From the Midwest

From The Midwest

From The Midwest
North Carolina,
September 29
Never Give Up! Never Doubt Goodness and that Includes YOU!
Former English teacher-artist from the Midwest and just another statistic of "The Great Recession." Life goes on . . .


Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 4, 2009 11:24AM

A Michigan Winter in Pictures

Rate: 29 Flag
A Michigan winter is at once silent and pristine, even inviting. I love this old shed. Gertrude, who is in her 80's and lives alone, still tends the yard and garden from this old farm. It was a very cold morning when I shot this.
Lake Michigan is just beyond the treeline in the background. 
Often, our cotton-candy snow is soft and fluffy. Overnight, it powders everything it touches. This is the park on the river by my studio. The sculpture has a nurse's dog tag around its neck. I hope this angel floated her to heaven.
When the sun does come out, it reflects off the snow crystals creating blue shadows. You can climb a tree without your feet ever leaving the ground! This is the corner of my studio.
One evening at sundown when I looked out my apartment window toward Lake Michigan, snow vortexes swirled over it.
Sometimes, all one needs in life is a red bird feeder covered in snow.
My cat, Chalk, dreams about that birdfeeder ... 
By January, we already surpassed our yearly average of 100 inches of snow. Some records just shouldn't be broken. Soon I won't be able to see anything out of my kitchen window!
They bring in the heavy equipment to haul away mountains of snow. On this day, they worked all through the night. Often, they release prisoners from the county jail to help.
But in just a few months, things will warm up and birds will return.
The Lake will give up its ice cover that looks like a moonscape. And . . . 
. . . pixies will cavort with pansies and ferns in the springtime. 
The End 

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Great photo-essay. The top picture is worth the price of entry, and Chalk....aww.
Stellaa, I don't mind the snow that much, but I'm at the age when the body just doesn't want to cope with it.

Aaron: Yes, it's bordering on the absurd. Actually, global warming is to blame. True. There is so much fresh water in the oceans from melting ice caps that it floats on top and pushed the salt water to the bottom. Fresh water cools faster and so the jet streams are all screwed up. We had 40 inches of snow is just a few days last month!
SmithBarney: Actually, I used it as the cover for my first book of essays, "Appreciating the Simple." It's one of my most favorite photos and I have it framed on the wall above my computer. Thanks.
A much needed respite from this unending snow globe.
Awww...gorgeous, wonderful, charming...and makes me SO homesick for my old home state. I'm a Mich transplant, now living in Northern Calif, where we are having the driest, warmest winter on record. Once a Michigander, always a Michigander, I guess, because I find mild winters so depressing. But, guess what, I'm heading back there in less than 2 weeks!

Visualize a Michigan-shaped mitten here, giving you a big thumb up.
Amazing amazing pictures. Thank you for forcing me to acknowledge the beauty of winter.
That red birdhouse reminded me of a poem by William Carlos Williams:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
Makes me want to go home right now! Great pics and descriptions.
L, next time you're in Motown post a few of the snow piles covered in black soot that linger in the parking lots into late April/May
Loved loved loved your pictures! I am a neighbor in the SE part of the state. As long as it's Winter bring on the snow. It creates a sense of magic no matter what the temperature reads!
(I say once it's below 32 degrees it's just a number!)
Beautiful pics. Last time I was in Michigan my camera froze and refused to work, though I caught some good shots out of my brother's snow plow laden four wheel drive.
Absolutely beautiful! And it's comforting to know there are other places in North America that get as much snow as we do here in Quebec...
Exquisite pictures. There is something painterly about some of them.

We are having a roller-coaster winter here in eastern Kansas, going from record highs (70 on Saturday) to very cold (a high of about 15 Monday) and very dry. I'd be happier with some snow.
Laurel, thanks for the "thumbs up." Most people won't understand what that means and I'm sure when you arrive in a few weeks, we will have plenty of snow waiting!

ktm, I thought of that poem as I wrote it. Love WCW.

SuznMaree, I'm a painter, so maybe that explains the painterly quality.

Thanks too all for all of your nice comments. I almost didn't post this.
Thanks for taking this Muskegonite back home for a bit, and for reminding why I know reside in TenOsee.
Tom: Aw, come on. It wasn't that bad, was it? But as winters go, this has been a humdinger for sure and it's not over by a long shot! I just hope we don't have freak storms in April and May.
My family had had a home in the highlands above Crystal lake for over 30ty years and I go every year. It's the roughest winter in awhile. I have no idea how anybody can live there year around, but my 87 year old mother still does--all by herself in a house on the hill with drifts hitting 12 feet. We can't get her out!
"We can't get her out!"

Ben, like I said, winter here can be "inviting." It's quiet and peaceful. And, really, it's quite beautiful. The snow can hypnotize. Sometimes the flakes are as big as quarters. I admire your mom and wish her well!
I'm loving these photo essays lately! I get to see the beautiful snow without having to endure the cold! Thanks for sharing these... just lovely.
karinb: I agree about the photo essays. Pictures really can be worth a thousand words. And thanks for using the word "lovely." We all need to use it a lot more--like the English!
I used to love the serene beauty of winters in Michigan. My love was tempered, though, by the fact that I often had to walk through snow to get to school or wait at a snowy bus stop. There were times I considered arson as a way to warm up.
Nerdyjen" Thanks for a grammatically-correct and wonderful post!
Thanks for a happier view of snow than I have had as late. And I see you're onto the correct line of thought, noting that indeed it is global warming that's causing our huge swings in weather.
I love these photos. And I love northern Michigan.
I love your pictures. They capture a beauty of winter that is hard to appreciate this far into it (it's been relentless, hasn't it?) Gorgeous post!
Just so beautiful. Keep 'em coming!
The shot of the shed up top stunning. It seems at once terrible, like the murderer's den in Fargo, and wonderous, like a frozen Edward Hopper.
These are some marvelous pictures of the area you live. The one of the tree shadow is my favorite, 2nd being the red birdfeed. Both illustrates the stillness & quite snow brings to a winter day.

Here's looking to Springtime, so you can gather the herbs...

Gary, fabulous pictures! They all look so peaceful and calm. Awesome lake picture. Great Chalk picture and I like the last one best. It has been a crazy winter with all the cold and snow. It's -1 now, that's enough! The people in the Midwest must appreciate Spring more than any other people! Great post. Thanks!
My wife lived in the U.P. as a little girl and is always saying how much she'd like to go back. When I see your beautiful pictures I'm even more convinced that she's a little off her rocker. Maybe a couple of days in July....
Thanks for your comments, everyone!!!

Southeastern Wisconsin Here: Lovely, lovely! There is nothing like the way a heavy and prolonged snowfall quiets the world.
I love the word "pixies" .. .it just conjures up all sorts of stuff for me!!! These pictures are excellent and I love the story they tell!!! Amazing job, Midwest ... thanks for the visit to the icy,snowy land of Michigan!!!
Theresa: thanks. Yes, I love how snow is the the only natural element that is quiet. Nothing compares.

Mother: I have a matching set of those pixies and everyone wants to buy them. You've guys in MO have had your share of winter, for sure. I have friends in Kirkland who give me daily reports.

Jane: that cat was a stray and pretty wild. But he wouldn't leave! It took several years for him to calm down. Now we are devoted to each other!
So glad you posted this. Absolutely beautiful!
I do envy you being able to quit teaching to pursue art. I'm working on a plan to do the same, but it includes that little problem of $$$.
great pix. I'm shivering, remembering winters in Cleveland... deep white snow, chapped face, frozen fingers. Is global warming such a bad thing? (kidding)