3.29.2013

Spring Survey


For the past two days, I have been able to resume my walks around the path with Mot.

This was an activity that had been discontinued months ago when the snow made passage for a cat way too difficult. For a person? Speaking only for myself, I was not interested in clomping around in the snow, cold and especially wind.

A constant when you live on top of a hill.








Looking east to the barn.



Starting out on the path means heading westward. Upon looking behind me I see the barn looming quietly.  His back bone has a subtle, tired dip in the middle.

I noticed the other day, when driving from 92nd street, that there were several shingles missing on the southwest slope. I have seen them lying in the driveway.

I will be calling a barn specialist this summer.







Looking back at the house.

 I take a last look back toward the house. It looks bright in the sunshine. It stands out clearly, now that there is no snowy competition. It gives the eye a relief from all the tawny browns.




My roaming buddy, Mot.




Mot, who follows me faithfully, stops to revel in the warm sunshine. It is obvious that this one hasn't had much active exercise over the past few months. His girth is impressive. These walks are important for both of us, me thinks!







The furthest, western point of the nature trail.




 The nature trail is a large, quarter mile circle behind the farm yard, surrounding the top of the hill.

 We live on one of the highest points in Kent County, MI. Now there are trees blocking the view to the west and part of the north, facing Grand Rapids.

When my family moved here in 1968, you could see for miles in both directions. The property goes back from the house in a big 27 acre swath. Trees cover the sides of the hills.

My brother Mark, comes over with his tractor every spring and cuts down the very top of the hill, in the center of the path. This forms a beautiful meadow of what was once a cow pasture.





looking west through the trees.






 You can get an idea how how high we are when looking through these trees. In the summer, this is nothing but dense foliage. You would not know you were on a high hill. This is the furthest point of the trail before it veers north.








Around the corner and heading north.




 I look back every few minutes to see my constant shadow, following at a distance. Pretty soon, he will run up silently and zoom past me. A very unusual cat! I have to smile when I imagine my "house cats" following me like this. It just wouldn't happen!

We have rounded the southwest end corner of the path and are heading north, toward Grand Rapids.
I am really looking south to my buddy, as I walk north.

There is a stubborn little patch of snow yet. Today, I'm sure it will be gone. The green in the path is moss. It is nice and soft on bare feet in the summer time.





walking back from the northwest corner of the field.



We have now rounded the furthest point of the trail and are coming up around the north side of the field. Looking north from where I am facing, lies Grand Rapids, far in the distance.

This is a nice view of the farm yard. The house and studio are on the far left and the the little house, closest to us.

Mark planted the pine trees around the farm for my mother. One is in honor of his late wife, Margaret. Mark lives about a mile away and is very helpful to us. It was Mark who designed and created the nature path.





Awkward pose!










Fork in the path.


 We now have traversed most of the trail. At this point there is an option to go straight to the house, or left, around to the "little house" or "Michele's Cabin". The Merizon Studio is straight ahead, behind the tree.







At the end of the road, on the swing.








Looking north from Leah's swing that sits in front of the little house.



Resting now on Leah's swing. We are looking back to the fork in the road and beyond to Grand Rapids. You can barely make out the city skyline between the trees.
Back in the day, there were no trees and you could see from one end of the horizon to the other.

Thank you for walking with us! Have a wonderful, Easter weekend!

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