Rainy Day Beauty

The weather in the UP (and ostensibly the rest of the state) took a nose dive the day we headed home. Since it was a week ago, and I wasn’t there, I don’t remember how bad it was – just that it wasn’t – and isn’t – summery anymore.

raindrops on fall leaves

The story this week has been rain, rain, and more rain. And it’s been pretty cold. A tough transition to go from shorts to coats, hats, and gloves virtually overnight.

raindrops on fall leaves-2

But the fall color is gorgeous, even under the rain. And since cold rainy weather calls for comfort food, we took a short road trip to Petoskey to track down some Polish Kitchen.

fall fence

We stopped at the Deadman’s Hill Overlook, which looks out on the Jordan River Valley.
Deadman's Hill Overlook - panorama

Petey drew a large crowd, and we met some nice folks before moving on for lunch. It was an odd gathering – well over half of the adults had carried beer or wine on the short hike. Hoping they weren’t driving. They seemed like a big family bunch arriving together, so we’ll assume the best.
Deadman's Hill Overlook

A surprising number of trees still hold all their green leaves.
Deadman's Hill - fall fence

Such an odd fall. Our leaves began changing in the summer, and have kind of stalled out in all this rain.
roadside falls

We have temps in the 30’s coming up though, so perhaps the overnight chill will spur the leaves to get back to their beautification project.
wet barbed wire - fall trees

Regardless, we’ll enjoy whatever Mother Nature brings. You get what you get, and you don’t get upset, right? On that note, have a great week!
red maple in pasture

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Making Excuses

This time of year always gets me. I am such an outdoors-loving spirit, and getting out takes special efforts after standard time kicks in. Speaking of which, can someone explain to me why we “save” daylight in the summer when there’s plenty of it, but don’t in the winter when we’re already lacking? (Okay, I’m really just looking for commiseration here, not a real explanation which I can easily Google.)

Thus, when the hourly forecast indicated a break in the rain this afternoon, I took advantage of the opportunity. Mind you, I wasn’t excited to go out – it’s brown and grey with just a splash of evergreen, and it was still misty and cold – but I figure the best way to beat the doldrums is to jump in.

What it feels like walking out of Daylight Saving Time 😉
November boardwalk

The roads are too squishy for a walk (Remember that I’m surrounded by packed sand roads?), so I grabbed my camera and decided to push myself to be creative. In this low-color day, I set my sights on a place that’s pretty regardless of sun or season: the Rapid River at the Seven Bridges Natural Area.

Tony and I walked around in the light drizzle, appreciative of the reprieve from the house (that I love, but I get cabin-fever easily) and for the serenity compliments of the rippling river.

Rapid River falls

With the muted colors and lighting, I looked for shapes. I liked the curve in the river as it approaches one of the many bridges. And since the scenery was already lacking saturation, I decided to play around with black and white.

Which version is your favorite? Really, I’d like to know if you’ll tell me in the comments!
Rapid River

desaturated Rapid River

Rapid River - BW

Eventually, as the water started soaking through my jeans in patches, we called it an afternoon and headed back home. It wasn’t a high-adventure trip, but it was a good excuse to get outside.

A Few of My Favorite Things

As Jody graciously pointed out, it’s been twelve days since I posted – a fact that I haven’t missed, but have been entirely too busy to rectify. Since we live 500 miles from our core families, Tony and I only get to visit occasionally. We’re fortunate that I-75 runs both ways, so they sometimes visit us, too, but when we head that way, I try to use the computer for work and nothing else. Thus, while we were off visiting our loved ones in southern Ohio, my little blog (which just turned three!) sat and mouldered. Continue reading

A Moment of Zen

My mom has smoked longer than I can remember…by a good ten years, I’d say. And not just a little. She inhaled two packs of cigarettes – about forty – each day for about as many years. She’s tried to quit before – how many smokers haven’t? – but it never took. And she’s tried a lot of things: group hypnotism, nicotine gum, smoking outside only, e-cigs, resolve, and probably more. But it’s hard when those closest to you smoke, too. Everyone understands when you start back up, and they’re all around you, stress-free when you’re irritably trying not to. Or so I imagine. Continue reading

Falling into a New Year

The day before we returned home from Ohio, Mom invited me to go exploring in the Fallsville area again in what I think (and hope) is becoming a tradition. A winter storm had glazed southern Ohio in ice, and then partially covered its masterpiece with a light frosting of snow. What more excuse did we need to traipse by the falls, just to see what we could see. Nevermind that I had well over a 102-degree fever. Everyone goes hiking in the snow and ice with a high fever and flu, right? Continue reading