Personal Note: This 2013 blog made me smile because October is one of my favorite months on Mackinac, and the fall of 2013 was one of the most beautiful I remember. We feel so blessedto be able to continue returning to Mackinac for three months, and one of those months is part of October. When I see all the photos of Bear and Maddie playing in the leaves, I smile in anticipation of this fall when Bodie will get to have that same experience!___________________________________________________________________
First Published 10/20/13
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.
Me too, L.M. Me too!
When I was young and thought my days stretched before me for decades and decades, I seldom equated Nature’s seasons with the seasons of my own life. As I’ve grown older though, I find myself doing just that, and doing it quite often. My spring and summer seasons have passed – childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, becoming a mother, and raising children until they are out on their own – all of that is behind me now. The Fall of my life – my October season – is upon me, and living out my Octobers on Mackinac Island these last few years is proving to be one of the most beautiful times of my life.
On Mackinac Island, October is truly so magnificently beautiful it defies description. Even with the chores of moving and packing up, Ted and I are finding time almost every day to get out and walk in the woods. To not take these moments to inhale the crisp clean air and walk through these ageless forests would almost be sacrilege.
The days of finding a rust-colored leaf here and a gold leaf there were gone two weeks ago. Now they are all so brightly hued it’s as though bits of sunlight have become gold coins that cling to every tree limb and twig. And then – at the perfect moment – they fall to carpet our path.
Billions of those bits of sunlight – far above us – await a breeze strong enough to send them gently floating to the ground . . .
. . . where the sun is absorbed from the leaves into the earth – to prepare it for next spring’s awakening.
The pavilion at Turtle Park stands lonely now, but during the winter island residents will gather here for Winter Festival, and children will use the hills to compete on their sleds.
Bear and Maddie love Fall too, but for them it’s all about the smells! Gone are the light aromas of sunshine – replaced by the rich, loamy smell of dying leaves and damp ground.
We came out on the other side of Turtle Park at the cemeteries . . .
. . . where only the snows of winter make this place more beautiful than it is in the Fall.
Sometime I wish I knew every name of every soldier and civilian who rests here in the Post Cemetery . . .
. . . so I could do the research and send each family a photograph of the beautiful resting place of their ancestor.
Bear loves that the weather is cool, the leaves are fun to roll in, and there’s always some edible morsel to be sniffed out. Much more fun than just finding it on the ground out in the open!
And for Miss Maddie – as always – it’s all about the hunt!
An old hose reel – nestled between two trees.
This totem pole sits on one side of the Spirit Garden burial mound in St. Anne;s cemetery . . .
. . . and on the other side is a wooden carved turtle. The totem pole was donated by the Indian Drum tobacco shop and has been lovingly refurbished over the summer by Donald “Duck” Andress. He removed rotted wood and repainted sections of the pole depicting animals like a woodpecker, beaver and bald eagle. The wooden turtle monument was created by Cecil Pavlat and carved by Chief Duck. The Spirit Garden burial mound includes the remains of Native peoples from both Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island. The remains from Mackinac Island were unearthed during an excavation on Main Street in 2011.
Like I said – October is Bear’s favorite month to be in the woods.
Through a gate at St. Anne’s Cemetery.
A carpet of crunchy leaves led us back to Turtle Park . . . .
. . . which is surrounded by trees brushed by every October color on God’s palette.
The park turned into a playground when we ran into Annie and Diesel and their owners.
We finally called a halt to the playtime and went our separate ways – leaving behind another October memory from Mackinac.
The summer clothes have been shipped home, and Ted and I don’t go out these days without our layers. We have snow in the forecast Tuesday-Friday of this week, but it seems like we heard that quite a few times last year before we actually awoke to a snow-covered Mackinac . . .on the day we left for Georgia.
We’re prepared though. Let it snow!