Throw Back Tuesday – Back Track and Forward March 4/11/17

Personal Note:  Loved reposting this blog today because of the many Mackinac friends – and blog readers – who happen to be in it!  Also, it was written at the end of the Lilac Festival that year and involves a parade!  Sweet memories.

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FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE, 18,2013

You will not BELIEVE all the photographs I have backlogged over the last few days!  I’ve been focusing mainly on Lilacs for a good two weeks now, and the Lilacs are still going strong, even though their “festival” ended yesterday. Tonight I want to catch up on a few other topics, throw in a few more flowers, and highlight some of the parade from yesterday. So, here we go . . .

THE PEOPLE WE MEET!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler's Ferry, look directly across the street on the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see - during daylight hours anyway - the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things "Mackinac" and does it so easily and with such friendliness that you just want to stay and chat a while longer. She'd love for you to stop by - to ask questions, to talk about Mackinac, or just to say hi! Oh, and tell her "Bree" sent you!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler’s Ferry, look directly across the street to the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see – during daylight hours anyway – the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things “Mackinac” and does it so easily and with such friendliness you just want to stay and chat a while longer! She’d love for you to stop by – to ask questions, to talk about the Island, or just to say hi!  You will love her!

This beautiful family, Theresa, Allen, Amelia and Michael - from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie's for ice cream. Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree's Blog and follows us in Georgia during the winter also.

This beautiful family – Allen, Theresa, Amelia and Michael – from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie’s for ice cream.  While we were there, Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try – Caramel Turtle Cheesecake!  A T-E-N!

Loved hanging out with this great family, and while we were in Sadie's Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try - Caramel Turtle Cheesecake! A T-E-N!

Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree’s Blog and follows the Lake Blackshear Blog in Georgia during the winter also.  Loved hanging out with this great family!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff's garden. They didn't know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa's iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff’s garden. They didn’t know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa’s iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard, and he always asks about Bear and Ted . . . in that order.

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called "Bree?" I turned and met Ted (I'll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident, they reminded me of ME!

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called “Bree?” I turned and met Ted (I’ll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year, found Bree’s Blog when they returned home from their honeymoon, and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident.  They reminded me of ME!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up - finally, after several attempts - at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up – finally, after several attempts – at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Tommy and Gerald - our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an A Cappela Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly). Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.

Tommy and Gerald – our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an a cappella choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly) after returning from singing for their supper at the Seabiscuit restaurant. Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.  During that Monopoly game, they also put away two large bottles of juice, a huge bowl of popcorn, a whole bag of tortillas, a jar or salsa and a jar of cheese dip – with a little fudge as dessert .  LOL – they SO reminded me of Jason and Blake at that age!  We enjoyed having Tommy and Gerald with us – they were smart, well-mannered, and fun – a tribute to their families.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and "do Mackinac" with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and “do Mackinac” with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

FOUR-LEGGED CRITTERS

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near The Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, obviously tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near the Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

This precious baby was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

This precious pooch was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I'm right on that name).

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I’m right on that name).

New neighborhood pooch, Charlie!

New neighborhood puppy, Charlie . . .

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

It's not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdale in your front yard, but it happened this week! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That's Kyle on Duke's back.

It’s not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdales in your front yard, but it happened this weekend! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That’s Kyle on Duke’s back.

A FEW MORE FLOWERS

Only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers - near where the old Grand stable once stood.

I only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers – near where the old Grand stable once stood.

Lilacs!

Dark Lilacs . . .

. . . and light Lilacs!

. . . and light Lilacs!

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

, , , and one loner.

. . . and one loner.

A very, very small section of Jeff's garden on French Lane.

A very, very small section of Jeff’s garden on French Lane.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B, with its luscious gardens in full bloom.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B – surrounded by Lilacs.

A curve on Cadotte . . .

A curve on Cadotte . . .

. . . . and Mahoney Avenue.

. . . . and Mahoney Street.

THE PARADE!  THE PARADE!

The mighty Clydesdales!

The mighty Clydesdales!

