Catching Up . . . and Counting Down 10/13/2010

So much to talk about tonight, and lots of photos to show you also. 

I feel like I’ve been running at top speed today, and as I look forward through the rest of the week, I see no let-up in sight.  That is probably a good thing.  If I had time to slow down and really think about these last few days, I would be in a permanent pout.  So I just keep cleaning, and packing, and trying not to think . . . only four more nights on the island.

First, some pics – because no matter what else I’ve done this week, I have definitely been outside with the camera.  I never would have believed that the fall colors could get any more spectacular than they were last year, but I was so wrong.  This year the yellows are more yellow, and the reds are more red.  The trees are almost glowing – that’s the only way I know to say it.  And there have actually been other things going on besides glowing trees!

Last week on Thursday, a dray backed into the yard loaded with lumber.

Our condo boardwalk is over 20 years old, and when we arrived this spring and walked on it for the first time, we all knew a new boardwalk was in our near future. Most of the planks were loose, and you could feel the "give" with each footstep. It was becoming a hazard.

As each section of the old boardwalk was pulled up, someone else was busily hammering together a new section to replace it.

These guys worked all day long Thursday through Saturday . . .

. . . then returned on Monday morning to finish up. On Monday afternoon, the dray driver hitched up two horses to the wagon and hauled away the old boardwalk wood. Three-and-a-half days from start to finish - plus cleanup. Awesome!

Sunday was the last service of the season at Little Stone Church. We posed after church with friends Don and Bonnie, who just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. They must have gotten married when they were 12!

Bonnie, me, Molly (our minister’s wife), and Jill.

 

The Carriage Museum closed last Wednesday, and the workers spent three days cleaning up and cleaning out (kinda like Ted and I are doing now). We walked over on Friday to find Denise and Kim sanding and scraping paint from all the benches. Denise said they paint them about every three years - and this was the year to get it done.

Emily and Jeremy were painting the white picket fence. They sure did have a splendid day to work!

As fast as Denise and Kim could get a bench prepared, Judy would start painting it. We will miss all five of these wonderful friends. We saw them every single day that we were here.

The path behind the Carriage Museum, where Ted and I walk with the dogs if we're heading for Turtle Park or the fort . . .

. . . and one of the private tour drivers chose to follow that path with a group of visitors while we were standing and talking.

From under the overhang of the Carriage Museum porch, a perfect example of God's spectacular color palette.

The hill between the museum and the gazebo.

Inside the museum. This window is where we buy the most delicious donuts on the island. Psst . . . don't believe those signs - the wonderful Jamaican ladies who cook those donuts have left the island - this window is closed for the season.

The riding stables are still open, but a lot of their horses are already playing in the pastures in Pickford. The horses that are left are probably wondering, "When do I catch the boat?"

I had never been to the Wawashkamo Golf Course, but I was out that way Saturday afternoon working on a story and rode down the entrance path to snap this pic of the clubhouse.

Monday morning breakfast with the girls at Jesse's Chuckwagon - Frankie, Mary, Loretta, Jill, Marti, Paula and "bad hair day" me with the cap!

I think I've posted some version of this view at least three times this summer. Can you tell me what's missing?

Answer:  The huge pots filled to overflowing with grasses and radiantly blooming flowers.

Answer: The huge pots filled to overflowing with grasses and profusely blooming flowers of every variety. Workers from the Grand emptied them this week.

No spectators Monday at the Grand Hotel tennis courts - no players either. The temp never climbed out of the 50's.

Trees on the Jewel Golf Course - it will only take one day with a lot of wind, and they will be bare until spring.

Cadotte Avenue - it seems strange to look down this long street and not see rows of carriages filled with tourists. Carriage Tours is still open, but is making only a limited number of runs each day.

Round Island Light through the trees in our yard. As more leaves fall, our view gets better and better.

Ted and Maddie - walking up one of our hills through the leaves. How blessed I am to have this man in my life.

