The February Frost

February never seems to disappoint as a month for winter weather.

You never know when the lake will decide to cut you off from the mainland. Well, I suppose you can have a good guess about it if you checked the weather and followed up on ice conditions enough… but for the average person like myself who sticks with a weather app and a peek out the window every morning for what’s going on outside, it’s hard to tell. One day the boats are running all day, the next they’ve cancelled one and the rest are running, the next they’re back to the normal schedule, the next they aren’t running at all… then we get high winds and the ice breaks up enough to run again. That’s the scenario I’m hoping for at the moment, enough winds to blow all the ice out of all the bays and let the Mighty Huron right through. For the time being this though, we’re limited to plane service.

I’m not one to leave the island very often, so when the winter season starts, I’m happily content on staying put for as long as possible. Last year I didn’t leave the island until the end of March. This year, I left the island for a weekend in February to pick up groceries and help organize my mom’s house, then headed back home the following Monday… three days later, the boats stopped running.

Looking Over the Edge
Looking Over the Edge

Even with the more frigid temps, I’m enjoying more time outdoors. The views are especially more beautiful when there’s a light layer of snow on the trees, and I’m reminded of the snowglobe-like quality of the island. It’s as though someone just shook us and after a few minutes of swirling inside the globe, the snow has finally settled.

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Schoolyard Sunset
School yard Sunset

If there’s any time of year I find ideal for self reflection, it’s now. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that I want to accomplish for this year and I’ve realized that most of what I’m doing doesn’t fit what I want. So I’m making a conscious effort to stand up for myself, choose projects I believe in and be unapologetic for my decisions. I’m making small adjustments towards happiness. 

If any of you might recall, over a year and a half ago I had asked for your help with a deeply personal project. I’d like to share some progress with you on how it’s going, and although it is far from finished, I’m still proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve grown rather fond of painting on wood panels in the process, and now plan to paint on more of the same in the very near future.

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Let me leave you with a few final pictures of the ice buildup near the boardwalk:

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Until next time,

Heather

Night and Day

EditA post of night and day photos on Mackinac Island…

A few days ago, I decided to try my hand at night photography up at Arch Rock. After biking in near pitch black conditions, I managed to reach the Arch with my friend, Sara Wright, who is a professional photographer, and she shared some tips with me as we took photos. Unfortunately, the moon came out and lit up our photos too much! I thought I’d try editing the pics as dark as I could without losing the stars. All in all, we were outside for about an hour or so before we realized some kind of frozen fog was descending on us and it was time to go home. It was a fun first experience for me of taking pictures of the stars.
On our way back we somehow got sidetracked onto some new trails and ended up losing our way… I was a little embarrassed as I feel I should probably know the island better, but I just don’t go out past Sugar Loaf very much! That’s basically where we got lost, and found ourselves on a gravel road out near the airport. But we kept going, the road eventually meeting up with a main road and we made our way home. It was definitely an island adventure!

The next day, I packed up my bags and headed off the island to spend Easter with my parents and sister. Although it’s still cold, the views recently on sunnier days has been great! Especially when the lake is involved. I always forget how clear the water is this time of year… anyway, I had to take a few photos around the boat dock before heading off the island:

– Heather

A Mackinac Island Winter

Have I really gone three months without blogging? 

Yes. Yes, I have.

This winter hasn’t been anything extreme in any way to me. We didn’t get dumped with an amazing amount of snow, it didn’t really get too cold, nothing out of the ordinary happened… I guess I just ended up spending a lot of time enjoying Mackinac Island on my own. I find that I can get too cynical when I hear others say how in love they are with the island, how magical it is, how blessed they are. I’ve gotten too caught up in work and stress that I wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy the fact that all of statements above are completely true for me, too. 

So instead, I just tried to spend a little more time offline, focused more on photography, and tried to find the best about Mackinac Island and why it makes me feel blessed. I took a lot of great photos… and personally, I made sure to spend some of that time focusing on my health, enjoying the outdoors, finding more passion in my work, spending time with great company, and just living.

Now that’s not to say that I haven’t been posting any pictures online… they just haven’t been on my blog, and I’ve been uploading island photos on my Instagram account, @heathermay.xo (you might notice those pictures in the sidebar). 

Anyway, now that we’re in the month of April and all of the snow is gone, I decided not to let the remainder of my winter photos go to waste and will post them below. 

Below you will find winter photos from January through March of this year. 

Please enjoy 🙂

– Heather