Thursday, June 27, 2019


I’d been watching the weather forecast for a clear night where there might be a good sunset.  But the kinds of sunsets I’ve been used to over the years have been on the west side of the Leelanau Peninsula.  You know, the kind where the sun dips right into Lake Michigan, or so it seems.  Peterson Park. Empire Beach.  Real sunsets, or so I’d thought.

Now that I live on the east side of Traverse City, it’s a long drive to the western Leelanau shore at that time of night.  I decided to drive out on Old Mission instead.  I remembered a scenic turnout off Center Road that might yield some good vistas.  I could see right away that the view was spectacular with vineyards, West Bay, and the sky all in perfect position for the sunset.

 Turns out I wasn’t the only one with that idea.  Sunset was supposed to be at 9:33 p.m. and Gracie and I arrived at about 8:20.  We were the third car lined up to catch the view.  We parked parallel to the outlook edge and prepared to wait.  There were a lot of clouds, and I wondered if they would occlude the sunset.  Regardless, the golden hour was setting in, and the view was lovely.

Over the years of taking pictures, I’ve learned how people are drawn to sunsets.  That was true this evening also.  Cars began arriving and soon the narrow overlook was double deep with cars.  People were jumping out of their cars and taking selfies with their mobile phones, using the deepening colors in the sky as a backdrop.  I soon could see that I was the only person using a “real” camera.

As the sun continued its descent downward, the clouds, sun, and sky interacted to create a lovely palate of gold and yellow hues.

As full as the overlook was becoming, people continued to pull off the road on both sides.  It was now three cars deep on the overlook side.  One young couple pulled out lawn chairs and plunked down to watch the view unfolding.  I’d obviously found the place to be for sunset watching on Old Mission.

The sunset was nearing its completion, and the view was becoming more spectacular by the minute.

As the sun went behind the land on the other peninsula, the crowd gasped and murmured at the beauty of this sunset.  I guess they all agreed that the wait for a summer sunset was worth it.

Once the sunset was complete, most watchers stuck around as the afterglow began.  And the atmosphere had turned quiet, as people watched the awe unfold before them.

With the afterglow starting to dull a bit, on my drive home I mulled over whether this sunset was as beautiful as ones I’ve seen over water and I decided it was.  Just different.  After all, a sunset is a sunset.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention…
     From “Praying” by Mary Oliver


Thursday, June 13, 2019


Spring is the time of year when I see many baby animals and waterfowl.  The young ones are always so cute to see and photograph.

Out in farm country near Kingsley, I first came across this pair of Canadian Geese and their brood of seven goslings.

The parents brought up the rear, but they were really pushing the little ones towards a nearby pond.

Oh, the young ones are so fuzzy and cute!

Next, on South Boardman Lake at Logan’s Landing, I saw this pair of Mute Swans with their five babies, known as cygnets.

 While both parents were busy dunking for aquatic plants, they kept their brood safely between them.

Like the goslings, these cygnets were fuzzy and cute.  Unfortunately, I waited and waited, but I couldn’t get them to face in my direction.

Returning to farm country, I saw two Red Angus cows with their calves in a meadow.

The calves were already quite large, and I wondered when they’d been born.  This one was a handsome dude, but not exactly cute and fuzzy like the waterfowl chicks.

To be honest, not being much of a farm girl, what amazed me most about the cows was the size of their udders.  As they all romped through the meadow, their udders dragged on the ground!  I wondered if the calves were being weaned and the cows were waiting for the extra milk to dry up.  So much to learn about the natural world!

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Blossomtime:  One of the most beautiful times of the year in our area!  With perfect viewing weather forecast over the next four days, venture out to the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas for these annual breathtaking scenes.