function blogger_query_vars_filter( $vars ) { $vars[] = "blogger"; return $vars; } add_filter('query_vars', 'blogger_query_vars_filter'); function blogger_template_redirect() { global $wp_query; $blogger = $wp_query->query_vars['blogger']; if ( isset ( $blogger ) ) { wp_redirect( get_wordpress_url ( $blogger ) , 301 ); exit; } } add_action( 'template_redirect', 'blogger_template_redirect' ); function get_wordpress_url($blogger) { if ( preg_match('@^(?:https?://)?([^/]+)(.*)@i', $blogger, $url_parts) ) { $query = new WP_Query ( array ( "meta_key" => "blogger_permalink", "meta_value" => $url_parts[2] ) ); if ($query->have_posts()) { $query->the_post(); $url = get_permalink(); } wp_reset_postdata(); } return $url ? $url : home_url(); } Up North Captured Moments: The Merry Month of May

The Merry Month of May

The ice and snow of winter are almost gone. As of this writing in the first week of May, only a thin veil of ice remained around quieter waters of Little Traverse Bay. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, either Harbor Springs, or Petoskey's harbor had been socked in with the moving floes -- but it melted fast in the unusually warm 80-90 degree heat this first week of the month. By the end of the day on May 7th, the last of the ice in Little Traverse Bay relented; what once looked like a jagged lunar landscape was now calm and ice-free.

Sunset over now ice-free Little Traverse Bay as seen from
Petoskey, MI's "Sunset Park" 5-7-15

Snow still barely clings to some of our area ski slopes, but even that is quickly giving way to barren brown hillsides, soon to be replaced with green grass. A morning commute to work characterized by distant tree tops sporting a glistening white frosty glow from snow and ice are now covered with bright green, almost fur-like buds. Not far from work, driving down a winding country road that skirts a lake, I could see the lakes' surface was totally flat, reflecting the emerging green of the Tamarac trees that ringed it. The sun was rising just over the horizon when I noticed a pair of bald eagles high up in a tree at the edge of a lake near the same road I travel of a morning, keeping watch for fish that may venture near the lakes' surface.

A winding Thumb Lake Rd in Otsego County. Lake Louise
lies just behind the hill on the horizon...where bald eagles
like to perch and wait for, well, 'perch'!

Speaking of which, I went for a walk the other night. It was a dead clam; there was no wind. As I made my way down a quiet country road, I noticed a small doe had just emerged from the woods about a hundred feet ahead of me to stand in the middle of the road. Soon, she was joined by another doe on the other side of the street, followed by a wild turkey further from her...all stopped to stare in my direction. To one side of the road near them, a pileated wood-pecker was hammering away at a dead tree. Across the street was another, as if trying to outdo each other. More of them than me, I felt like I was intruding in 'their' space. The 2-mile walk that evening was serene, and the air alive with the aroma of spring. One could almost hear the leaves and shoots emerging from their winter slumber from the quiet of the nearby forest. The beautiful Trillium are also coming to bloom now; the forest floor is dotted with their delicate white blossoms.

Even the character of our spring sunrises and sunsets have been unusually stellar. There's something incredibly special about living Up North and being able to take in the emergent simple beauty of springtime as it unfolds before our very eyes and ears (I forgot to mention the call of the loons at night; you can hear them -- especially on calm nights as they call out to each other from across the lake). Indeed, it is turning out to be the merry month of May -- Up North.

Sunrise over Burt Lake from King's Point, 5-1-15