Rewards and Traditions

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, to which I arrived early, and – would you believe this? – they  took me straight back! Everything went well, and then I was outta there. For my doctor’s speediness, I rewarded myself with a cuppa joe (decaf maple cinnamon latte, please) and a photo drive up the peninsula.

When the leaves have blown away from the inland trees, the vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula can be counted on for some cheerful last vestiges of color. Alas, the peninsula’s late-to-change-color leaves seem to have suffered this year – probably related to the recent snow. The drive was still beautiful, but ochers dominate where ambers normally do.

I hadn’t really intended to drive all the way to the tippy-top of the peninsula, but by the time I reached my destination vineyard, I was close. And I had finished that latte and needed a place to rest, if you catch my drift. A few visitors ambled around, enjoying the quiet repose. The lightest breeze breathed, barely stirring leaf litter and bay. I could have stayed much longer, but I remembered that I did have a job to return to.

But on such a pretty day (okay, the haze and clouds weren’t that great, but don’t tell Yesterday Me that), I couldn’t go straight home.
leaves hugging a barn
I had previously tried to photograph this barn, but wasn’t happy with the images. Try, try again, though. Yesterday, as I passed it on the way to the lighthouse park, I noticed a couple of bright red maple saplings – possible barn frames – and made a mental not to pull over on the way back by. I’m glad I tried again 🙂

Nearing Rapid City, instead of taking the usual way home, I took the back way in, over an almost unmaintained rutted sand road. A terrific decision – look at this county road splendor!
country road

And it doesn’t stop there. A logging operation has created this giant, reflection-filled puddle. Looking both up and down is advisable as well.

I did eventually return home and to work. Then, because it is going to rain all day today through Saturday, we left (after work) for what is becoming a traditional post-peak color hike at the Sand Lakes Quiet Area. I’m not sure what draws us there each year, but it always seems like a good place to go once the fall fireworks have petered out. Perhaps it’s just a tradition? Do you have places like that? Those that seem to draw you back, year after year?

PS – Happy Halloween!
PPS – I finally created a Facebook page just for photos. If you want to check it out, please do. 🙂

sand lakes
sand lakes-2

Early Fall Evening at Rugg Pond

An evening walk around the block is almost routine for us. Almost. Fitting in four miles and dinner before sunset can be a bit of a challenge at this time of year. Since we had chorizo with dinner, the four miles seemed more like an invitation for heartburn than a fun way to unwind. However, with warm air and blue skies, we weren’t going to stay confined inside, so we chose a local destination for a brief outing.

The blushing trees at Rugg Pond formed unblemished reflections in the stillness, while the hillsides behind cast deepening shadows.

First two images can be embiggened, as can the side-by-sides
Rugg Pond pano

fishing Rugg Pond

Rugg Pond reds

The absolute tranquility cemented my belief that Mama Nature is currently taking a deep breath, poised on a precipice of autumnal intensity. Can you feel it, too?

Nights have been chilly (frost most evenings), but the days warm nicely so that my grapes flourish and my tomatoes continue to ripen. Rich green trees of summer have been supplanted by their olive-colored brethren, tinged red at the tips – but holding, not yet bursting into fall flames.

Rugg Pond ripples

I’m holding my breath waiting for it, too. Right now I’m enjoying the clear, crisp air and the bit of heat the late September light holds. I’m still warm enough in capris, but require a jacket if I’m not cloaked in direct sunshine.

It’s always like this, before the October glory arrives. I’ll not push for it to hurry though. Soon enough, we’ll be shrouded in November’s shadows, which aren’t nearly as pleasant as these.

Rugg Pond

Careful What You Wish For

Spring conditions made a brief (and unwanted) visit to northern Michigan over the weekend. Temperatures warmed above freezing (fine), melting some of the snowpack (okay), and dumped quite a bit of rain (gross). Thus, our roads are littered with cavernous potholes and thick, bumpy, slippery ice. Yesterday evening, on our way into TC for a grocery refill, Tony and I ran into our neighbors Gary and Jill (don’t worry; they’re fine). They were out walking in the foggy mess, and Jill mentioned that we had four inches of snow on the way. I was amused because last time I had checked, estimates were only one inch, but so goes snow prediction. I glibly quipped – publicly on Facebook no less – that I would welcome some snow to improve road conditions. Well, be careful what you wish for! Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

The weather outside has been frightfully warm, at least for January. Tony and I went skiing on Sunday before things started to heat up, and then avoided the melty surfaces the remainder of the week. By lunchtime today, Traverse City was a balmy 55F (13C), and we witnessed multiple crazies out in shorts and sandals. Even though this week has been beautiful and sunny, I was uninspired to get out in it since sunny and above freezing = icky snow/ice on the sand roads nearest home. Finally today Tony and I ventured out, in search of illumination. Well, I sought illumination – the topic of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. I’m pretty sure Tony was just along for the ride. Even though he was driving 😉 Continue reading