After a week of dreary, cold, rainy days, we awoke Saturday morning to find sunlight flowing in around the shades that cover our windows. I couldn’t get out of bed and the shades all over the condo pulled up fast enough! In an Anne Bronte quote, she talks about “nature laughing in the sunshine”, and Saturday you could hear that laughter all over the island. It was a g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s day!
Ted left for work at 10, and Jill called around 10:30. Thank goodness for friends that will show up and hurry me up in the mornings. I’m really not a morning person, and I will poke around until lunch if left alone. With Jill pushing me forward, I finished a little housework and out the door we went. There was SO MUCH going on this weekend!
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, there was Friday.
Jill and I had hair appointments in St. Ignace at noon. But, since there was also an Antique Car Show over there this weekend, we planned to go over early and see if we could spot some of the “oldies” (cars, I mean) before things got officially started. We caught the 10 a.m. Shepler’s. Remember this is Friday – one day before nature started laughing in the sunshine! I snapped photos of the Grand and West Bluff as we passed in the heavy fog, never imagining the pics would turn out like they did . . .
I've got to add this one to the top five favorite photos I've taken over the years. The movement of the boat, the fog and the spray turned the water and landscape into a blur, but the Grand was focused. It looks like a black & white sketch, but the house to the left of Grand shows some red. It's just one of those once in a million shots that I never thought twice about when I clicked the shutter. Then when I pulled it up on the laptop, I was thrilled with the effect.
An eerie shot of one of the West Bluff cottages. This one sits on Pontiac's Trail.
We walked down to Doud’s St. Ignace Market when we got off the ferry, looking for some breakfast. Then, by the time we walked back through town, it was time to head to the hair salon. We did see some of the old cars as we passed through.
Doud's had a sidewalk sale going on. Before the day was over, vendors would be set up all along the main street in St. Ignace. The Antique Car Show is a really big deal!
Ok. I know cars just like I know flowers. This is an old red car.
This is an old blue car - or maybe it's an old blue truck.
Pam at Leroy's Salon in St. Ignace cut Jill's hair while mine was "processing". She slapped on hair color to cover what looked like four inches of gray roots where my hair is parted, then Jill and I exchanged chairs. When it was my turn under the scissors, Jill, of course, couldn't keep her hands off my camera. No more gray and about an inch less hair!
NOW . . . we get to Saturday and the sunshine! As I said, Jill got me out of the condo by 11, and we headed downtown. I wanted to go see the bats. Yes, you heard me right – Saturday was Bat Mania Day on Mackinac. The Mackinac Island Community Foundation brought the Organization for Bat Conservation to the island for an all-day program to teach people about the benefits of these creatures. The organization brought along both native Michigan and international species of bats.
If you’ve been to Mackinac and walked the streets at night, then you more than likely have encountered the island bats. Walking on any island street at dusk or later, you see bats swooping back and forth, and you just get used to them. There will occasionally be a lot of excitement when a bat flies into a store or restaurant during the day. Tourists generally go berserk, and shop owners calmly get down their bat net, catch the bat, and release it out the front door. It’s just part of Mackinac!
On Saturday different types of bats were displayed at four different locations – Windermere Point, Mission Point Resort, Lilac Tree Hotel Plaza, and the Island House Hotel. I wanted to go to Windermere Point because that is where the BIGGEST bat species in the world was going to be displayed. I was not disappointed!
Meet Camellia. She is a Malayan Flying Fox bat. She lived eight years of her life in a zoo where her wing was injured.
Rob Miles, the director of the Bat Conservation Organization, rescued Camellia about 10 years ago. Her wing is now healed, but she is no longer able to fly. She travels with Rob all over the United States, helping people overcome their fear of bats. Rob fed her grapes from his hand while we watched.
This is as close as I got to Camellia, but she really was a fascinating creature to watch. She wasn't bothered at all by the sunlight. Rob told the crowd that bats come out at night because that's when the insects they eat are abundant. Bats this big don't use echolocation to search for insects - the smaller bats do that.
- We saw leaf-nose bats and vampire bats at the Lilac Tree Hotel Plaza, but Camellia was hard to beat as a crowd-stopper!
We stopped to visit Ted at the Vistors Center, and he took us out on the deck to show us the huge ship at the Arnold Dock. We went down to check it out.
It was the Great Lakes Maritime Academy's training ship, State of Michigan.
- I told this cadet that I was a reporter for the New York Times and needed to come aboard to write a story about the ship, but he didn’t buy it. We did learn that this was once a Navy ship used to hunt submarines. It was also used for a time by the Coast Guard, before being purchased by the Maritime Academy. The Academy prepares deck and engineering officers for highly skilled positions aboard ships all over the world.
Also on the island this weekend were the Michigan Wheelmen, an organization that travels the country offering demonstrations and education on the bicyle from its beginning to the World War I era. They are an amazing group of enthusiasts, and seeing them on their bikes in period costume is always fun and exciting.
Talk about taking you "back in time"!
I never actually saw someone getting ON one of these bikes! How do you do that?
Lined up on the street downtown, they made quite an impression.
Photographed alone . . . .
. . . I found them quite beautiful.
Here’s a few more photos from the weekend . . .
My favorite French Lane garden is up and growing and promises to be as beautiful as ever.
Three vintage baseball games were played on the island this weekend, and everyone was in period dress for those also - including the crowd watching.
LOL! Jane wanted me to title this one "Three Old Bats" (notice the "real" bat between our heads). If you read my winter blog, you know that Jane lives in Warner Robins, GA during the winter - about an hour from us on the lake. A group of lake girls went to Warner Robins in the spring to see a play performed by a theatre group Jane is in. She has a home on Mackinac and arrived this week.
The Pink Pony deck (next to the Visitors Center where Ted works) was rockin' out Saturday afternoon.
This little girl was trying out a vintage tricycle.
Vintage baseball on the Burrough's Lot below the Grand Hotel
Sunday was another beautiful day. We went to church, had lunch with friends at the Gate House, took the dogs for a walk, then rode our bikes for about two hours on trails in the interior of the island. It was a wonderful, wonderful weekend.
See you tomorrow with more pics from the island!
Note: Title taken from quote by Anne Bronte: “A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.”