Mementos of Distance

A new month, new energy, and plenty of new creations under my belt…

Come on, 2015, there’s still a little time left. Let’s finish it with a bang!

(And some poetry, of course…)

Outside, the snow is falling
silence stretches in the weight behind
the distance flakes have traveled
what they have seen
what they have known
lonely mementos of their fading.

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Division of Snowflakes

It’s a subtle shake

in the downfall of the snowflake,

a surging stride

that rides the skies

unto the dearth and death

of the unity of breath:

breathe in, breathe out

before the world can even shout

a division of decision

whereby we shake out in derision

thoughts and words unbidden

breaking snowflakes on the midden.

Icicles

Fake Spring

Last week, if you weren’t aware, we here in Michigan experience a little phenomenon we like to call “Fake Spring.” It wouldn’t say it’s commonplace, but it happens often enough that while we are still terribly confused by its appearance, I doubt there’s anyone out there really protesting at this point.

So what is fake spring you might ask? Fake spring is when you have fine, snow-laden winter going on around you, complete with bitter wind chills, hordes of Ugg boots, and North Face jackets, when all of a sudden Michigan decides that all this snow’s gotten a little boring, and all of a sudden the sun break through the clouds, the birds circle and chirp, and all that snow recedes into wet, gloppy pools of thick brown mud.

Suddenly, there is grass again. Bikes make a tremendous resurgence. Coats depart and the crazies (we call them residents) start walking around in short-shorts and flip-flops again. Good times, really.

Of course that strange little bizarro world you’ve entered comes to an end. It ended this Sunday, in fact, when after all that snow had melted, Michigan let loose a maddened giggle, and dumped us with another 7 inches of the white stuff. Yes, it is a strange place I live in. One with a sick sense of humor I might add.

But life goes on, snow or no, and those same crazies in their short-shorts and flip flops return to ice-driving, barreling down the ice-laden stretches without concern to speed or silly little things like…reason, AKA traction. Then, we all cry a little inside.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the pics I took while out and about enjoying that Fake Spring. All are from the Lansing River Trail, a local favorite of mine. These pictures were taken on the first day of Fake Spring, before all the snow had its chance to melt – but as you can see, the river was a lot less icy than it was a couple weeks ago.

Fifty degree weather in the midst of February – to some, apparently, a fact that means “Let’s go kayaking!”

And then, of course, there’s this…

Tasteful advertising at its best!

Epitaphs and Soundslides

So I learned something valuable yesterday: WordPress does not like Soundslides – no, no it does not.

Attempting to upload the photo essay I made of the Snowpocalypse met with less than desirable success, but I shall see if I can’t work my way around it in the days to come. Where there’s a problem, there’s generally a solution – especially with technology. Might just take a bit of finaygling…

That said, today in honor of that and other frustrations, I give unto you a quick two-liner for all those struggling through the mundane toils of the world. Let’s call it…Epitaph:

Just the tip, said I,

and the world shafted me by and by.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the great snow showers, my friends have taken liberties with the snowy plains of my house and seem to have turned them into a mural. Also started into an underground cave network. Yes, pictures shall follow. Soon, if not today. Perhaps Monday, after tomorrow’s quotes and One Shoot Sunday fun…

Everyone ready for the next photo prompt? We’re engaging a wonderful nature photographer this week named Sean McCormick. I think you’ll enjoy his work very much. Long interview too. We’re thinking of making it a two-parter…extending the One Stop love out for all you happy readers out there. Be sure to check it out.

And to my American friends out there…so, about that Superbowl. All ready for the game?

The Morning After

Shoveled my whole drive at midnight, and it still looked like this in the morning.

Not a plow in sight.

This is the second part, the conclusion, to what shall henceforth be known as “The Snowpocalypse” Photo Essay for good old Lansing, Michigan.

All of the following are from the morning after the storm. Things were still flaking around then, but nothing more really accumulated.

