The Mind’s Eye Sees Spring

As the height of winter passes us by, thoughts of spring and warm summer days begin to surface like the tendrils of early spring blooms. // Photography by Tom Haxby

The revelation of spring is still in mind’s eye in February and March, but with less than 48 days to the calendar mark, we hope the Michigan BLUE Cottages issue envelopes readers with the images and stories that transport them to that nearing time.

State of Mind this month introduces author Carol Votaw, who precisely describes the reason for heightened anticipation of the coming season:

“We scrunch out toes in the cool sand. Our sweatshirts smell smoky. There is no rush. Time stretches out like the Milky Way as the fire slowly dims and the water grows calm. One by one, lights across the lake go out. We watch as another summer day settles.”

Another sure sign of spring: As lake property owners know, as soon as the last of the ice melts, the protected loons return to Michigan. Common loons are a large diving bird with unmistakable calls, the true sound of the season. The loon population is stable across North America, Canada, Iceland and Greenland, but in Michigan, it is listed as threatened. BLUE Managing Editor Howard Meyerson discovered a group of individuals dedicated to the protection of the loon population. His report on the Michigan Loonwatch is inspiring… and offers an open invitation to all who hear the call.

The feature section of this issue is a delight, both for the scope of design for a home on an island near Drummond Island, and the “tiny houses” beloved by minimalists. Marc O’Grady, who owns beag+haus in Traverse City, pretty much hit the nail on the head with his observation, “The people who have a place near the water don’t want to spend all their time focusing on the house and maintenance and cutting the lawn. They want a smaller home, so they can spend more time doing the things they went to the cottage to do in the first place.”

Event listings in Excursions bring readers back to today’s date, so for now, close the winter season with a community bonfire, scheduled ice festivals or anticipation of the vast array of March activities, from the annual flow of Michigan maple syrup or St. Patrick’s Day festivities to Easter egg rolls. Other signs of spring? Fredrick Meijer Gardens opens the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation March 1, the Detroit Tigers open their first home series of 2018 on March 29.

Carole Valade, Editor, Michigan BLUE

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