Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Now she’s done it.

Katie here.

Well, mama’s gone and done it this time. She’s getting forgetful and she spends a lot of time looking for stuff. Like her keys and her glasses and her book. But now I think she’s slipped over the edge into something more ominous.

Aren’t these reed things cool?

This time she’s misplaced daddy.

I’ve looked and looked and I can’t find him anywhere! I’m worried that I’ll never see him again! Other times, when mama and I are off on adventures I know that daddy is home safe and sound. Eventually we go back and there he is and I get all wiggle-butt and happy and stuff.

Which is prettier mama? The asters or me?

But now we’re already at home and I can’t find my daddy.

Mama says it’s OK, she talks to him all the time and he’s just down south helping my uncle work on a project. But that doesn’t make any sense to me. Usually if my people are down south we’re all down there together. And here mama and I are up in Michigan. So I don’t know if I believe her.

Sometimes when I come in from a walk in the park I run in the house and down the hall just to say hi to my daddy and when he’s not there I get all disappointed. Mama tries to distract me with talk about supper and stuff, but I know the truth.

Hey mama! I’m sticking to you like glue!

My daddy is lost.

So I’m putting out the word. If you find him, please send him home to me and mama, OK? Meanwhile I’m sucking up to mama. I’ve lost one parent, I’m not letting the other one out of my sight! And she’s sucking up to me too. The images in this blog post are from a lovely walk we had in one of my parks yesterday.

Today I’m campaigning for another walk at a different park. I have to keep track of so much, my parks and my parents! It’s exhausting for a little sheltie-girl.

I think I’ll go take a nap. Got to be rested up when daddy comes home!

ZZZZZZZZZ….


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A Photo a Week Challenge: Delicate

While Katie and I were up north we happened across a wildflower garden that had attracted a lot of monarch butterflies.

You may or may not know that the monarchs are endangered and oh so delicate. It was good to see many of them enjoying the garden on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I felt privileged to have been there while they were lunching.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Place in the World

The photo challenge this week is all about place – where do we go when we need comfort or to feel creatively challenged?

Many of you can probably guess where my place is, whenever I can get there I love to be on the shores of my Lake Michigan.

But sometimes it’s not possible to travel the four hours to get to my lake. Lucky for me I have a park not so far away that provides similar inspiration and comfort. You’ve seen me visit Kensington Metro Park frequently too.

Isn’t it amazing that a person can feel a special connection to more than one place in the world? I feel very lucky.

What’s your special place? Where do you feel most at home? Is it a nature filled place or a city close to family or somewhere in between? I look forward to seeing your place!


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WordPress photo challenge: Sunset

When I saw this week’s prompt I knew immediately the sunset I wanted to show you.

Fire to the south of me.

I was in northern Michigan in December of 2015 when one evening the sky just exploded. To the south it was burning in orange and reds, and to the north the sky was sighing in shades of pink and purple.

Cotton candy to the north of me.

The air was pinkish gold. I couldn’t shoot fast enough, and I never felt the cold.

The waves were tipped in light.

Though I usually limit myself to one photo for a photo challenge, this time I just couldn’t decide. So since the sunset itself was divided between fire and sweet I decided to go with full disclosure.

The islands out at the horizon were crowned by gold and purple.

Picture me turning from south to north and back again, trying not to miss any detail.

It just kept getting better.

It was amazing and I’m so glad to be able to relive it through these shots.

What a place to sit and enjoy the show!

And, as always, I’m glad to share them with you.

A firestorm in the sky.


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Birds!

It’s been cold up here and I’ve been hibernating in the house. The day before yesterday we finally got to double digit temperatures (Fahrenheit and above zero!). Sitting on the sofa, camera by my side I was watching the lake when this big guy stopped by to look for lunch.

I got to see him run up and down the tree, then fly past my window. He was really cool in flight, maybe someday I’ll catch that too.

And yesterday on a walk down the street I got only two driveways away when I heard a soft chirping. I looked up and saw this:

A whole flock of something. Can you guess? Does this help?

Yes you are correct! A huge flock of cedar wax wings! Those in the tree were resting after a big lunch. Lunch was a buffet on a tree full of red berries.

