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Signs of Life

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As the weather continues to tease us with warmth and sunshine one day and snow on the ground the next, it is encouraging to find signs of Spring here and there.  Buds are swelling on my Lilacs, frogs are singing on the warmer days, and the woods are full of Robins and Redwings.

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 Skunk Cabbage is not the prettiest plant, but it one of the first to appear in the woods and swamps.

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Although my African Violets live indoors, they seem to be entering into the spirit of the season, showing tiny new buds after a period of dormancy.

There is a cold wind blowing today, and rain and snow in the forecast, so I am grateful for all these hopeful signs.

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Dow Garden Butterflies

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Hungry for a taste of Spring, I took a trip to Dow Gardens a few weeks ago to enjoy their annual Butterfly Display.

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I snapped away to my heart’s content as my thirsty winter skin drank in the warmth and humidity of the conservatory.

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These lovely creatures are challenging to photograph, as they are rarely still, but I managed to get some decent shots.  Wonderful way to lift one’s spirits when Winter seems never-ending!

A Taste of Spring

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Took a tip from a Facebook Friend and picked up some potted Hyacinths with my groceries.

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While we are still locked in the grip of snow and ice outside, their scent is filling my living room with a hint of Spring, lifting my sagging spirits.

This was well worth the small investment!

Christmas Cactus

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A friend gave me a Christmas Cactus some time ago.  I am still getting the hang of how to care for it, but it has recently started blooming for me.

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So far it has only managed one bloom at a time, but what a beautiful, delicate flower it is!

Following instructions I found on line, I have moved it to a warmer, lighter location, hoping to encourage it to continue blooming – even if this is not the correct time of year for it to do so!

Trip to Lake Huron

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Last week, I was snowed in from Sunday to Tuesday afternoon, and then pretty much housebound by the dangerously cold temperatures for the rest of the week. Even mail delivery was cancelled and State offices closed due to the poor road conditions and extreme temperatures.  In typical Michigan fashion we are now blessed with Springlike conditions, so on Saturday, I emerged from semi-hibernation and drove to Port Huron with my trusty camera.

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Rain threatened, but even under laden skies, the lake was beautiful as always.

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Someone apparently felt sorry for this statue, and donated a scarf for her to wear!

Winged Visitors

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Lots of birds coming to my feeder today as a Winter storm moves in, along with plunging temperatures.  Even without access to TV and the Internet, birds always seem to know when bad weather is moving in.

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They like to perch on the porch railing before moving to the feeder, but the accumulating snow is making that difficult!

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Always difficult to get a good shot of the Cardinals.  They are very easily spooked.

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According to my Field Guide, this is a Song Sparrow, but they are supposed to be a Summer visitor to our area.  Hope he can survive the coming Arctic Blast that is headed our way.

 

 

 

Winter Trials

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A one day thaw, plus a mixture of snow, rain and sleet on top of the 5 inches of snow already on the ground, has left us with quite a mess!  Finding safe footing for my walk this morning was a challenge as the campground was covered with a mixture of ice and frozen slush.  No more thawing in the foreseeable future, so we will be dealing with this for quite a while.

 

The main road into the Park was in even worse shape than the campground.

My driveway is now a luge run.  Grateful for my all wheel drive car.

Closing In

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On Saturday, our morning walk was almost magical. Unseasonably warm temperatures brought in fog, which thickened as the sun rose.

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In the space of half an hour, visibility dropped very quickly.

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By the time we were heading back to the car, the fog was wrapped around us like a blanket, muffling sound as well as sight.  A truly magical morning!

Beautiful Barns

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We have had so many gloomy days lately, that I rarely take my camera out, so I searched through my files for colorful photos to post, and came across these fine old barns.

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Love the cloudless blue sky and green trees in this one.

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This one was taken in November of 2016, but at least the sun was shining!

Our modern steel barns may be more practical and economical, but they lack the character of these beautiful old barns and I like to photograph them whenever I come across one.

 

A Glimpse of Sun

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Enjoyed a lovely quiet walk on Christmas morning.  Abbie and I had the Park all to ourselves, and we even caught a glimpse of the sun as it rose!

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Unfortunately, the sunshine was soon gone as clouds rolled in once more, but at least we are not knee-deep in snow as we were last year.

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With the Solstice behind us, I am looking forward to longer days.  Hard to believe that the sun will be coming closer, even as the weather gets colder and Winter begins in earnest!

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