FFFF

Do not try this at home – at least not if you are MY age!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade - right in the shade - and sweet smell - of beautiful Lilacs!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade – right in the shade – and sweet smell – of beautiful Lilacs!

We had serious bands . . .

We had serious bands . . .

. . . and not so serious bands.

. . . and not so serious bands.

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

. . . and

. . . horses performing beautifully . . .

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

vvvv

We had musical marching groups . . .

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

We had clowns in groups . . .

We had clowns who came in groups . . .

. . . and some alone.

. . . and some who came alone.

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

. . . and dogs whose names we'll never know - but who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

. . . and dogs whose names we’ll never know – who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

We had beauty queens who rode in carriages . . .

We had small beauty queens, teenage beauty queens .  .

. . . and some who walked.

. . . and grown-up beauty queens.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald "Duck" Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year instead of on horseback, but his son

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald “Duck” Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year, but his son Jamie – seen behind him in the white headdress – continues the tradition of their family by riding on horseback.

Are you asleep yet?

I think that catches us up to today in photos.  As you can see, it’s been a busy time on the Island, and today the Island was taking a great big breath and relaxing after a tremendously successful Lilac Festival.

God bless.

WooHoo! One Week to Go!

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Yes – I’m excited. Yes – I’ve started packing.  Yes – Ted is making fun of me.  No – I don’t care.

My thoughts and my spirit are already on the island, and this time next Sunday – good Lord willing – my body will have arrived also.  To say I’m looking forward to this trip would be the understatement of the century.  After all, we haven’t been to Mackinac in almost a year, and that’s just way too long for someone like me, who thinks Mackinac should be a moon and the earth should revolve around it!

Ted and I are so blessed to be making this trip, and before I go any further, I want to stop and thank Stefanie Congdon, the General Manager at The Inn at Stonecliffe for inviting me up to write about this beautiful resort destination.  I can hardly wait to explore the Inn, which was built in 1904 as the largest summer residence on Mackinac.  There are 16 guestrooms in the Mansion and 31 suites in the Summer House.  And yes, I plan to explore both places AND all the surrounding grounds.

Starting tonight, I’ll be publishing on two sites – To Be Clay (http://bree2015.wordpress.com) and on Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog (https://bree1972.wordpress.com), and I’ll continue to do that until I’ve written the final post about Stonecliffe.  I’m hoping to publish something each day from the island, and the posts will be the same on both blogs – so you can choose which to access.  I’ll be focused on Stonecliffe but also plan to cover as much of the island as I can in four days and nights – and I’m so hoping you’ll come along for all the fun!

As friend Molly McGreevy shows in this and the next photo, the Lady Slippers . . .

As friend Molly McGreevy shows in this and the next photo, the Lady Slippers . . .

. . . and the Trillium are blooming, and Molly says she's already seen a few lilacs in bloom!

. . . and the Trillium are blooming, and Molly says she’s already seen a few lilacs in bloom!

And, of course, those Mackinac sunrises just keep on getting better and better!  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And  those Mackinac sunrises just keep on getting better and better! (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

So . . . I’m not planning to post again until I’m on the island (no Thursday blog this week).  If we’re Facebook friends, you can follow along on Sunday as we make the trip from the Daytona Beach airport to the Traverse City airport – with stops in Atlanta and Detroit.  If things go as planned, we’ll be on Mackinac around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  Can you believe we’ll be arriving on my birthday?  Could I girl ask for a better gift?!!

Hop on board with us Sunday, and we’ll all go to Mackinac!

A huge thank you to John Rice for the header photo – a sailor’s eye view (from the freighter Roger Blough) of Mackinac Island in the evening.  Here’s another one!

johnrice

God bless.

Wednesday, Thursday . . . Happy Days! 6/13/2013

This week has been awesome!

Weather: Beautiful!

Lilacs:  Gorgeous!

Smell in the air:  Sweet!

Activities:  Everywhere!

Opportunities for photography:  Boundless!

Therefore:  It’s PHOTO NIGHT!

