Moving right along

The fall colors in Michigan seem to start so slowly…take three or four weeks to go from one or two trees to a generalized coloring.

Then once an area generally is covered in color…poof, the leaves are gone!

It’s hard to get the timing just right so you can see the best where you are.

We’ve been moving south juuuust a little too soon.

Petoskey was a few days shy of generalized color, and here 300 miles south in Berrien Springs there are just spots and small sections.
DSC_4222_aDSC_4208_aDSC_4221_aBut clearly it’s not as though there’s nothing interesting to see! We took the pictures above on a little road along Lake Chapin that I’d never driven during all my years of living here (thank you, Connie!).

Most of the crops are in, and many grasses and weeds have moved to their final stages, but some things are still going strong!
DSC_4230_aDSC_4236_aDSC_4250_aNo visit to this area is complete without spending some time at the Lake Michigan shoreline…and the St Joseph lighthouse!

A fond farewell

We have left Petoskey and the great northern area of Michigan.

It has been an amazing summer for us! The “Pure Michigan” slogan is not mere hype. The geography, the climate, and the people really are something special…simple, quiet, nice, and pure.

We’ve already made some reservations for next summer back here, and will make others when the time comes.

The Little Traverse Bay opens into Lake Michigan in a westerly direction, which provides a fabulous vista for the setting sun. The nearly constant cloud formations provide terrific color and texture as well.

No wonder the area is renowned for its sunset photos.

I’ve shared numerous shots with you for the past five or six months, but actually saved a number of interesting ones to share as a final farewell for this year here….
(click on any shot to see it large on your screen!)

So much color, so little time

Our summer in Michigan is nearly over, and we move to the south end of the state today for a final week.

We waited until the last minute to see how color would develop along the Tunnel of Trees. We’d heard that it could be breathtaking, but our weekly drives to check progress had not been encouraging. We told you how the trees along the Lake generally turn more slowly than those inland, and the Tunnel runs nearly on the edge of the shoreline.

It was good, but not great.
DSC_3997_aThe “Tunnel” is interrupted by various hills and curves that leave the shoreline and lose the trees…but as you can see, that doesn’t mean “boring” when it comes to fall color!
DSC_3993_aDSC_3981_aDSC_3972_aWe eventually turned around and headed to Boyne Highlands to see if the inland areas were further along.

On the way, we ran across another “tunnel of trees”, a seasonal road to somewhere.
DSC_4036_aAnd we came upon this horse with his fabulous headgear to thwart flies!
DSC_4044_aBut the most interesting thing on our way to Boyne was this display of old cars!
DSC_4016_aWe had to stop for a moment in Harbor Springs to catch this scene for you: it actually shows our park in Petoskey waaaay in the background across the Bay!
DSC_3954_aWhen we turned the corner into Boyne Highlands ski resort, we immediately knew we’d come to the right place! The golf courses run the entire length of the resort, and provide a lovely setting for homes and recreation in the fall.
DSC_4117_aDSC_4191_aWe caught this fabulous barn on the edge of the resort juuuust before the sun dropped below the ski hill!
DSC_4122_aBut even the twilight provided a lovely afterglow, including a rising half-moon!

Go fly a kite!

A kite? Just one?

How about eight kites!
DSC_2921_aWe saw all these kites from four blocks away, and wondered what event was being held.

Turned out, Mike was a one-man event…and he was flying only about half his kites….just for the fun of it!
DSC_2915_aHe hadn’t just cut these out of newspaper, either. Some had loooong tails with fancy decorations at the end. The one pictured below had rigging at the end of the tail that spun in the wind!
DSC_2945_aMike explained the various style tails and various sizes of kites. He wasn’t flying his largest kite that day, because the breeze was too light to support it.
DCIM101GOPRODSC_2944_aMike launched them one at a time, then anchored their rolls of line to the ground at various points around the field so they would fly in a spread-out fashion.
DCIM101GOPROAs sundown approached, the wind began to diminish and the kites began to fly lower. Their lines actually crossed each other in several instances, so he had to be careful to pull them down in a particular sequence! Mike knew all the tricks, and saved his energy by simply clipping a line to his belt and walking across the field to a tree, walking around the tree, then coming back to where a kite’s line was anchored in the ground…so the kite was pulled down from the sky until it fell to the ground. Mike actually enjoyed seeing one of them dive straight down the final few feet!
DCIM101GOPRODSC_2992_aIt took some time to get them all down and brought over to his pickup, where each one had its frame removed and flying surface & tail rolled up and put into storage boxes. Not to mention rolling up all those lines!
DSC_3032_aMike was racing sundown, and kept being interrupted by passersby who saw the kites and came over to inquire. And there was this one pesky photographer!

