On Little Cat Feet 9/7/2011


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

With advancing age, it’s becoming easier to admit things I never had the nerve to own up to in younger years.

Take poetry.

I never liked it.

I’ve read it – all the famous ones we HAD to read – in high school, in college.  But it just doesn’t speak to me like it does to some.  Give me a good book or good music any day over a poem.  Maybe it’s something I lack in my DNA – maybe I just haven’t read the right poet.  Anyway, I’m not much of a poetry fan.

Having said that, what I’m about to tell you came as a complete surprise to me when it happened.  I was sitting at my desk several days ago – August 31 to be exact – and through the haze of words bouncing up on the laptop screen as my fingers danced over the keyboard, I heard the fog horn from the Straits.  It so shocked me I got up and moved to the window to peer out – completely amazed – because when I sat down to begin writing, the sun had been shining. Sometime during the last hour, the fog had come in on little cat feet.

Did those exact words float through my brain?  Yes, they did – from somewhere back in a high school English class, that little scrap of poetry surfaced and perfectly described what had happened outside my window.

The fog arrived not with dawn, but late in the afternoon.  And it happened not only on August 31, but almost exactly the same way – and at almost exactly the same time – the next day also.  When we went out to walk Maddie and Bear that first day, I took my camera.

The view from the French doors in our bedroom at around 4:30 that Wednesday afternoon . . .

. . . . and from the deck a few moments later.

Half an hour later, we went outside with the dogs.

The horse corral seemed a little less engulfed in the misty stuff . . .

. . . but it still looked more like early morning than late afternoon.

We decided against going into the woods with Maddie and Bear . . .

. . . choosing instead to let them romp on the huge Surrey Hill lawn.

The next afternoon, as we walked into town around the same time, we watched the fog creep in once again . . . to sit looking over harbor and city on silent haunches.

My English teachers would be so proud.


11 thoughts on “On Little Cat Feet 9/7/2011

  1. I remember that day very well. It was really strange. One side of the island was covered in fog, while the other side wasn’t. It was like being in two different places at once. While in the woods, it would be clear in some places but you could see the fog roll in through the trees, like it was coming right at you. Very eerie to say the least, especially in the soldier’s garden.

  2. I’ve experienced fog like that a couple of times downstate in Grand Haven. We were at a kite festival and the fog was so thick on the beach that you could not see the kites on the ends of their 75-100 ft lines. It was quite strange to be holding on to what seemed to be nothing to the crowd watching us! And 2 blocks away on the other side of the dune, it was clear as could be.

  3. Love the fog pictures! Quite amazing what an hour can bring to an island (sunshine then fog). I stopped by on Tuesday to see you but they said you worked on Monday. Sorry that I missed you but I did meet Dale Gensman and he gave me a personal tour of the museum. What a gem! He is so full of energy and insight. I hate to admit that this was my first time at the museum but I will definitely stop by again next year. A must see for visitors!

    • So sorry I missed you, Yvonne! I actually didn’t work at all this week. Someone volunteered on Monday, then my “partner volunteer” worked for me on Tuesday. I thought I’d have to work today, but I didn’t. You certainly got the “expect” tour guide. What a treat!

  4. Caught myself up on the last few days, what awesome pictures and views. I’ve forgotten about the Indian Days your shots are amazing, thank you.
    Plus I’m a Michigan girl and have never seen the soo locks, whats that say about me? You did this state up proud.

  5. We were out golfing that day…and it was if the Tower to Mission Point totally vanished. We went into the woods a while and it was so eerie. I loved it! Normally, at home, I hate fog…especially when I have to drive in it. But on Mackinac…it is spookily delicious! Love it! 😉

  6. Oh, Bree, I do not comment enough on your Island blog, but, I DO check in EVERY DAY and appreciate the pictures and Island life when we are not there!!! Thank you so much, one of these days I will say “Hello” to you, Ted ( and Jillski!!!)

  7. My very first trip to Mackinac (11 years ago), the fog came in and stayed for two days. Still so beautiful there. We were lucky enough to get to visit the island this past weekend and once again had good weather. We left Tennessee at a smoking 97 degrees and loved wearing our sweatshirts and coats for a long Labor Day weekend. We stopped by to see you at the museum but the nice lady said you weren’t working – maybe the next time we get to come up, I’ll get to meet you. I love your blogs and read them all the time.

    • Sorry I missed you Traci. It turned out I didn’t have to work this week at all. You certainly picked a great time of year to visit!

  8. Loved the fog pictures and reference to that poem that I have always loved (being a cat person) and recall memorizing at a young age.

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