Exploring Fabius Township and St. Joseph County, Michigan, with side trips all over this Great Lakes state

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mighty Mac at night

Well, a version of the Mighty Mac at night.  But maybe this is just right for Halloween when weird sights are not unusual.

Enjoy less weird bridge scenes at Louis La Vache's Sunday Bridges!  And yes, yes, Go Giants!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the rOcks


H2O, that is, On the rOcks for O-day on ABC Wednesday.  Obvious One, fOr sOmeOne living in a Great Lakes State.  And it was the H2O Of Our lakes that made the natiOnal news last night.  Winds whipped the water into waves that spewed Over the light hOuses and brOught people and repOrters tO the beaches tO view them.  The Chihuly glass in Grand Rapids was nOt harmed (fOr thOse Of yOu whO tOOk a lOOk at yesterday’s blOg and wOndered the OutcOme!  Maybe they tOOk B2s suggestiOn and used ScOtch tape to secure them!) .  And thOugh tOrnadOs were spOtted all around us, they didn’t gain the strength to do great harm here in SW Michigan.
Let’s gO nOw tO celebrate mOre O’s with the Outstanding lOvers of O at ABC Wednesday!  Oh my, O is an Outstanding vOwel and ObiquitOus..........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High winds and glass

Glass is on my mind this morning as tornado watches and warnings with high wind warnings blanket the upper midwest and in particular southwest Michigan.  Extremely odd weather for us.  All the rural schools are closed for the day and the sky is full of scuttling clouds, while between bouts of wind and rain an eery calm prevails.  We have battened down the hatches -- the bird feeders and the wind chimes all taken down -- and are waiting for first wave of storms to blow through.  And then I thought about all that Chihuly glass pieces outdoors up in Grand Rapids.  If you are the curator of such an exhibit (which will close on October 31 after being held over an additional month), what do you do?! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Going the wrong way?

Hmmm, nobody is going our way!  It is a Saturday morning in September and everyone is going north causing long lines on the Mackinaw Bridge, the Mighty Mac.  The photo might be very different if it were taken on a Sunday afternoon when the traffic on the Bridge and I75 is headed south.   For bridge traffic all over the world, please do visit the Sunday Bridge website of San Francisco's Louis LaVache.

Have I told you that the Yoopers (Michiganders living in the Upper Peninsula) call the folks from the Lower Peninsula "trolls," that is ones who liver under the bridge?  There is a definite rivalry and the Yoopers who have come south to work in the factories consider themselves living in exile. 

And one more piece of Michigan trivia: the state motto expressed on the state flag is "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice." (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.)  And there are two of them that make up the state.  And thus the need for the Mighty Mac.  For more on Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Transportation website.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Foggy day in Fabius

The moon was full last night and shone bright with Jupiter in the east, but this morning fog and clouds hid the sky.  And the day has seen temperatures in the 50's and rain off and on, signaling an end to the sunny warmth of the first part of October.  I think it will be some months before we once more celebrate the appearance of new leaves.  As you can see I am trying to be philosophical about the fact of winter just round the corner!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ghost forests in the sky

I was filling the bird feeder (the finches are coming in droves these days) when I looked up and saw these clouds.  Immediately I thought of wispy trees.  Now with a popular song of my youth in my head, I am calling them "ghost forests in the sky."  That song was "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and was a hit on the American popular music charts in 1949.  Burl Ives first recorded it, but he was followed by Vaughn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, even Peggy Lee.  Quite the list!  A fair warning to parents: be careful what you let your seven year old hear -- it may stick with them a very long time!

To listen to the music and learn more visit Ghost Riders in the Skies.  For more information on the song and its creator, visit Wikipedia.  For more skies, visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nothing nuanced about these colors!

I am probably driving you, my visitors, away with the daily repeats of autumn scenes here in southwest Michigan, but they just seem to get better and better.  Unlike yesterday's nuanced colors in the corn field, here comes the rays of the setting sun to light up the trees on the edge of the meadow.  Wish you could have been here!  but hope this photo (straight out of the camera) gives some idea of the stunning colors of the oak trees along the edge of the meadow. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Celebrating N on ABC Wednesday

Neat corn rows ready for the harvester and nuanced colors in the trees lining the autumn field make a nifty combination for celebrating N.   Join other notable celebrants of N at ABC Wednesday!

Exotic blossom

Found in the Rain Forest Conservatory at the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is this marvelous Chihuly blossom.  You have until October 31 to catch the splendor of the Chihuly exhibit everywhere on the grounds of the Meijer Gardens.  Don't miss it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can't we just be friends?

Seen at the annual Animal Rescue Fund Walkathon Saturday at Meyer Broadway Park in Fabulous Fabius Township, these two were the Mutt and Jeff couple on a sunny October day, a perfect day for a walk in the park and seeking out new friends.  Lots of humans got talked into bringing their canine friends to help raise funds for abandoned and abused animals.  ARF is instrumental in providing spaying and neutering services for animals in St. Joseph County.