Do you remember me saying that a writer had emailed me several weeks ago about using some of my photos for a story she was doing?  Well, the magazine hit the stands last week,  and Jill called all excited to tell me the bookstore had just received several copies.  The photos were taken last fall as the horses were leaving the island.  Maggie Catchick-Houghton used them to illustrate a story entitled “Where have all the horses gone?”  in the October issue of Mackinac Journal, a monthly magazine of the Straits.

How cool is that! So strange to open a publication and see your own photos!

Maybe I'll even pick up a few readers from the story.

Newsy Stuff

A big thanks to Joan – excuse me Abby and Benny (Bear and Maddie’s feline pawpals) –  for bringing our two four-legged children a bag of doggie treats for their trip home this weekend.  Joan was on the island for a few days, and Abby and Benny sent the gift with her in case we ran into each other.

And a special thank you to Maggie.  She is on the island visiting her in-laws and has just starting reading the blog.  I ran into her up in the Village when I was walking Maddie the other day, and she had a bag of doggie treats for the two furballs and a bag of chocolate chip cookies for me in her basket (I immediately claimed her as my new best friend)!  Also, she had written the sweetest letter, and I have to tell you, Maggie, you had me in tears when I finished reading it at home that day.  Girl, you write beautifully!  Thank you so, so much for every word.

I’m off tomorrow to Cheboygan for Bear’s last grooming in Michigan this year.  I’ll get home just in time to haul him up the hill, then go back down the hill to attend a spaghetti supper at the school – a fund raiser for the senior class.

On Thursday, I’ll be sharing with you a subject that has become very important to me over the last few weeks.  It’s something that everyone who loves the island should be supporting, and I want to tell you all about it. 

Sunrise this morning. A big thank you to Mary Stancik from the Grand for sharing - and for getting up early enough to capture this incredible sight. The header photo is Mary's also.

Friends and Falling Leaves 10/5/2010

Patty and Buz (our condo neighbors from Oklahoma) flew in last week and were on the island until Sunday.  We had dinner with them a couple of nights at the Chippewa and saw them as they came and went during their week-long stay.  On Saturday, the four of us headed out for a bike ride that took Ted and I back along the same paths we had traveled last week (we wanted to show Patty and Buz some of those trails filled with fall leaves).  After showing them the Cave in the Woods and the Crack in the Island, we crossed over to the east side of the island to catch Fort Holmes.  Along the way, we sidetracked to Friendship Altar (another place they had not seen).  I’m not going to caption these photos a lot because I just talked about some of the same material last week – the colors HAVE changed though! 

 The weather was wonderful Saturday afternoon – bright sun, cool enough for 2-3 layers (even when peddling), blue skies, and autumn all around us.  Spectacular day!

Buz - trying to prove he could fit into a smaller part of the Crack in the Island than Ted could - and he did. Still no sign of that wooden bicycle though.

Lots of little planes taking off and landing while we were in the woods on the far side of the airport.

Patty and I back out on State Road.

Patty was trying out her "new" used bike. They did what we did at the end of the season last year - bought bike #3 - used. One more year, and we should have 8 bikes between us - THAT should take care of all the visitors - with no one having to rent bikes!

From the top of the tower at Friendship Altar.

From the tower, we could look out on woods filled with spectacular fall foliage.

 

Buz - hanging out under a tree and unaware he's about to be photographed.

From Friendship Altar, we took Scott's Road to Leslie Avenue, took a right there and rode back to British Landing Road. A left there at the airport, then straight onto Garrison Road, which brought us out at the Mackinac Island Cemetery.

Treeline at Lookout Point - accompanied by one huge cotton-ball cloud.

The path from Lookout Point up to Fort Holmes. There's just something about a path edged by a wooden fence.

There were several visitors at Lookout Point ahead of us, and we all took turns taking photos for each other. This one is a little washed out in the background, but that's the top of Sugar Loaf between Patti and I.

Two guys and a very tiny lady.

On the way to Fort Holmes. We had left our bikes down at the corner of the cemetery.