Good friend Bonnie dropped by the condo this week while she was visiting Mackinac for a few days!  See you back again soon, Bonnie!

While she was visiting Mackinac for a few days, good friend Bonnie dropped by the condo with Jill.  Come back again soon, Bonnie!

Bear:  "This is me - playing dead."

Bear:   This is me playing dead.  As soon as Mom gets all worried . . . .

Bear:  "Fooled you, didn't I?  I LOVE doing that!"

. . . . I roll around and laugh. “I fooled you again, didn’t I?!”   I LOVE doing that!

We rode up past the airport yesterday for lunch with Steve & Orietta.  That's one end of the airport runway - just beyond that second fence.

We rode up past the airport yesterday to have lunch with Steve & Orietta.  Just beyond that second fence is one end of the Mackinac Island Airport runway.

Later that afternoon we took a long walk in the cool woods, where the ground cover is about to be covered in flowers.  On the right side is Lily-of-the-Valley.  On the left will be tiny, perfect purple flowers.  Anyone know that those are?

Later that afternoon we took Maddie and Bear on a long walk in the cool woods, where the green ground cover is about to be flowering ground cover. On the left side is Lily-of-the-Valley (if you look closely, you can already see little white specks). On the right will be tiny, perfect purple flowers.  Anyone know what those are?

I can't seem to get away from the woods this week.  I've missed being out there the first four weeks we were here, and I guess I'm trying to make up for it now.

I can’t seem to get away from the woods this week. I missed being out there the first four weeks we were here because of the weather, and I guess I’m trying to make up for it now.

The Lady Slippers are out . . .

The Lady Slippers are out . . .

. . . and perfectly beautiful.

. . . and perfectly beautiful.  Can’t you just see magical fairies slipping these on their feet at night?

Found beside the road.

Found beside the road.

Dandelion close-up.

Up close with a dandelion.  Have I mentioned have much I love my new camera?

Today (Thursday) we took the pups on a walk along Pontiac Trail.

Today (Thursday) we took the pups on an outing toward the West Bluff and followed the road behind the bluff houses.  Isn’t it amazing what a few days of warm temps and sunshine can do to the landscape?!

This fire hydrant is almost hidden in the lush vegetation.

This fire hydrant is almost hidden in the lush vegetation.

Looking between the summer cottages to Lake Huron.

Looking across the back yards and between the summer cottages to Lake Huron.

A shady place to read a book.

A shady place to read a book or just sit and watch your garden grow.

One of my favorite "viewing spots".

One of my favorite “viewing spots” – framed by trees and surrounded with a white picket fence.

View from Pontiac Trail today - the first time I've been up there this year.

View from Pontiac Trail today – the first time I’ve been up there this year.

A recently

A recently renovated West Bluff cottage –  almost hidden by Lilac trees which must be decades and decades old.

ccccc

Love this shade of purple!

A cottage against the blue sky . . .

The top floor of a cottage against the blue sky . . .

. . . and Honeysuckle against blue water.

. . . and Honeysuckle against blue water.

A curve in Pontiac's Trail . . . bordered with wild flowers.

A curve in Pontiac Trail . . . bordered with wild flowers.

"Somebody threw a potato chip in here.  I can smell it!"

“Somebody threw a potato chip in here. I can smell it!”

One of Michelle's Friesians.

One of Michelle’s Friesians.

A thick hedge of lacy white flowers.

A thick hedge of lacy white flowers.

OTHER GOODIES!

Things you don't see everyday on Mackinac . . . three semi-trucks on your street, turning into the  Arrowhead Livery.

Things you don’t see everyday on Mackinac . . . three semi-trucks on our street, turning into the Arrowhead stables.  What is it?  Who is it?

What can you see inside the open door of Shepler's Sacre Bleu - their freight boat?

A little clue . . .can you see inside the open door of that semi sitting on the deck of Shepler’s Sacre Bleu – their freight boat?  Those semis were rolled off the boat at British Landing and, with special permission from the City Council, driven to Arrowhead, where . . . .

. . . the Budweiser Clydesdales were unloaded!

