Archive for May, 2013

Spent too many days enjoying Mackinac this past Memorial weekend

and didn’t post on blog. There are many new photos to share, however.

Spring flowers are resplendent throughout the island.

Some planted – others put down roots on their own.

Grand Hotel's Greenhouse

The Grand Hotel greenhouse is filled with geraniums ready for planting.

Grand Hotel Flowers to Plant

Tons of flowers are tucked behind the Grand Hotel’s greenhouse.

Soon they’ll grace the hotel’s many gardens. With such an

ideal climate, they’ll quadruple in size in a matter of weeks.

Grand Hotel walking paths

Island visitors can enjoy the walking paths tucked into the woods near the
Grand Hotel’s swimming pool.  Beautiful in all seasons, but best in springtime.

Grand Hotel's Winding Paths on Mackinac

Tawny’s grandmother, Mrs. Randolph, takes pride in her gardens. Chief’s trained eyes

notice everything and, even under the stress of the investigation, he makes a point to compliment her.


Horses Pulling Wagon in Winter at Mackinac Island

What is Mackinac Island Like in Winter?

That was one of the questions asked last week when a winter scene

from “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine” was mentioned.

The answer? Very different.

Mackinac ISland's Main Street in Winter

Yes, motorized vehicles, snowmobiles that is, are allowed.

But bikes are used too, as long as possible.

With the awnings, flags, signage and colorful storefronts gone,

the streets look quite bare.

Snowy streets lead to lake at Mackinac Island

But the peaceful blanket of snow makes the island even more beautiful.

Especially when contrasted with the brilliant blue skies and stormy lake waters.

If you haven’t seen the video, “The Ice Bridge – Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season,” you should.

Available at the Island Book Store on Mackinac. It is stunning.


Family drives carriage at Mackinac

Mackinac Island is all about horses.  The amazing strength and curious

personalities of these marvelous animals never fail to charm visitors.

A “drive yourself’ carriage ride always provides a surprise or two and

is not difficult. These horses not only know the way they’re headed,

they know which horse they want to follow. And you’d better listen,

or they’ll vocalize loudly till you shape up!

 Tub of clean water

Island horses love their work, but better yet, what follows.

A nice tub full of clear clean water and then…

Jack's Livery Horse Bath

…. a cool shower, scrub down, food and rest.

Jack's Livery Stable

The above photos were taken at Jack’s Livery Stable on Mackinac Island.

When the carriage returned to the stable, the horse was immediately greeted

with affection by the staff. In “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine,”

Tawny takes a romantic winter ride with Takoda. This time, the horses pull a sleigh.


Main Street Mackinac Island

One of the fun things to do when visiting Mackinac in springtime is to walk

Main and Market streets and observe the changes.

Storefronts, signage, awnings, and other architectural details continuously improve.


In Book Two Tawny visits her favorite bakery on Main.

She buys an apple turnover to bring to Takoda as a surprise.

But the tables turn….badly.


The reader isn’t the only one shattered. It’s hard for the author to see

bad things happen to her favorite characters.

Mackinac forest floor

In Chapter 14, Tawny escapes her fears and the taunts of “Ice Blue” by

daydreaming about her times on Mackinac Island with Takoda. She especially savors

the day he led her to an old horse trail near the northern bluffs.

Sun kissed paths

There are few places more romantic than the Mackinac forest. Imagine a young woman

walking these trails with the man she deeply loves,

wondering if he feels the same.

Yellow carpeting

At times, places like these are beyond our vocabulary to describe.

You can follow these paths on foot or bicycle.

Some fortunate people ride the trails on their own horses.

But best is to walk hand in hand with the one you love.

Takoda's trail

Soon Mackinac’s forest paths will be covered with wildflowers.

Landscaping – courtesy of Mother Nature.

Up until now, “tweets” consisted of the sweet call of birds in Brighton,

Brevort and Mackinac.

But as the excitement built as we crossed the Mackinac Bridge this weekend,

I realized why some folks “tweet.”

I just wanted to share the thrill with all those who love Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

and Mackinac Island.

So here is a photo taken while driving on the bridge.

To follow my Tweets (there won’t be many, I promise)

you can go to this Twitter address and follow me:

It snowed 15 minutes after we crossed into St. Ignace.

It snowed 15 minutes after we crossed into St. Ignace.

This is the address for this particular posting.

Even though it snowed a little yesterday, May 12th, at Mackinac,

the ferry boats are all out of dry dock now and

busy taking visitors and residents back and forth

from both St. Ignace and Mackinac City.

Photo Stitched Catmarans

This photo was taken several winters ago in St. Ignace.

Actually, it is three photos “stitched” together.

Word is that a certain young family cruised over to Mackinac this weekend

and their sailboat was the only one in the harbor.

Mackinac sailboat first

This photo was taken last year, when they also were the first to dock at the island.

Nothing better than an early glimpse of Mackinac in spring.

Large yacht at Mackinac harbor

Although this is not Yev or “Bossman’s” yacht, it provides a good picture

of the size of some of the vessels that visit Mackinac each summer.

The harbor can accommodate all sizes of watercraft.

Huge Sailboat at Mackinac Harbor

One mast this size would be astounding.

This sailing vessel sports two!
That’s the East Bluff in the background.  Karl’s father built a home up there.

Oh – who is Karl? Blogger’s error. He’s in Book Two.

Or was that a sneak preview?


Exploring Mackinac

Mackinac shoreline wildflowers

Visitors to Mackinac need to venture beyond the village

to truly appreciate the beauty of the island. Many

bike or even walk the eight mile trail

around the island.  A wide variety of wildflowers

blanket the limestone rocks from spring to fall.

Cedar woods near Grand Hotel

Tawny and Takoda also loved to explore the trails and paths

winding through the interior of the island.

The rich aroma of cedar pervades the forest.

The trees in the above photo flank a trail leading

to the Grand Hotel’s swimming pool.