Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ohio/Michigan, Part 4

Ok, here we go with the last of the vacation tour.  After leaving  Hidden Lake Gardens near Tipton, MI we headed for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

This is a fascinating park to tour, with artwork placed, well... artfully, in and around the garden landscaping.  The featured artist on prominent display was Dale Chihuly, world famous for his blown glass art.

This sculpture is breathtaking and very, very large!
 These sculptures look so natural in the garden.
The blue glass is very intense and pretty.

I liked the way the sculptures were color-coordinated with the plantings in some areas.

The statement this display makes is stunning.  One thing I was curious about was, how do they mow the lawn?  And another worry I would definitely have is, what would happen during a hail storm?  Or even high winds?  See, I'm a worrier.
I was so glad it was sunny the days we were on vacation, for the glass was just alive with color.
Now, there were other sculptures in the park besides those of Chihuly, and there were three which are near and dear to my heart as I love horses. 
Here I am with the first horse; but wait......there's another one here....

Oh, my this horse is much larger!  But, wait........there's one even bigger here:

Now, that's a BIG horse!  Cast in bronze, 24' tall,  this horse is the artwork of Nina Akamu:
Absolutely stunning, and from a distance, he appears to be coming across the lawn.

There were many other sculptures in the  park, too.

Chihuly sculptures floating in the pond
Isn't this one different?  I love blue!

and red, and orange!

We were very lucky to have been visiting while the Chihuly exhibit was being featured.  This was a rare chance to see such beauty.

We were at the Frederik Meijer gardens on Monday; that night we spent in a National Forest campground which was very nice and secluded.

Tuesday morning, we packed up and headed out for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park:

 The dunes are huge, the pictures don't really do them justice--and the scenery is wonderful.

 Apparently, when the sand drifts in too much, the park needs to use a bulldozer to clear the trails.  I was just happy the operator and machine didn't go over the edge of the dune as it is a very long drop to the lake.

 Here there are some dunes which are ok for people to climb---Ann & Joel are near the top of the dune and Carl is in the middle.
I made it about halfway up before they were already on their way back down.  The sand is so soft and clean.
Then, back over the Mackinac Bridge, leaving Michigan and entering Upper Michigan.

Our last attraction before leaving the UP and heading home was Kitchitikipi in Palm Books State Park.   Kitchitikipi is a lake which is spring-fed and crystal clear to the bottom.  You can see the springs on the bottom of the lake bubbling up and moving the sand from the self-guided raft provided for the purpose.  Joel manned the raft for us:

Very difficult to see what I mean from this photo, but this is the bottom of the lake, 40' deep with bubbling springs.  We met a wonderful couple from Michigan on the raft and had a nice chat with them before parting and going our own separate ways.  We exchanged email addresses (and my blog address, too) so I hope we can stay in touch.  Sure is fun to meet new friends.

From Kitchitikipi, we made it home by 7PM on Tuesday night, and though the trip was great, the homecoming was even better.

Just like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, ''There's no place like home."

And I don't own any ruby slippers, either!

I thought I'd end this post with a few more pictures of the stained glass windows from the cemeteries in Cleveland, Ohio.

That's it for 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation'.  Thanks for coming along!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, what a trip! Those sculptures are beautiful and my first thought was how would they survive a severe thunderstorm?


FlowerLady said...

You had a delightful vacation. What a wonderful exhibit by Dale Chihuly. I would love to have seen that. We have an art museum in our area that has a permanent display of sea creatures made by him, that is up in the ceiling, which is made of clear glass panels. There are benches there that you can lie back on and look up at the beautiful glass pieces. It is wonderful.

I just love how his pieces are so fantastic in the landscape. What an artist he is. I love colored glass and have a few pieces collected through the years, plus a few stained glass windows too. They make me feel happy.

What huge sand dunes. Walking in sand is hard work, especially going up hill.

Thanks for sharing your vacation.


Granny Lyn's Garden said...

Morning Karen, I enjoyed your whole trip this morning, all 4 blogs .Been kind of busy lately (had 14 yards of top soil delivered Monday! ) What a great trip ,wish my family would appreciate all these beautiful locations. If it doesn't have a roller coaster or a drag strip , it's a no go for my guys. By the way,that's another thing we have in common ,I have two boys also. I especially likes the gardens in lower MI. Thanks a for taking me with on your vacation.
God Bless,Lynda

Alison said...

Thanks for sharing all the beautiful things you saw on your trip. That big horse sculpture is amazing! He looks like he is about to jump over that row of ornamental grasses. Love all the glass sculptures too. Even though you weren't feeling well, you certainly did plenty!

Ellada said...

WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!
I love the sculptures so much, that was a fantastic trip.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, I know, I really wish I had asked someone what they do in case of inclement weather. I'd be very afraid to have them damaged.

FlowerLady, I bet the display in your museum is fantastic. Lying back to view them sounds so restful. I hope you are feeling much better!

Lynda, 14 YARDS of top soil!? Whoa, that's a lot of soil! What are building now? I'm going to be watching your blog like a hawk for updates on this new adventure of yours. Oh, I know what it's like to be outnumbered by men--in this household, I'm the lone woman, but luckily, we pretty much all like the same sight-seeing activities. Maybe you can talk your family into a trip the Meijer Gardens, it's probably not that far of a drive for you and there might be a drag strip or roller coaster somewhere in between??

Thanks Alison, glad you enjoyed the pictures. Yes, I am glad we went on this trip even though I wasn't up to speed. Good thing we went when we did, because things have been going downhill with me a bit more since we got home. Ah, well, next doc visit is Tuesday, maybe I will get some help then.

Hi Ellada, glad you liked the sculptures; that was the BIGGEST horse I will probably ever see!

Zoey said...

Hi Karen,
What beautiful sculptures!

I have been on that raft at Kitchitikipi, too. It is so peaceful there.

I have also been to those dunes and I remember how difficult it was to climb them--I am in no hurry to climb them again!

I sounds like you had a great spur-of-the-moment vacation.

Karen said...

Hi Zoey, yes, it was a great vacation with a lot of good memories--much better than me tipping over into a geyser at Yellowstone might have been...! The dunes are amazing, aren't they?

Shirley said...

Wonderful vacation photos! I, like you, love horses. I wonder, how does one incorporate one of these glorious statues in the garden? Hmmm. Gorgeous sculpture, incredible stained glass. Definitely a vacation worth sharing.

Jugglerguy said...

Hey Michigan stuff! I live in Michigan. I've never been to the Meijer gardens, just the grocery stores. I live two hours south of the bridge though and cross it several times each year.

Are there still big lake trout on the bottom of Kitchitikipi? Usually you can see them swimming around down there. Last time we were there, my niece was with us and threw up near the parking lot. My wife always calls it Kitchitipuki now.

Karen said...

Shirley, wouldn't it be amazing to own a Chihuly?? But I would settle for a big horse, too!

Jugglerguy...haven't we met before?? Was it a gardening forum?? No, we didn't see any fish at all at Kitchitikipi, which is too bad. I was looking for 'em. Head over to Meijer Gardens, I think you'll like it!

Stone Art said...

i love, the Frederik Meijer Garens and Sculpture Park, would love to visit this place. thanks for these great photos of those fantastically vibrant sculptures.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

We rarely travel, so it was fun to see your photos. Well, I guess I do travel when I visit blogs from all over. I love so many, and am always behind in my blog reading.

I've seen some photos of those beautiful glass sculptures. I bet it's awesome to see them in person.