. . . out stepped the Budweiser Clydesdales!  (This photo and one above:  Jill Sawatzki).  At 9:00 p.m. I’m typing this blog post and glancing out the window every two minutes.  Last year they walked the Clydesdales over to our yard to exercise them.   So far no horses have appeared.

A huge crowd turned out today for the annual Lilac Festival "A Taste of Mackinac".  Restaurants served up their best fare for those lucky enough to have one of the limited number of tickets for the event.

A big crowd turned out today for the annual Lilac Festival “A Taste of Mackinac”. Restaurants served up their best fare for those lucky enough to have one of the limited number of tickets for the event.

The Lilac Tree Inn & Suites is all decked out in lilac lights for the festival!

The Lilac Tree Hotel is all decked out in lilac lights for the festival!  Very pretty!

French Lane on Wednesday.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

French Lane on Wednesday. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

MORE TO COME!

So much excitement coming over the weekend!

Blog reader Theresa is on the island with her family, and we’re going to try and meet up on Friday at Sadie’s.  I’ve promised her children they can pick my 4th flavor to taste!  After that I’m going to try to get down to the Blessing of the Animals with Maddie and Bear at Little Barn in the Mission.

Little Stone Church is hosting a high school A Cappella Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI, and they’ll be performing at our church service on Sunday.  Ted and I will have two young men from this group staying with us Saturday night, and we are so looking forward to that.  One little glitch . . . we are to pick them up at the ferry dock at the same time as the Pet Parade on Saturday, so I’ll need to beg and borrow someone else’s photos of that event this year.

Of course, Sunday is the big day – the Lilac Festival Grand Parade!

Hoping to post all the weekend fun on Sunday evening, unless I’m just too tuckered out.  If nothing shows up Sunday night, check back on Monday!

Have a great weekend.  God bless.

Come Along With Me . . . . 5/28//2012

Late Thursday afternoon, Maddie and Bear went into the frenzy of barking they save now only to announce something really unusual.  They no longer utter a peep when horses, taxis, drays, electric scooters or Grand Hotel buses approach.  Maddie will still bark at any dog that gets within a mile of the condo, but at least she do longer barks at little children, which is nice because we live in a neighborhood full of them!

What set them off that afternoon was the arrival of our new downstairs neighbors – Janice Blankenburg and her two daughters, Vika and Anna – from Wisconsin.  With them was Tom Boy – a black lab, Hunter – a yellow lab (Bear wrote a new post to introduce you to them.  I’ve put The Dog-Eared Page on my Blog Roll on the right-hand side menu of this page so you can easily access it), and two Guinea Pigs – Checkers and JoJo.  Yep – Maddie and Bear were in Heaven welcoming these new folks.

We actually met this family last fall when they closed on their condo.  When we arrived this spring, we peeked in their windows to see all the work that had been done since then.  Wow – their place looks wonderful!  Earlier on Thursday, all their kitchen appliances and lots of furniture arrived on the dray, and the taxi they came up the hill on pulled a luggage cart behind it,  packed to the brim with luggage, boxes, blinds, a Guinea Pig cage, and lots of other “daily living” necessities.

Getting ‘er done on Mackinac! Two horses + 1 taxi + 1 luggage cart = a new family on the Island!

Next step in the process – take off the wrap holding everything on the cart, bundle that up into a tight ball and put in trash (before it gets away from you and scares the horses), unload cart, then pull the cart out to the edge of the road, to be picked up by a passing buggy on Friday morning. All extremely efficient, without a single motorized vehicle involved!

I can so remember the excitement of getting our condo “fixed up” when we first bought it.  Heck, we’re STILL fixing it up!

We kept hoping we would get rain on Thursday night.  Michigan is so dry, and wildfires are burning in the U.P.  Like so many other areas in the United States, we need lots of rain.  We heard on Thursday there were evacuations near Tahquamenon Falls State Park (I wrote a blog about the Falls a couple of years ago), and the park itself is closed because of the fire.  Not good.  We slept Thursday night with the bedroom door open, hoping to hear rain through the night.  What we heard instead was wind, and it is the high winds we are experiencing that is hampering firefighters from getting the fires under control.

