Saturday, April 11, 2015

Becoming Spring

Signs of spring greeted me as I stepped outdoors early this morning.  Music from songbirds returned from winter getaways filled the air and beckoned me to head outside with my camera to explore.  On a drive back home from Traverse City yesterday, I noticed that most of the ice had gone out of the bay.  But sometimes Northport is different.  What ice melting is going on here? 

I could see the ice was completely gone from the Bight, except for an occasional berg waylaid by shoreline vegetation.

How surprised I was to come upon two sandhill cranes taking a morning beach stroll!  Now that the water has opened up, I imagine we will see more shorebirds fishing for food along the bay.

Not all of the ice melt has been a gentle and easy process, however.  This past week stiff winds from the across the bay blew huge piles of melting ice into the neighborhood next to mine.

Gigantic ice bricks encroached onto beaches, destroying whatever was in its path, including furniture left out for the winter.

These decks and shore stations were completely upended by the force of the moving ice.

I wondered what signs of spring I'd see on the other side of the peninsula.  Bright red buckets were hanging on the trees near Christmas Cove, ready to collect the running maple syrup.  I'd not yet been down to Christmas Cove beach because its steep hill is blocked off in the winter.  I was delighted to see the entrance was finally opened up.

Driving down the hill to the beach, I gasped at the vista before me.  Ice fields covered the water as far as I could see.  While it was hauntingly beautiful, I couldn't help but think:  It's still winter here!

Not wanting to accept the reality of what I had seen, I made my way south to Peterson Park only to have the same scene repeated.  And the Leland Report had mentioned just a few days ago that the ice was gone there.  Well, that is not true for Northport!  Becoming spring may take a while longer here.


  1. Karen, I love seeing the sandhill cranes back! I wonder where that pair spent the winter? Ice on Lake Michigan isn't going to scare me -- didn't we still have ice off Peterson Park in May last year? Thanks for the update. Lovely!

  2. Pamela...I enjoyed seeing the cranes too. They are such graceful and interesting birds. I took a sunset picture at Christmas Cove last May 8 and there was still ice on Lake Michigan. So patience is in order! Karen

  3. Super captures of the tug of war between winter and spring, Karen. It was great to see the clear evidence of winter's lasting and devastating effects offset by signs of spring - maple syrup buckets and sandhill cranes. Hopefully, winter is finally giving up.

  4. I'm in your camp, Jan. Let's be done with winter. Spring, bring it on!

  5. Nice shots of the power of ice and the hopefulness of spring induced by seeing red pails on maples!

  6. Thanks, Jackie. It really is a push/pull situation. I was at Peterson Park last night for the sunset and there's still plenty of ice out there on the big lake.