Saturday, May 30, 2009

Playing With Fire

When I was a kid growing up in Kansas we lived just outside the city limits so we could burn leaves, sticks, trash, have fireworks.. all those fun things you can't do in an urban area. It wasn't long though, before we were taken into the city and those things were banned. We all lit the fireworks anyway, hoping not to get caught. But it wasn't the same.

In each place I've lived since leaves were mulched or bagged, fireworks were watched from a parking lot and set off by professionals with accompanying music on the radio. Nifty titles for the events like "Go 4th" .....

Then we moved to the Michigan countryside. It's like being a kid again. Piles of leaves get burned at the curb or in yards, almost everyone has a fire pit to enjoy any evening, roasting hot dogs or just enjoying the flames with friends. Fireworks are sold in the local grocery store. Tonight as I sat on my deck I saw a brilliant display of colored light above the trees in the distance and wondered out loud who was putting on a show this early. My husband said "probably in someones backyard", and he's probably right. Our lake association puts on a wonderful fireworks show each year and after it's over backyard shows continue late into the night. It's spectacular!!

Living in the country has many benefits, and playing "safely" with fire is one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mindful of Trees

Being raised on the plains I longed to live on a tree lined street. Maybe a forest would be closer to the truth. While I'm not in a forest there is one really close by and a trip to some of the many lakes in the area have convinced me, I've arrived.

Probably the most surpising thing to me is the population in the countryside. Traveling many states in the midwest I'd witnessed miles of nothing but fields, with tree lines to keep the soil from blowing away. Every so many miles there would be a farm or house. In the parts of western Michigan I've traveled there is a house or farm around every corner. Lots of trees as I've mentioned and rolling fields. It's quite beautiful. Does that mean farms are larger in the midwest? I don't know, but people living in the countryside of Michigan have much closer neighbors.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I'm pretty sure I never noticed sunsets before I moved to Michigan 2 years ago. Now if I don't make a point of looking I feel guilty. I'm given this magnificent show on every cloudless night and I feel it's my duty to view it. What's more I feel it's my duty to photograph it as well. I don't do quite as well getting them all on film. (The small shadow on the lake there in the center of this photo is a family of geese.)

I was sitting three nights ago on the deck watching the sunset. It seemed kind of ordinary so I didn’t run and get my camera. There was this C shaped bank of clouds and the sun was under the top portion. I just saw wonderful orange yellow sky in the opening, then the sun started peering out from under those clouds and rather quickly began to sink in a bright blaze of glory. As it disappeared behind the bottom part of that bank a tiny hole in the clouds made it seem like the trees were on fire, the sun was so bright there. About that time I left and went inside thinking I’d seen all there was to see of it and came upstairs to my desk to work. I turned toward the window and the clouds were this amazing blue and pink and I thought just when you think the show is over, it’s not, and I ran downstairs and took some pictures of again what I thought was the end of it. I came back upstairs and AGAIN the sky is now purple and pink and yellow and the clouds are blue gray. Will I ever learn. And then again it’s even different and a group of geese just flew over. The picture keeps changing and becoming more glorious. There is a lesson here.