Posted by: bree1972 | June 9, 2011

Nature – A Writer’s Best Friend 6/10/2011

WE HAVE A WINNER for the “Mystery Spot” contest at the end of this post. The winner is Barb Metting, who is from Michigan.  Her correct response was “Cindy’s Riding Stable”.   Scroll to the bottom for the full photo of the Mystery Spot.

At home in Georgia, on days when I had no appointments (when you reach my age you have a LOT of appointments) or therapy sessions with Bear planned, I could spend the whole day doing absolutely nothing more strenuous than turning the pages of a book or watching a Netflix movie or two.  I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it either.  Here, if I sit down with a book and happen to glance out the front sliding glass doors, I think, “Maybe I’ll take a walk” or “I think I’ll go for a bike ride”.  On the island the urge to get outside and DO something is almost as strong as the urge to eat (and lucky for me, the more I do of one, the more I can do the other – without yucky side effects like having to move the button over on the waistband of my capris).  I think I finally figured it out though.  Kahlil Gibran said, “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”  I think ole Kahlil was onto something there.  In Georgia, where summer temps top 100 degrees more days than we want to think about, doing anything more aerobic than walking to the refrigerator is considered “exercise”.  On Mackinac Island, hiking trails for two hours, or biking around the 8.2 mile circumference of the island is called “having fun”.  And you’re so tired at the end of the day after having all that fun that you fall into bed at night and sleep like you’ve been training for a marathon – which you basically have been (well, maybe a mini-marathon).

It’s all about how we get around here on Mackinac.  Take Monday for instance . . .

I walked downtown and met a new friend (Kathy Petersen) who had invited me to lunch at the Seabiscuit Cafe. Kathy and Marcia Dunnigan have a website and blog about Mackinac Island, and it is a wonderful one - http://www.mackinac-island-insider-tips.com - I mean, seriously, these ladies know their island! On the blog part of the site, they post articles about festivals, entertainment, island how-to's, restaurants, hotels, shops, etc. And sometime they interview someone who loves the island as much as they do - on this particular day it was me. Since I'm usually the one doing the interviewing, it was a whole different experience, but with Kathy it was like talking with my new best friend. We had a blast (and ate some really good food), then I started home.

 
 

The plan was to capture the blooming lilacs on the trip back to the condo, and you've already seen some of those pics this week. Starting for home from Main Street, and planning to walk up Fort Hill, my eyes went immediately to Fort Mackinac . . . just in time to see dozens of visitors making their way up the front ramp into the front gate.

 
 

This little house sits at the intersection of Fort and Turkey Hills. Whether it's lilac season, or later in the summer, it is always surrounded by some of the prettiest flowers on the island. It's just one of those little "fairy-tale" cottages that you find here.

 
 

Making it up Fort Hill is always a slow walk for me, but never more slowly than lilac season. Each step reveals more beauty for me to try and capture. Looking out over the Jewel Golf Course, I could just make out the steeple of Little Stone Church - then the Straits of Mackinac.

 
 

Just before the top of the hill, I looked out past three unbelievably big lilac trees to the Straits and both lighthouses. The colorful kites sparkling in the sun only make the scene more perfect.

 
 

Instead of turning left at the top of the hill, I chose to walk home the "back way" - down Custer Road, which is entirely wooded. The shade-loving forget-me-nots were flourishing beside the road, then spreading out into the woods like the softest of homespun blankets.

 
 
 

In the distance the road divides. Just at the fork, I turned sharply left onto a trail through more woods.

 
 
 

Parts of the trail are green on both sides, with trees fully leaved. The trilliums are almost all gone, but the forget-me-nots are abundant, and lilies of the valley have been spotted this week. The lady slippers won't be far behind.

 
 

On other parts of the trail, greenery is less plush. Old trees rise skyward and look dead - until you look up and see their tops. Where they touch the sun, they are green.

 
 

Throughout the forests of Mackinac, trees fall each year - some from old age, some from the weight of too much snow during the winter, some from high winds. This small tree was uprooted during the winter and was leaning over the path, . . .

