Harbor Springs, Michigan, USA
May 07
Illustrator, Book Designer, Writer
Janice Phelps Williams is a book designer, illustrator, and writer. Learn about services for authors and publishers, as well as her artwork and books at www.janicephelps.com.


APRIL 20, 2012 5:49AM

Driving around Harbor Springs, MI: Part One

Rate: 5 Flag
Last week, Mark and I moved from beautiful Athens, Ohio, to beautiful Harbor Springs, Michigan. After 13 years of enjoying the hills, trees, caves, lakes, and architecture of central and southern Ohio, I have opened my camera bag 500+ miles to the north and found hills, trees, a much bigger lake, and interesting architecture that delight me with slight differences, perhaps due to sand and exposure to cold and lake air and the cultural influences of this northern region.

Oh dear...it is early in the morning, I'm still tired from unpacking, so I'll just get to the good part... photos!

This was my first trip out of the house as a resident of Harbor Springs. I drove down to the edge of Lake Michigan and saw this scene above, which I thought was quite lovely. I got out of the car, zipping up my jacket, and heard the sound of little wild things, I'm not sure if they were frogs or insects or what, but while this photo looks serene, the atmosphere and audio were humming. I wish I knew the names of trees (and birds and bugs and insects), but it is enough for me to love the look of them, the color and shape, the way they move in the wind and change with the seasons.

I was about to get back in my car, when I noticed something through the trees. Here is a little rock structure, above! 

Here is a view, slightly farther down the road, looking back toward the marina at Harbor Springs.

I think this tree is quite wonderful, living as it does on the edge of a Great Lake and weathering everything Mother Nature sends its way. Here is a close-up, below.

I love big, old, beautiful houses. Not to heat! Not to clean! But to gaze at from a distance, to imagine the lives within and to photograph. Right now (late April) the homes along the water's edge are mostly still closed up for winter, still empty of their warm-weather inhabitants. But all around were signs of the coming "Season." Workmen, gardeners, and their various vehicles lined the streets and signs of "getting ready" abounded.

Certainly the most important feature on these houses is the front porch, with windows being a close second!

My son, Bryce, loves yellow. I took this photo above with him in mind.

This house, above, had a sign on it called "Pillars." It reminded me of the beautiful homes in the Garden District in New Orleans. (Here is a link to my photos of those homes.)

This house, above, has an pleasing symmetry...but it can't wait, I think, for its owners to arrive.

I love all things blue, so of course had to take the photos above and below.

The house above, with its beautiful rocks, seemed like a storybook setting to me.

This modern house suffers from no self-esteem issues, standing as it does amongst the "old-fashioned" houses.

I liked this tree.

I am not sure what this structure is, but I will go with church-turned-house until I find out otherwise!

Here's a little park area with the wonderful birch trees so prevalent here.

These boats want to be set free for summer!

I left the center of Harbor Springs and headed along the hilly, winding, wooded road home. And look what I found in a tree as I was driving by!

And then, I saw this house. After seeing the beautiful houses along the lake and the care they received, well, I felt very sad for this house. Situated, I think, at a high elevation, I wondered what had happened to it. Tornado? Fire? Poor, sad red house...


And look who is inside our home...

On top of the chair is Tyler, our Pekingese. Tyler just turned 11 years old in February. Front left is our Chihuahua, Jackie, who will be 9 in May (see illustrations of her at this link). Farley, on the chair seat, is a mixed breed dog who will be 10 in May. This is Jackie's fifth house, and Tyler and Farley's fourth house. They are very adaptable dogs!

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Loved your pictures and look forward to more.
We haven't been to Harbor Springs yet but it looks very pretty.
It will be fun to watch it come alive this Summer.
Janice, what a beautiful location you have chosen to move to! An entire new environment to explore and take photos of is clearly in the offing. My wife saw the post also and commented how attractive the photos and said a friend of hers had a vacation home there some years back.
Wonderfully beautiful. I am sure you will love your new home very much. Sure you already do.
Welcome to Michigan. My old home turf. I miss it very much. The Lake will become one of your best friends, ever.
Lovely pics, Janice, and congrats on your new home. I wish you have the best of times. R