The seasons arrive early in Northern Michigan, and distinctly. It is now Fall along the Great Lakes, although many of its effects are still muted. We have never tried to stay in our cottage this late in the year before. But because we installed a new higher-rated furnace this past summer, we thought we could sneak in a Columbus Weekend visit. As it turned out, the new furnace was indispensable. Outdoor temperatures at sunup on Saturday and Sunday morning were in the 30s. But though it was a little chilly, it was beautiful Up North.
We chose to visit on Columbus Day weekend because that is when the village of Pentwater holds its annual Octoberfest celebration, which we had never seen before. For the festival, the village’s main street was blocked off for an exhibition of antique and classic cars. There was bratwurst, beer, and polka music in a tent behind the Village Pub. If you look at the people on the street in the picture below, you will note that they are wearing heavy coats. A strong wind was blowing off the lake and it was cold.
The next day the wind died down and the sun shone so it was possible to walk on the beach barefoot and in shorts. (Actually, there was a disagreement over whether 58 degrees is, in fact, warm enough to go barefoot, but it was warm enough for me.) The beach was largely deserted.
A walk along the lake shore reveals all sorts of treasures and discoveries. I am not sure what little turtle was doing on the lake shore. I guess he must have washed into the lake from one of the tributary streams. The waves were probably more than he was prepared for.
The leaves had not turned as much as I had anticipated. Out in the countryside, the leaves was just beginning to show some color, as reflected in the picture of the Pentwater River below. However, in the village, where there are more maple trees, there was a more colorful leaf display.
The farm fields clearly showed the season. The bare, dry, and brown cornstalks stood as a mute witness to Fall’s arrival. The asparagus, after the harvest earlier in the year, grew willowy and tall, which gave the farm fields a soft look.
As the season progresses, the days grow shorter. The sun sets a few minutes earlier each day. Soon enough, the leaves that are now turning will fall, the skies will turn grey, and the snow will fall. It was a great thing to have snatched a few last minutes of of the retreating sunlight before the darkness of winter arrives.