Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I had a difficult transition when we moved out here in August. I’d been living in large cities (DC, then Boston) for eight years, and it was tough to make the transition to a more suburban lifestyle*. The winter nearly killed me, but I’ve been reassured by my Kalamazoo friends that this was far worse than normal. I’m clinging to this idea.
Spring was always my favorite time in the city. Actually, that’s not true; I loved all of my time in the city. But spring in DC was fantastic, with the cherry blossoms blooming. I loved running on the brick sidewalks of my neighborhood, seeing all of the lovely gardens bloom, down to Eastern Market where I’d buy fresh veggies and flowers for my nightstand. I loved spring in Boston as well: taking long walks downtown, seeing the baby ducks in the fens, having picnics on the Common.
I’ve got to say, in all honesty, that spring in Kalamazoo was definitely worth the long, brutal winter. I’ve been riding my bike as often as I can (something I was too afraid to try in Boston; I knew several people who were hit by careless drivers). I’ve also been puttering around in our garden; I’ve not planted much, but I’ve been weeding and trying to keep things tidy. We’ve been spending all the time we can on our front porch; it’s screened in and set back from the road, and we watch the birds and listen to the rain. We could never have afforded a place with a porch in Boston.
Jason and I have also been spending a lot of time at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. We wanted to hike in Boston, but it was impossible without a car. This is so lovely; it’s maybe a five minutes from our apartment, and we’ve been going the past few weekends and exploring. We became members shortly after moving here, but I got so wrapped up in school so quickly that we didn’t get to really enjoy it. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a membership. They’re inexpensive, and the money goes to an organization very dedicated to preservation and education. There is a ton of programming that’s great for kids, as well.
We absolutely love it there, hiking in the woods. Last week, I was delighted to hear upon our arrival that the barn was open. That meant baby animals. Sadly my camera battery was near dead, but I managed to take this shot before it died:
These little ones were very new, and their mama was quite protective. We got to see them frollick outside shortly after I took this, and I couldn’t help but squeal. My farm owning dream now includes sheep. I don’t think anyone is surprised.
This past weekend, we tried one of the new trails, which takes us through prairie and grasslands. It was a perfect day: not too warm, nice and sunny, a lovely breeze. We got a little turned about (Note to KNC frequenters: the new, long trail that has opened up is completely unmarked; pay attention to your map and bring a compass!), but thanks to my trusty compass and Jason’s ability to trailblaze, we made it back. We saw lots of wildflowers, spotted cows due to a wrong turn, and kept seeing the most captivating little birds. I don’t know what they were, they were small and had white bellies, but were the most vibrant blue on the top. They were stunning. The highlight of the hike was definitely turning a corner and getting the most beautiful view of the valley. We stood and watched as no fewer than six hawks circled in the distance. It was lovely.
We’ll definitely be back again, most likely this weekend. I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as I did! I’ll be posting again soon with knitting content, I promise. A certain shawl just finished blocking, but I want to wait to post about it until I can take some decent photos. J and I have plans to go out and celebrate our third anniversary this week (We couldn’t on the actual day, as I had a night class) and I’ll probably rope him into a photo shoot. Until then, look for previews on my flickr.
*I know that Kalamazoo is technically a city. However, it doesn’t feel like one to me. I’m used to large cities with subway systems. I mean no offense to my Michigander readers 🙂