Off the path to Fort Holmes is a little shed with this beautiful tree growing beside it.

We were just up here what? Four days ago? Unbelievable how much the trees have changed in that short time.

As you reach the top of Fort Holmes, there are these three trees. One has been bent at almost a 45 degree angle by wind or snow, and I like the way the trunks have made way for each other.

Just past "peak" for this one . . .

. . . and not quite peak for the one beside it.

Looking through the trees from Fort Holmes.

Red Sumac against the fence boards.

 

Looking straight down Rifle Range Road from Fort Holmes to Fort Mackinac - and the lighthouses on the Straits.

Back in the day, nearly all island children owned horses. They'd ride them up to Fort Holmes on summer days, lead them inside the embankments of Fort Holmes to graze, and the kids would have an all-day picnic . . .

. . . like these young people were doing on top of the old fort entrance.

 After we all attended church together Sunday morning, Patty and Buz left on the 2 p.m ferry going back to Oklahoma.  I got an email from Patty a little after midnight saying they were safely back home. 

This afternoon I walked outside with Maddie and Bear a little after lunch.  Before I got to the corner and crossed over to the big lawn, a couple riding down on bikes through the Village called out “Are you Bree?”  I yelled, “Yes!”.  They pulled over, and we stood out in the yard and talked for over 30 minutes before I ran inside to get Ted to come take a photo.

Karen and Gene Seeley from Flint, Michigan. I think they told me that it was actually their son Eric, a huge Mackinac Island fan, who discovered Bree's Blog, but Karen and Gene are fans also. Hello, Eric! Wish you had been along!

 And a little TV surprise!

 
 
 
 
 

Yep! Mike Rowe. Dirty Jobs. Again. Right here on Mackinac Island. Last Week. At the Grand . . .

 

And I missed him. But not these two twin sisters, who are THE BIGGEST MIKE ROWE FANS IN THE WHOLE, ENTIRE WORLD!

Note:  Photos of Mike Rowe shared on The Grand Hotel Facebook page. 

 

If I were a bird . . . 10/1/2010

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns” . . . George Eliot

A Mackinac Island friend, Nicole Smith – who owns Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island – used the above quote on her Facebook page yesterday.  I knew immediately I had to steal it. 

Leading up to today’s blog, I’ve been cruising along – posting photos as I got them.  Occasionally, I’d feel I posted a fairly good shot, but to be honest – with my camera not performly up to par (really, Irene, it’s not), and with leaving the island looming just around the corner – well, I’ve had a definite case of the mulligrubs, and not much of anything was going to satisfy me. 

Until today.

I had a few photographs collected to post on “Random” Day, but not nearly enough.  So, this afternoon I threw the camera in my bike basket (which is probably one thing that’s wrong with it – no TLC treatment) and rode through the Village snapping away.  Finishing that, I rode back home, attached Bear to my bike handlebars with his leash and rode up to the cemeteries.  As soon as we were there, I took him off the leash, and we rode along those beautiful roads (Bear churning up the road at a slow gallup at times and a full-out run at others), stopping here and there to take in the glory of Mackinac Island in autumn.

And today, for the first time in quite a number of days, I am so excited with what you’re about to see.  Maybe my camera decided to give me this one perfect day before it finally bites the dust for good.  But for whatever reason, I can’t wait for you to see what’s below . . . . .

The shots I had already planned to post . . .  

The Grand at its grandest. I took this last week on one of those perfect days when there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky – not even a wispy one.  Since the Grand is surrounded mostly by evergreens, there is not a lot of fall color.

 

A different shot of the Crack in the Island. An island resident told me this week that long, long ago islanders would use this fissure as a garbage dump. He said that people for years have been trying to find a wooden bicycle that is buried in here somewhere that someone dumped many, many years ago.  Hmmm – wonder what else is down there!

 

I just liked the “abstractness” (is that a word?) of this one – I was pointing straight up to take the shot.

