Friday, April 4, 2014

Early Spring in Northwest Michigan

Here in Mid-Michigan most of the local schools have been on Spring Break this week including my wife's school.  Since she had the week off we decided to go away for a couple of days.  While most people head south for Spring Break we headed north to our favorite area of the Michigan (Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties).  Here in Mid-Michigan, much of the snow has melted away, buds are swelling on trees, and plants are starting to green up - we even have a few flowers (crocuses)  blooming in our yard.  As we traveled north, we kept seeing more and more snow on the ground.  Winter still seems to be  trying to hold on in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

The first set of photos was taken along the shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay just outside Traverse City.  The bay is mostly frozen over but is thawing along the shoreline.

The East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay - Old Mission Point on the horizon

Open water along the shoreline.

Cracks in the ice looking out toward Old Mission Point

I hadn't noticed when I took this photo, but my wife pointed out that this hole in the ice looks like a squirrel.

Ice pushed up on the shoreline

The remaining photos were taken at Mission Point Lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula.  We have visited this lighthouse in every season of the year with the exception of Winter.  This was the first time I had been there when there was a significant amount of snow on the ground.

The snow is still several feet deep in the woods around the lighthouse.  It looks solid on the surface, and mostly is, but there are spots where the crust is thin.  It is always fun to be walking along the surface of the snow and suddenly have one foot break through - until you have one leg buried in the snow up to the crotch and the other foot is still on top of the snow.  In the picture below you can see a sign barely sticking up out of the snow and a buried staircase.

Looking out from Mission Point toward Lake Michigan

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