This was it – the last big adventure of the summer, saved until the end.
The trick was lining up our northern Michigan vacation with the grandparents’ schedules. One pair in Mackinaw City for a few days, and the other in Petoskey for the second half. Help with adventures, babysitting, and overnights. With three kids, taking one to spend time with the grandparents relieves a bit of the strain.
Not that this was stressful. No, northern Michigan moves at a vacation pace. Water, and sky, and enough green and blue to make both of our major state university fans happy.
This close to Lake Michigan, and this close to all those forests – it’s a proper goodbye to nice weather, and water, and wilderness for a while. We even said goodbye to the trout sunning themselves at an honest-to-goodness fish hatchery, complete with a bald eagle waiting, and watching, in the canopy above.
It’s what’s so great about living in our state. A few hours in every direction and you’re next to a giant freshwater lake and enough nature to forget that it’ll all be buried in snow and ice in a few months.
August in Michigan means hot days, cooler mornings, and a slow dive into autumn.
For me, it’s always the seasonal transitions that are the most fun to photograph. Summer is nice, sure, but the end of summer always holds something special.
Same for when spring (my favorite) comes, and the fog rolls in as the snow melts. Or when winter starts frosting the yet-to-fall leaves.
This time of year is always hard for me emotionally, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s because Winter Is Coming™, or the days are shortening, or what. But I get to feeling down. The last few years, I’ve tried to work my way out of the funk with a few photo projects and writing more.
It’s been a perfect summer, weather-wise. We had a week or two where the temperatures reached into the 90s, but mostly it’s been high 70s to mid 80s. Late May, all summer long? I’ll take it.
That means we’ve spent a lot of time outside, playing in our new yard, planting our new garden, walking up and down our new street. We have great neighbors. We love our new neighborhood.
There are parts of me that miss living out in the country. My commute is not nearly as fun, photographically and spiritually, as it used to be. It’s all intersections and highway these days. I miss the quiet, and the trees. But then an airplane flies over our house every few hours, and the kids look up to watch it pass overhead, and it becomes one of those neat little things that make the new home so fun.
This summer I’ve worked steadily on the new portrait project. I photograph the kids as they play around the yard. But there haven’t been any photographic adventures – not like there used to be. There are only so many hours in the day, and photography’s slice of the pie is getting smaller and smaller.
That’s okay. My camera’s always ready when I need it to be. Like these late summer evenings when I can’t resist heading out to the front porch and watching the sun set.