Step Back in Time in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

​It was the nicest day so far this year.  Weather-wise. Assuming nice weather refers to sunshine and heat-but not too much heat. The sun was out and the air was pleasantly warm.  A good day to enjoy the annual event Glen Haven Days​.

Glen Haven Historical Barn Door

Just 2.5 miles west of Glen Arbor on M-22, Glen Haven is a forty minute drive from downtown Traverse City.   Continue reading

Spring Blossoms Overnight in Leelanau

Spring is here! I went driving around Leelanau County today and this is what I saw.

Forsythia.​​  I love forsythia.  Being one of the first plants to wake up in the spring, it is a bright light after many months of darkness in northern Michigan.  The yellow is a perfect yellow and the flowers are so simple.  If you cut it early, before it blooms outside,you can force it to bloom indoors.  Just bring a branch in the house and put it in a vase of water.

Forsythia in Leelanau County

Apple Blossoms​. The apple blossom is Michigan’s state flower. With an average apple harvest of 19.7 million bushels a year, Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the United States.

Apple blossoms in Leelanau County

Continue reading

Gabe’s Country Smoked Meats, at Maple City Road and M-72

Spring Blossoms in Grand Traverse

When I woke up this morning I could almost hear the blooming trees outside.  So I hopped in the car to take a ride through the heart of Leelanau County to see how the apple blossoms were coming along.  As you head towards the lake (Lake Michigan) from Traverse City on M-72, you’ll find a cute little local market on the corner at Maple City Road. I’ve been meaning to check it out, so I decided today was the day.


Since this is a main through-way from Traverse City out to Lake Michigan, Empire, Glen Arbor and Leland, it would be a great place to stop and fill the cooler with a picnic lunch. These sandwiches were already made up in the cooler and were very reasonable priced at 2.99 a piece. You could easily feed a crowd without breaking the bank.







Gabe’s is a cozy little market that has that “up north” feel and by that I mean it’s nothing fancy and far from a big chain style.  And it smelled delicious.  They offered a variety of local meats and cheeses as well as some hot and ready to eat hotdogs and sausage that were made on site.










This carving on the log was the first thing I saw when I walked up to the shop and at the time I thought it was pretty cool.


Gabe’s Country Smoked Meats

12963 S. Maple City Road

Maple City, Michigan  49664


Monday – Friday 8 am till 8 pm (summer hours)


Springtime on Spider Lake




Spring brings such wonder if you look close enough.

Pussy Willow Blossoms

A few days ago, this was a pussy willow bud just opening up.  Today it is bright yellow and upon closer look it is quite beautiful.    Don’t you think?

I posted it to my facebook page and a friend pointed out that it is actually called a catkin.

In Search of Marsh Marigolds

One of my all time favorite flowers blooms only in the very early spring. They can be found in swampy areas around the Grand Traverse region. Marsh Marigolds grow in wetlands and pop with the brightest of bright yellows.

Just when you think you can’t take the dullness of winter any longer, the marigolds bloom.  A true sign of hope and better things (and weather) yet to come.  If you live in a northern climate, you know what I mean.

This year with our record snow fall- it has been a true test for northern Michiganders. According to and the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a total of 266 inches of snow fell on these woods in Maple City this winter. And I know from the experience, not a lot of sunshine made it through all those snow clouds. Having lived through it, all I can say on this cloudy spring day is, “Thank God for Marsh Marigolds”.

They’re like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.  Although in this case, a better analogy might be like a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day. But the glow of these flowers remind me more of the sun than hot cocoa.

Walt Whitman once said, “Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”  I say, “marsh marigolds are so much sunshine to the square inch”.

Marsh marigolds on the side of the road

Marsh Marigolds Caltha Palustris.


To me, they are hard to miss. But most people never see them. When you’re driving down the road- look through the woods for patches of bright yellow in low lying areas.

Marsh Marigolds Michigan

If they are there, and you’re looking for them, you’ll see them. The contrast of yellow and green stands out against the dull grays and browns of the northern Michigan post winter landscape.

Marsh Marigolds on the side of the road in Leelanau County

Marsh marigolds in Leelanau County

If only I had a pair of rubber waders in the car so I could get even closer! This is the best I can do with the camera I have and without getting soaked.

Marsh marigolds Leelanau County up close and personal

Aren’t they lovely? Tell me, where have you spotted marsh marigolds?