Stranger Things May Have Happened

Just not to me in recent memory.

I know, I know: I’m not even thirty (quite!!), and I talk about the weather like I’m at least twice that age.  Honestly, though, ten days ago there were still folks here who didn’t have power and were buried under snow, yet today it was over 80 degrees! Considering the circumstances, we did what most people were wishing they had done: went kayaking on the Bay.

Even though the air temperature was quite toasty, the water was decidedly not. I hopped in my kayak and Tony gave me a push so I didn’t have to soak my little piggies in the icy water. A super-nice guy who was hanging out on the beach offered to do the same for Tony, and we were off. Winds were light and the water clarity was superior, which would have been great if the breezes hadn’t riffled the surface. We had West Bay in its visible entirety to ourselves. The occasional drips of water that splashed my arms was a welcome contrast to the sun’s constant rays. Alternately, the winds delivered pleasantly warm air and chilly, lake-enhanced air.

We paddled along the beach and eventually made our way over to the marina break-wall. All the way over the lake floor was visibly sand, punctuated by an odd rock or water-weed collection. The break-wall consists of huge boulders, that extend under the lake’s surface. I found them a bit unnerving, giant hulks that they were, but Tony kept insisting in their essential coolness. We were both right. Deep shadows indicated a great spot to return for fish-spotting whenever summer makes its arrival.

As we sat on calm, cold water, protected from the breezes by the almost-creepy boulders, drinking in the heat of the day (81, in March!!! I remind you), a bird took flight just a few feet away from us. I nonchalantly dismissed it as one of the many gulls that were squawking near the shore. Tony had a slightly better vantage point, and saw it for what it was: a snowy owl.

We paddled quietly along, in awe of the beast perched so near, eying us – I’m sure – judgmentally. As he (she?) took flight and repositioned himself a couple of times in our passing, I kicked myself for not bringing a camera. You’d think I would know better by now.

After a quick near-marina tour, we paddled back to the car, loaded the kayaks, and hurried back over to the marina, where the owl was waiting for us.  How kind of him. We pointed him out to any passersby who had cameras. Even though he was positioned in plain sight, he could easily have been missed, or mistaken for a gull. After all, I had done the same thing, and I was right beside him.

snowy owl1

He's the white spot just right of center on the rocks

snowy owl2
snowy owl3
snowy owl4
snowy owl5
snowy owl6

May I just say that I love my camera and the lens I bought for it? Oh good, because I do 🙂

Snowy owls normally make their homes and hunting grounds in the Arctic tundra. They’ve come south this year in search of food, as their prey are on a cyclical low. Seeing one on a record-breaking hot day, on a desserted, COLD bay, surrounded by noisy frollickers back on the land was an utterly unexpected treat.


Oh, and we also caught a beautiful sunset. But that’s not so strange.

Willows this early in March??


12 thoughts on “Stranger Things May Have Happened

  1. Heather! I couldn’t get pass the first sentence! You’re not 30 yet? You’re younger than Christopher? Ohmygosh, here I am thinking you’re like in your mid-30’s cuz you’re so wise and savvy and cool. You are like the coolest. I never even think of how old you are actually, which is the advantage of the Internet. You can feel a person’s spirit and not worry about thinks like age and sex and defining characteristics. I admire your kayaking, your pussy willows, your photos, and you in general. 🙂

    • I’m only wise and savvy and cool *because* I’m on the internet 😉 Really though, thank you for the compliments. Considering how wise and savvy and cool I think YOU are, I take them as high praise. Yikes – there goes my ego!
      I also like that about the internet – you can get to know a person without ever having the chance to cloud your judgement with their appearance.

  2. I too was a bit surprised to hear your age, or the reference to your youth. One of the wonderful things about the internet and blogging – what shows is our mental age, which is what really counts. Or do I think that because I really would rather not discuss physical age anymore? Another wonderful thing is the opportunity to see the wonderful photos people take of things we might otherwise not ever see, or the beauty of which there is never enough.

    • Of course, thanks to the anonymity of the internet, I could just be lying about my age 😉 No – my mom and mother-in-law and other family member readers would definitely call me out! I think in some ways – both good and bad – the internet allows people to show their true colors. Just read any comment board on a news site to see what I mean.
      Also, you are right on about the pictures. I find so much inspiration in other people’s pictures. We get to see places and things we’d never see, and we often get to see ordinary things in brand new ways.

  3. As Heather’s mom-in-law, I can vouch for her coolness! She is also bright, funny, kind, and best of all a wonderful, fantastic wife and best friend to my son. Now if they just loved Ohio as much as Michigan, all would be perfect!

    • Awww! This is why I keep coming back 🙂 (small tears, thanks!)
      I think things would be perfect if there was just a wormhole between here and there. Love you bunches and bunches, and looking forward to meeting the new digs!

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