The winds have kept the temperatures cool though, and Ted and I decided Friday afternoon to take our first official bike ride of the season (we’ve been on our bikes before this, but only on “business”, like downtown shopping and post office runs.

We decided to go through the middle of the Island to British Landing, and our first stop along the way was the Community Stable. The 4-H program horses and ponies have arrived on the Island for the summer, and some familiar and some NEW faces were eager to have their photos made. This is Prancer.

New to the program this year, Gal was sporting some spiffy hoof gear. Gal hadn’t worn horseshoes before coming to the Island, and the green “covers” are to prevent her back shoes from striking the shoes on her front feet and knocking them off. They’ll be removed when she gets use to not going “barefoot”.

New girl Gal is becoming fast friends with Fiona, who has come to the Island for several summers now.  Children on the Island spend the summers taking riding lessons on the 4-H horses and ponies, mucking out stalls, and learning about horse care.  Great fun!

Ted is always looking for caves, so once we got on the road again, we pulled over several times so he could explore “promising” sites. After walking through a heavily wooded area at one spot, the forest suddenly opened up onto this beautiful meadow.

Thousands of yellow flowers ran along the edge of the meadow, and the ground was soft and boggy. It’s amazing how many hidden places this tiny Island holds secret – until you stumble upon them.

Next stop – the Cannonball at British Landing. This is the rest stop for everyone who bikes – or walks – around the Island. It’s almost exactly half-way the distance to town and has plenty of cold drinks (warm ones on cold days) and hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and snack foods of all kinds. Picnic tables in the shade allow you to eat in comfort, then . . . .

. . . walk down to the water, which today – on the southwest side of the Island – was choppy, with whitecaps.

This seagull had picked out some prime real estate between the picnic tables – where someone might drop some crumbs – and the lake – where a quick dip might net him a minnow or two.

Back to the cave hunt. We made a U-turn at British Landing and went back the way we came. At the top of the first rise, we swung left on Scott’s Cave Road, a wooded path through beautiful spring-green trees.  It was along this path we saw two of my favorite wildflowers . . .

. . . Lady Slippers, which are in the Orchid family . . .

. . . and Columbine.  Columbine is also known as “Granny’s Bonnet”, because the flowers resemble the mop hats worn by elderly women in colonial times.  We also saw some still-white Trillium, but most were beginning to fade into pink.

Our path through the woods brought us in behind Silver Birches – an abandoned rustic lodge and cabins.

This is a beautiful property – sure wish someone would reopen it.

We took the short, gravel Scott’s Shore Road over to Lakeshore Blvd. On this side of the Island, the water was calm . . . .

. . . and I’m always in awe of how clear the waters of Lake Huron are.  The large rocks that line the lake bottom can easily be seen.

At one spot, we left our bikes a little off the road and walked out on the rocky “beach”. This photo was taken where the beach met the water – looking back toward shore. It’s a reminder of how low the Great Lakes water level is when you realize that rise of rocks in the distance is the former lake level.  Of course, there is not this much beach everywhere around the Island – far from it – but where the water was the most shallow, there is now land.

We passed Arch Rock at the perfect time of day for a photograph, without the sun’s interference . . .

. . . and came into town through Mission Point Resorts “avenue of trees”.  Beautiful!

By the time we stopped at the bookstore to pick up a paper, the post office to pick up the mail, Doud’s to pick up something for dinner, and rode home, we had clocked a little over nine miles.  Not bad for our first “official” bike ride!

Random Photos

Everything is blooming!

Mahoney Avenue is gorgeous right now with lilacs. Mahoney is the street that turns off Cadotte Avenue, down to the lake, just before the block where Somewear On Mackinac and the Gate House are located.

White lilacs on the west end of Market Street.

Lilacs aren’t the only blooming plants on the Island. Everywhere we look there are gardeners and landscapers mulching in topsoil and oh-so-rich horse manure, planting annuals, dividing perennials, and setting up sprinklers. Soon every square inch of unpaved area will either be green or some brilliant color of the rainbow.

