Friday, January 8, 2010

A Winter's Day at Long Lake, Michigan

Last weekend, we had nothing planned for Saturday until my brother-in-law called and invited us up to their home on Long Lake near Reading, Michigan. And having nothing planned, we accepted their invitation.

It's about an hour and a half drive north for us and though we'd had snow, the roads were clear and the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds.  We arrived around 1:00 and sat in their family room to catch up on things and enjoy the view overlooking the lake.

The bird feeders right outside the window hosted an array of birds, including nuthatches, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, and tufted titmice. It was the first time I'd ever seen a tufted titmouse, even though they're common to our area.

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Its looked so fine and soft, it reminded me of rabbit fur. So cute!

Later, we drove to an area of the lake frequented by ice fisherman. The water in that part of the lake moves more slowly, so it freezes more quickly and deeper, making it ideal for ice fishing.  Ideal, if you enjoy sitting in the cold, waiting for the fish to bite!

We walked on the ice for a little while, enjoying the beauty of the winter landscape and the sounds of squeak and crunch of the snow.  When it's this cold, there's more squeak than crunch.  We didn't last too long, because there was a slight breeze, so we headed back to the car to warm up.

Leaving the lake, we drove towards town (Reading) and as we passed by some bittersweet,  growing wild and glowing in the afternoon sun, we stopped along the road so I could take a few pictures of it.

American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

When we got into town we visited a local art gallery, which was across the street from Ray's Tavern - purported to have the best cheeseburger east of the Mississippi. We'll have to try one sometime.

As we drove back to the lake, the sky graced us with what we call a "snowbow." This occurs when the sun is shining and there are snow crystals in the air.  Can you see it?

A snowbow over Long Lake


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those ice fishermen are a different breed. I couldn't sit out there on the ice for anything. Brrrrrrrrrrr. The bittersweet is so pretty. The Titmouse here are regulars at our feeders. Especially during weather like this. Stay warm.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Nice pictures Kylee. Aren't Tufted Titmice cute? (or is it Titmouses??) Your picture of the bittersweet is really neat, I like the berries, withered and aging.
I have seen a snowbow before. My sister got a picture of a sundog --where the ice crystals in the air refract the sun's rays and there are rings and then more rays, I am not explaining it well. Here is an explanation and a photo.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

I take the titmice for granted we see them so often! Even though it's been cold here for quite a while I'd still be hesitant to walk on any water bodies here. Great bittersweet photo!

Nutty Gnome said...

We don't have titmouse over here and they are SO weet ...I want some in my garden!

The lake looks beautiful but, much as I love snow, you wouldn't get me sitting out there! We saw ice fishermen on Lake Bakal in Siberia and I thought they were nuts too :)

Your Bittersweet photo is gorgeous - something else we don't have here! I'll make do with Conoeaster berries I guess!

Anonymous said...

That Bittersweet is much more sweeter than bitter! How bright and cheery. :) Looks like a wonderful trip.

taylorsoutback said...

Lovely winter photos - and what a coincidence - the very same day that you saw the "snowbow" we experienced the exact view in Northern Wisconsin. We were taking our son to the airport and he pointed it out - he was returning to Alaska and called that display a "sundog" - interesting terminology all around no matter where you live!
Thanks for sharing - found your blog by way of Renee's Seeds blogsite.

ilona1 said...

Such beautiful pictures! I don't think I have ever seen a "snowbow" and hadn't heard of one til now.

I admire your forays into the frozen cold- I've been very wimpy this year and stay in as much as I can.

Betsy said...

We call them sundogs in Minnesota. It means it's REALLY cold out! said...

I love going up there in the summer! Never been there in the winter, looks cold LOL. Just dropped by to say hi from Sylvania.

Flower Donegal said...

I am from Ireland and its great to see how life is in other countries.
Great photos

Aanee xxx
Flower Delivery Letterkenny

blogger templates | Make Money Online