Michigan Mornings And A Love Affair

Michigan has a special place in my heart.  It’s where my parents grew up, met, and married.  It’s where my grandparents and aunt and uncles lived.  It’s where I spent a majority of my childhood summers, and now as an adult, it’s where I travel to every year.  There’s a lot to love.  It’s rolling hills, green grass and trees, wildflowers, the sweet smell in the evening as the sun finally goes down and the fireflies come to life.  The quaint towns and civic pride.  The people who wave and say, “Good morning!”.  The scent of zucchini bread emanating from my grandma’s house– a cozy and comfortable place that envelopes me in security.  This is where I have spent the last eight days.

My husband teases me because a lot of stuff reminds me of Michigan– especially smells.  When it’s humid here, I ask, “Do you know what this smell reminds me of?”.  Steve will roll his eyes and groan, “Michigan.”  This time when I arrived on the 10th, it didn’t smell like Michigan. It smelled like California– dry and dusty. The state, as well as much of the Midwest, is suffering a severe drought.  The typically lush green grass was brown and crispy; the soybeans in the fields hung limp and the corn drooped.  It was a sad sight.  The drought did afford me a new opportunity: long morning walks.  Normally the air is so thick and warm with moisture that going out for a walk is uncomfortable; my energy is sapped before I get to the corner.  This time the dry air allowed me to explore areas in depth and see parts of my second home that I’ve never seen before. Not to mention the fact that I could indulge in my love affair with my favorite flower, Queen Anne’s Lace.

Queen Anne’s lace is actually wild carrot.  The carrot is edible while young, but it’s not recommended to start chowing down anytime soon since it closely resembles wild hemlock (remember what happened to Socrates).  It’s seeds, ground up, were also used as a contraceptive a long time ago.  I love it because it is delicate and graces the roadsides– like nature’s white picket fence.

Here are some pictures from my walks and visits in Michigan; many feature my love, Queen Anne’s Lace.

Flowers for sale at a Frankenmuth farmer’s market.
Queen Anne’s Lace and purple flower.
I wish I had a barn.
The sun’s rays grace the Queen Anne’s Lace.
Two swans enjoy the stillness of the Old Mill Pond.
The sun enjoys the pond, too.
A lush cluster of Queen Anne’s Lace.
I wish I had a silo, too.
Wild turkeys eating a soybean breakfast. Does this make them Tofurkey?
Red wheel, white flowers.
It’s very quiet at the Old Mill Pond. This is a nice place to come to just sit and think.
Over the hill and through the woods…
Queen Anne and kayak.

Since I have returned, the corner of southwestern Michigan has received two inches of rain and more is expected tonight.  Hopefully that will provide some relief.

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13 thoughts on “Michigan Mornings And A Love Affair

  1. We were there as well probably at the same time. My husbands Dad’s farm looked like a desert. I grew up in Michigan and I spent my entire chdhood picking Queen Ann’s Lace and lillies from the ditches. We spend time in SE Michigan but the last place we lived was in Grand Blanc. I love Michigan, in June and July. 😉

    1. My goodness– we could have had a blogging convention! I didn’t see very many lilies this time. : ( I do favor Michigan in June, but once I went out in February and got to crunch around in the snow. That was a lot of fun. My mom would always squeeze a box of cornstarch and listen to how it sounded like walking on snow. This is how she taught me about snow as I grew up in California’s central valley.

  2. What a pleasure to read. Your writing reminds me of Annie Dillard. I also learned three things: 1. I never knew that plant was called Queen Anne’s Lace. 2. The drought is bad to have a kayak stuck in a meadow. 3. Even though I am a Buckeye, your pictures make me want to visit that state up north. (Still can’t say the M- word.)

    1. Wow! I didn’t expect a Buckeye to comment on this post, nor did I expect one to give me such a nice compliment. Thank you! You’re representing the-state-that-shall-not-be-named quite well. ; ). All kidding aside, I appreciate you stopping by. If you can stomach it, you should make the trip. I recommend the Lake Michigan coastal towns, especially Traverse City with its Sleeping Bear Dunes.

    1. Thank you! I enjoy taking pictures. It makes me more aware of my surroundings and notice things that I might normally overlook. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

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