He made it just in time.

Farming in full color

As we went looking for color, we found trees became more vibrant the farther we drove away from Lake Michigan. That big body of water really moderates seasonal temperatures, and that affects the onset and pace of tree color in the fall.
DSC_3795_aDSC_3785_aDSC_3820_aWe also discovered we were driving past one farm after another. Crop farming is huge in Michigan, and the over 200 commodities grown commercially make the state the second most agriculturally diverse in the nation.
DSC_3858_aDSC_3834_aIt’s pretty much the end of the growing season, but some crops were still being harvested.
DSC_3878_aDSC_3905_aWe saw the usual patterns of the way crops are planted, but we also saw several farms where it seemed someone in charge was having a little extra fun with the layout of the land.
DSC_3854_aIn any case, the countryside was gorgeous! Wished you were with us to breathe it, smell it, and see it all for yourselves!

Water & trees, trees & water

During the summer in Michigan, everything involves water: in it, on it, around it, looking at it, making plans with it.

During the fall, trees get added to the mix. Everybody wants to know how the colors are progressing where you live or are staying.
DSC_3780_aWe began our day’s tour on a Petoskey golf course, then down to Charlevoix and a private marina that has almost closed for the winter. Sorry, the members-only parking lot is full for the winter….
DCIM101GOPROThen some back roads….
DSC_3772_aDSC_3768_aFinally, a return to Petoskey at sunset….

Blow wind, blow

Rain’s over….

Seems to have left in a huff….

Hang onto your hats, this could be a really great week! Lost leaves in the rain and wind, but most had not yet turned, so we are expecting some real beauty.

But the wind helped the lake put on quite a show:
DSC_3445_aPetoskey got a bold wake-up call, with big clouds, high wind, and sun poking through here and there!
DSC_3405_aDSC_3469_aThe day really picked up as we headed to Charlevoix!
DSC_3479_aWe intended to drive down Lake Charlevoix to Boyne City, because the views should be improving by the minute, but we stopped by the channel to see the Charlevoix lighthouse….
DSC_3550_aWe parked the car….

And ventured out past the lighthouse with the waterproof camera….
DCIM101GOPROI did it for you, Ed.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old…

Longest period of rain we can remember….

We lead such charmed lives…we try to avoid areas during their rainy seasons, and so we rarely experience days and days of rain.

The forecast says tonight is the end of four days and nights of nearly around-the-clock rain here. The remaining six days of our time in Petoskey are predicted to have *zero* chance of rain!

Probably just jinxed our chances….

But we’ve had fun and adventures driving around scouting colors! Risked the Nikon for a couple shots…had fun with the waterproof Hero3 for some shooting…and undoubtedly earned some strange looks from people as we set up the tripod alongside the road for a couple shots when the clouds were so heavy and the light so dim that we needed the stability for some slow exposures!

We did it for you.
DSC_3216_aDSC_3227_aDSC_3250_aDSC_3244_aDSC_3271_aDCIM101GOPROThere was a brief break last evening just at sunset….

A ski resort in the fall

We showed you a couple pictures of Ross and Ryan on the chairlift at Boyne Highlands.

It was great fun, riding the lift, and both boys seemed to really like it. Ross was a bit put-out on the way up when the chair stopped and he found the footrest moved. It’s never clear what exactly bothers the boys, but they are always hesitant about insecure footing. The rocking of the chair when it stops might actually be fun to Ross, but he had nothing solid for his feet….

We couldn’t explore much on the mountain, but there was a zipline operating sporadically, and our limited view of the countryside on the way down the lift was fun.
DSC_2278_aDSC_2323_aBut the best fun was finding that a winter ski resort was not only alive and functioning in the summer/fall, but that it was gorgeous!

The buildings were so picturesque and the grounds were very well kept and gorgeous! The grass coming out from the lodge and hotel areas was level and close-cropped for golf putting!

The place was full of people riding their mountain bikes, because the one operating chairlift had been modified so that the seat cushion on every other chair was removed, and had a rack added to hold a bike! Horses were taking riders from the top of the chairlift all over the mountain.

And the day was breathtaking!

Turn, turn, turn

DSC_2221_aThese leaves in northern Michigan remind me of the Abbott and Costello routine about being on the banks of the Pokomoko: “Slowly I turned….”

Not complaining, you understand, because the trip to get there is really nice along the way!
DSC_2413_aIndividual trees, even portions of trees, are soooo striking!
DSC_2446_aDSC_2429_aSpeaking of along the way, we ran across this house with its roof all covered in nature…. And check out the bird houses on the fence around the garden….
DSC_2422_aDSC_2431_aBut the generalized colors are still just interesting, not astonishing! Picky, picky….

We just want to show you the best!