By this point in the day, snow plows hadn’t yet arrived in the suburbs, though I had shoveled my own property out in the trench-style warfare you find common to Michigan winters (yes, it’s like we’re planning for war against the Yetis. They asked for it).

What kid wouldn't love those hills?

While Lansing and East Lansing’s main streets were plowed…

Major streets, like Coolidge Road, were well-plowed.

Fane looks on this new Winter wonderland with promise.

…some places in the ‘burbs, like my own, didn’t see snow plows until as late as 9 p.m.

Suffice to say, it made for some interesting travel arrangements for some of those among us sans SUVs. I know my old Taurus never would have made it. Fortunately, it’s long since been dispatched to a better place.

What's that in the distance?

At some point tomorrow I’ll probably try and compile all of these, as well as the photos from the night previous, into a nice and tidy sound slides photo essay presentation for you all, with music and everything.

Feeling ambitious, you see.

Now we just have to hope that WordPress decides to play along with my noble intentions.

Despite the tracks, a lot of cars struggled through this.

Winter in Michigan.

Yeah. I don't think he was going anywhere.

It's a nice little park.

A Cold Winter’s Night

Silent Night, Snowy Night in Full Swing.

I’m sure you all heard the hype this week: Snow. Snow! SNOW!

Where's all the snow? Flash is off, silly.

It was on everyone’s lips – at least across the Midwest. Even Twitter succumbed to a frenzy of fun names for it: “Snowpocalypse,” “Snomageddon,” “Snowprah’s Big Giveaway,” and the like. Weather.com predicted up to 16 inches rolling across my own fair section of Michigan for Tuesday and Wednesday, with biting winds and a freezing helping of ice to go along with it. MSU declared a weather emergency and canceled classes. LCC followed suit. And all across the state schools were closing left and right they day before the snow ever touched ashore.

There's the snow!

It’s rule one they teach you in JRN 200: Beware of hype. Now, that’s not to say we didn’t get a good deal of snow. We did. Ten inches. But it was far from the end-times the news and internet community seemed to be wrapped up in the concept of. Besides: it’s Michigan. It snows here. I don’t know about how the rest of you Mid-Westerners fared but up here, well, sure it got nasty, but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Nor am I opposing the end results…I mean, hey, they want to give my friends a day off and give the student body of MSU even more reasons to drink (like they need any), I mean, hey, who am I to object?

I’m just saying: Don’t go crying wolf till he’s in the pen, alright?

Regardless, I took the opportunity to grab some fine pictures to commemorate the occasion. They’re broken down into night of and morning after. For you Michiganders, it’ll probably be a bit of nostalgia. For those of you non-Michiganders, it’ll give you a nice idea of what we deal with. And why we’re unimpressed when other states start declaring emergencies in the midst of an inch or two of snowfall.

This photographic journey is hosted in part by Fane the Wonder Dog. I know, it’s quite a title.

Okay, so there were some bad moments.

A Winter’s Walk down the Lansing River Trail

In Lansing, the capitol of Michigan, lies a trail for bikers and hikers alike. The Lansing River Trail is an approximately 13-mile trail through urban and rural stretches alike, lying in the shadows of Lansing’s bustling streets, twisting through masses of deep-rooted forests, rising up in boardwalks or smoothed out in easy footpaths, and all the while trailing the river for which it is named, providing a scenic route for anyone looking for a little exercise. Not as much of that in the Winter, of course, but even in the midst of this most frigid season, it remains a popular destination. It helps, of course, that the trail stretches all the way to East Lansing, and to the MSU campus.

Saturday, I decided to take a walk down the trail in spite of the frosty weather, and investigate the sights I had been denied since the summer, when a long jog was often a morning’s routine. These are a few of the results of my walk. Enjoy.

Observe the breaks. Just a few seconds prior, I had been standing there, on what I thought was solid ground.

Part of the trail runs under the highway, and where there are bridges, there is graffiti.

Several sections of railroad also run over the trail, and the river.

One of the numerous boardwalk bridges that are a part of the trail.