Subtle Changes 9/22/2013

Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled. The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season’s last crops.  Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

I’ve always loved the Peanuts cartoon characters, and being a dog lover, that little Beagle Snoopy is a favorite of mine.  Snoopy always finds a way to express his most joyous moments in the simplest of terms . . . like jumping into a pile of leaves, with his buddy Woodstock (after all, our experiences are always better if shared with a friend), to show us how much fun Fall is!

fall

Autumn has always been my favorite season.  There’s just something so mellow about a fall day – the crackle of dry leaves under my feet as I walk the roads and trails of Mackinac Island and the rustle of leaves high above me in trees that are being gently rocked by the wind.  At home in Georgia Autumn includes the smell of leaves burning in great piles down by the water or out by the road.  Bright crimson berries appear on the island and in our yard at the lake – making me think of Christmas and where I can use those berries as decorations. Pine cones are everywhere, and the earth smells rich and wet.

After the hurly-burly of Summer, the serenity of Fall is a welcome visitor.

I was thinking all this as Ted and I walked Maddie and Bear up to Ft. Holmes late this afternoon.  The highs here for the last two days have only been in the 50’s, and shorts and t-shirts have been replaced with sweaters, jeans and an occasional scarf.  It was only after I began to experience the Falls up north that I discovered the wonderful warmth offered by yards of soft material wrapped around my neck.  It’s amazing the difference a scarf makes in your body temperature!

We walked two blocks up Cadotte to Fifth Street and turned right.  That block ends with a short trail through a wooded area, and it was there I  caught on film the first color changes the Village.

We walked two blocks up Cadotte to Fifth Street and turned right. That block ends with a short trail through a wooded area, and it was there I caught on film the first color changes in the Village.

Love, love, love yellow flowers.  Are these brown-eyed Susans?  Somebody tell me please!

Love, love, love yellow flowers. Somebody tell me what these are please!

Same flowers - with a bee.

Same flowers – with a bee.  Which led  Ted and I into a “discussion” on the difference between Bumblebees and Honeybees.  I think this is a Bumblebee – a small one.  It was VERY sluggish today, barely moving.  Ours in Georgia – really BIG ones – get that way late in the Fall after the temps dive.  It’s my understanding that all Bumblebees die in the Fall except for the pregnant Queen, but Honeybees live on in their hive all winter, existing on the sweet honey they’ve produced all summer.  Speak up if you know the real story!

Crossing Turtle Park we came across some red

Crossing Turtle Park we came upon some leaves already turning red.

The entrance to the park on the "cemetery" side.

The entrance to the park on the “cemetery” side.

Bear and Maddie kept their noses to the ground practically the entire walk.  So MUCH to smell!

Bear and Maddie kept their noses to the ground practically the entire walk. So MUCH to smell!

Spots of yellow in the cemeteries.

Spots of yellow in the cemeteries . . .

. . . and beautiful red berries.

. . . and those beautiful red berries.

One of my favorite Mackinac Island "roads less taken."

One of my favorite Mackinac Island “roads less traveled” – up past the cemeteries, almost to Lookout Point.

Bear dragged me over to the steps leading down to Sugar Loaf, but I said, "Another day!"

Bear dragged me over to the steps leading down to Sugar Loaf, but I had to disappoint him and say, “Another day!”

Lookout Point

Lookout Point in the low light of late afternoon.  Over the fence . . .

. . . the trees surrounding Sugar Loaf are beginning their slow change.

. . . the trees surrounding Sugar Loaf are beginning their slow change to gold.

Right over the fence at Lookout Point there have been two trees as long as I can remember going up there.  One has been dead for quite a few years, and now it looks like maybe lightning maybe broke it off.

Right over the fence at Lookout Point there have been two trees as long as I can remember going up there. One has been dead for quite a few years, and now it looks like lightning maybe broke it off – or maybe it was cut down.  Either way it reminds me of an alligator coming up out of the water with its head held straight up toward the sky and its mouth open.  See the eye?  Yes, I know it looks like half his snout is chopped off.   What do you see?

Walking toward Ft. Holmes.

Walking toward Ft. Holmes – my FAVORITE “road less traveled” – whatever the season.

The sounds of children playing met us as we arrived at Ft. Holmes.  Several boys and girls were running in and out and along the top of the embackments.

The sounds of children playing met us as we arrived at Ft. Holmes. Several boys and girls were running in and out of the entrance and along the top of the embankments.  They left with their parents soon after we arrived, and we had the whole hilltop to ourselves.

More red . . .

More red berries.

ddd

Bear – taking a little rest.

