This is how Peterson Park looks now that all the old dead ash trees have been removed. Kind of stark, I know. Very different. Still, not absolutely hideous, as I'd feared, and new trees will be planted. For now the remaining cedar clumps add architectural interest, and the white birches along the edge are still beautiful. And the view -- of course, the view out over Lake Michigan is as stunning as ever.
My favorite songbird, the brown thrasher, was singing and flitting among the trees. Then I looked up.
The young eagle was an exciting surprise.
Visitors who don't explore north of the M-22 loop miss a lot. Here's some more of what I saw this morning out past the village of Northport, and these are just ordinary, humdrum sights.
Along Peterson Park Road
High water by the bight
Of course, you have to get off M-22 even to discover Northport, and who would want to miss our little village, so charming and peaceful and welcoming?
Creek flowing to Grand Traverse Bay
Come in on M-201 and stroll around Northport. It's the perfect time of year to get to know us.
I love this time of year, which seems so short as almost to be measurable in minutes. Against the dark, still-bare forest, a few trees put forth a light, hazy flush of bloom, and you see the world as the Impressionists saw it in spring.
In the cool of early morning, trillium and spring beauties keep their petals wrapped closed. They will open later, in the warmth of the sunny day. Dutchman's breeches show more courage.
I'll go back in late afternoon to admire them and to gather toothwort for our dinner salad.
This is the photo I planned to take. I made the shot in color and processed the color out afterward, with the result pretty much what I'd had in mind.
The surprise was on the fence along the road, visible here in a first trial exposure. What is -- or was -- this little critter? Did the farmer hang its corpse on the fence as a warning to others of its kind? As food for birds of prey? Just because?
There are always surprises along the road, and when you live in the slower-than-slow lane, there's time to take note of them. My new belief is that one can find Petoskey stones on any gravel road: just pick a spot, stand in that place, and look. A couple of perfect little specimens rewarded my patience this morning.
This is one of my favorite times of year. The oldest, biggest trees are blushing like adolescents, feeling their sap rise. You can see it in their lofty crowns, impressionistic against a bright blue sky. The world is new again, getting a fresh start.