Mackinac Vignettes 5/29/2012

We have a winner for the Mystery Spot contest at the end of this post.  He is Andrew Rosenbaum of Vicksburg, Michigan!  Congratulations, Andy!

Please see end of post for Mystery Spot answer.

Memorial Day

For the first time in several years, I missed the early service at the Post Cemetery on the morning of Memorial Day.  Thank goodness for my Ted who rose early, left me finally sleeping after a bad “no sleep” night, and took camera in hand to attend this beautiful and moving ceremony to honor the soldiers who died at Fort Mackinac in the early 1800’s.

Soldiers of the Color Guard in period uniforms and ladies in period costumes, marching up to the cemetery from downtown – just as they would have sin 1868, when Memorial Day was officially designated –  are always a moving sight.  The majority of the soldiers buried in the Post Cemetery were killed in the Battle of 1814 during the War of 1812. 

The crowd is usually small for this service, but if you’re ever on the Island Memorial Day morning, it is well worth an early morning walk.

There is always a short historical program, followed by the laying on of a wreath by one of the fort ladies. “Taps” is played, and the soldiers fire their weapons three times to salute the fallen soldiers.

At the completion of the service, the soldiers and fort ladies slowly walk back to town, and usually the crowd falls in behind them, all walking to the cadence of the Color Guard’s drummer.

Each Memorial Day on Mackinac a second service is held downtown to honor the soldiers of Mackinac Island who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Ted and I thought the one this year was one of the most moving yet.

Fife, drum and bugle musicians from Fort Mackinac give the flavor of times gone by to the service. Standing on the sidewalk, while horse and buggies pass by, it is easy to close your eyes and imagine yourself back in time.

Mary McGuire Slevin, the Mackinac Island Tourism Director, sang a lovely rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, Mayor Margaret Doud read a beautiful poem and reminded us that “freedom isn’t free”, and the program by American Legion Post 299 gave listeners historical facts about the men of Mackinac Island who had gone off to war and had not returned.

A small group of our friends gathered in front of the post office to watch the memorial service – Joan and her granddaughter, Frankie, and Darla, one of our condo neighbors.

Our across-the-street neighbor, Chief Don “Duck” Andress, a proud member of American Legion Post 299, who always takes part in any military celebration on the Island.

Our Little Stone Church minister, Dr. Vincent Carroll – a former Naval chaplain – salutes the flag.

James A. Garfield said of our soldiers, “For love of country they accepted death.”  We give a heartfelt thank you to all those who laid down their lives for our freedom. Our hearts mourn their deaths, as our spirits celebrate the immense love they had for their country and for those each of them left behind. God bless them all.

The Best of the Best – Mackinac Island Through YOUR Camera Lens

So many of you have already emailed your favorite Mackinac Island photographs!  I asked for spectacularly awesome, different, and new views of this special place, and you delivered!  I’m posting four tonight – actually they were the first four I received!  I have more waiting for next Wednesday, and please continue to send these to me at  This is going to be a favorite feature!

A small boat at anchor off British Landing, in dead calm waters. Submitted by DeAna Tretinik of Commerce Township, MI. I had the pleasure of meeting DeAna and her firefighter husband and teenage son last summer when they stopped by the Stuart House. If you ever need to picture “peaceful” in your mind’s eye, just close your eyes and think of this photograph.

A double rainbow off Windermere Point. Submitted by Kathleen Clancey of St. Clair Shore, MI. Mackinac Island is a very special place to Kathleen because she met her future husband here, after a Port Huron to Mackinac yacht race. It was on Mackinac – after another race several years later – that he proposed to her. They continue to come yearly to Mackinac with their extended family and their son, who is now 22 years old.  While dining at the Iroquois Hotel one evening, a storm blew through.  Afterward, these double rainbows formed.

