If you followed me to Lake Blackshear this winter, you know I would talk about days when there was just not a lot to write about. I never have that problem on the island. There is always something going on, and all I need to do to find a story is poke my camera in my pants pocket and head down the street. And sometime when you turn a corner here, you find something that really surprises you – even for Mackinac Island!
On Tuesday I was downtown to drop off a birthday card to Jeannette Doud. Jeannette writes the Mackinac Island column for the Town Crier and the St. Ignace News, and she celebrated her 90th birthday the Sunday before we arrived. There was a huge party at the Grand, complete with several cakes and 90 long-stemmed pink roses. Everyone on the island was invited, and I think everyone on the island attended. We missed it by one day. Anyway, on the way to the Windermere Hotel to leave Jeannette’s card, I heard bagpipe music as I was walking in front of the library. Now you know how you never know where music is coming from these days. You can hear anything from Beethoven to Bon Jovi to the B-52’s coming out of cellphones and iPods, and I assumed the bagpipe music would end when someone answered their phone. But the music continued to play.
As I walked past the corner of the library, I glanced back toward the water and saw – amazingly – a man playing the bagpipes. I walked a little further until I got to the opening in the fence where The Windermere Doghouse sits and where you walk out to Windermere Point. I sidled up behind the man with the pipes and shamelessly took these two photographs. I honestly don’t think he ever knew I was even there – he was that engrossed. I have no idea if he was a professional musician or a tourist just enjoying his music on a beautiful afternoon on the island. Needless to say, I loved getting these photos of him.
The second surprise of the day happened when I was almost home. I topped the next to last hill before our condo and saw a lady, sitting on a bike, seemingly talking to a stand of trees. As I got closer, I heard other voices inside the stand of trees. When I reached the bike lady, I looked into the trees and saw Kim from Carriage Tours holding onto the base of a ladder. At the top of the ladder was Doc Al, one of the island’s veterinarians (and Bear and Maddie personal physician). It seems the carriage roofs have been hitting the overhanging branches of these trees when the drivers stop there to rest the horses. So Doc Al and Kim to the rescue.
Hope you’re all having a great week. We’ve had fabulous weather on the island, with highs in the 70’s and sunny skies. It’s so different from last Spring – when cold and wet was the order of the day – that it’s hard to believe I’m on the same island. See you Friday, good Lord willing.