 

There was just so much going on in this one – a couple playing golf, a lady standing in front of the red phone booth having her picture taken, a lady who had gotten off her bike to watch (I love her bright backpack in the bike basket), bikers riding up the hill, carriages going down the hill to town, and people on the sidewalk going both ways.

Riding through the Village this afternoon . . .

I always take a photo of our bikes outside the condo in the fall.  I love this tree and all the leaves from it that the wind randomly scatters over the backyard.

If you’re new to the blog and haven’t gone back and read the posts in the Archives, the Village is the area of the island where the majority of the year-round residents live. Officially, it’s called Harrisonville, but for decades and decades it has been known simply as “the Village” by those who live here. Our condo is in the Village, and just up the street I spotted my first photo op – a brilliantly decorated fall doorway.

Ron, one of my favorite (oh heck, he IS my favorite) taxi drivers was coming down Cadotte (maybe from the airport?). Ron is the one who ALWAYS is somewhere around when I do something clutzy – like fall off my bike.

Fifth Street in the Village (we live on Third). At the end of this street, we walk through the woods to Cupid’s Pathway.

The other side of Fifth.  Can you believe that tree!

One side of Sixth Street. Can you believe those trees! Have I already said that??

The cemetery photos . . .

After running Bear alongside my bike up  Custer Road, we turned back right onto Garrison Road and made our first stop at the Post Cemetery, where soldiers who died at Fort Mackinac in the 1800’s are buried.

Most of those buried here are very young men – in their late teens and early 20’s.  I always think of their mothers and wonder if they ever got to visit their son’s grave.  So here I am, 200 years later, visiting for them . . .

. . . and I think each one would feel comforted knowing their sons rest in this peaceful, achingly beautiful spot.

The flag at the Post Cemetery is always flown at half-staff.  Only three other cemeteries in the United States are designated for this honor – Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg National Cemetery, and Arlington National Cemetery.

We followed Garrison Road up to the Mackinac Island Cemetery, where I parked my bike and walked in to find a particular grave.

I love how at each water faucet in the cemetery, there is a water bucket. It’s not only for the families’ use, but they are there so that anyone visiting or just walking through the cemetery can water flowers they see that need freshening up.

A whole generation of island workers knew Irene King as “Twilight Mom”.  The Twilight was the name of the building downtown used as employee housing by the Grand Hotel, and Ms. King was “Mom” to everyone there for many, many years.  Ms. King was the real mother of Mary G’s (one of my readers) brother-in-law, Edward King, who is buried nearby.  When Mary G. saw the photo of Bear running down the road close to the cemetery in a recent blog post, she asked me to go out and see if I could find the graves.  And like an idiot, I took Irene’s and not Edward’s.  I promise you, Mary G. – tomorrow you will get an emailed photo of the one you asked for.

I haven’t visited many cemeteries in my life, but without a doubt, the ones on Mackinac Island have to be among the most beautiful anywhere – especially in the fall.

Continuing the ride up Garrison Road . . .

. . . sometimes I think I will just have to stop and cry when I round a curve and see something like this. This island is so beautiful to me.

My personal favorite of the day – my bike, my Bear, and God’s handiwork.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and putting up the photos.  Have a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you back here Monday morning – good Lord willing.  God bless.

Personal Note:  Thank you so much for your prayers for Blake’s continued job search.  He has been invited for a third interview on Tuesday.  Please keep those prayers going up.

Watch Out! There’s a Cave in the Woods and a Crack in the Island! 9/29/2010

Bet some of my readers didn’t know about those two features – the Cave in the Woods and the Crack in the Island.  Ted swears I’ve been with him to both, and I do remember seeing the “crack”, but the cave was a first-time thing for me – unless, of course, I just don’t remember it – which is entirely possible.

Nevertheless, at 3:30 this afternoon, we headed off on a bike ride which brought us back home at 6 p.m.  As usual, a bike ride with Ted never goes exactly as planned (I had simply suggested that we ride out to British Landing).  How we ended up in the middle of the woods by the airport is beyond me, but I did get to see lots of gorgeous trees in the process and that cave. 