Diane Swihart from Elkhart,, Indiana said a trash dray might not be what I was looking for, but to her and her husband, who works for a waste removal company in Elkhart, the Mackinac Island version of a garbage truck was fascinating. I started thinking about it, and I honestly cannot remember ever posting a photo of the trash dray!

A misty view of a Star Ferry rooster tail, taken through the crystal-sharp flowers of a hanging basket on the balcony of the Main Street Inn.  Photographer is Jeff Gushman of Dearborn Heights, MI.

Love, love, love all these photographs!  Keep ’em coming!

Circle of Life on Mackinac

When Ted and I were on our bike ride this weekend and we parked for a moment and walked out on the beach, we came across some stagnant pools of water, teeming with tadpoles.

Pretty gross, huh? I snapped a couple of shots, thinking I’d delete them as soon as I got home.

We had continued on our ride when suddenly Ted stopped and called to me, “Come look at this!”

A Blue Heron was standing in another pool of water in a marshy area just off the road. We didn’t realize at first the bird was stalking its dinner, but, like a flash, the heron’s head stabbed into the water, and . . . .

. . . . it came up with a grown-up version of those tadpoles!

The bird strutted around the pool for at least a minute, like it was almost showing off its catch.

Then, tiring of that, flipped his head back and swallowed the frog whole.

One well-fed Blue Heron.

The Dog-Eared Page

The Dog-Eared Page (Maddie and Bear’s blog about the Dogs of Mackinac) is now listed in the Blog-Roll on the right-hand side of this page.  Blog-Roll links are in alphabetical order, so it’s about 4th or 5th in the list.  Once you’re on that blog, don’t forget to subscribe to it, so you’ll get an email alert when the pups write something new!

Blog Readers on Mackinac!

As we were standing in front of the post office Monday, before the Memorial Day service started, a lady and her husband crossed the street, heading straight toward me.  I’ve learned to recognize “that look”.  “You’re Bree!” she said.  “I am!” I said.

And so I came to meet and talk to Mary Jo and her husband Bill (oh golly, I hope I remembered his name correctly) from Indiana! We talked off and on for the next 30 minutes and made tentative plans for lunch when they return in August.

Later that morning we were stopped on the sidewalk by Jocelyn, her husband Adam, and their two precious girls, Addie and Lila.  They’re all from Marshall, Michigan, and they’ve been coming to Mackinac annually since their honeymoon here in 2003.

I get so excited meeting my readers.  Thank you so much for stopping me and saying hello!

The Mystery Spot

The object of the Mystery Spot is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing (you may have to refresh your page for this to show up). Is there a prize for the winner?  Yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is   . . . .

Where is it?

Again, please email your answers to me at  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

I guess now you see why I said I had too much to write about for only two posts a week!  Come on back Friday for more on Mackinac.  You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Mystery Spot Answer

The Mystery Spot “miniature” horse is one of a pair which pulls a miniature dray, sitting in the yard of the home at the corner of Mahoney and Cadotte.


27 thoughts on “Mackinac Vignettes 5/29/2012

  1. I think I’ve told you before that I was so lucky to be able to attend a Memorial Day service on the island – extra special to me because Memorial Square is a spot that is so very precious to my distant cousin Delbert Bunker – whose family is well represented there. He is such a proud, true blue soldier – and a great friend. Thanks for your usual magnificent post – I hope to be visiting the square this summer, at least for a little while.

  2. It was wonderful to meet you!! You are just as lovely in person as you are on paper. (or screen) 🙂 We are home now, with a new set of Mackinac Island memories!

    • I am so sorry I couldn’t remember your husband’s name or where ya’ll were from. If you’ll tell me now, I’ll add it to post . . . pretty please. So nice to meet you, wish we’d had more time to visit.

      • You are too sweet! My husbands name is Adam, and my girls are Addie and Lila. We are from Marshall, Mi, and have been coming to the Island once a year since 2003 when we first came up for our honeymoon.

      • Thank you, thank you! Wish we’d gotten a photo together. Maybe next summer!

