My Icy Michigan

One of these days, perhaps, I’ll adjust to all the wintry moods of northern Michigan. I will cease to be amazed by the pillows of snow that accumulate overnight, or while we’re away for an afternoon. It will no longer surprise me that the sky can be both filled with brilliant sun and heavy with falling flakes. I will bore of the muted pallet, and tire of the cold.

Then again, perhaps not.

Despite a few warm days precipitating a disappointing melt, we’ve had a fair amount of snow, and have been enjoying it. We skied for about four hours Thursday afternoon/evening, even though the temperature for the day peaked at 15F (-9C). Being able to play outside after dark really limits the hold seasonal depression can take.
night skiing

Saturday morning, we bundled up and headed for the slopes. As we were among the first skiers out, the snow was fresh and fast. In short, it was a gorgeous morning, and I was glad I had thought to grab the Tough camera before we left. As we rode the lift above untracked snow, I pulled it out and framed a shot, and clicked.

[Imagine a scene with snow-coated hardwoods and yellow sunbeams pouring through clouds]

Out of memory. That’s what the camera said, which I found completely unhelpful. “Out of memory” indicates that one can erase old photos and make room for new ones. “No memory card” would have been apt, considering I had left that bit at home. Ah well, there’s always next time.

Fortunately for you visual types, I did take my camera – and all the necessary extra parts – as we went on drive-about yesterday. We sought ice on the lakeshore – pretty much a given as it was all of 12F (-11C) yesterday and seriously windy. Little Glen Lake has succumbed to the cold, and has completely frozen over, but deeper “big” Glen Lake is still liquid blue.
The Glen Lakes

Over at Glen Harbor, Lake Michigan is not yet freezing. We pulled up just in time to watch a hole in the clouds close over. Before it did, we saw the sun shower the lake in bright, snowy rays. The pilings out in the water were blanketed in ice, much like the beach.

Sand in the winter is a different creature than summer sand. Summer sand is soft, and dimples after being stepped on. Winter sand is hard, often doesn’t even hold a footprint, and strangely puddles up then freezes. Plus, beaches in the winter have are generally deserted. Bonus πŸ™‚

After a while – after my fingers froze and fell off – we headed south to Point Betsie. It’s a lovely lighthouse that I simply cannot resist. Even though it’s perched on a bit of a hill above the lake, the entire breakwall in front and all the grounds surrounding were caked in slippery ice. Conditions were similar to this trip, but even colder, windier, and icier. The ice is a stark reminder that the lake is not actually as inviting as it looks. Well, that and wind chill.

We continued our cold weather adventure by heading just a bit further south on the coast to Frankfort, where we found more cool sandscapes. As expected, the breakwall was prohibitively icy, so we didn’t venture too far out.

Instead, we wandered all along the beach, on both sides of the pier, taking in the Arctic scenery and crashing waves. As sunset approached, the clearing on the horizon filled with clouds, and we decided it was time to head home.

It’s about 10F out today, and is snowing so hard I can’t see to the neighbors – less than a tenth of a mile away. Tomorrow it’s supposed to get all the way up to 5. I think we’ll walk to lunch.

Your photographer, out photographing:


16 thoughts on “My Icy Michigan

    • I took the tripod with the intent to actually use it, but it was waaay too cold for much more than point-and-shoot! I suppose if I’d bother to learn to use my new remote, I could invest a bit more time. Anyway, thank you! Glad you could enjoy the ice from afar πŸ™‚

  1. Dig the focused-up-front, faded-in-back shots best! And you’ve helped me with the arduous task of picture selection for the final installation of our weekend getaway blog recap, as I’ll try to avoid posting anything TOO identical to anything you shared here πŸ™‚

  2. You are such an awesome photographer, Heather, icy fingers or no. What lovely pics. I sure hope you have memory in your camera when you visit da UP because you’re gonna need it. It’s so icy this morning– 6 below. the woodstove never is satisfied and keeps demanding more. Did you know that Houghton is celebrating Heikinpaiva along with a Polar Plunge next weekend? Big weekend in da Copper Country!

    • I learned my lesson last time we were up there! I have a couple of good memory cards and a spare battery. (Santa knows just what to bring a girl!) It is VERY cold here, too…Kalkaska has a forecasted high of -1. We are bundled up and have all the ski gear in the car just for safety – no ski plans today (they’re closed ;)) Thanks for the link, and see you soon!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond | Adventures in Michigan's Up North

  4. LOVE the frozen grasses, turquoise water and dunes in the background. Wonderful. I’m going up to Northport next weekend, if driving weather allows…and hope to find something interesting to photograph. Of course how could I not.

    • All the way up the Leelanau Peninsula…I suspect you’ll see something worth a picture along the way. Drive safely – I have no idea what the weather will be like over the weekend, but feel free to drop me a line and I’ll keep you posted πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Mike. I bet you don’t get a lot of ice out your way πŸ˜‰
      I might have to take your suggestion under review – I can never decide what image to put on the cover of photo books when I get around to getting them together!

    • Thank you (for the comment and the compliment!) πŸ™‚ Pt Betsie is always beautiful – we drop by almost every time we are over on “the coast.”

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