 
 
 
 

. . . . resting against another tree. Soon a park service employee will cut it down and move it, so there's no danger to hikers along the trail.

 
 

Toward the end of the trail, the pathway slopes upward and becomes more obstructed with large rocks and thick tree roots. It is here that Ted and I get off and walk if we've ridden our bikes up this trail.

 
 
 

The trail ends on Carriage Road, where I turned right, then made a sharp left . . . .

 
 
 

. . . after waiting for a carriage full of visitors to pull out of the road I was about to go down.

 
 
 

Which is why there is a "Do Not Enter" sign on that road. The trick is to LISTEN INTENTLY before starting down the road. If you live here, you learn to gauge the sounds of the carriage traffic coming from the other end of the road and can quickly walk the hundred yards while another carriage is loading.

 
 
 

After that hundred yards, I break into the sunshine at the back of the Carriage Museum . . .

 
 

. . . yell "hello" to the workers unloading more visitors and maybe stop long enough to give the horses a treat . . .

 
 
 

. . . and I'm home!

 
 

The point of the whole little journey I just took you on is this. I left the condo at 11 a.m. to walk downtown for lunch with Kathy. I arrived back home around 2 in the afternoon. Except for the hour at lunch and the stops to take photos, I was in constant motion the rest of the time - walking, climbing hills, avoiding rocks and fallen trees and carriages. But I never once thought about it as "exercising" - I was having fun and enjoying nature at its best.

 
On Tuesday I walked downtown to the Stuart House Museum to start my volunteer work for the season.  Almost before I sat down, a blog reader came in, and I’m embarrassed to say I lost the paper where I wrote down her name – I think it was Karen, and she was on the island visiting for several days.  My apologies if I remembered incorrectly – it was truly lovely meeting you. 
 
 

Later in the morning, Jill and Frankie stopped in to wish me a Happy Birthday. I stopped celebrating those last year when I hit 62, but they insisted it WAS my birthday, and there was nothing I could do about it. Jill brought the lilacs for my desk, and Frankie brought chocolate-covered strawberries. All right, all right - it was my birthday.

 
 

Even Hershey got into the act!

 
 

Just when I was about to leave, a group of "trainees" for Carriage Tours came in to see the museum. Part of their orientation is to visit the historical buildings downtown that they'll be talking about on their tours. The young ladies in this group were all from Michigan, one young man was from California and the other from Colorado. So cute! So . . . young!

 
I spent Wednesday in Cheboygan while Bear was groomed.  The weather was bad that day, with high winds and white caps on the Straits.  Both ferry rides were not Bear’s idea of fun.  Going over he was practically in my lap the whole way, and coming back he hid behind me in the seat.  Once he climbed on the taxi going home and spread out across the seat like he owned it, he was fine. 
 
And that has been the week so far.  Here are a few more random photos . . .
 
 
 

This was taken in Chief "Duck" Andress' yard. Bear was rolling around in the grass, and Duck's dog "Gizmo" couldn't figure out why this "mammoth" had invaded his territory. Right after this, Gizmo chased Bear around Duck's house about five times. He never caught the Bearster, but he sure wore him out!

 
 

The edge of our backyard, with lilacs blooming. A horse had thrown a shoe, and someone picked it up out of the street and hung it on the fence.

 
 

Mike, of S & S Cottage and Lawn Care, getting the condo flowers into the ground for the season. He and Gary always make our yard look great for the summer.

 
 

Our little "corner" of the world.

 
 

Maddie, getting ready to "make her nest" . . .

 
 

. . . all ready for her nap now.

 
One more order of business . . . the “Mystery Spot” Contest, and – as promised – it’s an easy one this week!  The object is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to!  And the Mystery Spot is . . . .
 

Where is this horse silhouette located?

 
Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.
 
See you on Monday with all the weekend happenings.  It’s the beginning weekend of the Lilac Festival, and it’s going to be a doozy!  Have a great weekend, and God bless.
 
Note:  Blog title taken from quote by Agave’ Powers, “Nature is a Writer’s Best Friend”.
 
MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER
 
 

This week's Mystery Spot was the horse silhouette on the door at Cindy's Riding Stable on Market Street.

