Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


The next day

When I left you last, we had just spent the late afternoon exploring Trillium Hill and some of the backroads around Leelanau County. The next morning I lounged around in bed for a bit, enjoying the view from my window. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.

Pretty in pink.

After we spent some time tickling orange tummies, we headed back out to see what we would find.

No reason to rush out of the house.

Since we had seen Trillium Hill with the sun going down behind it, we wondered what it would look like with the morning light on it’s face. We were not disappointed.

Happy flowers with the morning sun warming them.

At first I thought I’d just take a general shot from the road. After all, I had all those images from the day before. And who, really, needs more than a few dozen pictures of white flowers?

The cowslips (or marsh marigolds) liked the morning light too.

Well. I just couldn’t resist, because the light was different in the morning, and everything looked fresh and happy.

It was hard to stop taking pictures.

We probably stayed way too long there, but after all, we’re both retired. What better way to spend a morning than among acres of flowers?

Another little pretty, hiding among all that white.

Eventually we left the magic hillside to see what else was out there. Turns out there was a lot. But first we stopped at a winery to pick up a few bottles and enjoy the view.

I loved the layers, from the dandelions to the grape vines to the two colors of orchards and the tall trees behind.

Then we wandered, on conservatory trails, through woods just waking up to spring.

How could you resist following this trail?

Spring was enjoying a resurgence, but sometimes you had to look carefully.

Such wonderful colors and texture.

We spent a lot of time in the woods. But we also drove on a lot of roads, looking for pretty stuff. It wasn’t hard to find things to stop for.

Roads meander through such beauty that I can’t believe people don’t drive off the road just looking at everything.

But mostly we kept our eyes open while we traipsed through the woods. We saw bleeding heart…

…and more Jack in the pulpit…

…and lots of regular stuff just bursting open in joy.

Spring has sprung.

It was my last full day in the north, in the morning I’d be heading home, sad to be leaving but so very glad I’d been able to see spring in my favorite part of the state.

Usually my visit here is all about the lake. Or the stars. But this time it was more about the land. And what glorious land it is! I saw lots of good stuff on my drive home too, but it’s hard to top cherry blossoms and trillium.

They sure made me smile.

Sweetness in the light.


Patterns abound

If you're on FB you've already seen this one; cherry trees, Lake Michigan & sand dunes

If you’re on FB you’ve already seen this one; cherry trees, Lake Michigan & sand dunes

Quick! What’s the first thing you think about when I say northern Michigan? Does it include snow? Woods? Lakes? Well, you’d be right, but the western edge of the northern lower peninsula is also a beautiful patchwork of farms, orchards and vineyards.

Leftover apples

Leftover apples

Every time I’m up here I’m fascinated by the intricate designs and patterns of the orchards and vineyards that dot the hillsides. I’ve always been attracted to repeating patterns, especially in nature. But the orchards in particular have been difficult to capture.

Cherry trees under heavy sky

Cherry trees under heavy sky

When you’re on the same plane as the orchard, and perhaps too close, it’s hard to show the symmetry of the tree trunks, the shadows interlocking, the sheer beauty of the trees marching in step. Trust me I’ve tried.

Cherry trees glow in a bit of sun

Cherry trees glow in a bit of sun

It’s the same with the row upon row of grape vines. The scale is often so huge that I just couldn’t get the image that truly represented what I saw. But failure has never kept me from trying again.

Hillside of hope for next year's vintage

Hillside of hope for next year’s vintage

Today I’m sitting in the warm living room, listening as waves of Lake Michigan pound the shore, watching clouds scuttle in from the west and white caps racing across the lake. Noting the temperatures dropping; there is a prediction of snow. A perfect day, it seems, to sort through the past two days of photos.

Grapes and cherries share a hillside

Grapes and cherries share a hillside

While wading through a number of failures I see there are quite a few orchard and vineyard photos that are worth showing you. So that you can see ‘up north’ isn’t all about snow and woods.

Cherry orchard tucked behind a corn field

Cherry orchard tucked behind a corn field

I drove around aimlessly on Friday, even got lost a few times. But it’s hard to get truly lost on a peninsula. If you go far enough you’re eventually going to run into a large body of water or a small village and you’ll be able to get your bearings. I also had a map.

Young trees next to old

Young trees next to old and a spot of sun

On Saturday I had a specific destination in mind, but saw more along the way, not related to my quest, then I did when I finally arrived. I think I will have to go back and try again.

Brand new orchard in the making

Brand new orchard in the making

Meanwhile, this morning I culled a few photos (OK a lot of photos) to share with you. I hope you enjoyed the tour of Leelanau County’s beautiful fruit producing farms! I feel a lot better about my collection of orchard photos now. But that won’t keep me from looking for the next perfect shot.

Turkeys in the orchard!

Turkeys in the orchard!