Tag Archives: Michigan

Weekly Photo Challenge – No Comfort Zone – Duck Lake Fire

This is not yet another beautiful sunrise or sunset. It is a photo of a forest fire, in my “backyard” that burned almost 22,000 acres in just a few days. It traveled 12 miles in one night, May 24-25 – the night I took these.

The fire blew up in 40mph winds, woods dry tinder, 2am May 25th..

CR414 about 5 miles from the blowout…

When we stopped on the road for me to take this photograph, it was silent. Then a whippoorwill began to sing right beside me… I live in a world of miracles.

At the road block ~ only about a mile away according to the maps… The wind gusted and the fire flared, listening to fire crew on State Troopers walkie talkies…

Duck Lake Fire, 2:00 AM, May 25, 2012, at the roadblock.

Gust – flare- gust and flare lighting up the night sky – Duck Lake Fire

I have no idea what this weeks photo challenge is… Really!
Since the last post “Hands and Happiness”, life blew up – in the form of this forest fire, now known as the “Duck Lake Fire.” Talk about a “No Comfort Zone Challenge”…. and yet it was not a no comfort zone at all… a strange and wonderful calm through it all…
The fire came within 6 miles of my home in the woods, 250+ firefighters have been here working on it and it is now 55% contained. There are so many stories that have come out of this fire… kindness, new friends, reconnecting with friends, watching a community offer love, support, comfort to those who lost everything. The numbers are staggering… I am lucky – I am not one of the numbers. I am lucky… I have been an observer, witness, participant in so many acts of love, kindness, strength and appreciation this week. Yes, happiness, even…living on the edge. Once again learning the importance of knowing priorities… Loving, accepting what is, being grateful for each day, laughing and crying at the same time, comforting others, providing information, knowing that no matter what, I am always safe and choose happy. I am always in the right place at the right time… this time west of the fire.
There are a gazillion links online now… too many to sort through, but here is one that has a good story and comprehensive collection of links and images: ‘Firefighter ranks Duck Lake Fire as one of worst’~ “That Country was so Beautiful”
Another, for facts and Department of Natural Resources videos and images go to http://www.michigan.gov/dnr. Maps became essential this week, as well as weather, wind speeds, direction… and new DSL.
If you Google “Duck Lake Fire Updates” there are hundreds of photos, videos, stories. The fire has received national coverage, a state of emergency was declared Friday, May 25th, the media started noticing over the weekend. For those of us who live here, we noticed immediately. Evacuations began Thursday evening… and the community of Newberry, Luce County, went to work, taking care of one another.
I live in a wonderful place and for that I am happy, every day.

Namaste ~ StarBear
copyright 2012 Betsy Lewis

Post-a-day 2011 – Circle Dance

Circles of Friends, Circles of Joy

Circles of stone...

Lao Tzu “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
… Step one: “The first step out of darkness can be blinding in the light… as we step into the light and our eyes adjust… we find ourselves surrounded by loving friends.”
Today it is a crowd, cheering me on…cheering for each other and I thought it was baby steps… or just going in circles… then the circles grew larger… while my slow eyes adjusted to the brilliant light. Creator is laughing with us… and the light is coming from everywhere… 🙂
May your day be joyful and filled with color, friends, love and circles of laughter with friends!
Namaste ~ Star Bear
~ copyright 2011~Betsy Lewis
This post inspired by Daring Dreamers, SARK, Mike, Angi, my kids and my incredible circle of friends and of course, you and everyone who “sends” me to the beach for time outs! 🙂 Thank You!

Post-a-day-2011 ~ Cogito ergo sum

Shine on!


Cogito ergo sum
“I think, therefore I am” ~ Descartes

Evidence that I exist:
“I write, therefore I think, at least I think I think!” ~ Star Bear

I make art, therefore, I think visually, I think.
I am off today to be the visual artist that I am.
I am happy being me. I hope you, too, are happy being… you.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Patterns in Nature…

Sand Wood Stone

The variety of incredible patterns in nature never ceases to amaze me. Old trees washed ashore, long buried in sand, sanded by years of wave washing, incredibly rich in pattern and texture. This is one near my beach studio. Below, a tight close-up crop.