 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 8, 2011

Random Mackinac Beauty 6/9/2011

No matter where I turn this week, something beautiful catches my eye.  Spring and summer have merged into an explosion of color on the island, and if I could sustain the pace, I would be pressing the shutter of my camera almost constantly.  You would think by now my senses would be almost numb to it all.  Instead I find my senses sharpened.  Every sight, every smell, every sound is amplified, and Mackinac is alive with magic.

Looking across Marquette Park through the cross atop the replica of a Jesuit missionary bark chapel.

 
 

A crabapple tree celebrates summer on Fort Hill.

 
 
 

The sun scatters its warmth through the glass walls of the Grand Hotel's greenhouse.

 
 
 

In any other place, this would be a nursery. On Mackinac, it is simply an array of flowers waiting to take their place in the gardens of the Grand.

 
 
 

Purple on blue, with green in between.

 
 

And between two of Mackinac's most famous pups . . . a little lovin'.

 
See you tomorrow with all the week’s news AND a new “mystery spot”!  This one is going to be SO EASY you will know it instantly!
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 7, 2011

Persistence 6/8/211

Sometimes . . .

 
 
 

you have to climb a lot of stairs,

 
 

push yourself beyond what you think are your limits,

 
 
 
 

and wait patiently for those who are a little slower . . . . to get to the good stuff.

 
 
 

But it's always worth it.

Posted by: bree1972 | June 6, 2011

We’ve got . . . . LILACS! 6/7/2011

Now . . . all you folks who are heading to Mackinac Island for the Lilac Festival June 10-19, do not get worried! The lilacs are just beginning to bloom – and that’s only in a few places on the island. Others will open later. In fact . . . if I was a betting lady, I would bet that this is going to be the absolute BEST Lilac Festival in the last few years! In fact . . . I think the lilacs are going to be so gorgeous during those 10 days that the festival is just going to be spectacularly spectacular!  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a little preview . . .

These lilacs bloom on the hill leading up to the fort. Here they frame what was the Post Hospital in the 1800’s and is now the Mackinac State Historic Parks Office.

 

The Marquette Park lilacs are just beginning to bloom. You can see that first hint of purple across the tops of the large bushes.
 
 
The same is true looking down Market Street. In another few days, every lilac bush will be covered in blooms – top to bottom, and the air will be as sweet as perfume – with a little fudge and horse poop mixed in, of course.
 

Walking up Fort Hill - barely paying attention. I glance over my shoulder and look out to the Straits. What can I say - spectacularly spectacular!

 Seriously now, if you have a few days off – or can call in sick (just kidding) – the Lilac Festival will be one of the greatest times to be on the island during the early summer. You won’t be sorry you came . . . I promise!
 
 
 
 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 5, 2011

It’s Plantin’ Time on Mackinac 6/6/2011

The holiday weekend has come and gone, and everywhere you look folks are planting flowers.  It’s kind of a tradition up here to wait until after Memorial Day to put tender young plants into the ground because there always seems to be one last “almost freeze” a few days ahead of the last weekend in May.

Of course, the one flower that goes into the ground way before June is the tulip bulb. And that's why, even before the cold weather is over, we can enjoy stunning flowers on Mackinac. The red tulips lining the Avenue of the Flags at the back entrance to Fort Mackinac have been nothing short of spectacular this spring.

 
 

These trays of geraniums and impatiens are already in the ground at Hart's.

 
 

When I ran into the post office for the mail, flowers were being planted inside and outside the fence . . .

 
 

. . . and as I started home, I passed the Cloghaun B & B, where Marti was adding the finishing touches to their beautiful front yard garden.

 
 

The Grand has already put out the notice that the tulips are being pulled up in the next few days. Soon the flowerbeds along the road leading into the Grand will be replanted, but this shade garden of impatiens is already going into the ground . . .

 
 

. . . . and in a few weeks, it will look like this (taken last summer)!

 
 
 

Other shade garden plants and flowers are already flourishing.

 
 

Can you believe how green these ferns are!

