The Mosaic to Come 8/18/2010

After two weeks of temperatures in the mid-80’s and humidity higher than normal for the Island, the first hint of Autumn has made its presence known.  Two nights ago a line of storms moved across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and swept south across Mackinac, leaving much needed moisture in its wake.  When we awoke the next morning, the winds were up, and they continued to blow for a full 48 hours.  They were steady at 15 mph, with gusts up to 30.  The winds weren’t warm – they carried enough chill that Ted and I dug out sweatshirts and blue jeans.  Ferries cancelled trips under the Mackinac Bridge, and daytrippers talked of bumpy rides across the Straits. 

As sad as it makes me in some ways, the fact is I can’t wait for Fall – it has always been my favorite time of year.  Stanley Horowitz said, “Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting, and Fall a mosaic of them all.”  On Mackinac Island, we are blessed to be able to stroll through the entire museum of nature’s art – each season so sharply defined that we can walk down a path to the end of summer, find a door, open it, and walk through into fall. 

We are almost to fall’s door now.  The signs are everywhere.

There are new taxi and Carriage Tour drivers – the season drivers, who are mostly college students, have returned to their classes or home for a visit with family before fall semester begins.  Shops downtown have “Help Wanted” signs in their windows, and anyone needing a job for only a couple of months could surely find one here in a retail store.  With new drivers and store workers come new smiles and new people to meet and get to know – if only for a few brief weeks.  I miss the faces of summer, but the faces of autumn bring new spirit.  As I sit and write this, the Carriage Tour wagons are lining up for the end of their day right outside our condo.  A new driver I’ve just noticed in the last few days drove up a few minutes ago singing, and in no time the entire line of drivers had launched into “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”.  And so the work goes on.

The geese have arrived.  There are a few around all summer, but this week great flocks have flown in on their arrow-shaped flight patterns and landed with gusto on the lawn in front of the condos.  Bear has gone into “clear the yard” mode and has appointed himself Chief Goose Chaser for our hill.  Last year he did it so efficiently that the tired geese finally chose another spot to land. 

For the last two mornings, when I’ve gotten up, Ted has had the electric fireplace going and the “heat feature” turned on.  At night we sleep without all the windows open, and I’ve traded summer pj’s for something a little more substantial.  If this keeps up, I’ll put the down comforter back on the bed when I next change the sheets.  Highs are in the 60’s now – but maybe I’ll wait for the 50’s to do that.  Funny – I don’t think I took the comforter off the bed until the end of June.

The sky at night is blacker now, the stars more brilliant.  There was a song a few years ago about the stars being “holes in Heaven”.  That’s a good visual for me.  Looking up into that black, black sky and imagining those sparkling stars are really glimpses into the brilliance of our Heavenly home.  It seems, in the fall, the brilliance is even more pronounced.

And then there are the flowers.  They are still oil paintings – to be viewed from a little distance, as you would in a museum.  When you approach with a camera for a closeup, you can see just the beginnings of the mosaic  – a dried leaf here, a seed pod there.  I think we still have 2-3 weeks of summer beauty left for the flowers – and then the heart-stopping panorama of fall will be on us.

Today I was wandering around looking for a visual to put with this post – something that would say “autumn is just around the corner”.  I found it at Mission Point.  Every year the resort plants a bank of Black-Eyed Susans, and when I rounded that last curve off Main Street, there it was.


Thomas Wolfe said, “Then summer fades and passes . . . We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.” 

All that is to come with September and October.  For now, I’ll just await the mosaic of fall. 



17 thoughts on “The Mosaic to Come 8/18/2010

  1. Wow, I’m always impressed how you describe everything to a T. I so felt Autumn slowly coming to the island. And your pictures; well, they are just beautiful.
    We left Mackinac Island a little more than a week ago and are in TN and are feeling the hot weather than everyone south of the straits talked about. Wish I could open that Autumn door of the island right now.

  2. You always create such a visual with your posts! I would love to experience the island at the height of fall, during color change.

  3. Beautiful picture you have painted through your words! Fall is also my favorite time of year and it is always breathtaking here on the island. Have you ever seen skies so blue??

    Hello, September! I welcome you with open arms!

  4. I’m almost a little sad. I really don’t want summer to be over just yet. Although Spring is my favorite time of the year with Fall being next, I’m kinda enjoying summer this year. The last time we were on the island was in the middle of October and I have to say, it was absolutely gorgeous. The colors everywhere were spectacular. Now it is less then 2 weeks and I was really hoping to enjoy a little bit of summer there, even if it is towards the end of summer.

    • Hilde, I doubt you will really notice some of the changes I spoke of unless you look close up at some of the gardens. Don’t even THINK that summer is over here. That door to fall hasn’t opened yet!

  5. What a lovely way to start my day. Once again you make me feel like I’m there already. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and I’m so hoping that we get a bit of a chill in the air for the weekend of the 8 Mile. 22 days till we step off the ferry!

  6. Oh Bree, this is a most beautiful blog. I feel as if I’m right there with you. I’m heading up on Monday for a week up north and now I absolutely can’t wait to get to the island. You’ve made it that much more inviting:) How enchanting! Thank you:)

  7. Bring on the fall!! It is my absolute favorite time of the tourist season, and of course that’s when Football season starts. I know Brenda is such a huge football fan…ha ha!!

  8. Oh how I love Fall! And would LOVE to have highs in the 60’s right now!! This is why I like reading your blog posts, it let’s me escape the dull gray walls that surround me at work and the 90-100 degrees that slap me in the face when I walk outside, if only momentarily. Thanks for the short escape. It was beautiful! Now, back to work. Have a great week. 🙂

  9. Hey sweetie, You continue to paint pictures with words and then add the pictures, too! Wonderful. It’s a “balmy” 90 in Hahira and the gnats have taken up permanent residence. Eat your heart out! (NOT!) Glad to know the magic is still working on you. Hugs to Ted. Much love.

  10. Bree,

    Debbie and I listened to your learned discourse on Mackinac history before we knew what a prodigous and prolific writer you are. I visit your blog every other day or so now. To jog your memory, we are the Signal Mountain couple who got to meet Bear and Ted very briefly at Surrey Hill.

    I used to bring my advanced scuba students to Mackinac to dive the Minneapolis and the Cederville wrecks; way back in the 70’s. The Minneapolis is hard against the south pier of Big Mac in 130′ of water, and the Cederville (580′ long)is lying basically east-west about 3 miles south of the Grand. The interesting part of this is that it lies almost perfectly inverted. Thirteen men died in the sinking in 1965. I have made scores of dives in the area, and most remember taking in the views of Big Mac and the Grand just before submerging, looking forward to seeing them again after the challenging and rewarding wreck dives.

    Not to be forward, but if you could take a quick look at my book, Fathom, on, and have an interest, I would be honored to send you a copy. I predict that you won’t be disappointed.

    Simply go to, search with the words Fathom Gaff A photo of my book and a few reviews will be first in line.

    Who knows, maybe the link will work, too.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Michael and Debbie Gaff

  11. Beautiful pictures!! I personally am sooo glad the humidity is gone! I love fall and the cool breeze! Thanks so much for always bringing the island alive to all of us!!

  12. I’m with you. I find an exuberance in Fall, different from Spring. It was chilly the week we were on the Island in June and I so would like to feel those cool breezes now in Kansas City.

  13. I love black eyed Susans and there are so many of them – just beautiful!! I am a little ready for Fall simply for the change in temps. It’s been a hot hot hot Indiana summer down here.

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