Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


14 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – Katie style

This is a new park, Davis Lake Overlook, and it’s really pretty!


Katie here. Mama says it’s Wednesday so I should be wordless, and you know what I did? I laughed at her! Sometimes mama is a bit dense, you know? Cause I have never met a wordless sheltie. Nope, we all have a lot to say and we exercise our freedom of speech regularly.

Even on Wednesdays.

Come on everybody! Follow me!

It has been raining a lot. All weekend I was stuck inside with my parents. Nothing to do but bug them, and I even got bored doing that. Trust me, my parents are not very exciting.

Golden light streamed down on us.

And they are sooooo predictable. It was “No, Katie, go lay down” all day every day. No one wanted to play with my piggie except me. Oh sure mama or daddy tossed it to me occasionally, but they weren’t really focused on me.

And for a princess that is just not acceptable.

A princess deserves to have the spotlight at all times.

So you can imagine how I was feeling on Monday when mama said she was going to go for a walk in one of her parks. And it didn’t look like she was taking me! I cried and ran around her feet and finally she realized how selfish she was being.

Light made the colors glow.

She changed her plans and took me to one of my new parks. The rain had stopped and the sun was out and everything was beautiful! I was so happy! Mama and I met a guy out there taking pictures too. He said I was beautiful and as a reward I let him pet me.

After this guy left we had the park to ourselves!

After he left mama let me run around off leash. I love when I can do that. I trotted right ahead of mama, which wasn’t that hard, cause she was always stopping to take pictures of stuff. Once I turned around and she wasn’t there! I got so scared I ran back looking for her.

Are you over there mama?

Turns out she had gone down a little path to take a picture of some yellow trees out in the swamp. I headed down that path too, but my feet got wet.

Out in the wetlands the trees pointed to the sky.

So I waited for her up on higher ground. After that I kept a closer watch on mama. Sometimes she forgets all about me.

I’ll wait for you up here mama!

We had a super wonderful time together. I sat for her lots, and she got plenty of great shots of me, but mostly she was interested in how the light was sliding through the leaves and making everything (including me) more beautiful.

Perfect.

Ever since we were there on Monday it’s been raining. So I’m stuck in the house again. I’m sure glad I got mama to take me out on our one good day, especially while the woods are still pretty with all their fall color.

Mama says when it gets nice again we’ll go on another adventure, or at least a walk somewhere. I can hardly wait.

I bet it will be pretty back here in the winter too!

Meanwhile I’m going to go look for my piggie and see if I can interest anyone in a rousing game.

Talk later, your bored girl, Katie.

Piggie in the tunnel!


17 Comments

We could all use a smile.

Reflecting on current events.


Trent, over at his blog trentsworldblog has decided that we could all use a smile, so he has resurrected his weekly smile post in which he invites us all to post each week about something that has made us smile, and then link back to him.

I think he’ll post a recap, but I need to go back and read the instructions (you’ll find those at his Weekly Smile blog).

There’s gold in the woods. And a bit of peace.

As I sit watching the horrific news out of Pittsburgh this morning I have to admit I was feeling guilty for feeling good after my short trip to northern Michigan.

Sometimes you just need to walk away.

For me going into the woods is like living on my own personal private island. No TV, no email, maybe a bit of blog producing, but that’s all about looking through images I’ve just taken and then letting the fingers do their thing.

No stress there. Usually no tears.

The logging museum shows life in a simpler time.

And yet the world carries on even while I’m not noticing. Pipe bombs get mailed. Mass shootings happen. Candidates snipe at each other. No one tells a complete truth.

Is there really only one way?

Who even knows what the truth is anymore.

Sometimes a person needs the welcoming woods.

As Carol says in her latest post, we’re all probably overloaded. By everything.

So I think Trent’s idea is wonderful. Let’s look for at least one thing that has made us smile this week.

No television out here.

For me, it was being in the north wandering among the last bit of fading color. I was only there for a little more than one day, and it was drizzling rain most of the time.

Still. In the last few minutes before I climbed back in the car to head home the sun burned through a layer of cloud and the woods glowed.

It was just for a moment.

Glowing in between the raindrops.

But it made me smile.

Follow the path for soul renewal.


13 Comments

Nancy Merrill Photo Challenge: Reflection

When this week’s prompt showed up in my email on Thursday I knew exactly where I’d find my shot, luckily just a few miles up the road from my hotel room.

A mirror finish on this lake reflected the dock as well as the golden trees.

This is Glory Lake, one of two small lakes at Hartwick Pines. Though there was no sun Friday morning I still gasped as I turned the corner and saw the reflection.


12 Comments

Short and sweet

I’m on a quick ‘up north’ trip with a friend. We wanted to make a specific destination in time for sunset, figuring the lowering sun would enhance what remaining color was hanging on the trees.

It was sunny when I left home, but as I headed north more and more clouds accumulated. I wasn’t worried, I figured the sunset would be more interesting with clouds.

But as I pulled within four miles of our destination the sky turned a blank grey and it began to rain. Fog floated up between the trees.

Not looking good for finding color.