There's talk that Ft. Holmes may soon be restored so visitors will be able to see what it really looked like in the early 1800's.

There’s talk that Ft. Holmes may soon be restored so visitors will be able to see what it really looked like in the early 1800’s.  I personally love the solitude of how it stands now – one of those places – like Anne’s Tablet – that people either don’t know about – or don’t want to climb up to.  I love it like it is.

It’s been a good weekend – not busy, quiet (except for 1200 Michigan Republicans at their convention).  But they stayed downtown, and I stayed up the hill, so all was good.  Bear’s hotspot has finally turned the corner toward healing.  Lordy!  Those things drive ME crazy trying to give him some relief and drive HIM crazy ’cause I haven’t found the magic solution yet – at least not one that works fast enough for either of us.

Hope you’re all doing well out there and that you have a fantastic week, I’ll be back in a few days with more news, good Lord willing.  Hugs to you all.  God bless.

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51 thoughts on “Subtle Changes 9/22/2013

  1. I can just smell it! – Fall!! It’s been so long since I’ve actually experienced it! Yes, we have some Liquid Amber trees that turn red, but nothing like a real FALL! (BTW, that nice bank of red at Turtle Park? looks suspiciously like poison ivy to me. Just sayin’. I remember when a nice Danish lady saw those beautiful leaves, growing on the hill behind Mission House. She picked them – and spent a week in the infirmary!!)

    I see this week is supposed to be nice and mostly sunny, but it looks like our first full day on the Island will be rainy. Oh well, it’s the Island I get excited about, not the weather!!

  2. Oh My Goodness, that picture of Bear looking down the steps to Sugar Loaf…when we were there in August I took a picture from the top of the stairs looking down too…except for Bear, it is almost the same picture. 🙂 I have to say..Fall on the island is a very pretty time. I have lots of pictures of that time and remember it well. It was the first time we had come to the island and that’s when we fell in love with Mackinac.

  3. Fall is in the air in wisconsin too. It is also my favorite time of the year!! One week to the day until we leave for the island!! Can’t wait!!! Love the pictures.

  4. That picture of the “road less traveled” is postcard material! I pinned it to my “Favorite Places and Spaces” Pinterest board. Heads up: you won’t be needing that scarf when you head back down this way to South GA. We’re still at 70 at night. I’m not even going to tell you about the days!!

  5. Thanks for letting us join you on you dog walk. I’m hoping in a couple of weeks we’ll see a few more colors when we visit. Super happy Bear’s hot spot is healing. Have a wonderful week and I’ll be dropping by again. Joleen

  6. Fall and winter are the best seasons on the Island! I love you you slip into the Island vernacular with terms like “stayed up the hill”!! Only an Islander would know that that means. It’s like “going across ” or counting the years by the number of summers or winters that have passed since an event as in “It was four winters ago”…

  7. I LOVE these pictures!!! You are an amazing photographer, as well as an outstanding writer! Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us.

  8. I tend to agree with you on the restoration plan for Fort Holmes. It’s our favorite lunch spot – so quiet and beautiful. One of our best visits to the island was one we made the final week of October. We got to see some of the horses leave the island and oh my goodness, the colors! We were just there two weeks ago and I’m already counting the days until we return. Your Monday morning blog is always my favorite. A nice way to start my Monday morning workday!

  9. I don’t know about bumblebees, however I have had my own honeybee hive in the past. I say the past because honeybees do overwinter in the hive. They stay inside and feed on the honey they have stored for this purpose. However if they haven’t saved up enough honey to keep them all winter they die:( beekeepers can supplement the hive with winter food also.

  10. Brenda I have been to the Island at least 30 times in the past decade and have never seen Sugar Loaf. My sense of direction is terrible but I am determined to find it during my visit this week. It looks like a beautiful spot. Great pictures! Love the one of Bear taking a rest.

    • Lora, pick up a map at the Visitors Center! You HAVE to see Sugar Loaf- both from ground level AND from Lookout Point!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  11. Fall is my favorite season too. I love the colder air and the way the light changes. Wish we could have made it up to the Island this year to see the leaves-we’ll just have to make do with the one’s in our backyard. Have a great week and I’m glad to hear that Bear’s hotspot is doing better.

  12. Really enjoyed the post Mrs. B! I really love how the island changes during the fall. Good to hear Bear is doing better. He looked pretty happy on his trek. The picture of him looking down the Sugar Loaf stairs is just classic.

