“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns” . . . George Eliot
A Mackinac Island friend, Nicole Smith – who owns Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island – used the above quote on her Facebook page yesterday. I knew immediately I had to steal it.
Leading up to today’s blog, I’ve been cruising along – posting photos as I got them. Occasionally, I’d feel I posted a fairly good shot, but to be honest – with my camera not performly up to par (really, Irene, it’s not), and with leaving the island looming just around the corner – well, I’ve had a definite case of the mulligrubs, and not much of anything was going to satisfy me.
I had a few photographs collected to post on “Random” Day, but not nearly enough. So, this afternoon I threw the camera in my bike basket (which is probably one thing that’s wrong with it – no TLC treatment) and rode through the Village snapping away. Finishing that, I rode back home, attached Bear to my bike handlebars with his leash and rode up to the cemeteries. As soon as we were there, I took him off the leash, and we rode along those beautiful roads (Bear churning up the road at a slow gallup at times and a full-out run at others), stopping here and there to take in the glory of Mackinac Island in autumn.
And today, for the first time in quite a number of days, I am so excited with what you’re about to see. Maybe my camera decided to give me this one perfect day before it finally bites the dust for good. But for whatever reason, I can’t wait for you to see what’s below . . . . .
The shots I had already planned to post . . .
The Grand at its grandest. I took this last week on one of those perfect days when there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky – not even a wispy one. Since the Grand is surrounded mostly by evergreens, there is not a lot of fall color.
A different shot of the Crack in the Island. An island resident told me this week that long, long ago islanders would use this fissure as a garbage dump. He said that people for years have been trying to find a wooden bicycle that is buried in here somewhere that someone dumped many, many years ago. Hmmm – wonder what else is down there!
I just liked the “abstractness” (is that a word?) of this one – I was pointing straight up to take the shot.
There was just so much going on in this one – a couple playing golf, a lady standing in front of the red phone booth having her picture taken, a lady who had gotten off her bike to watch (I love her bright backpack in the bike basket), bikers riding up the hill, carriages going down the hill to town, and people on the sidewalk going both ways.
Riding through the Village this afternoon . . .
I always take a photo of our bikes outside the condo in the fall. I love this tree and all the leaves from it that the wind randomly scatters over the backyard.
If you’re new to the blog and haven’t gone back and read the posts in the Archives, the Village is the area of the island where the majority of the year-round residents live. Officially, it’s called Harrisonville, but for decades and decades it has been known simply as “the Village” by those who live here. Our condo is in the Village, and just up the street I spotted my first photo op – a brilliantly decorated fall doorway.
Ron, one of my favorite (oh heck, he IS my favorite) taxi drivers was coming down Cadotte (maybe from the airport?). Ron is the one who ALWAYS is somewhere around when I do something clutzy – like fall off my bike.
Fifth Street in the Village (we live on Third). At the end of this street, we walk through the woods to Cupid’s Pathway.
The other side of Fifth. Can you believe that tree!
One side of Sixth Street. Can you believe those trees! Have I already said that??
The cemetery photos . . .
After running Bear alongside my bike up Custer Road, we turned back right onto Garrison Road and made our first stop at the Post Cemetery, where soldiers who died at Fort Mackinac in the 1800’s are buried.
Most of those buried here are very young men – in their late teens and early 20’s. I always think of their mothers and wonder if they ever got to visit their son’s grave. So here I am, 200 years later, visiting for them . . .
. . . and I think each one would feel comforted knowing their sons rest in this peaceful, achingly beautiful spot.
The flag at the Post Cemetery is always flown at half-staff. Only three other cemeteries in the United States are designated for this honor – Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg National Cemetery, and Arlington National Cemetery.
We followed Garrison Road up to the Mackinac Island Cemetery, where I parked my bike and walked in to find a particular grave.
I love how at each water faucet in the cemetery, there is a water bucket. It’s not only for the families’ use, but they are there so that anyone visiting or just walking through the cemetery can water flowers they see that need freshening up.
A whole generation of island workers knew Irene King as “Twilight Mom”. The Twilight was the name of the building downtown used as employee housing by the Grand Hotel, and Ms. King was “Mom” to everyone there for many, many years. Ms. King was the real mother of Mary G’s (one of my readers) brother-in-law, Edward King, who is buried nearby. When Mary G. saw the photo of Bear running down the road close to the cemetery in a recent blog post, she asked me to go out and see if I could find the graves. And like an idiot, I took Irene’s and not Edward’s. I promise you, Mary G. – tomorrow you will get an emailed photo of the one you asked for.
I haven’t visited many cemeteries in my life, but without a doubt, the ones on Mackinac Island have to be among the most beautiful anywhere – especially in the fall.
Continuing the ride up Garrison Road . . .
. . . sometimes I think I will just have to stop and cry when I round a curve and see something like this. This island is so beautiful to me.
My personal favorite of the day – my bike, my Bear, and God’s handiwork.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and putting up the photos. Have a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you back here Monday morning – good Lord willing. God bless.
Personal Note: Thank you so much for your prayers for Blake’s continued job search. He has been invited for a third interview on Tuesday. Please keep those prayers going up.