Well, here it is – another manic Monday and still no computer – except Ted’s little Acer notebook. My new Acer laptop was supposed to be in my hands no later than today, April 12th, and I guess that could still happen – but not in time for this blog! I’ve had a few things saved up to tell you now for two weeks, so I’m going to go ahead and get them posted so next week’s update won’t take you two hours to read!
A LETTER FROM GREG MAIN
“The neighborhood is alive with melodious warbling, chittering, chattering, squawking, crowing, quacking, peeping, cheeping and mournful cooing. Yes, the birds have returned to my particular end of town (and everywhere else on the island, too) arriving about the same time the snow departed, noisily announcing their return and continuing the oft-times loud discussions from sunrise to sunset from every bare-branched tree from Cloghaun down to the Twilight Inn and westward to the boardwalk. After a few days of listening to it, one becomes accustomed to the noise, and it becomes more like appreciated background music than a nuisance. Even the geese have begun returning, although I’ve only seen a few honking overhead so far. Also, I’ve been hearing reports of robins within the last week but, for me, the first sighting was late yesterday in Cloghaun’s front yard.
Biking along Market street early Saturday evening, I found it rather amusing listening to numerous crows, chickadees, blue jays, mourning doves, a few other warbling-type birds I don’t recognize by sound, a couple of ducks in the Mayor’s back yard, countless grackles and one lone cardinal all sounding off at the same time.
Even though we’re two weeks into ferry service, it’s still very quiet around town. With Spring-time weather arriving so early this year, it seems as if scores of people should be out and about on the streets each day – hammering, sanding, painting and hanging awnings in preparation for a new season of business. It seems that way, anyhow. Yet, it’s still March and things don’t normally begin happening around the island until mid-April or so. Two-footers (garbage drays) are becoming more common on Main Street as some interior remodeling projects have begun or are starting up again after the winter layoff. Two snowmobiles remain in sight downtown, one being parked in front of the former 3 Brothers Sarducci pizza place (where it has remained, covered and not moved, since January), and the other is across the street on the sidewalk in front of the Pink Pony.
Accompanying the start of ferry service this year were two of the most wonderfully warm days one could ask for during the month of March. Sixty degrees was a common register on thermometers both here and on the mainland. Out came the t-shirts, shorts, rolled-down windows and smiling faces as the warm air this early in the year brought with it hope for a much wamer summer than last year. Regardless of how mild the winter months were up here, the slightest taste of Spring weather makes me glad the cold season is behind us. Daffodils, tulips, crocuses, daylillies and various other early-sprouting plants have been pushing their way upward for a few weeks now, and with the weather forecast showing mild, (even downright warm) temps for this area for several days, sap will begin flowing and buds will soon be swelling.
While biking the trails last week to remove the remaining ski trail markers which I previously couldn’t access by bike and cart due to snow and ice, I was able to witness one of those special moments I’ve often written about when I’m wandering the wooded areas of Mackinac. As I removed the last marker at the intersection of Leslie Avenue and North Bike Trail, I paused to take in the enormous silence. There was absolute still, no wind or noise of any kind. One almost wants to breathe more deeply at such a time as if hoping to inhale the tranquility and let it course through the body, taking it with you, keeping it alive for awhile. No sooner had I begun moving when the haunting echoes of a nearby Pileated Woodpecker, tapping into a hardwood tree, olayed out through the barren woods, much like the marvelous sound emitted from a Bose Wave radio. It wasn’t until the third or fourth time it hammered that I remembered my digital camera in my pocket and how the video mode might be able to capture the sound. Unfortunately, at the same time I began recording, the bird apparently left the area, leaving me with a lot of recorded silence and only one short outburst. Oh, well.
The rest of the ride back to town was uneventful. Leslie Avenue melded into Arch Rock Road where a left turn put me on Huron Road and very shortly into the clear along the East Bluff. The empty cottages no longer look so barren what with smatterings of green beginning to appear in the lawns. Before the end of April, many of these summer homes (like so many others on the island) will be prepped, primped and primed for action, ready to welcome back families and friends for another summer season on this small dot of rock which some are fortunate enough to call ‘home”‘ Until next time, take care all.”
3 Brothers Sarducci is no more. The letters have been stripped, and the interior is being redecorated, hence the tables sitting on the sidewalk waiting to be “adopted”. This snowmobile hasn’t moved since early January and is still there as of March 29.
You’ve probably already heard this, but on April 8 islanders awoke to something they haven’t seen a lot of this winter – SNOW! I received an email from Jennifer at The Grand Hotel who told me that she walked to work past our condo that morning and couldn’t resist snapping a picture. She knows how much I love the snow! She also said that workers have begun arriving for the summer season at The Grand.
- Our condo on Thursday, April 8.
These tulips at the Grand, just beginning to push their way toward the warm sun, awoke to the cold, wet stuff instead. No worries. By the next day, the snow had melted.
SHEPLER FERRY NEWS AND PHOTOS
Something I've never thought about - painting those lifeboats before the season starts. The Shepler crew is getting this one ready for the first day of their ferry service.
A beautiful day on Lake Huron, as a Shepler boat approaches the cut between the lighthouses.
On March 25, Shepler Ferry posted a great video on Facebook showing their second trip to the island with the freight boat, Sacre Bleu. You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaLyoU8JbZE.
One more item from Shepler’s – and this has absolutely nothing to do with the island, except that a Shepler employee made the trip, took the photo, and posted it. I’ve never visited Mt. Rushmore, and this is a great shot of how majestic that historic site must be.
GRAND HOTEL NEWS
In the April 12 issue of USA Today, The Grand Hotel was named as one of the “Ten Great Places That Defy Time and Space”. All the sites mentioned were connected to time travel, and The Grand Hotel was listed because of the movie filmed there, Somewhere in Time. To be honest, except for the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, I had never heard of any of the other eight. Most were connected to either films or TV shows – like Mokuleia Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, where the plane crashed in the beginning episode of TV’s Lost and the Gamble House in Pasadena, California, where Doc Brown built his time machine in Back to the Future.
Don’t forget, The Grand Hotel opens with an early season special April 23 – May 4.
THE BEST FOR LAST
I am so excited to share this video with you. A lady on the island who owns Friesian horses and a friend of hers have spent almost two years putting together this video, which ties the island and these magnificent creatures together. Any of you who read my blog last summer know how much I love these horses, and when Maryanke shared the video on Facebook I knew I had to post it here. The music – the love theme from Somewhere in Time – could not be more perfect for this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope copies will be available on the island this summer. I will be first in line to buy it. Enjoy, and I will see you back here next Monday – good Lord willing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gicaJIfgHHs