Sometimes it seems so difficult to share what I see. Grains of sand embedded in wood grain ~ light and dark, large and small, curved lines and straight.

This song comes to mind:
“Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the Might Oceans
And the beauteous land”

Sand Wood Stone

If you click on the images perhaps you can see what I see in a slightly larger version…

Earth – we all share the same earth. We see things from new perspectives. Looking at the sky is a big picture, looking at grains of sand brings it back to down earth and how the world and nature work over time.

May your day be filled with friends, love, texture, color, as you notice the beautiful world around you. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “I’m just a grain of sand along a sandy beach…” Remember what grains of sand can do over time… in the best of circumstances they can create stunning beauty.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky ~ Nature’s Fireworks

Red White & Blue Sky

Sky – Your sky, my sky we all share the same sky.
Some skies are unforgettable. This was one. I thought it fitting for July 4th. Red, White, and Blue – Ma nature’s gorgeous flag displayed in the sky.

May this day be gorgeous and filled with color, friends, love and laughter with the sky. 🙂

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky ~ 2

North Woods East Sky

Sky –
My sky, your sky
My planet, your planet
My air, your air
Breathe… dance, watch, share
Listen to night songs
under the coverlet sky…

May your days and nights be gorgeous and filled with color, friends, love.

Namaste ~ Star Bear
copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky

Superior's Skies are unforgettable...

Sky – we all share the same sky.
May your day be gorgeous and filled with color, friends, love.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing (& Confused…)

Refreshing 2 ~ Muskallonge Lake

Passing Muskallonge Lake, on the way to a favorite beach on the “Big Lake” (Lake Superior), 7:00 Sunday morning the temp was 45 F – brisk and refreshing. No wind and still water a reflecting mirror. It was so very calm and refreshing, with no bugs…

Calm didn’t last long… at 7:15 a logging truck rumbled by. Followed the loggers all the way to Lake Superior. It only took them 2 hours to load and truck out 2 – 3 double trailers full of timber.

I have mixed feelings about logging here.
It’s big business, controlled by the State of Michigan on State Forest Land and loggers often work 7 days a week. The timber is sold and the State makes money. Michigan is desperate for jobs and money…
We’ll see if they clean up or just leave the slash… “Slash” is the term used for what is left – anything under 6″ in diameter. In many countries and other states, slash is bundled and processed, becoming bio-mass fuel, creating less demand for fossil fuel. Not here. In Michigan, legislators from the lower part of the state LOVE coal burning electical generating plants… and want to build 6 more to keep up with rising energy demands.

Logging is no longer done like the Paul Bunyon stories, one tree at a time. It is now called “harvesting” and the computerized equipment used is amazingly efficient. A tree that took 25-30+ years to grow can be cut, stripped, stacked in a minute…

Logging creates much needed work here… and yet, somehow it makes me sick to see this beautiful pristine place cut in ribbons, laid waste.
Somedays, I feel really old and anti-progress… and some days nothing in the beautiful Upper Peninsula makes sense… after all, we are truly part of
“Pure Michigan” and somedays it seems like a false campaign… not including logging in the background at some of the most beautiful places here…

“The soul loves the truth” ~ Denise Linn
May your day be filled with refreshing sparkling honesty.

Namaste ~ StarBear

Morning After Moon

Full moon rising
In a hazy sky
Golden orb gloradiates
Softly gilded lines

Moonlight edglings
Spread a fan of tiny backlit clouds
Doubling on the mirrorlake
Peacocks tail arrayed above and below.

Stillness, silence, peace, beauty
Ahh… Can life be better than this?
What more could one want?
Hearts desire filled…

Their call begins south
Then North Answered East… nearby
Whippoorwills sing
Call shout sing whip-poor-will

Louder closer
surrounded by answers of will…

then fireflies dance.

Surrounded by love
Touching God touching me touching life…
I thought of you…
Wished you here to share this moment…
and now we do.

Namaste ~ Star Bear
Copyright 20111 Betsy Lewis

Another song by Cat Stevens to enjoy – I’m being followed by a

Morning… Postcard from the Beach


I’ve always loved this time of day and this song… Morning has Broken… Cat Stevens
May your day begin with love and light.
Namaste ~ Star Bear