And nominated for the most elegant couple at the park:
Although she was hoping for a Golden Retriever, she really loves me a lot!  Aren't I cute:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Clouds and Color

in this photo (straight out of the camera), enjoy the color  in the woods at the back of our meadow and the clouds above them.  It is just about seven as the sun is going down in our corner of southwest Michigan last Wednesday, ending another perfect autumn day.    Every day in this October of 2010 has seen warm temperatures and deepening color in the trees whose leaves have not already fallen.

Please visit Skywatch Friday for more fabulous skies from around the world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Milkweed once more

The milkweed pods have ripened and are spilling their seed for next year's crop.  The meadow is filled with them and looks almost snow-covered.   We have come full cycle with the milkweed since last spring when the real melting snow revealed a ground covered with opened pods and I posted my first milkweed blog. 

Explore many more bon mots that begin with an M on ABC Wednesday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Miner's River Bridge

Join me at a plain and simple bridge over Miner's River in a wild and beautiful section of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which stretches for 15 miles along Lake Superior between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan.  Not much to look at, but a great spot for a picnic lunch.

Miner's River flows to Superior where it enters through my favorite sandy beach, Miner's Castle Beach.  The "castle" is a rock formation on the west end of the beach, obviously resembling a castle tower.  Here are photos from that day of Miner's Castle Rock and then Miner's Castle Beach.
The day was sunny but windy and cool.  The lake was at its most spectacular in terms of color and waves.  By the way, this week (October 15) will be the anniversary of Congress approving the establishment of Pictured Rocks, the first national lakeshore park in the National Parks, in 1966. 

For less plain and simple bridges, please join with the coterie of bridge photographers collected by Louis LaVache at Sunday Bridges.

Friday, October 8, 2010

More Chihuly

These red reeds are marching up the grassy hill just beyond the DaVinci Horse at the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.  For the story of how DaVinci's horse was never completed in his time, but now stands tall not only in Milan, Italy but also in Grand Rapids, Michigan, please visit the homepage of the modern artist who made it happen, Nina Akamu (ninaakamu.com).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chihuly in Grand Rapids

This unusual blossom is one of many in the Tropical Conservatory at the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The exhibit of glass works by Chihuly closes at the end of this month and we found a perfect sunny fall day to visit the many splendors of the gardens and this exhibit, called  A New Eden.  If you visit the home page of the Meijer Gardens you will see more Chihuly glass indoors and outdoors.  And you will also learn more about this 132 acre marriage of the Michigan Horticultural Society and the sculpture collection of Fred and Lena Meijer.   If you live anywhere near enough to make the trip, I urge you to do so. 

Those of you who live in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky or Ohio, you may have a Meijer store in your town.  Fred Meijer began in the grocery business in the 1930's with the aim of providing good food at thrifty prices (see the Meijer website for more information), and in the 1960's the stores were called Meijer Thrifty Acres.  Still based in Michigan, Meijer has provided its founder with the money and time to give us a most wonderful experience of nature and art.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Life!

My definition of "The Life" is pictured here --  lounging in the light of the rising sun on a lake (in this case, Superior,  but  your favorite body of water will do).  Other things can be added, of course, a cup of coffee (or a gin and tonic if these were rays of the setting sun), a newspaper or book, a sketch pad or camera, a cat and/or a dog, another best friend or a new friend.  But, if none of these were there, it could still be "The Life"! 
Enjoy more contributions to L Day on ABC Wednesday by visiting the ABC Wednesday site.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

M28 Bridge over the AuTrain River

We are in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan for this Sunday's Bridge for M. Louis LaVache and other bridge friends.  The AuTrain River's journey to Lake Superior is almost finished.  Here M28, the road between Sault St. Marie and Wakefield, crosses the river as it begins to flow through the glorious white sand beach of AuTrain Bay. 

For bridges from all over the world, please visit Louis and friends at Sunday Bridges.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kennedy Poster, 1968

For those of you who were part of the discussion on The Pedagogue's (Leslie in Van Can) remembrance of JFK (see her post for the letter K) on ABC Wednesday, here is my promised RFK campaign poster from the 1968 presidential primary in Indiana.  A friend drew this poster and I went door to door with Kennedy literature.  Several homes I visited invited me in to see their framed pictures of JFK.  It was quite an emotional campaign for me.  As we all know, that Kennedy bid for the presidency ended with Bobby's death in Los Angeles in June, 1968.  I was watching the late news in order to find out if he had won the California primary only to also then hear the first bulletin with the news of the shooting.  The site of the hotel where he was shot is now the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, a K-12 school complex that cost $578 million and just opened amid much criticism of the cost.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sun and Clouds over the Islands

There is nothing like the cloud formations that roam Lake Superior!  And we had a perfect spot on Shelter Bay for watching them morning and night.  It is early evening and you can see the sun piercing the clouds and lighting up portions of AuTrain Island, Grand Island, and the east arm of AuTrain Bay (Shelter Bay is the small "sub-bay" at the west arm of AuTrain Bay).  

To explore more photos of skies, please visit Skywatch Friday.