 
 
 

Where is the Grand Hotel shade garden? Ok - I'm about to let you in on a little insider info. You don't have to be a guest of the hotel to walk through the shade garden. What you do is this. Walk up Cadotte Avenue like you're going to the Grand. After you pass the Gate House and the school yard (the big, wide open space where you can look across to the Straits), you will come to the set of steps you see in the above pic (they are on your left). Simply walk down those steps and curve to the right. You'll see the tennis pro shop and the tennis courts on your left - but stay right. Then you can leisurely stroll through this huge, cool wonderland of greenery (they even have benches to sit on) and then just turn back around and go out the way you came in. As long as you don't venture into the Pool House, no one will question you. Shhhhh . . . don't tell I told.

 
This weekend we’ve seen the first signs of summer on the island.  The sun was shining every day, and the temps are in the 70’s.  It was glorious!  Unfortunately what I had planned for the rest of today’s blog didn’t exactly work out.  The icebreaker Mackinac in Mackinac City was open all day Sunday with free admission.  Ted and I were going over after church for the tour, and I was going to have some great photos to show you.  Instead . . . Ted and I had date-night Saturday evening, and in the middle of the night we both woke up with a simultaneous stomach bug,  which knocked both of us for a loop.  Even though Ted was able to make it to church this morning, I couldn’t get out of my chair until late Sunday afternoon.  Yuck, yuck, and more yuck!  The worse part was missing a fabulous day on the island.  Oh my gosh, it was beautiful outside. 
 
So, no icebreaker pics, but here are a few random shots from the week . . .
 

Have I told you the main barn for the Carriage Tour horses has a new roof? Wow - it looks so good!

 
 

Lots of children on the island this weekend. This group zoomed past us as we walked behind the fort. That's the Governor's Summer Residence at the bottom of the hill.

 
 
 

Ted and the "kids" on the trail (Maddie's in there somewhere) that runs behind the cooking shelter at Great Turtle Park. This particular trail ends in the Trillium Heights neighborhood.

 
 

Whether the tulips are ending their blooming season or not, there's just nothing like seeing a Grand omnibus across a sea of pink, silhouetted again a blue Michigan sky and bluer Lake Huron waters.

 
 
And so the weekend is over, and a new week begins.  And with the new week, I’ll begin volunteering once again at the Stuart House Museum downtown on Market Street.  This year they’ve changed my day to Tuesday, so if you’re on the island, please drop by and say “hi”!  I’d love to see you!  
 
Have a great week, and God bless.
 
 
 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 4, 2011

Pics from Jillski 6/5/2011

Thanks to Jill for all three photos tonight!
 

Nothing says "Mackinac" like horses in the street . . .

 
 

. . . carriages on Cadotte . . . .

 
 
 

. . . and the Grand Hotel.

 
See you on Monday morning with all the weekend happenings! 
 
 
 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 3, 2011

The Cow and I 6/4/2011

 

So. Jill and I are walking down the sidewalk on Main Street, and we spot this cow standing outside Joann's Fudge. Kaia, who works at Joann's, is also on the sidewalk, giving out free samples of yummy chocolate. Somehow, it just seemed like a good photo op!

 
Two little extras . . . Tom Daldin, host of Under the Radar Michigan, has been on the island this week during the Detroit Policy Conference.  He filmed these two short but very entertaining videos at the Grand Hotel.    The first takes you into the Jackie Kennedy and Laura Bush Suites at the hotel, and the other explores just how long that Grand porch is.  Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DZSfASBUFXQU%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded&h=b0a9e

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_QRJ3QfLlaY

Posted by: bree1972 | June 2, 2011

Weekly Wonders! 6/3/2011

WE HAVE A WINNER for the “Mystery Spot” contest at the end of this post.  The winner is Susan, who lives in Colorado now, but is a Michigan native.  Her correct response was “the Post Cemetery”.  Scroll to the bottom for the full photo of the Mystery Spot.

What a busy week it’s been so far! 

