September sky

Where did this month go?

Honestly, September flew by. Didn’t it just start? I had too much on my to-do list this month, only some of which got done (I guess I have a few more days to work on that). Slow down, September. What’s your rush, anyway? Where’s the fire (as my mother would say)?

But here at the end of this month, I just can’t get over the sky. September sky, particularly a big, wide open view over a great big body of water… well, it kind of can’t be beat.

sky + lake = heaven
The ocean, the sea? I bet they are as gorgeous. I’d like to spend more time getting to know them. But the Great Lakes come pretty close.

blue and white as far as you can see
I sound like a broken record. I feel like a broken record. I step out onto the deck multiple times during my workday to record this gorgeousness, either with my camera or just by trying to create an imprint on my brain, my soul.

Particularly in the last several days, the wind has been wild and the waves huge, crashing, like lumbering giants that roll over each other, bumbling. It’s mesmerizing.

dunegrass in detail; wild waves and clouds

pink mini stormcloud

lit up
Maybe October will hang out a little longer, move a little slower, let us savor it a bit longer. We can hope. Or, maybe we have to be proactive and demand it. The midwest turns vibrant in October–I will try to savor the burst of color before the winter moves in.

Little things on a big beach

I didn’t have high hopes for the beach recovering after such an awful spring, but like many things this summer, it surprised me.

Three weeks ago there was no beach to traverse. Well, not no beach at all, but the tiniest sliver of walkable beach existed and you could really walk it only when the lake was calm. Otherwise, you could walk if you didn’t mind getting battered by the waves, getting your feet tangled and scraped in the branches and grasses that twisted and matted on the shoreline like discarded rope.

Today, there is plenty of beach to roam, to throw a ball for the dog, to run barefoot. Lovely, big stretches of it.

Why would I be surprised? I know this lake and these sands and the constant drifting and redepositing of shoreline.

Last evening in long shadows just before the sun slipped into the shrouded, cloudy horizon above the lake I walked the beach with my camera in search of the things that get overlooked.

small feather from gull, pebble, drift marks in the sand
oak leaf, blown in from the woods
pebble, indentation, lines from the waves

I still tuck the gull feathers into my ponytail or behind my ear or into a cap.

I still fill my pockets with pretty stones.

I still gaze at the patterns the waves make on the shore–I think they look like mountain ranges.

I still chase the leaves and small feathers and dead bugs down the beach as they travel with the wind.

I still pluck the struggling butterflies and bumblebees out of the water.

Why shouldn’t I?

fossil, under just a bit of water
same fossil, post-wave
mountain range
lines from the waves moving the sand around




There is a 56-turbine wind farm nearby, in western Michigan. The turbines are the backdrop to rural homes and rolling farmland, stalwart giants towering over corn and grain fields, orchards and farmland.

I’m both drawn to these behemoths and terrified of them. Okay, maybe I watched too many of those original Godzilla movies as a kid, but I swear they will morph, uproot, and come lumbering after me, crushing farms and terrorizing the horses and cows in their path, smoke and fire spittling from their terrible blades, screeching like Godzilla’s adversaries.


Unless you’ve been up close (or, close enough, in my case) you might not realize that they make a humming, whirring, eerie mechanical sound that makes me wonder about the tolerance level of the neighbors. I wouldn’t want this on my farm, near my house, a whir and flickering shadows so definite and inescapable.

What have we done to our landscape?

I’m not opining about the pros and cons of wind energy. I don’t have the knowledge or experience for that, nor am I speaking for anyone who lives near this wind farm; I’m an observant bystander only.

As art, I think they can be beautiful. As neighbor, I don’t know. As for noise, you could say the same about living on the ocean or a big lake–the sound of the waves can be ceaseless. Or living on the plains or open land where the wind howls relentlessly. But those are natural things and in living in those places, you might know what you’re in for. These were planted in people’s backyards one day. Well, not one day, but you get it.


I’m just saying I’m in awe, and a little afraid, and a lot wondering.