Down Dirt Roads: Brown

The joy of going down dirt roads.

Jude, on Travel Words, is finishing up the month (January) on the color “brown” before calling for a new color on Sunday for the month of February. I am currently living in southern Florida and my mind is thinking in vivid color with flowers, blue skies, and brilliant sunshine. Looking through my last two files from trips to the Naples Botanical Garden, I didn’t find much brown. Stumped!

Then I remembered all the files I have of photos taken while going down dirt roads in southern Michigan, where the other half of my “Life in Color” takes place. My first search was of barns but most of the barns in Michigan are red or white – but I found a few that weathered brown instead of grey.

Then I began to find other photos of brown found along dirt roads. Including Farmer Brown, himself, one of his long-horned steer, and a wooden silo. Hope you enjoy this little excursion into the browns of farmland in the “Greatlakes State”.

Summer: Farmers’ Markets are a Comin’

One of my greatest joys of summer is going to the farmer’s market to obtain produce and flowers for a summer’s evening meal.

Here in Michigan vegetables are just beginning to ripen and farmers are beginning to show up for the markets. On my first three trips to local markets I found some strawberries, tomatoes, zuchinni, summer squash, snap peas, romaine lettuce, blueberries, and raspberries. I am hoping our favorite berry people, Ken & Janet, will be here next Tuesday with the very sweetest blueberries I have had anywhere.

Our daughter Sharon decided to work from our home in Michigan for July and August to escape the southern Texas heat and severe outbreak of Covid-19. She drove, bringing her canning jars and pressure cooker so she could can tomatoes and all the other fresh vegetables that will be harvested in those two months. We are especially eager to work together making relishes and salsas to fill our pantries.

It took me a while to narrow down what I like about summer when the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Summer came out this week. I could have posted on my summer garden, sewing in my three-season room, sprinklers, inland lakes with small docks, camping and picnics. Oh, and my purple porch swing, outings for ice cream, corn growing in the neighboring fields…

A Late Summer Field on an Amish Farm

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In the second week of August, JB & I decided to take a drive a few miles to the west, here in lower Michigan, to a rural area of numerous Amish farming communities. I always take my camera because one time when I didn’t, there was a perfect photo of two draft horses, with a hay wagon backed up to a barn door, waiting for the hay to be unloaded before going for another load. Oh how I want that image that is perfectly composed in my brain.

Most of the time having a camera is a frustrating experience because the Amish do not want to have photographs of themselves because they consider photos to be “graven images” or idolatry. There have been several times when I could have taken a photo while they were facing the other direction (and I did this once) but I haven’t been able to get past the guilt of such blatant disrespect, even with my advanced skill of rationalization.

So I take photos of hay fields on cloudy days in a misty drizzle.

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The purpose of our little excursion was to go to the Amish bulk food store to get a few things – and the granola I love to eat on ice cream. I always think that our automobile is strangely out of place in the parking lot – although they do welcome our business.

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Blue is a Great Lake

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A hundred shades of Lake Michigan blue, looking west from Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan.

I’m in love with the magnificent vastness of the Great Lakes. It is impossible not to be spellbound by the hundred shades of blue layered beyond the shore, reaching to forever. Of course it helps if you have waded into the cold water and summoned the courage to dive in – feeling the cold aliveness against your face. The magnificence is magnified by the knowledge of the strength of their waves that erodes shorelines and sinks ships. Ask people who live on their eastern shores and they will tell you about the power of the storms that come across the five lakes, holding tons of snow to be dumped over the colder land.

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Lake Superior blue turning sunset rose from a beach at Pancake Bay, Ontario, Canada

I had the good sense to take these two photos on beautiful summer days, when the air was warm and the breeze was gentle – but I didn’t forget the water is cold.

I was inspired to share these photos and words by Patti’s Lens Artist Photo Challenge word “blue.”¬†Click on the link to see other interpretations of blue.¬†We will be headed to Lake Superior’s southern shore on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a few weeks and posting these photos has me geeked.

At The Boardwalk

 

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We just returned from a few days on the Leelanau Peninsula, a piece of land between Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay that would be the pinkie of the Michigan mitten. One day was spent at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where we walked the boardwalk out to a lookout over the dune cliff and Lake Michigan. We have been visiting this area for 50 years so it is full of memories, especially of watching our children climb the dunes and play along the shore. Back then there were no boardwalks or concerns about protecting this fragile ecosystem.

Linked to Cee’s Which Way Challenge for June 1.