Personal Note: Loved looking back at this October stroll through the Annex on Mackinac Island. Seeing Bear in several of these photos brought back so many special memories of that sweet boy.
First published October 23, 2012
She calls it “stick season,” this slow disrobing of summer, leaf by leaf, till the bores of tall trees rattle and scrape in the wind. – Eric Pinder
Tonight I’m inviting you to come along with Bear and me as we walked for almost two hours on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day to be on Mackinac, and it seemed strange not to go to church that morning (Little Stone Church closed for the season last Sunday). Ted took Maddie and walked her to town to pick up a newspaper, and Bear and I struck out in another direction.
I hadn’t been to the Annex in over a month, so I was anxious to see how the trees were looking in that area of the Island. Bear and I walked down Cadotte toward the Grand, then turned right on Algonquin just past the “caution” sign. Algonquin runs behind the West Bluff cottages.
As we crested the first hill, I glanced at the path we sometimes take from Four Corners through the woods to Algonquin. It was literally covered in leaves now.
Walking down the back side of that hill brought us to the corrals where Teddie and McGuyver spend their summers . . .
. . . but both of them left the Island last week, and the corrals were empty. Either I’m going nuts or that is a new building (the yellow one) since the last time I was in this neck of the woods. Maybe they renovated an old shed that was there. Gotta ask Mary about that!
The “stick season” may be upon us, but even with some of the leaves already fallen . . .
. . . it seems the ones still clinging for life to the trees are putting their hearts and souls into making their last moments as beautiful as possible.
Bear, his nose always to the ground, seems to be finding it difficult to understand why there is less horse poop to taste test these days. I tell him it’s because there are fewer horses on the island now. He just keeps on looking though.
All of these are private corrals, and they’re all empty. Remove the horses, and you remove that earthy smell that lets you know it’s Mackinac. I miss the horses . . . and the smell.
At the end of Algonquin, we turned toward the lake. I stopped to frame a photo of the lighthouse between these two trees in one of the West Bluff cottage yards . . .
. . . then we went through the turn stile onto Pontiac Trail. Bear seemed to sense something different and came running back to me after he’d walked ahead. The bluff below Pontiac has been clear cut, something that is done every several years. It did take some getting used to, but just like the trees along Cadotte, before we know it the trees will be tall again.
The tree cutting (which opened up views of the stairs down to the water) does allow for exceptional views of the Grand now from along the trail.
At the end of Pontiac Trail, we made a sharp right, then a left onto Lake View Blvd.
We usually stay on Lake View until we reach Hubbard’s Annex, but on a whim we took a less traveled trail . . .
. . . and I found myself on a path I had never been on. Bear and I had a wonderful time wandering around back there – seeing a couple of houses, barns and stables we’d never seen before. It was amazing to find a spot on the island that was new to us!
It was later than I thought it was (we stopped to chat with some ladies who were staying at the Grand and needed directions), so we headed back home.
Every time I walk up this hill now I try to memorize this view of the condo so, during the winter, I can close my eyes and visualize it.
For the last week these trees down at the horse corral below the condo have been becoming brighter and brighter. I knew when I walked back Sunday afternoon, I wanted to photograph them and that splash of red the gate added. What I didn’t know was that a few horses had been turned into the corral a little before we arrived . . .
What a beautiful frame for these taxi horses . . .
. . . and the big Belgians who pull the drays.
Hope you enjoyed our little walk . . . it sure was nice having you along!