  3. I love how you captured the Heron during it’s feeding cycle. I didn’t know that Herons eat frogs, but I saw it for myself one day. This Heron caught a hugh frog and flew off with it.
    Love the readers pictures. This looks like it could really be fun. Can’t wait to see more.

  4. Wonderful blog Bree… always! Your Memorial Day pictures were very moving. And the blue heron with the frog! Holy smokes!! LOVE the new feature of your readers Mackinac pictures. I am honored to have been included. More then anything, thank you for remembering me and my family! How you can keep track of all of the people you meet is beyond me. Just another thing to love about you 🙂

  5. We attended Memorial Day weekend last year including services at The Little Stone Church, services at the Fort Cemetery, and the services downtown. It was a very moving experience we will never forget. We attended because we had read about it here in Bree’s Blog from previous years and decided it was something we really needed to attend. Then it was even more special because we ran into Brenda and Ted at each service we attended. We would urge attending to anyone. We were very involved in our local hometown services this year, but thoughts of last year’s Mackinac lingered throughout the day.

    Thanks for all the beautiful pics and the shared pics. We are sure we know the mystery spot…but our lips are sealed !!

    • I think the Mystery Spot is pretty easy, Paul and Elaine, but I thought last week’s was also and only three people guessed correctly. So what do I know?

  6. Brenda, those heron pictures are amazing!! (lol @ Cathy!! – sorry about that!) Was that at Lone Lake, the lagoon around on the way to Silver Birches, not quite as far as Easterly Cottage? That’s a wonderful place. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake there in my youth!

    • I honestly don’t know if that little area has a name, Irene, but yes, that was the general area. A rattlesnake on Mack Island???????!!!!!! I thought we didn’t have any poisonous snakes here!

      • Well, that was 52 years ago – yes the date rather stuck in my mind! We were having a picnic to celebrate Fred Entwistle’s birthday and we were playing hide and seek in the woods.
        I’m not sure if that lagoon has an official name but Lone Lake is what we called it. Ask Trish about the name.

  7. Looks like it was another great ceremony.

    I feel sorry for the frog, I know it is the circle of life, but I was hoping you would of said he wiggled out of the heron’s mouth before the heron had a chance to eat him.

    Oh I also see on our local TV stations that it is quite busy up there at the Grand Hotel with all the people trying to do some work for the state. I always look in the background to see if I see you walking around, never have.

    • That WOULD have been a much better ending for the frog, Judi! The Grand – I tend to stay as far away as possible when they have a big conference going on – unless it’s Somewhere in Time!!

  8. What a beautiful and touching ceremony honoring those who gave their lives protecting our freedom. Thank you Ted for taking such wonderful photos of it. How amazing that you were able to capture the heron enjoying lunch – although my own lunch would have not been that choice 🙂 Thank you for sharing my photo of the trash dray also. Happy Wednesday to you & Ted ( And Bear & Maddie)

  9. Fabulous blog, as usual! Every time you write I add more things to my Mackinac Island to-do list! We’ll definitely look for the Heron/Frog Swamp (my new name for it!) the next time we are there. The Memorial Day pictures choked me up a bit. Really beautiful! And the reader pictures are wonderful, can’t wait for the next batch. I love the idea of them being not what you’d normally see. I actually find the trash service to be fascinating, since it’s so different from how it works elsewhere! Thanks for another great blog!

  10. Great action shots of the heron/frog. Love the rainbow pic too. Maybe one of these days I’ll guess the mystery spot….I get on my computer too late apparently!

  11. Loved all of the pictures!! I think the readers pictures are so great also!! Very good idea Bree! I think you do such and amazing job with your blog and keeping all of us up to date with whats going on ! Thank you!

  12. Brenda it was wonderful meeting you. Yes you had Bill’s name correct. We are back home in Indiana. We are already talking about our next trip. The picture was great! Have a great weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s