Spring Is on the Way

spring barn

Spring is on the way.

fresh snow-08

We can’t see the grass anywhere, and the snowdrifts are still up to my collar bones, but spring is on the way.

It may still look and feel just like winter, but I can tell. I know all the signs.

These sweet girls visited us on their Spring Break, and we did all kinds of spring things, like sledding, snowy hiking, and ice caving.

Also, we just celebrated the transition to Daylight Saving Time, colloquially called “Spring Forward,” so it must be almost spring.

And it’s the middle of March, which is when spring arrives. So it’s definitely on its way.

The pavement pieces that tile our road were clear for two days, so spring is sure to arrive soon.

Why just today we went skiing and then hiking through snowpack – two quintessential springtime activities.


The lakes are still frozen solid, and the winds bring frostbite in moments.

moonrise

But there’s light in the sky until 9:00pm.

post sunset

And it did rain the other day. So yes, spring really is on its way. It’s just that it could be winter again by time it arrives.

A note about my sanity: I’m not really that upset about this winter. It’s been beautiful, as you can see from this slew of photos, mostly taken during this morning’s sunrise over the fresh snow. It’s surely been a long, cold winter, but it hasn’t been without its rewards. We’ll enjoy whatever weather comes our way, and will savor the springtime even more when it does arrive. In July. ;)

Also, many thanks to my Crazy (formerly) Goan Friend for the nudge to write again :)

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Because it’s the weekend and we can, Tony (and Petey) and I decided we’d go for another beach-combing adventure this afternoon. Sure, the skies were grey and it was cold – single digits again plus wind – but we could still have fun.

Knowing we’d be traipsing through snow and on the coast exposed to unmitigated gusts, we dressed in our ski clothes. We laughed along the way at the height of the snow drifts. We noticed one mailbox completely encrusted in snow; it had literally been dug out of a drift, with at least four feet piled above it. And at least one place had drifts that were a couple feet higher than the roof of the car.

Driving conditions that typified the afternoon. These are relatively low drifts…
driving

It was all silly “Hahaha, isn’t life Up North funny sometimes?” until we got to the beach. And couldn’t see the horizon at all because the snow had so intensified.

Icebergs and icy pilings in Glen Haven – contrast exaggerated so you can see the horizon

If there were a decent trail, we might have stayed to explore, but with such a downpour Petey kept shaking to clear his head, and the photos are all littered with white blurs. While we were out, though, Petey had a good time chasing balls of ice. He’d have stayed gnawing on his catch, but we knew it was time to go when his hind legs began shivering.


Ah well. You win some, you lose some. We had a few good days earlier in the week (I’ll share photos and details at some point!), and we’re all still healthy and happy (relatively – Dominique is having a dental issue…), so for now, Life is Good :)

Friday Photos – Freezing Bubbles

After seeing it all over the internet (by which I mean Facebook), I got pulled into the freezing bubble phenomenon. Unfortunately, I had neither bubble solution nor bubble wand. I resolved to rectify the situation, as we were in Traverse City/near bubble-supply location, but then forgot. So I did what any person who desperately wants to make bubbles does and improvised. I made a wand out of some Amazon packaging leftovers (you never know what those things can be good for!) and found bubble solution in the form of the diluted Dawn we keep beside the kitchen sinks.

“Bubble wand” with frozen solution inside…forms in less than two seconds!
bubbles-4

After many, many bubbles, a few finally stuck without popping. Apparently adding corn syrup makes the bubbles a little thicker, but I wasn’t going to ruin my soap since it was working okay.

I love the snowflakes on this bubble :)
bubbles

I was happy with that, despite the low contrast of the cloudy morning. But then the sun came out…and so I traipsed back out. My fingers haven’t been that cold in a long time – much colder than the other day. Making the bubbles isn’t so bad, but making the pictures is brutal! I’m not sure how cold it needs to be for bubbles to freeze, but if you get a cold, windless day, give it a go! (I think the low wind is probably more important than the extreme cold, but it was in the single digits out there.) Your inner child you will thank you :)

Wanna see more? Hop over to Jess’ blog – we were doing the same thing at the same time again ;)

And a Happy New Year

We’ve been Away, visiting friends and family down in Ohio. It was a lovely trip, which I will catch you up on later (because you know I’ve got photos of all those dear people to share!), but at least now you understand my blogging absence.

We returned home last night, and brought two of our nephews back up with us. They’re hardy; despite the single digits and below zero wind chills, we’ve played in the snow, built a quinzhee that all four of us fit in, gone sledding, and imbibed hot cocoa. It might not sound like the best way to ring in the new year, but it is. :)

May 2014 greet you kindly and treat you even better!

A Tale of Two Days

Our typical north-northwest snowbands kicked into gear yesterday, threatening 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) of fresh powder through nightfall. So we did what we typically do on these days; we greeted it head on. We cloaked Petey in his cape and struck out for Maple Bay – a land convervancy with a nice, secluded stretch of beach.
Maple Bay
However, as we drove down the lane, the drifts began to drag the doors and only got deeper farther down the drive. Having learned our lesson, we backed up and opted for another location.

We could see tracks in the snow at the Traverse City State Park, and decided it would be a safe place for the car.

Four-frame panorama; click for larger version
Traverse City State Park panorama
geese on ice

We padded through thigh-deep snow down to the beach and met bracing winds. Petey wasn’t bothered. He snuffled through fluff and trotted along the ice shelf, oblivious to the snarling winds gusting off the bay as he lapped up mouthfuls of freshwater.

He was, however, disappointed that he couldn’t swim ;)
no swimming

Snow continued to howl around us, but we were blessed with clear overnight skies, and this morning dawned bright and blue. It’s days like this amidst a snowy December that highlight just how grey we’ve been.

I wonder which path made all the difference?
a deer forks in the snow

After tracking up the fresh glaze of snow (morning business, you know), I had a tough time focusing on work. Blue skies kept calling, and so I was grateful when it was time to go to the vet (routine maintenance).

The gorgeous day persisted after our successful vet trip, so I dressed Petey and we went for a walk. It’s funny; when you walk three to four miles a day regardless of the weather, even 16-degree (-9C) days feel toasty when the sun’s shining.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I feel blessed to have enjoyed today. And I’m sure I’ll find something to celebrate tomorrow, even if we’re back to grey. I hope you do, too!