It was a crisp clear sunny morning. The sun providing a back light to the beautiful ice clad branches of the trees against a clear blue sky. It’s Christmas Eve morning. Looks like we will indeed have a white Christmas.
This is a view of the last sunset of winter from behind the lacey branches of the willow tree. We bid you ado Mr. Winter! Today was officially the last day of winter. We had record temperatures today in Frankenmuth, with temperatures climbing over 80 degrees again today. This has been one of the mildest winters I can remember. I am cautiously optimistic that we are finished with the winter weather, but I am looking back over my shoulder; somewhat ready for the big surprise snowstorm. It has happened before. We usually have a snow storm in April, one last hurrah from Mr. Winter, just a parting shot to remember him by. I hope this isn’t the case. I am ready for Spring and the rain and new growth that comes with the new season. The great weather has given us all a touch of Spring fever, here in Frankenmuth.
Wow what a gorgeous St. Patrick’s Day in Frankenmuth! We hit the 80 degree mark today! Although there isn’t much green yet, it was a beautiful walk along the Cass River. This is the view from the dock where the Paddle Wheel boat is parked during the summer months. Looking up the river, you can see the covered bridge and a cloudless blue sky. The only thing missing is the green grass and the leaves on the trees, otherwise this was a perfect summer setting on this late winter day. Happy St. Patty’s day to all! I leave you with this old Irish blessing,
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Last fall when closing the pool for the season, I decided against covering the pool for the winter. It is such a chore to remove the cover each spring, and I usually end up with a lot of debris falling off the cover and into the pool. I decided a would try a season cover-less and see how that would affect pool opening in the spring. As you can see in this photo, the water is a lovely green with some leaves from last fall. I decided a would try a season cover-less and see how that would affect pool opening in the spring. As you can see in this photo, the water is a lovely green with some leaves floating from last fall. I wouldn’t want to swim in it as is, but it sure makes for nice morning reflections, on a sunny morning.
Today was a beautiful sunny day. I enjoyed my day off for Presidents Day, along with the banks and the post office. This evening I went into Frankenmuth, in anticipation of a nice sunset. I decided to go down by the Cass River and take a few shots of the water. Right infront of the Lager Mill, there is a small dam. The first picture is of the Lager Mill on the top of the river bank and the second photo is a closer look at the winter water rushing over the dam.
Today was another “Gray” day. The temperature got high enough to melt the remaining snow and the sun stayed away all day. I met Vicki for lunch and decided to take my camera to try and get a couple of nice photo opportunities. It was so bland out that I was losing my inspiration, when I saw the tree standing out in the field. I really like the way the branches feather out into little tiny strands at the end. The grayness of the sky made it possible to show the detail of these branches. In my mind, my picture would be a black and white photo emphasizing the contrast between the sky and the fine branches. As I sat down at the computer and uploaded my images I started to tinker around in Photoshop. Now, I can get carried away in Photoshop, I lose all track of time. So reduced the saturation level all the way until I had the monochrome image you see to the left. Then I played with HDR Toning, something new to me. The result is the surreal colorful photo in the middle. I really like the detail and the saturated colors; what a great way to brighten up a gray day. The photo at the right is the original color shot. I decided I like all three together.
The tree in the field looks so lonely, yet somewhat majestic with it’s outreaching branches. I like to see the lone tree out in the middle of a farm field. It’s like the tree has earned the respect of the farmer. Kind of brings that saying to mind, “only the strong survive”. The surrounding colors, or lack there of, make for a melancholy message, winter still has a grip on Michigan. Winter in Michigan is pretty dull and gray when there is no snow. Rarely are we treated to a sunny day in February. This is a typical winter day, gray sky, brown dirt or mud, and hardly any green. Today we had temperatures in the 40’s again. We have had minimal snow this winter and most of us Michiganders feel that “the big one” is still lurking. Just when you think you are out of winter and heading for spring; bam, a blizzard hits and we get buried when we least expect it. I enjoy the big snow storms that catch us by surprise. They help to brighten the gray days of winter.
I love rural America. I especially like to see old barns, barns made of wood, of all shapes and sizes. The wood barns have much more character than the new pole barns. I know these old barns will become a rare sight with each passing year. Our farmlands are giving way to new homes and subdivisions, rural America is becoming citified. This barn is on the edge of Frankenmuth, just before you get into town. I love the red against the sky and the white snow. The word bucolic, describes a rural, country setting. I like bucolic. It has a nice comforting sound to it.
Here in Michigan, we are experiencing a very mild winter. We’ve had very little snow and some unseasonable mild temperatures. While the temperatures have helped us all save some money on heating bills, the skiers and snow mobilers have not been able to enjoy the outdoors. Now we find ourselves hoping for snow, maybe not a ton of snow, but at least a little. No, those are not porta jons in the parking lot of the Bavarian Inn, in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Those are blocks of snow covered and ready to be carved for the 2012 Snowfest. Each year in January visitors come from all over Michigan and other parts of the country to visit Frankenmuth and enjoy Snowfest. If you have never been, you need to come and check it out. Although we are currently experiencing snow melting temperatures, it was in the 50’s today, cold weather is on the way for the start of Snowfest which begins Wednesday, January 25th and runs through the 30th. There is plenty to see and do, and as always lots and lots of great food. If and when the temperatures drop, you can always hang out in the warming tent and enjoy refreshments and music. There are snow and ice carving competitions with sculptures viewable throughout the entire downtown area. This is one time for sure that we all wish for cold temperatures and yes, snow. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The warming tent is up and ready!
Now this is what we’ve come to expect during January in Michigan, snow and lots of it. Up until today, it has been a very mild winter, we had a light dusting of snow in December and earlier this week we saw temperatures climb into the fifties! I love the way the snow clings to the branches of the trees. I love to see the new fallen snow without a track in it. Everywhere we look it has that fresh and clean look. This is why we live in Michigan; to enjoy each of the seasons. Welcome Winter, stay with us awhile, we enjoy your company, but please try not to wear out your welcome.