Personal Note: Ahhh -Mackinac Lilacs! Once you’ve been on the island for the Lilac Festival, you’ll always want to come back for the next one!______________________________________________________________________
First Published: May 31, 2012
Until we moved to Mackinac Island for our summers five years ago, I never gave much thought to lilacs. Before we bought on the Island, we’d come up for two weeks in July, thereby missing the lilacs blooming and the Lilac Festival by several weeks. It was actually our second summer on the Island – when we arrived in May for the first time – that brought them to my attention, and ever since then the topic of “when will the lilacs bloom” has become almost as important as “when will the fall colors arrive”.
Being from the south, I didn’t know a lot about lilacs. The closest thing we have to a lilac in Georgia is the crape myrtle – they’re even called “the lilac of the South”. Our crape myrtles (we have two in the yard at the lake in Georgia) are white-blooming, but they come in pink and several shades of purple also – just like lilacs. What crape myrtles do not have is that unbelievable perfume lilacs produce, and that perfume is hovering over Mackinac Island right now – a scent so sweet and heavy you could almost float on it . The lilacs are in full bloom – not good for the Lilac Festival which doesn’t begin until June 8; but hey – no one has any control over when they bloom but the good Lord. And who’s going to fuss about His timing?
Tonight I just want to share a few photos I’ve taken this week of the lilacs I see on a daily basis. Most of these are in the downtown area, so you know there are hundreds more lilacs around the Island that aren’t even represented here. It’s been fun for me this week to try and capture them in relation to something else – a home, a building, other trees, water, even a wedding carriage.
I sure wish I could attach a scratch-and-sniff add-on right here so you could inhale the perfume as you look at the photos.
I’m hoping some the lilacs you’ve seen here will last another week for the start of the Lilac Festival, and there are other later-blooming varieties that will fill in over the next couple of weeks. But have no fear, Mackinac Island’s Lilac Festival is ten days of wonderful entertainment with everything from the arts, to good food, to the best parade in all of Michigan. Come on up- I promise you will have a great time!