The plan was to ride to British Landing, come back into town by Mission Point, then go home. Somehow we got a little off-track. This road took us on the far side of the Mackinac Island airport.

Claire, one of the fort interpreters who Ted is friends with on Facebook, had posted some pics this weekend of the Crack in the Island. Since we hadn't been out there in years, Ted thought a second look was a great idea. We rode up through the Village on Cadotte until we reached Annex Road, took a right on Annex, then a left on British Landing Road. Just as we passed the airport, we took a left on State. This is by far the prettiest road we've been on as far as fall colors are concerned - even prettier than the Fort Holmes Road - I guess because there are so many more hardwood trees.

A short ride up State Road brought us to a sign on the left directing us off the road and onto a trail. My Biria bike is NOT a trailbike, so after a very short riding attempt, we parked the bikes against some trees and started hiking.

The longer we walked, the narrower the path became. Thoughts of another similar hike into the woods, when Cathie and Charlie were visiting, floated across my mind. That trip was to find "Little Arch Rock", which I never saw even though Ted kept telling me I was staring straight at it.

And then - oh my gosh - there was a CAVE! I mean seriously - a real cave! (I just noticed that that huge tree looks like it's suspended in the air above Ted's head, but it's actually laying across the top of the cave.

My own personal Cave Man!

 

I'm hoping you can see the illustration part of this sign, because it's really interesting. In prehistoric times, the body of water we now call Lake Huron was called Lake Algonquin. The shoreline of Lake Algonquin was at the edge of this cave (meaning all the land between the cave and Lake Huron was once under water, as was a large portion of the island). The cave was formed by the wave action of the ancient lake. Pretty darn neat!

Wow! The top of this thing is really heavy!

This sign directed us to a path up and over the cave, and a very short walk brought us to . . .

. . . the Crack in the Island. Ted climbed down into it to try and give some kind of depth perception.

If you look over Ted's head in that last picture, the fissure runs another 15 or so feet. From that point, you can see the airport.

As we walked back out to State Road, I started snapping photos of the trees overhead. I discovered the higher up I looked, the more brilliant the leaves became . . .

 

 

I loved the contrast here - the brilliant orange of the hardwood versus the deep green of the pine - and all of that against that remarkable blue sky. The Master Planner sure has a way with paintbrush, doesn't He?

Back on State Road, we continued our journey.

On Thursday we’ll continue our journey, and I’ll share a secret little piece of Wawashkamo Golf Course that we found totally by accident, British Landing from a different point of view, and an inn of many colors downtown.  See you then!

Lunch today with Mary at the Gatehouse - one of many new friends I will miss over the winter.

A special note of thanks to Steve Fridley from Indiana for the header photo.  Steve sent me several of the gorgeous pics he’s taken in the last two years during island visits, and I will be sharing more of them in the future.

 

Sunrise over the marina.

My Perfectly Ordinary Wednesday 9/23/2010

Walking to work Wednesday morning, I figured how many more nights we had left to spend on the island before heading back to Georgia.  When I counted them up on my fingers, I was shocked to only come up with 25 – less than 4 weeks!  I simply cannot believe how fast this summer has flown by.  When we talk to folks at home and hear that it is still in the 90’s everyday, I just roll my eyes and hope that in the next 25 days, Fall at least begins to find its way south.  If not, I plan to roll some of it up in my luggage and take it with me!

My Wednesday volunteer job at the Stuart House gets me out of the house earlier than on most mornings, and today I left even a little earlier than usual.  I began shooting photos of ordinary things as I walked by the golf course, then down Turkey Hill to town.  Here’s a sample:

This white picket fence runs all the way around the Governor of Michigan's Summer Residence and yard.

As I started off down Turkey Hill, I looked straight up into these birch trees that lean over the road. When the wind is blowing they moan as they sway against each other. Really - it sounds just like someone moaning - very eerie at night. Every year I wonder if they will survive another Winter of snow without falling. So far, every Spring they are still there.

