Hand, Thumb).
    Of course, your pictures are wonderful. We do not get the variety in our little yard on this end of the state that we did on the southern end of the same state.


  2. What gorgeous photos, Dawn! I am still in the learn to love it or you will be miserable place. We just got a good foot of it so I am debating on going for a walk or shovelling the back porch and along the house (one must always have an escape route…) It would be nice if the clouds would make themselves scarce and give us some blue sky instead of this pale shade of grey (I unfortunately rarely get Blue Jays or Cardinals in MY shrubs…


    • Blue sky with all this puffy snow would be BEAUTIFUL…we got a few minutes of almost sunshine yesterday, enough to make shadows for a moment, but it’s been dull skies since. Today it’s TRYING to be sunny. Maybe the sun will win. I hope you went for a walk instead of shoveling…but I also know if you put off shoveling it probably turned to icy snow overnight making it 3x as hard to shovel, so maybe I better hope you shoveled and THEN went for a walk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am such an idiot. It was all blue skies this morning. But I got to making spaghetti sauce and chili (bought a big pack of hamburger meat and didn’t separate it) and then I assembled my new coffee table and now the blue is disappearing. I go to leave and my camera battery is at half which means it could shut off after a few pics OR last through the whole thing… sigh.
        I shovelled. And all is still clear but they are calling for more snow, ergo, blue skies disappearing. I am such a dummy.
        But I’m off and hoping for some luck!


        • I hope you had fun! I didn’t go walk today either…we had a little bit of almost sun, and then the wind picked up and the snow started again, so I, too, missed the opportunity. And I didn’t even get spaghetti sauce.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I did manage to capture a few birds and the blue was faint, to say the least. But I am glad I got out and the spaghetti sauce was rather delish!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Snow makes me so happy. It calms my soul. Great pictures, Dawn.


  4. Hi, Dawn – I totally agree. If you live in a snowy climate you need to learn to love it…or run away screaming! I did the latter! 🙂


    • Sometimes I want to run away. I think I like the OPTION to run for part of the winter, but I have been enjoying this white puffy snow we got this week. Of course we have weeks and weeks of winter still…so having somewhere more reasonable to retreat to would be a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your snow photos are so pretty, but I’d rather grumble about the heat and humidity.
    I see Katie made sure the birds knew about the photo/treat rule. She ruled her kingdom well!


    • She did indeed. I like to LOOK at snow. I’m ok snow blowing once in awhile but not every day and certainly not more than once each day. I’m not so good on heat and humidity. The first time I visited my folks in Alabama after they moved down there, it was August. I walked out their front door into the heat and couldn’t breathe. They said it was the same as living up here. Don’t go outside when it’s really cold. Don’t go outside when it’s really hot. They said that’s why God invented air conditioning.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We had snow this week too, and the birds were so frantic! Very entertaining to watch.

    It sure is beautiful, especially when it sticks to the trees.


    • It sure is. I love it when the trees are outlined. Usually it doesn’t last long, but this time we still have beautiful puffy snow. No wind, no warmer weather, though today the wind seems gusty and I’m sure it will all blow down. Sure was pretty though!


  7. I love, love, love this post. Beautiful images, Dawn. All of them. Of course the red of the male cardinal against the backdrop of snow and other colorful birds is my favorite (although that abstract is pretty cool!). I learned the same thing about winter when I lived in NE Ohio. It was easier to love the snow. Here we’ve been getting mostly chilly rain. You can’t play in that and it seems like it seeps into the bones.


  8. Lovely snowy pictures. Being a northern woman, I like winter and snow, as long as it is light and fluffy. I have no desire to head south for the winter. At least not yet. 😉


    • This snow was fluffy, but pretty heavy because the temps were in the high 20s, low 30s. Hard to shovel that’s for sure! I have a desire not to spend the ENTIRE winter up here, but I like to look out at the first pretty snow storms from my warm living room.


  9. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! And a question …. “grippers on your boots”. I know that are metal prongs that one can strap onto boots that help in snow/ice, but I’d bet they are slippery as all get-out on pavement, or climbing over wood, along a downed tree across a creek, etc. I’ve also heard that wool (100% wool) socks put on over your boots act every bit as well for gripping on ice and they don’t slip on pavement. Of course, you may have to buy size extra super large wool socks for that … or sew them up yourself. Do you know?

    “Snow on my suet” … Dawn you get out there and clean that up!! 🙂


    • Well….I have Yaktrax traction cleats, they stretch out over the bottom of your boots and do a great job gripping on snow and ice. I’ve worn them across the floor, from one door to another (tile) and they don’t feel slippery but also not comfortable. I’d think they’d be fine climbing over logs and such, I’ve worn them on pavement when the snow didn’t reach parts of the road, and they’re fine, but again, not so comfortable. I use them all the time on trails and on the road when there’s packed snow to ice. Don’t know if I’d use them on ice covered rocks near a great lake, with a risk of sliding in…but other than that I like them a lot. I’ve never heard about the wood, but I imagine it would help, yes you’d need a really big wood lock…or maybe sew a ‘bootie’ to go over your regular boot. But I’d try the Yaktrax first.


  10. Apparently, there’s over a foot of snow at my new house in NY and I’m missing it!!! I can’t wait to get up there and swap snow measurements with you.


  11. These are simply beautiful! I know I’d miss winter were I to relocate farther south, but gee, I do wish we had less of it. Or maybe it’s just the sun I miss — we haven’t seen much of that all winter long.


  12. I laugh at myself these days when I find myself thinking ‘it’s cold’, here on the moderate temp California coast. Having been a Michigan girl myself, I know what cold really means! But, having been a troll, I just have to ask…. What it a U-per Scooper? 😁🤔


    • A U-per Scooper (and I’m sure I’m not spelling it right)…is a wide, flat shovel device that slides along the ground and scoops up a bunch of snow and then you can drag it somewhere else and dump the snow. Sort of like a bulldozer for humans to push…on a smaller scale than a bulldozer of course…but that same concept. It’s easier on the back than traditional shovels. Was designed WAY before snow blowers.


  13. Perfect! I don’t love everything about winter all the time…but I see no sense in wasting energy despising it. I have a friend who gets really angry at any mention of any single positive thing about winter. “Snow is NOT pretty,” she will insist, “I can’t WAIT for spring!” To me, that amounts to being miserable for a good portion of the year…and that is something I cannot abide! Your photos are lovely!


  14. Your snowy yard is so beautiful, Dawn! The birds know that you put out the best buffet in town! Thank you for sharing!!

    We (Richmond VA) have yet to see snow. There is a possibility next week. Fingers crossed! Hopefully I will be watching the snow and birds at the feeders from my kitchen window while I work.

    I thought of you the other day, regarding your recent happy sighting of bald eagles. I spotted a bald eagle soaring over my neighborhood. I watched him until he was out of view, Anyone who does not know me, like new-ish neighbors, probably thought I was nuts for standing in my driveway, staring up at the sky while I was grinning my face off! Let ‘em think what they want!

    There is a golden eagle that has territory nearby; I see him quite often. It was a wonderful surprise to see the bald eagle. We have multiple bald eagle pairs that have territory/nesting spots on the James River (7mi away) who stay here year round. They are usually best seen by boat.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful shots of the birds enveloped in snow—of course, your red cardinal image is amazing, Dawn. We get so many dark-eyed juncos and flickers gobbling the black sunflower seeds I throw out. Glad to do my part! Have a great week!


  16. Ah snow! It make for some very pretty photos…but I am glad I am retired too!


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