It’s taken me a while to get into the swing of the slight change in formats this summer.  As you know, I haven’t been posting only one photo each day, but I promise that some days I will.  But, as I always find on the island, there is just so much going on it’s hard to stop with one pic.  When I find a spare moment at the condo, I sit down at the laptop and start “sketching out” what happened that day.  By doing that, when Thursday and Sunday evenings roll around, I’ve practically gotten these in-depth posts written, AND I haven’t forgotten half of what we did!  It’s working out well for me, and I hope it is for you as well.

Ted and I were up early on Monday to take the short walk through the back trails to the Post Cemetery for the Memorial Day service there.  We somehow timed it a little wrong and arrived just as the service was ending, so I stood to the side of the road and watched as the fort interpreters left the cemetery and started back to Fort Mackinac. 

I hate that we missed the ceremony, which is always so moving. There was a really good crowd gathered for so early in the morning - it seems to grow a little each year.

 

As we approached the Post Cemetery, we heard Taps being played by one of the soldiers and then the rifles firing in salute. The interpreters represent the U.S. Army's 23rd Regiment of Infantry, who served at Fort Mackinac in the 1880's.

 
 

As in years past, one of the lady interpreters laid a wreath at the grave of a soldier buried there.

 
 

A fun surprise! Attending the service were Elaine and Paul, blog readers from Yale, Michigan, whom I met last summer for the first time. They come to the island often, and it was good to see them again.

 
 

We had intended to go straight back home, but started walking and talking to someone (we seem to do a lot of that) and ended up going on into town. Fog hung over the Straits Monday morning, but even in the fog, Mackinac is beautiful.

 
We picked up a newspaper while in town, then went back to the condo.  A couple of hours later we walked back down for the 11:30 Memorial Day service at Veterans Park.
 
 

This official city service is so impressive - hosted by local veterans. Here, Mayor Margaret Doud is speaking.

 
 

Talk about a crowd! All the seating was filled, and the crowd overflowed into the streets. By the way, the gentleman in the Naval uniform is Dr. Vincent Carroll, the minister at Little Stone Church. He offered one of the prayers that morning.

 
 

One of the special parts of the ceremony is the presentation of a wreath to a Mackinac Island mother whose son or daughter has served in the military.

 
 

Mackinac Island veterans are members of the Chapman St. Onge Dankowski American Legion Post 299.

 
 

As the service was drawing to a close, the first group of Boy Scouts for the season arrived on the island. Having reached the location of the service, they stood in silent attention as the final prayer was offered by Ste. Anne's priest Fr. Jim Williams.

 
 

At the end of the service, all the flags on the island were simultaneously raised once again to full-staff. At the Veterans Park, the U.S. flag flies with the POW/MIA flag, and flags for all six branches of service are displayed.

 
 

Before we left town, we checked out the bike auction behind the Stuart House Museum. There were some really nice bikes up for auction, and they all seemed to be surrounded by some serious looking bidders. All of these bikes were collected throughout the previous summer (lost bikes that were found by someone else and turned in, but never claimed by their owners, bikes bought by island summer workers and then abandoned when they returned home, etc.). It's a great place to pick up a nice second-hand bike.

 
 
We ended the day with another walk late Monday afternoon – this time with Maddie and Bear – to the West Bluff.
 

We passed this horse corral filled with wildflowers on the way down Cadotte. There have always been a couple of horses kept here in years past, but maybe they just haven't made it back from their winter R & R.

 
 
 

We reached the West Bluff just as a newly married couple was riding off into the sunset - followed closely by their wedding photographer. Awwwww . . . .

 
 

Of course we walked Pontiac Trail while we were up on the bluff. New owners have been renovating this beautiful cottage for a couple of summers, and it looks as though they are just about finished - another grand lady restored to her original beauty. Are you wondering what the view is like from up there . . . .

 
 

. . . . here it is from Pontiac Trail directly below the house. From higher up on that porch, you could see even further. Wow! Talk about a place to drink coffee! Full views of the ferry traffic back and forth from Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, full views of the freighters coming through the cut . . . awesome!

