A Fall Weekend on Mackinac Island 10/12/09

On April 26, I wrote my very first post to this blog, entitling it “Three Weeks to Go”.  Now here, 5 1/2 months later, I could use the same title once again.  Three weeks from today, on Sunday, November 1, we will be leaving this magical island and going home to our lake house in south Georgia.

In that first post I wrote about packing boxes and address change forms.  I was going to ship seven boxes north a few days before we left, as there would be no room for them in the truck.  Now, those same address change forms must be completed, but there will be only one box to ship ahead, filled with Christmas gifts for family and friends.  Ted and I are adamant about not taking home a lot of clothes.  We are leaving most of what we have worn during these 5 1/2 months here, hanging in the closets and folded into dressers.  We both know there are plenty of clothes in our closets and dressers in Georgia to get us through the winter and the beginnings of spring. 

We’ve had another weekend of freaky weather here on the island.  More strong winds (more trees down), a few snow flurries (but you had to be looking out the window at exactly the right second), a little rain, and much colder temperatures (Friday night-32, Saturday night-34, and highs in the low 50’s both days).  Wind chill – well, let’s not talk about wind chill.  Brrrrrr.

Two weekends of wind storms have stripped some of the trees’ beautiful leaves, just as they were reaching their peak of color.  But for every semi-bare tree, there are thousands more just turning, or already wearing, brilliant reds or oranges or yellows.  We will make the hike up to Fort Holmes sometime this week to get the next photo in the fall series from that spot.  I have a feeling that the difference from last month will be phenomenal.

I really wish you could have seen me bundled up for walks this weekend – I had on so many layers I could barely move.  Today, after church (the last service of the season for Little Stone Church), Ted and I walked downtown for lunch at the Chippewa.  We came back up Fort Hill and walked through the woods to the condo, so I could “leaf watch”.

Leaf watching on the island is much different from leaf watching in Georgia.  There, when we talk about “going to see the leaves”, we mean we are going to take a weekend trip into the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia.  There, from cabins set on edges of cliffs, or from roads that curve through the mountains, you look out on a panorama of color that spreads out for miles and miles.  On the island, unless you are at Ft. Holmes (the highest point), it is the individual tree, or groups of trees, that draw your attention.  Hiking through the woods on dozens of paths is like going on an exciting treasure hunt.  You never know what you will find around the next bend in the trail, or by simply looking up to the heavens through the brightly colored trees highlighted against that blue, blue sky.  Sometimes a tree will be so beautiful that you will just stop and gape.  And when the sunlight hits a leaf in such a way that you see every vein and pattern, you know that only the greatest artist of all could have created such beauty.

The pictures below are from our excursions out into the cold this weekend.  The peak of the leaf color is still to come. 

IMG_8269

Cupid's Pathway, standing outside Turtle Park, looking southeast.

 

Is this sumac?  I need to get a book and study trees and flowers over the winter.

Is this sumac? I need to get a book and study trees and flowers over the winter.

 

A beautiful tree on Surrey Hill, outside the old blacksmith's shop.

A beautiful tree on Surrey Hill, outside the old blacksmith's shop.

 

Beautiful white birches, across from the horse corral.

Beautiful white birches, across from the horse corral.

Red leaves against the white of the closed and locked Carriage Museum.

Red leaves against the white of the closed and locked Carriage Museum.

Bear, trying to find Denise.  After two days, he finally accepted that she wasn't there anymore.

Bear, trying to find Denise. After two days, he finally accepted that she wasn't there anymore.

Nothing but gold around the Butterfly House.

Nothing but gold around the Butterfly House.

 

The trees behind the fort have turned a wonderful burnt orange color.

The trees behind the fort have turned a wonderful burnt orange color.

 

A closer view.

A closer view.

 

Sunlight on fall leaves.

Sunlight on fall leaves.

 

The strong wind we've had have covered the paths in the woods with pinestraw.

The strong winds we've had have covered the paths in the woods with pinestraw.

 

A fortune in gold leaves.

A fortune in gold leaves.

 

A clear blue sky.  The air is so crisp when you inhale, your airways and lungs feel as if they have been air-conditioned.

A clear blue sky. The air is so crisp when you inhale that your airways and lungs feel as if they have been air-conditioned.

 

A few bare branches after all that wind.

A few bare branches after all that wind.

 

The trees in our own front yard have to be among the most beautiful on the island.

The trees in our own front yard have to be among the most beautiful on the island.

 

It just doesn't get more beautiful than this.

It just doesn't get more beautiful than this.

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15 thoughts on “A Fall Weekend on Mackinac Island 10/12/09

  1. Gorgeous pictures! Gorgeous colors!

    I was just thinking to ask if you had taken one of Trisha’s nature walks over the course of the summer. And to recommend it if you hadn’t. She knows everything about anything the grows on the Island! I don’t know if you could arrange a walk in the last weeks. You should call her and see!

  2. The pictures today are beautiful. I’ve always wanted to see the island in the late fall. Thanks to you and your camera I am living that dream.

  3. Time just seems to fly by so fast…it seems only like yesterday the island was coming alive for the tourist season and already it is coming to a close. The view from atop Fort Holmes in October is a sight to behold. Absolutely beautiful!

  4. Only three weeks to go? Have you guys had snow yet? It’s snowing right now here and I have to go outside and bundle up in all those layers…know exactly what you mean about bundling up. But I’ll bet that wind whipping off the lake adds for quite a bit of wind chill. Well, just think how warm you’ll be in three weeks!

  5. As you head south on I-75 you will probably have a continuous change of season and turning of leaves. It could be a beautiful trip.

    • Looking forward to it, Steve. Try and cool it off a little bit before we get home, though. We heard it was 90 down there last weekend.

  6. Brenda I want to thank you for promoting the island and The Island Bookstore in such a positive fun way. You have such a talent for words and pictures and it’s a delight to read every day. I will miss reading these and can’t wait until next year.
    Have a good winter and soak up some sun for me.
    Thanks again,
    Tamara

    • Thanks so much Tam! I’ll be home in Georgia working on that book we are all going to become famous for next summer! And don’t forget – I will be blogging from Georgia also. Stay tuned!

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