Category Archives: Michigan

Back to Capture More Pure Michigan Sunflowers

It’s late August. Summer is on the downswing here in Michigan and the Midwest. That meant it was time to go hunting for some Pure Michigan sunflowers. Through a friend I learned about the Schell Family Farm just outside Downtown Pinckney. Sunflower score! 🌻🌻🌻

Pure Michigan sunflowers - Schell Family Farm

Upon arriving at the entrance along Dexter-Pinckney Road, I took the hilly, lengthy dirt road until arriving at a tent just in front of the sunflowers.

A preview of what awaited me.

Hours for viewing the sunflowers are Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It costs $4 dollars, which includes being able to snip and take one home. You can take more sunflowers for an additional charge. Cutters and a bucket filled with water are provided to help you carry them. I learned how quickly sunflowers need water upon cutting or else they will wilt.

Pure Michigan sunflowers - Schell Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers - Schell Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflower field - Schell Family Farm

I kept the camera ready as I started out taking scores of pictures. They allow you to walk right into the sunflower field, pathway or not. I took advantage, also taking a few of the narrow pathways that cut out.

Pure Michigan yellow sunflower field - Schell Family Farm

Michigan orange sunflower field - Schell Family Farm

Sunflowers of all heights and colors will await you. There was a shorter yellow sunflower field, alongside a much taller orange themed one.

Michigan sunflower farm

Orange sunflower farm

I found time to take a nap amongst the sunflower beauty. 🌻🌻🌻

Taking in the sunflowers

Based on previous sunflower visits, I know sunflowers don’t stay in full bloom for very long, a few weeks at the most. The growers did say this is the peak week to visit (late August).

I spent about an hour navigating the Pure Michigan sunflower beauty. I will let the rest of my pictures do the talking.

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Pure Michigan sunflowers in Pinckney, Shrill Family Farm

Orange sunflowers in Michigan

Orange sunflowers in Michigan

yellow sunflower field

orange sunflower

bee on a sunflower

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Schell Family Farm is not going to be just a sunflower farm. They are in the process of becoming an orchard and Christmas tree farm as well. You can even roam through a corn maze right now! At Halloween, you will be able to navigate a haunted forest, visit a pumpkin patch, and much, much more. It’s going to become a fun place to bring the kids and hang out. I saw a family eating at one of the nearby picnic tables after picking a bunch of sunflowers.

What a great first visit to Schell Family Farm. You can find them on Facebook.

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Michigan sunflowers at Shrill Family Farm

Where else would you recommend going to see some Pure Michigan sunflowers? Where else have you come across them in your travels? 🌻🌻🌻

An Ann Arbor Coffee and A Drive During the Polar Vortex

We just escaped what was deemed the “Polar Vortex” here in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest. Temperatures were brutally cold never getting close to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for two days. You add in the wind and it was pure misery. That didn’t stop me from capturing the scene at dawn during an Ann Arbor coffee and a drive.

A lot of shops and places were closed during this time for good reason, but Roos Roast, a popular Ann Arbor coffee shop and roaster, was open. It was a great thing in that it gave people a place to come in and warm up and have some hot caffeinated beverages.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

You could tell how cold it was based on the ice on the windows which you can normally see right through.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

I absolutely love the Roos Roast coffee mugs. The coffee of choice to put in it on this morning was some basic drip coffee made from their signature Lobster Butter Love coffee beans. I always wanted to capture this mug with a Main Street backdrop. It took -16 degree (actual temperature) conditions for me to do so.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

Magical. While I was capturing about a block away from the shop, I directed a couple of police officers that were looking for an open coffee shop. They had wondered where I got this cup of coffee.

No worries as I did not drink any coffee out here. My gloves were also on stand by. I took these shots and I was quickly back inside warming up. The good thing is that the bitter cold lad to a lot less traffic which enabled me to stand right in the middle of Main Street to capture.

Ann Arbor bucket list item, check!!!

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

After freezing with my cup of coffee, then warming up, it was time for a drive. I headed for quick stroll down Huron River Drive. I’ve mentioned this route on nultiple occassions as it is beautiful no matter what time of year. That certainly holds true in arctic like conditions.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive - sunrise

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

The sun coming out in full swing did nothing for the temperature. It just magnified the winter beauty that this part of Ann Arbor and Huron River Drive gives off. Again -16 degrees, brrrr.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

It was a shivering but fun morning doing one of favorite Ann Arbor activities, getting a coffee and going for a drive down Huron River Drive.

Have you ever found yourself in bitter cold conditions in your travels? Ever come into contact with a Polar Vortex?

The 2018 Coffee Moment(s) for Me

Happy Holidays to all! 2018 is almost in the books. It’s been another coffee filled year. Shocking I know! I’ve enjoyed numerous coffees via the AeroPress, French Press and various pour over devices along with an endless number and variety of specialty lattes. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ann Arbor coffee in 2018, Michigan coffee experiences

My coffee experiences this year have been confined to mostly the Ann Arbor area in Michigan. Traveling has been infrequent as we got ready for and brought another little future coffee drinker into the world.

