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

Monday, January 31, 2011

No pretending yesterday

OK, OK, it is not spring, there still is snow and ice, but the sky was blue yesterday!   Today dawned without cloud cover, but now at elevenses it is cloudy as we wait under a Weather Service Winter Storm warning for the next snow blanket to settle over us.  I may have to check out "Let's Pretend" again!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Let's pretend

When Willow, Gene, and I went  for our morning walk today, we were greeted with this very pleasant surprise.  The snow was gone, spring had come, lilacs were blooming, and this Eastern Black Swallowtail (sometimes called American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail) was sipping nectar just as fast as he could from the lilac blossoms.  He was so engrossed with lilac nectar that he stayed put to have his portrait done.  No doubt, he was as hungry for what spring brings as we are!

But, as you probably have guessed,  this tale is of course just imaginary and an antidote to gray winter days (the blues of yesterday's Skywatch Friday photo didn't make it through the night) and more snow falls as I write.   When I was a kid,  every Saturday morning we listened to a radio show call "Let's Pretend."  I am so very glad the concept has stuck with me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trees and clouds for Skywatch Friday

The close of today after the gray skies have given way to some blue skies.  For skies from around the world, visit a great spot, Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter blankets

Behold my world blanketed in snow!  It behooves us to dress warmly when venturing out and leaving our down and fleece blankets behind.

For more bewildering or bodacious B's, be sure to visit this week's ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Through the tea hut window

Too cold to sit in the hut but the view through two of the hut's windows is worth a glance.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A cheesehead celebrates!

It is January and the end of the season for U.S. professional football with the Super Bowl just two weeks away.  And yesterday the Chicago Bears played the Green Bay Packers for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.   And the Packers won, giving this fan a chance to don all his cheesehead regalia.  You can blame his brother for the cheesehead horn (Willow left the room when it was blown) but he bought the cap back in the 90's at a gas station in the Upper Peninsula where Packer fans dominate.  Here in southern Michigan there is probably a pretty even split between fans of the two teams. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trees in the woods, two views

The first shot is straight out of the camera and the second is a pencil sketch of it created in Photoshop Elements.  There is something about simple black and white renderings that appeals to me.  Also appealing is the sense of these trees floating above the snow.  Maybe I am the one floating in the warmth (up to 20 now from -6 this morning) of sunny blue skies, the first this week of daily snow falls.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Now as I was saying

Now as I was saying, this cold is getting ridiculous, seven  degrees and snowing again.  Good thing Willow and her friend keep these feeders full for us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

S for sunny, perhaps? Soon?

Have you ever noticed how much we northerners whine about gray skies and get giddy at a peek of blue sky?   This whining seems a more constant state, interrupted only briefly by the marvel of those sunny snowy days when we sing our other song about the truly amazing winter wonderland all around us.    Have you noticed that our blogs show more of the latter than the former!?  We are trying to convince ourselves not you that winter is truly...... well, what?  It depends on what day you ask us!

This is my first alpha cloud and it is dedicated to the master of the alphabet clouds, Cheryl at Dockside!

Seek more mostly blue skies at Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

eh, we begin again, ABC Wednesday

Now there is a word you can walk around with in your pocket!   And it has a pure gold meaning:  divination by walking around.  And actually is there any better way to solve a problem then by wrapping your mind around it as you walk in the woods with your favorite dog? 

Welcome to Round 8 of ABC Wednesday!  Please come have word fun with us, Mrs. Nesbitt's all-together, absolutely, awfully stuck on alphabet soup, gang at ABC Wednesday.

Grey day fantasy

Oh, to drive off today in this wonderful red Spider with the top down and wind and sun playing with our blowing hair and smiling faces, headed for a perfect beach on Lake Michigan, a swim in the crashing waves  followed by the lunch and wine and a sweet nap nestled in the sand...........
Just don't look out the window at the real gray world of a January rain!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

down the hill

From the top of the hill above the vernal pond, an old fence on the land next door can catch your attention as you walk in the gently falling snow.  Many years ago, the two properties were one farm, separated from each other just over thirty years but not farmed for many more than that.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Definitely an A+ kind of sky

There has been snow off and on every day now, but then the gray skies will disappear, and a blue sky streaked with whites will appear to cheer us on through January.

For skies from sunnier climes, visit Skywatch Friday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zowie, it was a real zinger!

And so unexpected.  The best truck in the world had made it up the snowy drive and was ready to wend its way back to Ann Arbor.  First, a stop in town for a sad event (a funeral of a much admired man on his 90th birthday), then hit the road.  But brushing off the accumulated snow from the rear window, it happens, the keys drop into the bed of the truck.   No problem, you say to yourself.  But zounds! the zinger has intervened! 

The keys have found a space between the cab and the bed of the trunk and are not to be seen.  They must be under the truck – so being not zoftig, under the best truck in the world you zip (after taking off your brand new winter coat, of course).  It’s a little cold as you shimmy in the snow and gad zooks! no keys!   What to do?  Call home?   The other keys are two and a half hours away!  Would treats from Zingerman’s (a deli as good as Zabar’s) help speed the round trip?   Think, think of simpler solutions!

Ah ha, a good friend is just blocks away, call him.   He zeros in on an idea -- let’s try a hanger to fish them out.   With renewed zeal, you zigzag the hanger down the hole and Z00M, up come the keys!   The zinger has been zapped!

So with the heater on high to warm you, the best truck in the world -- except for this one zany flaw -- brings you home safely.   And, at last, you have the chance to zonk out,  yes, catch some z's,  and recover from this day of unexpected turns.

To explore more Z's, please visit the zippy crew at ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow blossoms

To imagine that these clumps of snow are blossoms means I am wishing for spring already!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

weekend reflections

Everywhere you look you find winter beauty.  Here the Amur maple in its snow coat is reflected in the garage window.  It is 0 this morning and our morning walk has been called off!

Visit the Weekend Reflections site at James' Newtown Area Photo.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lots of snow and sun!

This morning the temperature started out at 3,  but when the sun came out it soared to 10.  The sun created sparkling snow as the trees gave up their heavy overnight snow.  The only response was to wander through it, smiling and laughing!  oh, yes, and snapping a few pictures attempting to catch the magic in pixels.

Friday, January 7, 2011

morning, oh so lovely after a snowfall

These January days give us dark winter mornings, except on a morning like today, after a snow fall when the white crystals of water called snowflakes transform everything and make you exclaim as you open the door, Oh!   In the face of the crisp yet soft beauty, you forget that it will have to be shoveled away as some point in the day.  You trudge gratefully through drifts not worried that the sun might not shine today through the clouds blowing off Lake Michigan.   And if the sun were to appear, it would rise just behind the lighted windows of the house, as if in answer to its beckoning glow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mellow Yellow for ABC Wednesday

It is great to be greeted by the mellow yellow of the kitchen windows as we trudge through the early dark and then gathering light of winter mornings in Michigan.  Lake effect snow came again yesterday undoing the browns opened up by the rains of New Year's Eve and Day.

I was honored to host Y-day on ABC Wednesday, but I forgot to post that great song of my youth, YaketyYak by the Coasters.  Here is an out take version from You Tube.
And the origin of Mellow Yellow by Donovan also comes from later in my youth (i.e. I was still under 30!)  Hear it now on You Tube.

And please enjoy more Y blogs on ABY Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a slice of sky

A typical rural view when wandering the roads in southwest Michigan.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new year's wish

May the new year bring you sun-filled days with a seat in the shade! 
This sun-filled day was six months ago and on Lake Michigan about fifty miles due west as the crow flies from Fabius.