A Winter Date

Several nights ago EJ woke me at about 4 a.m. “I have something to show you. Come look,” he whispered. We quietly sneaked into the living room. There were two deer just outside the window exploring the bird feeders. We tried to be quiet, but they were aware that we were there and after a few minutes they silently disappeared.

Turkey eating birdseed
Turkey eating birdseed

Yesterday when I walked up the driveway after having sledded down to get the mail, I noticed turkey tracks in the snow. A short time later, I glanced out the window and saw the turkey eating the seed that had fallen from the bird feeders. He was out there for quite some time, gobbling his fill.

Two crows in the tree
Two crows in the tree

There were also two crows eating the seed on the ground. I wasn’t able to get pictures of them under the feeders but I did get a picture of them sitting in the tree. I like crows. They are very intelligent, interesting birds.

Today EJ and I went on a date.

First, we stopped at the feed store and bought some cat food and some bird seed. We were almost out of cat food and completely out of bird seed. We try not to do much shopping on Saturdays, but EJ’s work hours have changed because of a slowdown in work. He is now working five 8 hour days instead of four 10 hour days–and he has been switched from second shift to day shift. The change in shift makes it harder for us to get errands done.  The feed store closes before he gets out of work and isn’t open on Sundays so….today it was.

After we bought the cat and bird food, we went for a drive. Both EJ and my families had often vacationed in Northern Michigan when we were growing up. EJ has often been to Northern Michigan in the winter, but I have only ever been here in the summer so I am interested in experiencing winter here. I’d love to see the Great Lakes icy and frozen. I want to hear ice cracking as it is being created and thawing. I’ve also heard that sometimes the waves freeze and people can walk right out on them! This winter has been too mild for the Great Lakes to freeze, or so I’ve heard, but I still want to see the Lake in the winter.

Grand Traverse Bay
Grand Traverse Bay

Today we drove up Old Mission Peninsula, which is a peninsula that divides Grand Traverse Bay into two halves. The Peninsula is filled with vineyards, wineries and orchards. Of course, everything is snowy and bare right now, but winter has its own special sort of beauty. At the tip of Old Mission Peninsula is the pretty Old Mission Lighthouse which was built in 1870. I took pictures of it and then we walked down to the water’s edge. Actually, the water near the shore was frozen, so we actually walked out on the ice for a few feet. Woo hoo! I am walking on the Bay!

We weren’t the only ones at the park. Several people were there snowshoeing. Some were with their dogs and, of course, we gave them lovings. I told EJ that I can’t wait until we can snowshoe too. I have never snowshoed before, but it looks like fun. I’ve always lived in a town and although I built snowmen and snowforts in the winter, I wasn’t all that thrilled with outdoor activities. But up here with our own forest and sledding hill and interesting parks and trails nearby, winter seems more fun and I want to experience more of it.

Leelanau State ParkAfter we left the Old Mission Peninsula, we drove to Leelanau State Park, which is on the tip of another peninsula between Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is located there. Again we encountered people snowshoeing. We also saw a 150 year-old Northern White Cedar Tree. It was unlike any cedar tree I had ever seen. We walked passed the lighthouse and out along the shore. Again, there was ice along the shore. Woo hoo! I am standing on Lake Michigan!

We were starving after we left the lighthouses, so we stopped at a restaurant to eat before driving home. When we got home, EJ and I sledded down the driveway to get the mail with Danny running alongside us.

We were so tired when we got back up the hill that we both took naps.

It was a wonderful day.

 

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