Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Michigan Adventure - Sunday 7/30

My sister and I flew to Michigan on Saturday July 29th to visit our Cousin K.  She and her family moved from Oregon to Michigan 10 years ago.  While Cousin K. has been wonderful about returning to Oregon to visit, we'd never been east to see her.  

We rested the first afternoon / evening - getting adjusted to the new time zone.  The next day we headed out to the nationally famous Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI. 

The gardens extend for over 158 acres with  meadows, woodlands, and wetlands.

The conservatories are huge!

They featured tropical, desert, and carnivorous plants... well porcelain pieces by Ai WeiWei. 
This was called Porcelain Rebar.

The tropical portion of the conservatory flashed with the colors of neo-tropical birds.  I don't know why they did not fly out the doors into the main building, but they did not. 

Huge leaf


A wonderful sculpture of turtles.


This was my favorite sculpture.  It's called "Mad Mom"!

The gardens have over 200 LARGE sculptures.

This sculpture of several wolves using recycled items was interesting.

We saw a groundhog, but were so startled that we did not get a photo.
Cousin K. did spy this nesting Robin.  She was pretty mellow as the branch was right over the path so hundreds of people walked by daily. 

Part of the garden includes a new extensive Japanese influenced garden. Due to the cold winters, the plants they can use here are often not 'truly' Japanese, but are in spirit of that style.

It was a perfect day to stroll the gardens and this was a perfect ending.
A lovely large man-made waterfall and pond.

This guy found it to be a wonderful habitat!

After a look at the gift shop, I was tired!
A nap was in order.

But the day was not yet over!
In the evening we drove to Grand Haven, MI. 

There is a wonderful boardwalk along the Grand River as it flows into Lake Michigan. Look at that sunset - amazing!

And here's the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier.
With 3200 miles of shoreline, Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state...around 247 - 100 of which are in good repair.

The sunset continued to amaze.

Equally amazing to a couple of Oregonians - the state Michigan is basically a big sandbar, so the shores of Lake Michigan are sandy like the Oregon Coast.  But the water is warm unlike our Pacific Ocean.   

Lake Michigan was HUGE and calm, with a sandy shoreline, and gulls reeling overhead it looked like the ocean - but take a deep breath - nope - it's unsalted! No fishy smell.

Purple Martins raced up and down the Grand River eating insects on the fly and thousands of dollars of boats motored by.  Hundreds of folks strolled the boardwalk, while that many more happily staked out their camping spot at the 48 acre state park.

A most wonderful first day in Michigan.   


carol fun said...

Glad you are enjoying Michigan... I've been to that conservatory years ago and it is amazing. Love all the sculptures and the Japanese garden too. Hope the rest of the your trip is just as much fun as today was!

Maggee said...

Oh man! I would LOVE to see all those sculptures! Love what you shared! It is a pretty big lake, eh? All that a beach, except not! Look forward to more!! Hugs!

Barb said...

What a wonderful garden. I love those pictures of the lighthouse. Michigan is still a magical place from my childhood. I will totally love seeing these posts!

Connie Erikson said...

I am so glad you are enjoying our state! I was thrilled to hear that you are here. I have lived in Michigan my whole life, it is the best state to experience deep forest and wonderful waters.

Annette-California said...

Had no idea that I would get to go to Michigan this morning visiting your blog. What beautiful gardens and you even spotted the nesting robin. How nice you went to visit your cousin. Beautiful photos!
love Annette

MaryO said...

What a beautiful place. It's been added to my 'bucket list' of places to visit. I love lighthouses.✈😀