I know this is really weird, but the tree roots on the Island fascinate me. With so little top soil, the trees have to spread their roots out shallow, instead of seeking water and nutrients deep in the earth. Some of these roots seem to have sent out root "fingers" to find a little patch of soil with life-giving essentials.

These trees on the bluff rising above Turkey Hill Road seem to be growing straight out of the rocks.

This apple tree along Turkey Hill is filled with ripe fruit. Since horses don't travel down this hill very often and haven't relieved the tree of a lot of its apples, many are now falling to the ground, lining the grass and road.

This past Sunday we were in the fort, photographing the town and harbor below. Today, I stood at the base of the fort and photographed up.

I'm beginning to see more drays like this now. As Fall advances and maintenance and renovation work begins, the trash that work produces fills drays and is transported off the island. This dray was packed with what was the front porch of the Trinity Church Vicarage. The porch is being replaced this fall.

I turned the corner onto Market Street, finding it empty except for a gentleman walking his dog. There seemed to be some activity way down at the end of the street, but I couldn't make out what it was from this far away.

I always laugh when I look up at the weathervane on top of Weber's Florist. I love the whimsical "When Pigs Fly" character.

As I walked nearer the Stuart House Museum, I realized what the "end of the street" activity had been - horses. They'd been led down Cadotte Avenue and were making the turn toward Main Street and the ferry docks.

This little turtle "hood" ornament, perched atop a bike's handlebars, caught my eye as I walked past the post office.

Candy was waiting for me to take her place at the museum.  She hurried off for a few minutes, then returned with boxes of candy treats.  She told me that about 45 school children – kindergarten through 7th grade – would be visiting the museum around noon.  They were walking down from the Mackinac Island Public School, with their teachers, to tour the building.  Thank goodness Candy had arranged for Dale Gensman to take them through.  Dale knows that museum like the back of his hand.  He personally built all the historic building replicas and the models of the Mackinac Bridge and the Titanic that are housed in the museum.

It turned out to be another great day for blog buddies!  A young mom and dad, Tina and Jeff from Ubly, Michigan – and their precious little boy Joel – dropped in to say hello.  They had been vacationing in Mackinaw City for a few days and came to the island on a day trip.  Tina has just started reading the blog, but she remembered that I work at the museum on Wednesdays.

Tina's husband, Jeff, took this pic from the street in front of the museum. That's little Joel in his mom's baby-pack.

You remember the couple I told you about yesterday who had come over while we were having coffee at the Carriage Museum?  I knew I had his name wrong!  It’s Dennis – not George!  He and wife Rose stopped by the museum today, and I’m so glad they did so I could get his name right this time!  They’re from Austin, Minnesota.

Jill took this pic - she popped in to give me a two minute break, and I grabbed her to take the photo.

Dale Gensman, his wife, and friends of theirs arrived to greet the school children, who were a little late getting there. It was such a gorgeous day that we all just went out on the porch to enjoy the sun.

Here come the kids! Ranging in age from five to 12, these children make up 2/3 of the school's enrollment. Just like children everywhere, they were excited to be out of the school building and going on a field trip! What a bunch of cuties!

After work, I ran by the post office than slipped over to Main Street just to see if anything interesting was going on.  It seems all I look for now are the changing leaves, but really – once they start turning,  it’s just hard not to photograph them!

This Dutch Elm at the corner of Fort and Main Streets is already beautiful - and about to be glorious!

 

That same tree, which shades this corner of Marquette Park all summer.

One of my favorite "Jewel" trees - on the golfcourse.

