Walking, Walking, Walking on Trails

Sunny, 60’s, blue, and breezy – today was a perfect early summer day Up North. Before I moved here from northern Georgia, I wondered if I would be cold in the summers. After all, it was often in the 90’s there over spring break, while it often snows here…in May. But five years in, I can assert what I already knew from acclimatizing to the Miami heat: you adjust. Not only do I manage to stay warm during most of our winter activities, but I also find that 70’s now feel hot – a far cry from the days in Miami when 75 felt cold!
For my overseas friends: 60’s = 15-21C, 70’s = 21-27C, 75 = 24C, 90’s = 32-38C


Thus, while mid-60’s might feel chilly to some of you, it was a beautiful day up here, and Tony and Petey and I had a tough time staying inside. We took a nice long walk this morning, then another at lunch, another after dinner, and then we went hiking this evening with our friend Sebastian (smiling in the photo above).

We met at the trails over by the Boardman River, just south of Traverse City. I don’t know why, but these trails aren’t talked about much in local trail literature. They’re well-tended, have beautiful views, and even feature multiple river access points.


I’m not sure how far we walked – somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 miles – but I am sure we enjoyed every second of it, and didn’t get swarmed by mosquitoes. The jury is still out on the ticks, which I am a little twitchy about, since I pulled two OUT of my skin the other day :-/

Unlike all the others, these are not from today. But they are other views of the river, just upstream from our hike.

It’s in the 50’s now, and several of our neighbors are having campfires. If it weren’t approaching midnight, I’d be thinking more seriously about some s’mores. Maybe I’ll just stock up tomorrow so that I’m prepared. Or maybe we’ll just go for another walk ;)

PS – All the photos here can be clicked for bigger views, if you like.

Monochrome Monday

I’m emerging from a very foggy weekend feeling quite foggy with a sinus infection that just won’t go away. I seem to be holding steady with no fever at least, but I feel like I belong in a certain Pink Floyd song! Regardless, I couldn’t stay tucked inside entirely over the weekend. I’ll leave you with this to start your week as the holidays make their final countdowns. Wishing the same for myself ;)

“Nature has a great simplicity and, therefore, a great beauty. ” – Richard Feynman
Have a simple, beautiful week.


Mushroom Monday

It’s Monday here for about another hour, and I have a lot of mushroom photos to share – so you get Mushroom Monday. ;)

In between yet more storms and dressed for fall (all the layers: jacket, hat, light gloves…), we did lots of hiking this weekend. Seems like the weather hasn’t been very cooperative for much else – too windy for kayaking, and far too cold for diving. But, at least we have lots of beautiful places to explore on foot. I’ll check back in soon with some hiking images/stories. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite mushrooms from along the trails.

Have a great week! (I’ll be checking into all the blogs I’ve missed just as soon as I get my feed-reader working again!)

A Beautiful Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me! Another year’s passed, and they really do seem to be going faster. I don’t feel any older than I did this time last year, but the days are adding up, and I can tell I’m getting old. If there are no other signs, I am obviously more mature have more grey hairs, so there’s no denying it. Not that I’m bothered by it; aging is a pretty good alternative to my other option, and I’m not so sure I’ll look bad with grey hair ;)

I think Mother Nature finally took pity on me, and treated me especially well for my especial day. The weather couldn’t have been fairer, and Tony was of a like mind with me today so we spent most of the afternoon doing what we do in the spring. (That’s hunting morels if you’re unsure.)

Because Father Winter lingered long past his welcome this year, Tony and I haven’t been our usual eager selves to check the progress in the woods. We know there’s not been nearly as much as one might expect by this time in May. However, my neighborhood walks with Petey have indicated that it’s time to start hitting our spots checking for morels.

While I love eating the mushrooms, my heart is really in the hunt. A friend and I swear it’s what’s actually behind the Easter egg hunting tradition. If you’ve ever delighted in finding Waldo, then you have an inkling of what morel hunting is like. Nature’s tastiest nuggets camouflaged against a gorgeous backdrop of rustling leaves and vibrant, ephemeral wildflowers. You get to walk amidst it all, enjoying the simplicity of each passing moment so that even if you don’t find any mushrooms, you’ve still won a great prize.

We didn’t find a ton – we brought home twenty that were acceptably large – but we found some: The season is afoot! Even if we hadn’t found any, I’d still have counted today as a gift. This way, there’s no doubt it’s going in the books as a perfect birthday celebration.

We did not pick the tiny mushroom, I just included it for funsies.

Gifts of Summer

The weather gurus have issued another heat advisory today, for more days in a row than I care to count. When we moved from the north Georgia mountains 1,000 miles north, I thought I’d miss the scorching heat of the summer. I do not. It offends me. It is not supposed to be this uncomfortable here. Not in this way. The weather can be unwelcoming in the winter; not now. If only my wishes had some impact on reality…

There is hope, for although it’s hot (hovering around 90 before the sun’s really high overhead), it is windy: 20MPH constantly with gusts around 30MPH. And breezes like that often come with a cold front in tow. We’ll be at least fifteen degrees cooler tomorrow, and perhaps we will do something besides splash in the lake before retreating to the comfort of conditioned air.

We have no plans, but that has never stopped us. What’s in store for you this weekend?

Enjoy these gifts of summer. You can enlarge the landscape-oriented ones if you like.

Summer clouds. Sure, there’s a science-y name for them, but it should be “summer clouds,” because that’s what they are. They followed me around the yard yesterday while I sweated mowed – never shading, just mocking.
summer clouds

An astonishing crop of cherries hang from the branches. Some of the trees are so heavy with them I wonder if they’ll sustain damage from the weight.
glorious cherries

glorious cherries-2

glorious cherries-3

Thistle, a mid-summer wildflower. Lovely in a thicket.


Or overlooking a pasture.

Golden light paints arching fence.
golden fencerow