I figured trekking through a wet field to the top of a hill in the rain to see the nonexistent sunset was going to be a waste of time. But I’ve learned to never give up, especially when you’re so close. So we trekked.

And as we began to top the hill I knew we were right to make the trip; I could see color out there in the fog.

See what’s over the hill?

And when we got to the top?

Stunning, even in the rain.

Amazing.

It’s supposed to be sunny here tomorrow and we’ll have a few hours to explore before we head home.

Can’t wait to see what we find.

On the road again.


13 Comments

What’s down that path?

Dow Gardens was started in 1899 by Herbert Dow, founder of The Dow Chemical Company. The Gardens, originally developed on eight acres of flat, sandy land, provided a creative outlet for Herbert Dow and his interest in agriculture and design. He created gardens, ponds and hills according to a simple philosophy that we still follow to this day: “never reveal the gardens’ whole beauty at first glance.” –from the Dow Gardens website.

When I left you last, during our Walktober, we were about to explore a winding path in the Dow Gardens.

A curvy stroll.

Didn’t you wonder where it went? It’s just one of many secret garden rooms at the Dow Gardens in Midland Michigan.

The elevated walkway we visited for our Walktober sits in Whiting Forest, right next door to the gardens, and in fact the $5 ticket to the elevated walkway also got us into the gardens. So of course we went, even though by then we had already walked a lot, and it was getting colder and wetter.

Not letting a little cold rain stop us!

And we were not disappointed, not at all. The first frosts of the winter season had already done their damage and the formal flower gardens were just memories, but this place is designed to intrigue even when flowers are no longer blooming.

The original land was flat and only eight acres, but the garden now has all sorts of hills and knolls, with pathways, bridges and ponds tucked into the landscape covering one hundred and ten acres.

Even cement bridges end up looking interesting. Don’t you want to go see what’s up those steps?

There’s a definite Asian influence in parts of the park…

I loved these round steps, and the red bridges.

…and lovely old trees everywhere.

The big heavy limbs of this tree were their own art.

Though the flower gardens were gone to frost, there was still color just about anywhere you looked.

A big old maple tree next to the herb garden where I spent time smelling lemon verbena. Heavenly.

There were ponds reflecting beautiful landscape…

Even on a rainy day this was stunning.

…and stairs leading to the next hidden glade.

This just begged to be climbed. So we did.

And then, just to add to the whole experience, there’s the house.

This is just one angle of it, there’s a whole lot of house you can’t see from here.

We know we’ll be back to take the tour of the house. It looks fascinating.

I’ve only shown you a fraction of what there is to see in these gardens. And you’re seeing it on a dreary cold dank day. Imagine it when the sun is shining. Or in the spring when the flowering trees are in bloom, or in midsummer when the secret gardens are at peak. Or in winter when the trees hiding their secrets show off their profiles as a distraction.

It’s only an hour from me, but even if you’re further away, it’s worth a trip. Come on up and visit Michigan and while you’re here, stop for a few hours or an entire day at Dow Gardens!

No matter the season you, like us, won’t be disappointed.

There’s a few statutes too.


39 Comments

Walktober in the trees

We began our adventure under a dark and ominous sky.


There’s a new park, located about an hour north of here, billed as a walk in a tree canopy. Intriguing. Plus it seemed perfect for a Walktober.

So this week we went.

Come on! Let’s go explore!

We thought if we went during the week crowds would be less. And maybe they were; if you want to go on a weekend you have to purchase your tickets in advance so the crowds must be pretty thick on Saturday or Sunday.

The ramp circles up from below, so the walk is accessible to anyone using a walker or a wheelchair.

But even on a Friday afternoon, and though the sky was dark and the wind was brisk, plenty of people had ventured forth to explore the new park.

A busy day at the park.

Walking between the pods.

Along the elevated pathway were two pods made of curved wood. The docent said they were designed to represent curled queen anne lace flower buds.

The Docent likes bugs. (That’s a pin on her hat, it’s not real.)

One of them was connected to the main path by a net which had people lined up to cross.

Looks fun.

And out on the end of one of the walks was a play area filled with similar netting for people, kids and adults alike to rest or roll around, depending on your mood.

Lots of fun.

It was pretty up there, I think it would have been even nicer very early in the morning on a sunny day with the light playing down through the trees.

Not really in the canopy, but still fun.

Down below the structure are paths, some paved, some softened with fallen leaves and pine needles, through the forest.

More my style.

There were fewer people there, and immediately I felt more at home. Walking among the treetops was fun. Walking between the trees was comforting.

Viewing those still up top who were enjoying the view.

There wasn’t a lot of color yet, most of it was on the ground in the form of fallen maples leaves.

Even on a rainy afternoon the color was nice.

Truly beautiful.

It wasn’t really raining much, just damp.

It did seem odd to see umbrellas out on a walk through the trees. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone walk through the woods under an umbrella.

But it made for some fun photography.

Not exactly what I was going for, but I sort of like their blur.

We had a really good time walking in and around the trees.

Fun times.

If you’re ever near Midland Michigan check it out. The elevated part isn’t that long, but it’s interesting. And if you have children they’ll have a blast.