 
On Tuesday we rested, and watched the weather all day.  Reports of severe thunderstorms, high winds, and hail were forecast to move in around 5 p.m., and we were supposed to go over to Mackinaw City for a party on the 6 p.m. ferry.  Shepler’s hosts a cast and crew party for their employees once a month during the season, and as “honorary cast members” Chris Ann and I and our hubbies were invited – and you know we never turn down free food!  We were seriously afraid we wouldn’t make it because of the weather, but when we started down to catch the ferry, the weather still looked ok except for the wind, which was blowing like crazy. 
 
The party was set up under the big white luggage tent on the Shepler dock, with grills going strong cooking up hamburgers and hotdogs and all the trimmings.  I dove into my handbag for my camera, and guess what . . . . no, I didn’t forget the camera . . .  I forgot the camera CARD . .  which was still in my laptop at home.  Do you see me kicking myself?  So – no pics of the party – but let me just say that it was so much fun!  We met a bunch of Shepler folks – both immediate family and their huge extended family of friends and workers.  The food was great, and the fellowship was wonderful.   We crossed back to the island on the 7:30 ferry – again in strong winds, but no rain or hail.  I think the big storm went north and south of us – seeming to split into halves, with the Straits and Mackinac Island in the relatively calm center.
 
We had nothing planned for Wednesday.  Ted was scheduled to start working his volunteer job at the Mackinac State Historic Parks Visitors Center on Thursday, so we just hung around the condo, except for the required doggie breaks outside.  In fact, I was at my laptop working on this post when my cell phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number, and almost didn’t answer – but thank goodness I did!
 
It was Dennis Bradley, Assistant Manager of the Mackinac Island Airport.  Last summer I asked Dennis to please give me a call if there was a day when the airport was having lots of traffic.  And he had remembered!  Arriving on Wednesday were government leaders, business owners, and others to attend the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference at the Grand Hotel, and it seems like most everyone arrived by plane.  Our little airport was hopping!
 
I rode my bike out to the airport (about a 10-minute ride), and when I got there one of the Grand Hotel carriages was waiting under the portico.
 
Ben, who has spent so much time this week exercising the hackneys, finally had them harnessed up to one of the wagons they are intended to pull – a Grand VIP carriage.
I walked into the airport lobby just as a family was entering from the plane parking area.  Dennis told me the gentleman was Robert Schostak, Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.  Being my usual shy self, I followed them out, introduced myself, and asked if I could get a photograph for the blog.  Mr. Schostak asked me where I was from (the accent always gives me away), and I told him Georgia.  He graciously agreed to be photographed.
 
 
 
 Back inside, Dennis said, “Before someone else arrives, you’ve got to go out and get a photo of a couple of planes.  One is probably the largest we’ve ever had land here, and the other one is just a really neat plane.”   (Remind me to go back out to the airport this summer for an in-depth story on how the airport actually operates, but today I was there for the planes!)
 

East apron. On a busy summer weekend, it's not uncommon to find the airport apron filled with private planes owned by island residents who fly in and out during the year. But these are not those planes. These are all corporate, state, and chartered planes which had arrived carrying VIP's for the Detroit conference.

 
 

West apron. A few of the planes would be staying at the airport for the 3-day conference, but some simply landed, delivered their passengers and their luggage, and immediately flew out again.

 
 

Dennis was pretty sure this was the largest jet to ever land at Mackinac. Airport . . .

 
 

. . . but the one that really caught my eye - and his - was this one!

 
 

As I was snapping photos, the pilot walked up - ready to take off . . . and asked if I'd like to go inside and take a look around! Are you kidding me!!

 
 

Well geez! Talk about cushy comfort! The pilot explained this was a Piaggio P180 Avanti - made in Italy. I'm standing in the door and shooting toward the rear of the plane. You can see the pilot (who's really up front) reflected in the mirrow at the back.

 
 

Looking into the cockpit . . .

 
 

OK, Frog . . . this one's just for you! (Frog is my adopted brother-in-law who is a retired Delta pilot.)

 
On Thursday Ted went to work from noon to 4, and I walked downtown to pick up the mail and do a little shopping.  And that about covers the week except for these random notes:
 

The lilac blossoms are beginning to open! They have a ways to go before every bush is blooming, but each day more and more beautiful color is being seen. The Lilac Festival is June 10-19. I predict it's going to be a glorius one, with the lilacs at their peak.

