Monday, August 14, 2017

The journey continues

I reluctantly left my great hosts at their beautiful lakeside cabin. I had the most amazing time! I could not have chosen a more peaceful place and great hosts to spend my first weeks of semi retirement!

I headed north to one of my favorite childhood towns Harbor Springs to spend the night with a friend at her cottage on Harbor Point.

 What a place! No cars, there is a buggy taxi cab to deliver you to your cottage. It comes by the cottage every half hour.

The cottages on this point are beautiful and of course I like the flowers the best.

The cottage I stayed in had an amazing view of the Harbor from the back porch and Lake Michigan from the front porch.

More neighborhood flowers.

The season in Michigan is very sort so the flowers pretty much bloom all at once and they have to do it fast!

Stopped in Petoskey another favorite.

Lake Michigan

Then off to St Helens.

There we rode on trails through the woods and spotted over 20 deer and two large owls!

I'll soon be posting the small paintings I've been working on for my 2018 calendar.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Up North

Often when you hear the phrase "up north" it's someone from Michigan speaking.

I had the fabulous opportunity of spending a couple weeks with friends on a lake - up north - in the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. It was not unlike the lake I grew up on in southern Michigan.

I had an amazing time.

Kayaked almost every day.

Bird watched.

Listened to the loons.

I had a couple of sailing lessons and managed to go out twice by myself and not end up in the drink.

Had a great parking spot for my rv - with great friends!

I bought some art.

Did a little painting.

Did some writing.

Enjoyed my first month of (semi) retirement!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Lavender Fields

I don't remember that people grew lavender in Michigan when I was growing up there, but they do now!

We visited two lavender farms, one near Pentwater and the other north of Boyne City. 

The first, Cherry Hill Farms is most famous in the lavender world because of their Labyrinth.

And in the center is the most comprehensive herb garden I have ever seen.

This is a photo from above.

Each part of the center design is planted with different herbs.
A chart is provided that shows what is planted in each section.

My very favorite planted sections were around the center of the circle. Here each tiny plot was planted with a different theme. Medicinal, Stress, Shakespeare, Edible Flowers, and so on.

Connie walking the labryinth.

Just to the north is a great scenic overlook on Lake Michigan.

A garden in downtown Frankfort.

This is my second visit to Lavender Hill Farms near Boyne City.
It has a nice giftshop with lots of gifts depicting lavender and lots of items made with lavender.
They grow more than 25 varieties of lavender on their 33 acre farm. You can  even cut your own bouquets.

They too have a Labyrinth.

Near the Lavender Hill Farm is the Horton Bay General Store. It is on Walloon Lake, where Ernest Hemingway spent much of his youth. 

It appears that there are about 230 lavender farms in the US, including these in North Carolina - I've got them on my list to visit!

Hauser Creek Farm just west of Winston Salem.

The Lavender Garden in China Grove.

Sunshine Lavender Farm - only open for special events - north of Hillsborough.

I guess you have figured out I LOVE lavender!