Just liked the way all this looked together.

Tulips in front of the Lakeview Hotel on Main Street.

My favorite horse, Teddie, was a little lonely after a few days by himself in his new digs. But then . . . .

. . . one of the Island’s best-known horses, McGuyver, returned and is in the corral that ajoins Teddie’s. Here Neil, McGuyver’s new caretaker, gets him all harnessed up for his first outing. This photo doesn’t show it very well, but all of McGuyver’s bridle and harness had been shined up to almost a mirror finish. He was sparkling!

In a beautiful carriage, Neil and his wife drove McGuyver off into the mellowing sun of a lazy afternoon.

I think I’ll stop right here for the day, as this is already pretty long (don’t want my “read-it-with-coffee-before-I-dash-off-to- work” bunch to be late)!

After only 14 days on the Island, I’ve already changed my mind about two blogs a week.   I will definitely add another one on Wednesday (there’s just too much to write about right now), and I already have plans for the one this Wednesday!

  1. More photos from the weekend, including Memorial Day observances.
  2. A new Mystery Spot
  3. A few of my readers’ own  favorite and most spectacular Mackinac Island photographs!  Keep those coming, by the way, so we can make that a weekly feature.  Just email to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.
  4. A little feature about nature’s “Circle of Life” – straight from the shores of Mackinac Island!
  5. . . . and who knows what else!

Before I close, I have to take care of one more mission . . . .

When I retired in 2008, Ted bought me a Canon PowerShot A530 digital camera.  As Public Information Director for a 16,000+ school system in south Georgia, I was used to using a Canon that belonged to the system and wanted one like it.  I probably snapped maybe 50 shots with it that first year.  We bought our condo that year, but arrived in late June to close on it, and I spent most of the summer shopping for our “summer place”.  Photography was not on my priority list.  Then three weeks before we left for the island the second summer, the blog idea erupted like wildfire in my brain.  That little Canon became a constant companion, and I can honestly say I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of photographs with it.  It never let me down – even after I’d dropped it too many times to count on Cadotte Hill as I was biking downtown.

The end came our first day back this summer – holding the camera, with the lens already out, and trying to take a photo and talk on the phone at the same time.  Camera drops on fireplace hearth, lens bends into sickening angle.  Even though I could straighten the lens, it no longer worked.

I’ve often talked about my camera search on this blog – knowing that eventually my little Canon would sigh and say “enough”.  I knew there were no more Canons with viewfinders in the “point and shoot” category for less than $600 – and, besides that, those  definitely did not fit in my jeans pocket.

A chance comment by someone at the Pink Pony a couple of weekends ago turned into the solution.  I was admiring this gentleman’s camera and told him the story of my search.  He said, “Why don’t you try to find one like your old one  on eBay or Amazon?”  Eureka!  I almost ran home to get on the laptop.

Yes, there were used Canon PowerShot A 530’s for sale, but none in better than “good” condition.  So I went up a few notches.  There was a “like new” Canon PowerShot A700 – almost the same size, more features, AND A VIEWFINDER.  These were first made in 2006, and I have no idea when they quit making them or how old this particular camera is.    I paid less than half of the original camera cost.  It arrived two days later in the original box with owner’s manuals, cables, and an unused SD card.

My sweet old camera on the left, my “like new” camera on the right.

All the photographs on this post were taken with the new camera, and I’m pretty pleased.  There are a couple of things I haven’t figured out yet, but I will eventually, AND additional lens can be attached to this camera for more photography options.  Those are available on eBay and Amazon also.

Brooks Atkinson said, “The virtue of the camera is not the power it has to tranform the photographer into an artist, but the impulse it gives him to keep on looking.”  That is exactly the way I see it also.  Having a camera in my hand automatically sets my brain on “search” and causes me to look at the simplest object in countless ways.  What fun it is to see how many ways a flower, or a horse, or a tree, or a dog, or a barn, or a fence can be photographed!

See you Wednesday with more news from Mackinac!