As I’ve been sitting here pasting photos into tonight’s blog post,  my mind has been semi-focused on what I want to do with the days we have left on the Island, and I want to ask my readers for your help.  Is there anything that you’d like me to write about or photograph that I haven’t already covered – or is there a subject you love so much, you’d like to see more of it?  I want to make these last weeks really special, so whatever you want, let me know.  If it’s possible (well, if it’s close to possible), I’ll try my best to get it done.  Now don’t go asking me to hang upside down under the Mackinac Bridge and take a picture of the underside!  But, hmmmm, if a ferry happens to be going out there under the bridge, I’d sure be glad to ride along.  I could get the underside that way!

Let me know what you’re thinking.  Let’s see what you come up with and just how far I’ll go to make you happy.  I love a good challenge!

NOTE:  Mary from the Grand was up much, much, much earlier than I was.  She was on the docks at sunrise seeing off the West Bluff Friesians as they left the Island for the winter.  Thanks to her for the header – it almost makes me want to get up that early . . . . almost!

Bump and Lump Day 10/15/09

Before I retired, I always called Wednesday “Hump Day”.  You know, mid-way through the work week – over the “hump”.  This Wednesday, I have changed that to “Bump and Lump” Day.  I have bruises, bumps, lumps, and sore spots in more places than I knew I had places.  And let’s not even talk about my face.  Too bad it’s not Halloween – I wouldn’t even have to put on a mask to scare little kids!

Thanks to all of you who offered all the enthusiastic advice after yesterday’s mishap, such as:

1) Wear a helmet even if you think you might accidently encounter a horse (which pretty much means I would have to put one on going out the backdoor –  and leave it on until I came back in the backdoor). 

2) Come home now! (That was from Georgia friends and family.)

3)  Don’t forget to always post the picture you were going after, even if you get hurt going after it (from friends on the island who wanted to see pictures of Hershey).

4)  Go back and pick those apples and make apple dumplins’ (you know that one is from Georgia).

Seriously friends, thank you to everyone who offered well wishes – I am sore and look like a prize fighter after a bout that I lost, but I am really fine – embarrassed to be such a klutz, but fine.

I stayed in and read today until I took Maddie and Bear for their late afternoon walk.  To be truthful, I was going to just post a few random pictures that haven’t been posted before, with some captions.  But I took the camera on our walk, and discovered a few things to photograph – so today you’ll get a little mix of past and present.

I wanted to show these two pictures especially to Cathie in New Orleans.  We talked about the area directly to the right of our condo while she and Charlie were here in June.  Then it was a rag-tag mess of dried out plants that looked like they would never amount to anything.  The first picture shows them after they “came out” for summer, and the second picture is this week – all pretty in fall colors.

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When Ted and I walked over to the fort last week, we took a short cut through an area of island maintenance buildings.  They were all closed – so strange not to see all the doors open and people coming and going.

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On our walk today, Maddie spotted a rabbit go up this little pathway near our condo.  Boy, she wanted to go after that rabbit!  She blends in so well with the autumn leaves, that you will really have to look for her!  Instead of “where’s Waldo”, it’s “where’s Maddie?”

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Cupid’s Pathway – we walk down this trail nearly every day – and every day it changes.

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We took a wooded path back to the Carriage Museum at the end of our walk.  Again, a closed area that teemed with people and horses all summer.

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The gazebo on the Surrey Hill property, where weddings take place during the summer, was empty also.  But oh, what a beautiful fall wedding could be held there now.

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When we rounded the corner of our yard, there was a horse and buggy sitting at the road.  Doc Al, Kim, Jeff, and Brian were out with Skip, in a brand new buggy, and stopped by to check on me. 

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Everyone except Doc piled out to chat and give Maddie and Bear some lovin’.  Doc Al stayed in the buggy, with a firm hand on Skip’s reins, and after a 30-minute visit, they all headed on up the road to the barn.

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Where else but on Mackinac Island would your veterinarian make a house call on a human and arrive in a horse and buggy?  I teased Doc Al that if he had only gotten off the buggy carrying a little black satchel, the picture would have been perfect. 

P.S.  Skip behaved like a perfect gentleman the entire 30 minutes.  As for yours truly, I didn’t go anywhere near him.  Well, except for the pictures – I had to take pictures!