We have gone from this . . .
. . . to 40 F and raining today. If you factor in our wind chill temperatures of near 40 below Monday night, that's an 80-degree difference in less than a week. We Michiganders, however, are pretty philosophical about all things weather. "That's Michigan," we shrug, and go about our business.
The local ice festival is this weekend. Competitors come from all over the world, and the weather is always unpredictable. Some years it's been so cold that I have just driven slowly through town admiring the sculptures from the warm comfort of my car. Other years, it has been so warm the ice is melting before the carvers are even finished with their creations. Because it was so cold earlier in the week, many of the sculptures carved mid-week were looking beautiful yesterday afternoon. But I really feel for the competitors who have to carve sculptures this weekend under these warmer conditions. Fortunately, we were able to see these beautiful creations late yesterday afternoon before they started to melt.
King Kong climbing the Empire State building . . .
Many of our small town merchants commission ice sculptures to display outside their places of business. A local jeweler has a diamond sculpture, for example, and this fish is in front of a seafood restaurant.
A local bar has an ice "bar" set up outside . . .
And look at this fabulous beer stein . . . I'm not a beer drinker, but, wow, this was my favorite. Look at all the detail.
And this, outside a local pub, is pretty cool, too. Sadly, the foam on this beer mug was already starting to drip. Glad we got to see it before it was all gone.
After we walked around, we stopped in a new chocolate shop in town. Look at these goodies . . .
We were heading for dinner, or we would have had some. This is definitely on my to-do list for next week.
Bear Claws made with cashews. Cute.
After dinner, when it was darker, I took this picture of an icy Cupid outside my favorite home furnishings store. Every time I go in this store I think I want to live there.
More photos . . . this from the local humane society, featuring a rescued dog.
A bench, that as of last night, was strong enough to sit on . . .
Our local theater is showing, appropriately, Frozen.
A beautiful butterfly . . .
I love this little town. We have all kinds of events year round, including a chili cook-off, arts fair, music in the park on Friday nights in the summer, vintage car shows, and more. The downtown merchants are so friendly, and I love to shop local when I can. The sidewalks overflow in the summer, as restaurants set up tables outside. It is always a busy, happening place.