2018 in coffee is highlighted by the Pixgram Video below. The background song choice this year is “Waking Up” by Dexter Britain. How fitting since I tend to drink a lot of my coffee in the waking hours of the day!

The cover photo honor and most memorable moment this year goes to a summer experience I had at Comet Coffee. I took part in a Japanese iced coffee tasting as part of Ann Arbor’s first Caffeine Crawl. What a day bouncing between shops, mingling with shop owners, baristas and other fellow coffee lovers. It was also memorable because it increased my interest for learning about cold coffee. In fact you have to love any coffee experience at this shop because it sits right within the architecturally beautiful Nickels Arcade right across from the University of Michigan.

All of the coffee photos in the video came from my Coffee Ann Arbor Instagram account. The memorable experiences in this little part of the world for coffee lovers seems to be endless.

Too many more coffee moments in 2019! I look forward to seeing you all in Ann Arbor and beyond out on the caffeinated open road. Cheers! Aaron

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2017 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Detroit Murals in the Market Walking Tour in Eastern Market

Some of the best experiences I’ve had in Detroit up until now have involved murals. The stories they tell, the design and creativity of, and the simple fact that you can touch and interact with them has made for eye-opening experiences when in the city. Recently I was invited by Feet on the Street Tours to go on an Eastern Market mural tour. Of course I jumped at the chance!

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

During a two-week period every year at the market is the world-renowned Murals in the Market, an international mural and public arts festival. Artists of all ages and skill sets from all over the world converge on Eastern Market to create dozens of new murals. They decorate the streets of this historic market and neighborhood.

The Feet on the Street’s “Murals in the Market Walking Tour” I did took place right after this festival.

Tip: Head down to Eastern Market during the festival to catch the artists in action, watching new murals come to life.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Becky, the Business Manager for Feet on the Street, was our tour guide for the two-hour walk. She was very informative throughout, telling us not just about some of the pieces and their backstories, but also gave a lot of good information about the festival and Eastern Market. You could definitely tell the passion she has for this neighborhood and Detroit. Things were kept light, as there was lots of laughter throughout.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

As we were walking we passed by random coffee spots, meat, produce and international markets, breweries, and a lot more. Add In fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees, plants, etc. if you are touring here on a farmers market day. The hustle-and-bustle and all the people just walking around experiencing this part of Detroit is refreshing to see.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

The tour began and ended along Russell Street in the heart of the market. In between a few pieces, amongst the dozens we took in, caught my eye.

The most Instagrammed mural currently in the area is this 2017 festival edition from Brandan “BMike” Odums from New Orleans and Detroit-based Rick Williams. You can find it at the corner of Adelaide and Orleans.

Murals in the Market, Eastern Market, Detroit, Brandan BMike Odums mural

One that has been around a few years right along Russell Street is “Flyboys” by Hebru Brantley. I check it out every time I am down here.

Flyboys mural, Hebru Brantley in Eastern Market, Detroit

I had no idea murals could go 3-D?! Detroit-based artist Ellen Rutt brings various shapes and colors to life in an alley off Orleans between Adelaide and Winder Streets.

Murals in the Market, 3-D mural by Ellen Rutt, Eastern Market, Detroit

I will let the rest of the murals and Eastern Market scenes tell the story.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Todays tour just added to the memorable Detroit mural walk experiences I’ve enjoyed. I highly recommend checking out the Detroit Eastern Market murals, even if on your own.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural Walk - Murals in the Market Festival 2018

Feet on the Street gives other Eastern Market tours, like their “Come Hungry, Leave Happy” food tour, which I have experienced. Private, customized Detroit tours for various size groups are also offered. You can find Feet on the Street on Facebook and Twitter.

Checkout The First Detroit Mural Photo Walk I did many years ago.

Have you ever gone on a city mural walk? Any that you would recommend?

Experiencing Ann Arbor Fall Colors in Nichols Arboretum

In all my time around Ann Arbor I had never gone on a stroll through the vast and hilly Nichols Arboretum, “the Arb”, in the Fall. I had the chance to walk the western end of the park the other day alongside University of Michigan Hospital. It sure did not disappoint.

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

I found myself looking up, up, up at the taller than life trees as I captured Ann Arbor Fall colors. I walked amongst 100-year-old native and exotic trees in a 123-acre landscaped masterpiece which is co-owned by the University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor.

Nichols Arboretum is a highly recommended spot for photographers, going for a walk or run or just getting away from it all for a few.

Ann Arbor Fall colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

The Huron riverfront, vast hills and subsequent climbing, along with all of the walking trails made for a memorable Autumn experience.

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Autumn colors, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall leaves, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Up-top the tallest of the hills I exited the Autumn beauty finding myself on E. Medical Center Drive at the hospital.

Tip: Don’t put the camera away if exiting here. I was able to capture beautiful views of the surrounding area just outside “the Arb” as I walked alongside the hospital entrances.

Ann Arbor Fall leaves, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor Fall leaves, Nichols Arboretum, Michigan

Ann Arbor overlook from University of Michigan hospital, Fall colors

Ann Arbor overlook from University of Michigan hospital, Fall colors

Where else would you recommend capturing Ann Arbor Fall colors from?