Autumn Is Over

Last winter didn’t end until May. That’s right – the fifth month of the year. Summer wasn’t warm, and felt more compressed than normal, and fall was beginning to feel that way. Or I worried that it might.

Last weekend, on the Old Mission Peninsula


But really, we had a spectacular fall. The colors lit up, and decorated the landscapes in vivid autumn hues. We had chilly days, and we had warm days. We found ways to enjoy all of them – even the blustery almost-winter days like yesterday.

Yesterday, at the Point Betsie and Frankfort Lighthouses


Today, it seems, the weather’s clock has officially ticked over to “winter.” While I’m not thrilled with the rigmarole that is getting dressed for a simple outing, I’ll enjoy these coming days as well. I hope you do, too.

Earlier today

Spring Is on the Way

spring barn

Spring is on the way.

fresh snow-08

We can’t see the grass anywhere, and the snowdrifts are still up to my collar bones, but spring is on the way.

It may still look and feel just like winter, but I can tell. I know all the signs.

These sweet girls visited us on their Spring Break, and we did all kinds of spring things, like sledding, snowy hiking, and ice caving.

Also, we just celebrated the transition to Daylight Saving Time, colloquially called “Spring Forward,” so it must be almost spring.

And it’s the middle of March, which is when spring arrives. So it’s definitely on its way.

The pavement pieces that tile our road were clear for two days, so spring is sure to arrive soon.

Why just today we went skiing and then hiking through snowpack – two quintessential springtime activities.


The lakes are still frozen solid, and the winds bring frostbite in moments.

moonrise

But there’s light in the sky until 9:00pm.

post sunset

And it did rain the other day. So yes, spring really is on its way. It’s just that it could be winter again by time it arrives.

A note about my sanity: I’m not really that upset about this winter. It’s been beautiful, as you can see from this slew of photos, mostly taken during this morning’s sunrise over the fresh snow. It’s surely been a long, cold winter, but it hasn’t been without its rewards. We’ll enjoy whatever weather comes our way, and will savor the springtime even more when it does arrive. In July. πŸ˜‰

Also, many thanks to my Crazy (formerly) Goan Friend for the nudge to write again πŸ™‚

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Because it’s the weekend and we can, Tony (and Petey) and I decided we’d go for another beach-combing adventure this afternoon. Sure, the skies were grey and it was cold – single digits again plus wind – but we could still have fun.

Knowing we’d be traipsing through snow and on the coast exposed to unmitigated gusts, we dressed in our ski clothes. We laughed along the way at the height of the snow drifts. We noticed one mailbox completely encrusted in snow; it had literally been dug out of a drift, with at least four feet piled above it. And at least one place had drifts that were a couple feet higher than the roof of the car.

Driving conditions that typified the afternoon. These are relatively low drifts…
driving

It was all silly “Hahaha, isn’t life Up North funny sometimes?” until we got to the beach. And couldn’t see the horizon at all because the snow had so intensified.

Icebergs and icy pilings in Glen Haven – contrast exaggerated so you can see the horizon

If there were a decent trail, we might have stayed to explore, but with such a downpour Petey kept shaking to clear his head, and the photos are all littered with white blurs. While we were out, though, Petey had a good time chasing balls of ice. He’d have stayed gnawing on his catch, but we knew it was time to go when his hind legs began shivering.


Ah well. You win some, you lose some. We had a few good days earlier in the week (I’ll share photos and details at some point!), and we’re all still healthy and happy (relatively – Dominique is having a dental issue…), so for now, Life is Good πŸ™‚

Friday Photos – Freezing Bubbles

After seeing it all over the internet (by which I mean Facebook), I got pulled into the freezing bubble phenomenon. Unfortunately, I had neither bubble solution nor bubble wand. I resolved to rectify the situation, as we were in Traverse City/near bubble-supply location, but then forgot. So I did what any person who desperately wants to make bubbles does and improvised. I made a wand out of some Amazon packaging leftovers (you never know what those things can be good for!) and found bubble solution in the form of the diluted Dawn we keep beside the kitchen sinks.

“Bubble wand” with frozen solution inside…forms in less than two seconds!
bubbles-4

After many, many bubbles, a few finally stuck without popping. Apparently adding corn syrup makes the bubbles a little thicker, but I wasn’t going to ruin my soap since it was working okay.

I love the snowflakes on this bubble πŸ™‚
bubbles

I was happy with that, despite the low contrast of the cloudy morning. But then the sun came out…and so I traipsed back out. My fingers haven’t been that cold in a long time – much colder than the other day. Making the bubbles isn’t so bad, but making the pictures is brutal! I’m not sure how cold it needs to be for bubbles to freeze, but if you get a cold, windless day, give it a go! (I think the low wind is probably more important than the extreme cold, but it was in the single digits out there.) Your inner child you will thank you πŸ™‚

Wanna see more? Hop over to Jess’ blog – we were doing the same thing at the same time again πŸ˜‰

And a Happy New Year

We’ve been Away, visiting friends and family down in Ohio. It was a lovely trip, which I will catch you up on later (because you know I’ve got photos of all those dear people to share!), but at least now you understand my blogging absence.

We returned home last night, and brought two of our nephews back up with us. They’re hardy; despite the single digits and below zero wind chills, we’ve played in the snow, built a quinzhee that all four of us fit in, gone sledding, and imbibed hot cocoa. It might not sound like the best way to ring in the new year, but it is. πŸ™‚

May 2014 greet you kindly and treat you even better!