Michigan’s weather temperatures are slowly decreasing. Winter is here. Most people should understand the colder weather is a normal part of living in Michigan in December. I personally do not mind the colder weather. But the high winds make going outside difficult. Feeding the little Sparrows and other winter birds is a cold process. However, if I do not feed them daily, the birds sit on my porch. So every time, I walk by my sliding glass window, I see them peering in at me. Yes, I am convinced this is a guilt trip tactic.
Tonight, you can tell snow is on the way. There’s a heaviness in the air. According to the weatherman, the next couple of days should only bring about three inches of snow. So, if you are out and about in Mid-Michigan, drive safely.
I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming.
I believe that there’s a growing season.
And I think that you realize that in life, you grow.
You get better.”
The calendar may have officially ushered in the spring season. But, winter is still having the last word.
Social media is full of complaints of the day snowfall. Even though, I would love to see warm sunny days. I realize this is Michigan. This is normal. We always seem to have a “spring snow” around this time of year. I know everyone is impatient. Mother Nature seems to have her own time table.
Forgetting Mother Nature is in charge is always a mistake.
Living in Michigan, I use to the weather changing. After a couple of days of extremely cold weather, we are now in the midst of a winter snow advisory. I guess Mother Nature is not quite ready to let spring take over completely.
Needless to say, I still find the falling snow beautiful.
The month of January is known as Soup Month. Normally, in mid-Michigan, the cold winter months welcomes a bowl of warm soup. Lately, our daily temps are above freezing. But I am certain the cold temps and snowy days are just around the corner.
My question for all of you is do you have a favorite type of soup? My soup tastes usually depend on my mood. (Yes, I am one of those emotional eaters). When I am feeling ill, I love a nice warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. On days, when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I like a high-quality tomato soup with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. What can I say–my tastes are rather simple. But I am always willing to try something new.
As a child, the winter months always met homemade bean soup. For almost two days, my mother would allow the Navy beans to slowly simmer in a large cast iron pot on top of the old, pot belly stove. Adding ham, onions, and other seasonings, the smell of the soup would drift throughout the old farm house.
The final meal would always involve homemade bread, biscuits, and a dessert. Of course, the best part of the meal was the house full of guests. For most of us, the homemade bean soup was a tasty treat. Well except for my younger sister who to this day is not a fan of bean soup.
My attempts to make bean soup as an adult do not yield the same results as my mother’s tasty homemade recipe. I cannot tell you if my attempts fail because I do not own a cast iron pot and an old wood burning, pot belly stove. Or the difference in taste is due to missing family members and friends that are no longer with me.
Regardless of the reason, homemade bean soup will always remain one of my all-time favorites; a nestled memory on a cold winter’s day.
Over the holiday season, I was able to photograph a beautiful Barred Owl. The sighting in the natural habitat was absolutely remarkable. I was on my way to pick up some stuff at my nephew’s school. The roads were snowy from the recent accumulation. Of course, I was in rush. As I drove by the wooded area, I spotted the Barred Owl just sitting there on a lower branch. Obviously, the beautiful creature was searching for his next meal.
When I first drove by, I did not have a camera with me. Not even my pocket camera which I had just taken out of my purse. Since I was close to home, I immediately turned around to go get a camera. The whole time, I was thinking, “there was no way the owl would still be there”. As I was rushing out of my drive, I proceeded to get my car stuck. After some time, I managed to get my car back on the road. By this time, I was absolutely convinced the Barred Owl would be gone.
But, sitting on the lower branch right off the side of the road by the Maple River was the beautiful creature. If I would not have been in such a hurry, I could have watched the Barred Owl all day long. The owl was not skittish of me. I managed to snap a lot of pictures. We just seemed to stare at each other. His black eyes were mesmerizing.
After all the years of living in the countryside, I had only witnessed an owl once before in the wild. The last time, I was a child. And, no, I will not tell you how many years ago that occurred. At that time, the owl was flying down to retrieve a dead carcass out of the road. I cannot tell you the type of owl we saw the night. But I can tell you, the initial sighting all those years ago was one of the reasons why I enjoy nature and wildlife.
I find owls completely fascinating. Well, of course, the Harry Potter series confirmed my love for the stunning creatures.
The time when everything bursts with its las beauty,
as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Today, Thursday, September 22, 2016, is the first official day of autumn. While ushering in the fall season, the day marks the end of summer. I personally love this time of year. Even as a child, I just found the fall season fascinating.
The crisp fall air suddenly ushers in cooler nights. The sunsets occur earlier, bringing perfect weather for stargazing and bonfires.
The local football season is in full swing. Pumpkin spice is a major ingredient in various products. As the season slowly marches on, changing leaves bursts into vivid color across the Michigan landscape. Bringing one last moment of natural beauty before the blanket of winter engulfs the area.
Walking through nature, I can honestly view the signs of the wildlife preparing for the upcoming cold winter months. I love watching the squirrels and chipmunks gather acorns. The little critters scamper across the dirt paths in front of me. Of course, the chipmunks chatter loudly in my direction as if to tell me I am intruding on their personal space.
I try to enjoy these last moments of fall before winter brings nature to a quiet standstill.
My social media page was filled with negative comments about the snow storm. Yes, I know the snow is an inconvenience. But the natural occurrence is absolutely beautiful. To be honest, everyone was warned about the snow in advance. The shutdown of offices, businesses, and schools due to inclement weather is for the safety of everyone. I cannot see why people were complaining.
Personally, I think you should enjoy the extra moments with your family. Go outside, build a snowman, do a project together, etc. Enjoy the official snow day from work and school. But, that’s just my opinion.
The biggest news for my area is the snow storm. Mid-Michigan could receive between 6 to 10 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. Since I work out of my home, I find the snow beautiful. I was out in the slightly snowy covered roads earlier this morning. But they had not begun to get slippery yet. Now the roads are completely covered, state offices are closed and schools were sent home early. Safe travels to anyone who is still out and about.
Snow storms remind of childhood when schools were closed. My mother always had extra children at the house on snow days. The day would be filled with sledding, snowmen, warm cocoa and homemade entertainment. Even though some of the snow storms brought no electricity, we still enjoyed ourselves. We haven’t lost power yet. Numerous people in the area are already without power. So we will see what the night brings.
I managed to meet my writing deadline early which gives me time to write for myself and “play” with pictures.
So, I am currently watching the live stream of the Brit Awards. I am keeping notes on the artists I do not normally hear; I can see a large iTunes bill in my near future. I am always listening to music when I write. I like different genres to fit the mood of my characters. So, if anyone has any music suggestions please pass them my way.