Monday, August 8, 2011

Natural Hearts

This past week, Hubby and I went on a much-needed hiking date to North Manitou Island. It had been well over a year since our last date (Also an NMI hike). North Manitou is such a pretty place to backpack and camp, completely wooded and surrounded by sugar sand beaches and aqua Lake Michigan.

One of my favorite little pastimes as we hike is to look for natural hearts. I love happenstance heart shapes, especially when they're provided by Mother Nature.

Take a look and see what I found...

As I sat on a sand dune, I looked to the left and spotted this heart in a gnarled dune tree.

Along one of the trails, this violet leaf shone bright green against the darker velvety moss at the base of a tree.

Near Lake Manitou, patches of moss grew along the trail. This one caught my eye.

This little pond on the shore of Lake Michigan was so charming. It looked like a heart as I approached. As I drew closer, it changed shape. I prefer to remember it as a heart.

I found lots and lots of mermaid's tears (beach glass) on the eastern shore of the island. Several of the pieces were heart shaped.

On that same eastern beach, I had plenty of time to collect many heart-shaped stones and make beach art out of them. I have a small collection of heart stones at home, but wasn't about to pack all of these ones around the island, so there they remained for someone else to find!

I found these two different nut shells near the island dock. Strange... I didn't see the other halves anywhere, and there were no other nuts around. I believe the smaller is a black walnut but I'm not sure about the other.

Zebra mussels litter many Great Lakes beaches, and North Manitou is no exception. At least their shells sometimes make hearts.

And this? Well, it's definitely not a heart but it certainly caught my eye. It looked just like a skull staring out of the sand as we hiked along the beach, and it was about the right size, too. Eerie.