It’s official and undeniably true. In mid-March, I was witness to some northern Michigan pretenders: though it was brilliant and clear, it was also only about 35 degrees, yet these two teenage guys were wearing shorts and flip-flops, asserting wardrobally (yep, just coined that one!) that Spring would arrive the next day. In fact, four days hence, we got 20 inches of snow in 18 hours. At that point, the calendar was at odds with the weather, and despite some spectacularly gorgeous days, it was still most definitely Late Winter and not at all Early Spring. This weekend, though – and today specifically, it is most certainly Spring. I know this because there are bright purple crocuses – those well-known heralds of Spring – in bloom in my back yard, with hyacinths close on their heels.
Moreover, we’ve seen what must be most of the gamut of Spring weather Up North. This morning the Weather Channel was sending me text messages beginning at 4:30 a.m. alerting me of our severe thunderstorm warnings. Aside from some probably-needed rain and a concert-worthy light-show, things were relatively tame. Here. South, in Manistee, I understand that they survived hurricane-force winds (79 mph) and hail! No, thank you; I’ll pass. Gratefully. But the sun burned off the clouds, and mostly clear skies set in for several hours. We ran into Traverse City (by which I mean we did not run, because I’m in no state for that, but drove) for lunch, and by the time we got out it was in the low 70’s. Two blended coffees and a stop at the Civic Center park later and we were on our way to – you guessed it! – Torch Lake. Someone posted on a blog I read that their side of the lake had mostly melted, but yesterday afternoon, our end of the lake was still frozen, so we had to check it out. Turns out they were serious; the lake at the William Good Day Park was a rhapsody in liquid blues.
On with our adventures, we hopped (again, we did not hop, but drove) up and across the street to Barnes Park on Lake Michigan. I would show you, but the sky clouded up when I went to take pictures, and it looked dreary, which it was not. Instead, I took pictures of this paper birch on account of how much I love them.
More adventuring! We decided to stop at a public access point all the way at the tippy-top of Torch, only to discover ice. It surprises me how long that stuff holds on. Really: we had unblemished blue skies and mid/upper 60’s yesterday, and rain and 70’s today, plus many previous days above freezing. There it was all the same. Here it is for you:
I scavenged (by which I mean I did not scavenge; Tony did) some driftwood from the beach for an art project that is TBD. Then, we left for more adventuring, and stopped at another new-to-us access point. It felt other-worldly entirely. We had rounded the lake and the sun was at such an angle that the color we couldn’t see from the tippy-top north was very visible through on/in the ice from our eastern vantage point. Also, the air was utterly still and the liquid glassy. Which was nice, because when the wind blows over ice, even 70 degree air, it creates a cold breeze. I sat on some rocks and wished it was actually nice enough in the water to go for a swim. By which I mean wish I could go for a swim, because I am in no state… The melted, rotten ice looked like piles of crystal straws and intermittently we’d hear a stack collapse into the water. To top it off, the day’s heat was causing patches of fog to form and lift off the lake where any stretches of ice remained. It’s difficult to imagine, looking at the following, but we were really bordering on hot sitting the in baking sun next to a partially frozen lake.
End of adventures. We came home and hung out on the deck until thunder rumbled in the distance. As I was preparing my new header (images compliments of some time spent out back with the camera pre-adventures), the Weather Channel sent me a text alerting me to our tornado watch. And so we have come full circle, end-to-end, a whole day the embodiment of Spring.
We’ve made it through our first winter. Now, for morels!