  13. Great photos and narrative, Bree! Fall is, indeed, a beautiful season, especially in Northern Michigan. And you may let Bear know that he is now ‘starring’ on my laptop since I changed my desktop view to the pic of him taking a rest. Between his own precious Golden self and the gorgeous background, including the distant bridge, I just love that photo!

  14. Awesome post Brenda! I was studying the tree and it looks like an Crocodile in the mouth of a Rhino? Does this thought mean I have issues 😉 It was great seeing you and Ted at church yesterday. See you in October!

  15. I hope the color doesn’t go too fast……want to still have some good color when we are there in mid Oct. It’s like the timing on the lilacs ….you just never know for sure. Great pictures again….thanks!

  16. Beautiful, beautiful Bree! Don’t you feel rich being part of all that!!!! Love the road less traveled, and of course, Bear’s portrait. Enjoy the abundance and beauty, breathe it all in, soak it up with your eyes; When anyone asks you to”go to your beautiful place” during meditation, you will have to ask, “which one?”

  17. The crocodile tree is hilarious! Bear is so photogenic in the picture of him taking a rest! Just love it!

    This summer we took our nieces and nephews with us to Sugar Loaf and they spied the stairs so we HAD to go UP them. I don’t think they knew how much Aunt Von could whine & cuss!!! LOL!

  18. Pingback: An Island Walk with Bear | Napkinwriter

  19. I see your alligator plain as day and feel silly thinking it was a mama hippo with a couple if babies on her back as a rears up on her hind legs.

    Nothing means wonderful fall weather more than walking on the MSU campus, kicking up leaves and hearing the marching band practicing outside in the distance. Glorious!

    Your imagery always conjures up great memories. Thank you!

    • Awww Ruth! Now you have me thinking about my high school cheerleading days and cold nights in football stadiums and rides home on the team bus . . . And I think I’ll stop right there!

  20. Yes, those fall blue skies are remarkable. I love autumn. And yes, I saw the alligator and then read the caption under the picture.

  21. It’s funny you said what you said about Ft. Holmes. We just visited the island two weeks ago and just started riding up hill and up hill and up hill. I was frustrated when I saw we reached a “dead end”. Little did i know we reacheu Ft. Holmes. It took my breath away…so worth the ride up. A little piece of Heaven:)

  22. Brenda,
    You so pleasantly take us on the most beautiful excursions. We never know from day to day, week to week where or what you will treat us too!

    We believe that your blog is a precursor to the most wonderful book!

    My Bear, how the stairs look longer and more tedious with each passing year… You looked beautifully serene just watching the day pass away.

    We’ll see you in a few weeks! Happy Autumn every one.

    Blessings

  23. Autumn is my favorite time to be on the island. We go every year in October. It’s funny how cooler temperatures and a touch of wind immediately make me think of the island. I can’t wait, just a few short weeks! I love your pictures and seeing the island change from summer to fall. Thank you so much!!

  24. Brenda,

    Beautiful blog, both words and pictures. I’ve brought it up many times. Makes me think I’m there and I certainly thank you for that.

    I can’t help you with the flowers, but that is definitely a bumblebee. There are thought to be about 250 species in the world, most of them in climates like that of Michigan, which has about 15 species. Bumblebees range from small to large, depending on species. You are right, unlike honeybees, they all die in colder weather, except the queen. She hibernates over the winter and starts a new colony in the spring.

  25. Wonderful stories and pics (as always)! I think those flowers might be Jerusalem artichokes…I first encountered them in southern Michigan last fall. Very tall, with sunflower-like blossoms…they actually have an edible root (although I’ve never tasted them).

  26. Hi Bree~~hope you are doing well. It has been fun to catch up a little on your blog today. Perhaps you’ve been told 16 times before–or perhaps you already knew–and maybe even have written about it–but read a column in Michigan Country Lines (the REA magazine) where Mike Buda urged people to sign up for your blog. That is so cool!

    • LOL, Kathy, I did already write about it . . . after a reader told me it was there! That was WAY cool. Wrote Mike Buda and thanked him, and he wrote back a very nice note. Hope you and yours are well also – getting cool up there yet?

      • No, it’s wonderfully warm today–70 degrees! Glad you already knew about the article. I figured you did–and that you’d already written about it, but I couldn’t find it.

  27. Lovely post, Bree, and I share your sentiments about autumn exactly. If it’s appropriate, I’d like to mention that the quote you started with — “Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue…” — is from Glenn Wolff’s an my book, It’s Raining Frogs and Fishes: Four Seasons of Natural Phenomena and Oddities of the Sky, which, coincidentally, has just been released in a newly updated edition. Feel free to quote it at will, in all seasons. Thanks!

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