Subtle colors enjoyed by people who bring their own colors along too.

But make sure you also take time to wander the woods that surrounds the structure. That’s where the real magic lives.

Walking the ropes.

PS: Look around, I bet you have somewhere pretty or interesting or both near you. Take a walk. Take a couple of pictures. Post it and link it to Robin’s Walktober post (or any of her posts). We’d all love to come along on your Walktobers!

PPS: Our park in Whiting Forest is located right next to Dow Gardens, and our $5 ticket gained us entrance to both. I was going to include that walk in this post, but I think it deserves it’s own. So stay tuned. Here’s a hint:

Where does this curving path go?


27 Comments

Katie does Walktober

Katie here. Am I first? Huh? Huh? Am I? Huh? I bet I am! If so I deserve a treat and if not it’s mama’s fault and I should get a treat anyway. I am, after all, a princess.

I think this pumpkin looks a lot like a Walktober gourd, don’t you?

So I told mama that I wanted to do my own Walktober and she said I couldn’t go out and do it all alone. She said she had to go with me. I don’t think that’s fair, she goes for walks by herself all the time. I think she’s just trying to horn in on my walk, but since I don’t have my driver’s license, and I wanted to do a Walktober somewhere besides my own backyard, I had to let her take me.

Here I am in front of a great smelling restaurant.

At first I thought she pulled an epic failure. She didn’t take me to a park! She took me to a town! When she got me out of the car I was shaking cause I knew it wasn’t any of my parks and I thought maybe we were going to the vet or the groomer or maybe even camp!

Mama’s been known to be sneaky that way.

But no, she took me to this little town that always dresses up with pretty fall arrangements. Including a huge pumpkin.

Isn’t this just the coolest pumpkin? It compliments my colors too!

Mama likes to take my picture with it, and this year I even stood on a little bale of hay for her. I don’t usually like standing on top of little things, so she was real impressed with me. I got double treats for that. Score!

Mama thought these were pretty. I thought they were boring.

Then we walked down the street to see what else was pretty. That’s where the Walktober comes in. It’s a real nice downtown, with lots of cute stores.

A lot of the stores had their doors open and I tried to go into every single one of them. I don’t know what the heck was wrong with mama, she kept saying “No baby, you can’t go in there.” She didn’t even try to get me inside and some of them smelled real good! Mama is a loser.

When we turned around I figured that was it for my Walktober and I was quite disappointed to say the least. I gave mama the stink eye in several of the photos she tried to get.

Really mother? THIS is a ‘walk?’

And I did my best never to look at her while she waved her hand around and called my name. That usually makes her give up and take me home. I was sort of glad when the photo shoot was over and I took a nap in my car on the way home.

But imagine how surprised I was when she opened the door and we were at one of my favorite parks! I secretly think she felt bad about me not having a good time in town. All those people walking by and noisy trucks and cars on the roads made me nervous. So I guess she figured she owed me.

Hey! It’s one of my parks!

She was right.

I even got to run around off leash because nobody else was out there! Boy oh boy it felt so good to run, especially since we got cold weather that day!

This feels so GOOD!

It was my kind of day at the park, cold and windy. Perfect!

A cool breeze, perfect for a Walktober!

I didn’t even mind posing for her on the sledding hill that was all green and beautiful. I got lots of treats and the wind in my fur. We walked for a long time.

This is the toboggan run. It looks beautiful in winter too.

It was all good. Well, mostly all good. There was this one time when I was sitting on the sledding hill and the sun came out and mama said the tips of my furs lit up like a halo and she was trying to get the shot and the stupid memory card was full. That wasn’t such a great moment.

Oh and I guess since this is a Walktober I should at least show you that we have a little bit of fall color. Not a whole lot, but we found some to share with you.

See? We found a little color for you!

All in all I had a pretty good day with mama, going on my very own Walktober. I want to thank Miss Robin for hosting the walk, and mama for taking me and providing bribes treats.

And my advice to all of you that are planning your own Walktobers? Make sure your memory card has a whole lot of memory left. Cause you’re going to need it to capture the pretty places you’ll be sharing with us!

I think we should come back next week mama!

We can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Mama says she’s going to do one by herself, but I don’t see how it could top this one unless she’s going to run down a hill too, but that would be copying.

Try to think outside the box mama.

Talk later, your park guide Katie-girl.


12 Comments

Stormy weather

It was a dark and stormy afternoon.


Up here in Michigan it’s been unseasonably warm. I’m loving it. In the 80s today, tomorrow’s high will be in the 50s. I guess all good things must end.

Our trees are starting to change into their fall fashions.

The changing weather created an interesting sky and I ran over to a local park to watch.

A tree stands alone.

Our weather is, however, nothing at all compared to what’s happening in Florida, Georgia and Alabama right now.

It’s a beautiful park.

Hurricane Michael, roaring up from the Gulf is going to go right over the top of most of my siblings. They live many miles from the coast, but this storm isn’t slowing down even now that it’s reached land.

This is the museum and banquet center.

They’re hunkered down and I’m sure all will be well.

But all of that weather sure makes me appreciate my relatively calm Michigan skies up here.