Archive for the ‘Winter 2010-2011’ Category

Winter thaw in Novi, Michigan

Friday, March 18th, 2011



March 18, 2011

The pond outside of our motel froze around Thanksgiving time and has remained frozen ever since.  The temperatures here through the winter seldom reached 30 degree F with most days in the single digits or teens.  Last week, the Canadian Geese and the Swans began coming back only to find the pond frozen.  It was fun to watch them waddling around on the ice.

Two geese on a frozen pond

Cold feet

All alone on the ice


Waiting patiently for spring thaw

Swans await the thaw too

Just this week, we have finally begun to warm up above freezing.  In fact, yesterday it was in the 60’s and today it is in the 50’s.  It feels like the tropics to us!

The pond has finally begun to thaw much to the delight of the water fowl.

The ice begins to break up

Thanks for the bread crumbs

Two geese find water at last

It will be in the 40’s for a few days and then dropping back down into the 30’s.  We’re waiting, patiently, for the earth to tilt back towards the sun!

Driving in Wintery Michigan

Friday, February 11th, 2011


Drive around the lakes

February 11, 2011

My friend, Candice, and I took a drive along Pontiac Trail past Walled Lake, Orchard Lake and Pine Lake today to see how things were looking in the snow and ice.


Frozen Walled Lake

Ice fishing huts on Walled Lake

Walled Lake is dotted with ice fishing huts

We left Walled Lake and continued northeast on Pontiac Trail.  Pontiac Trail was an old trail that connected Port Huron to Chicago before roads were paved. At Chicago, it becomes old Route 66.  Pontiac Trail is now one of the major highways in the area where we are staying.   The road, and the town of Pontiac, are named after Chief Pontiac who was said to have pitched his teepee on the Apple Island, a 37-acre patch of land in the middle of Orchard Lake.  Chief Pontiac led an attempt to seize Fort Detroit in 1763.  He was angered by British rule and with a force of 300 warriors  attempted to capture Fort Detroit by surprise. However, the British commander was aware of Pontiac’s plan and his garrison was armed and ready.  It is rumored that Chief Pontiac is buried on Apple Island, but in fact he is probably buried in St. Louis.


Orchard Lake with Apple Island behind the tree

Frozen Orchard Lake

After driving around Orchard Lake, we took a drive around neighboring Pine Lake.  Neither Orchard Lake nor Pine Lake had ice fishing huts on them.  A quick internet search indicates there is a nature preserve there, so perhaps ice fishing isn’t allowed.

Frozen Pine Lake

Between Orchard Lake and Pine Lake is a strip of land that houses the site of the historic St. Mary’s Preparatory School for Boys.  The Orchard Lake St. Mary’s summer camp and St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair are also on the grounds.  St. Mary’s Preparatory School for Boys has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Although historic, it is still very much in session as a Catholic, all-boys, college preparatory high school with a Polish-American heritage and legacy since 1885 A.D. 

Historical building at St. Mary's

Historical building on St. Mary's campus

As we found back roads to drive that circled the lakes, we were awed by the magnificence of some of the houses fronting the lake.  I was only able to get a picture of one, due to traffic, but hope to go back on a picture-taking tour in the spring.

Awesome house on a lake

It was a fun day, and I appreciate Candice driving me out and about.

February in Novi

Saturday, February 5th, 2011



February 5, 2011

Yesterday was very sunny and about 25 degrees.

Sunny snow on the pondSunshine after the storm

Sunshine after the storm

Today it is cloudy and about 20 degrees.  It is snowing hard.  This is the kind of snow that piles up if it snows for long.

Snowing again today

I can hardly wait for the beauty of winter to be surpassed by the upstart of spring.  Be well, all.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

Snow in Novi, Michigan

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011



February 2, 2011

Last night it snowed across the midwest from Texas all of the way to the Great Lakes Region.  We were predicted to get about a foot of snow and actually piled up about 8 inches here.

Michigan is pretty good at keeping the roads clear.  The only travel problems seem to be on the icy overpasses and bridges.

Here is the pond iced over and covered with snow

The wind is blowing snow around today.  When I did laundry (I have to walk to the other building) the snow had drifted across the sidewalk causing me to have to slog through about a foot of snow in places.  In other places, the sidewalk was clear.

Snow path

They are quick to plow the parking lot, which is nice but results in lots of piles of snow.

Patty isn’t loving it, and neither are we!

December in Novi

Monday, December 13th, 2010



December 13, 2010

November was rather nice here in Novi, but December has arrived with a vengeance.   Thanks to Bobbie, Patty is ready for the cold weather. 


Patty is ready for cold weather!

Last week we got a skiff of snow.  Patty could tolerate that.

Just a skiff of snow with temperatures in the 20's

Patty says, "Tell me again, why are we in Michigan in the winter?"!!

On his days off, Bob takes advantage of a chance to rest.


Bob rests.

 Patty takes advantage of Bob resting.

 As the temperatures remained in the 20’s, the pond began to freeze.  The swans were surrounded more and more by ice.

Swans crowded by ice


These two swans are often seen on the pond.  One day a third swan dropped down, but these two swans would not let it stay in the water.  They chased it up on the bank.  Every time the new swan tried to get into the water, these two swans would chase it back up onto the bank.  It was very interesting to watch.  The new swan finally flew off to some other place.

After a few days, the pond completely froze over.

The pond is now frozen over

After the pond completely froze over, I saw our two swans waddling along on top of the ice.  I couldn’t get back outside with my camera quickly enough to take a picture of them on top of the ice, but here they are walking around on the bank across the way.  That was the last time I saw them.  I guess they flew off to find a bigger lake that isn’t completely frozen.

Swans ashore after waddling across the ice

Over the past weekend, a storm front came through dropping several inches of snow and leaving the temperatures in the single digits. 

Our frozen view on a sunny day

Right now it is 9 degrees outside. 

The view from our bedroom window

Today the high in Phoenix is supposed to be 80 degrees.  Holy Smokes!