 

The mystery of the "small horse" is solved! After taking this photo Wednesday evening of someone leading her across our lawn, I made some inquires today, then went directly to the owner. It's the Ben Mosley family (you remember Ben is the Grand Hotel stable manager and our condo caretaker). His wife fell in love with the pony a few weeks ago, and now she is a permanent resident of the island. And a "pony" is what she is - a registered Hackney pony (a smaller version of the Grand Hotel's Hackney horses). They are calling her Miss Minnie, although her official name has "Mackinac" in it. She is three years old, about two years from being full-grown. Ben says she will only grow "up" another two inches, but she will become much more muscular. She is already trained to harness, and the Moseley's are planning to refit the family's antique pony cart for her to pull. And now we all know!

 
Have you finished that second donut yet?  I’m almost done, but I have a new feature to preview tonight.  Each Friday I will be posting a photograph of something on the island.  Some will be relatively easy to recognize – some not so much.  The object is to be the first to identify where the object is located.  When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing.  Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners.  To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess.  This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to!  
 
I’m going to start off with an easy one . . .
 

Where on Mackinac Island is this tree growing through this fence?

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.

All righty then!  The coffee has to be cold and the donuts eaten!  See you back again on Monday morning with all the weekend happenings, and I’ll have a pic or two for you on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Whew!  My fingers are tired!  Have a safe and fun weekend.  God bless.

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The fence surrounds the family graves of one of the Fort Mackinac commanders in the Post Cemetery.

 
 
 
 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | June 1, 2011

All Around the Town 6/2/2011

One of the nicest things about stopping in at the Island Bookstore is hanging around long enough to see who else will show up. This day Bonnie walked in first, then Joan with grandson Jordan. Jill took the pic!

 
 
 

Ted and I spotted Nancy (with her bike) giving Jane some advice on where to plant flowers at Hart's. So, of course, we stopped and gave some advice too!

 
 
 

Lunch at the Seabiscuit Cafe is always fun. Tried their new Lobster BLT - Oh yeah! Will be having that again!

 
 
 

Not many things can make Ted abandon the street when he's biking, but a trio of 2,000 lb. horses will do it every time.

 
See you tomorrow with all the news from this week – and good grief, there is a LOT of it! 
 
And . . . . along with the news on Friday morning, I’m introducing a new weekly feature to Bree’s Blog.  After nearly three summers of photographs from every conceivable spot on the island, it’s time to find out if my readers have been paying attention!
 
Make sure you bring a BIG mug of steaming hot coffee with you to your computer Friday morning cause I’ve got a ton of stuff to talk about.  Oh, go ahead.  Throw a couple of donuts on a napkin, and bring those too!
 
 
 
Posted by: bree1972 | May 31, 2011

From the Deck 6/1/2011

Living where we do up on a hill past the Grand (actually, it’s three hills past the Grand), we have a birds-eye view of the comings and goings of traffic you might not see everyday downtown.  Here are a couple of examples from this week:

Ben has really been working the Grand Hotel hackneys a lot in the two weeks we've been here. We see him all over the island with them (there is more than one team), and I happened to be out on the deck when they cruised by. Look at those two front legs - sharply bent at the knee in the natural hackney action gait. Although you can't tell it in this photo, they are actually trotting here.

 
 

I have no clue where this baby-size horse came from or where it was going. In all my years of being on the island, I've never seen a horse this size here - except for the 4-H ponies. But I think this is young horse - not a pony. I've got to find out about it!

 
 

Here's where I'm usually about to sit down when I spot something interesting coming up the hill. This is my favorite spot downstairs in the condo - where I curl up with a book, or a crossword puzzle, or a cup of coffee . . . and my camera is always close by.

 
JUST FOR FUN!
 
Irene Cowley, a blog reader from California who grew up on Mackinac Island, sent me this great shot of her two pups doing exactly what Bear and Hershey were doing last week in a photo I posted – waiting for the crumbs. Too cute!
 
See you tomorrow!
 
 

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