I cropped the heck out of that shot, and I liked the artsy form it took on when I tried to get the bird’s colors to show.

I think I saw a bald eagle when I was out too, but it was way too far away for me to be sure. I’ll be here another day, and I’ve seen them fly down the shore before, so you never know.

Stay tuned.


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Chilly Tourist

Thursday the snow slowed a bit and someone plowed the driveway. I took the opportunity to go to town with groceries and visiting in mind.

But before I got to town I had to stop and grab this barn with the dark clouds.

There’s a storm brewing over there.

And this orchard with the rope of clouds above it.

Striking clouds that morning.

Once in town I stopped by Dog Ears Bookstore to visit with owner Sarah and her person Pamela.

Queen of all she surveys.

We chatted for awhile and then I got brave and drove eleven miles over curving hilly snow covered roads to Leland where I spent a few bone chilling minutes wandering historic Fishtown

Cold and lonely.

I don’t know what the temperature was, but with the wind blowing I know it was below zero.

Snowy fish.

I’d see something interesting, take off the gloves, shoot the image, and put those gloves back on while stowing the camera under my coat as fast as I could.

Icy cold.

I didn’t stay very long. This town is definitely a tourist destination, though there were plenty of locals out and about. They didn’t seem that cold.

Crazy cold.

Along the way home I saw a few interesting things that made me pull over and attempt a capture.

The snow is starting back up again.

I was only out there a couple of hours, but by the time I got back to the house I was glad to look at the view from the sofa.

There’s a lot of color out there.

And I was grateful for the little lap warmer named Lydia too.

Pet me!


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Every day is different

Sometime in the middle of the night I woke to the absence of sound. I smiled as I realized that the wind had died down and the lake had stopped it’s incessant pounding. The quiet lulled me back to sleep.

This morning the bands of lake effect snow drift across the lake toward the house. I watch them like I used to watch rain on the lake where I grew up. The snow dances like fog out along the horizon and then moves closer until my entire view is obscured. And then, just as quickly it is gone.

More snow on the way.

Yesterday ice began to push against the shore. Today there is an even wider band of ice on the beach, and large pies of ice floating free in the slow rocking waves further out.

Cold.

And, today, in between bands of snow I spotted my first freighter headed north.

See that ship out there?

For a brief moment the snow abated and the colors of the lake, though muted, began to glow.

Catch the light when you can.

And then the snow closed in again, the vignette disappeared, and I headed back up to the house.

Another day of beautiful blues.


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Day two on the shore of my favorite Lake

This morning, the day after Christmas, started out just like yesterday ended; blowing snow and roaring wind and waves. I was somewhat discouraged to face another full day inside. Still….the lake was beautiful, though often obscured by bands of incoming snow.

Not a good morning to lounge on the deck.

I began a new book. Checked social media. Checked the fridge. Filled the cat bowl with fresh food and water. Took a nap. Watched some cooking shows on PBS, and then learned how to paint a happy little tree with Bob Ross. By early afternoon the wind had died down a tiny bit and I pulled on the coat, hat, boots, gloves and grabbed the camera to go down to the lake and see what was what.

Each little weed is covered in ice and pressed snow.

For all the blowing and noise of the night there really was very little snow left on the dune. But each little stem of the dune grasses was coated in a hard covering of ice and snow.

And the rope, which would be used to help me climb back up the dune looked permanently frozen, but beautiful.

Not so helpful now.

The wind really hadn’t died down very much after all, I was just out in between snow bands. It was frigid, (only 7 degrees F, -13 C) so cold I couldn’t really see through my view finder, especially squatted down low to see those little ice clad weeds. The horizons on those shots were almost 45 degrees! Good thing I found the straightening tool in Lightroom!

I only lasted outside for a total of 7 minutes. And I didn’t risk climbing down the dune to the water. But I got outside and I feel much better for having tried. I might even attempt a drive to town. But probably not, as that would entail removing ice from the car windshield. Tomorrow might be a better day for that adventure.

So, until I get out to find something new to capture, stay warm everybody!

Cold.