Tag Archives: flowers

More pics from Mackinac Island

One of the things that makes Mackinac Island unique is that there are no cars on the Island, so transportation is via foot, bike or horse.

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Horse-drawn taxi
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Bikes line the streets

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Mackinac Island was an important part of the early fur trade but during the 19th century developed into a summer vacation destination. The Victorian houses and horse-drawn carriages are a step back in time.

We stayed at the Bayview B&B, built in 1891 and maintaining the charm of that era.

The Mackinac Bridge is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. It connects the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan and can be seen from Mackinac Island. There are no bridges to the Island, though; the Island is reached by ferry from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula or St. Ignace in the Upper.

A visit to Mackinac Island

Earlier this week, a friend from Delaware and I spent a couprle of days on Mackinac Island, which has been voted the Best Island in the Continental U.S. by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

I had been before, but my friend had not. We decided to tour the Island by carriage, which was great fun (and educational). The first half of the tour, on a carriage pulled by a two-horse team–took us through the town, past the Grand Hotel and to a little village where we visited the carriage museum.

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One of the carriages in the Carriage Museum on Mackinac Island.

Then we switched to a three-horse team and continued uphill through the state park and on to Arch Rock.

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Our three-horse team
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Arch Rock

We were surprised at the beautiful flowers and gardens around the island–given it is the end of September.

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Hiking in southeast Michigan

Our community college offers enrichment programs for retirees at very reasonable prices. I signed up for a summer series of five events (a lecture and tour of the Zoo’s Penguinarium, a talk on hiking in Southeast Michigan, two hikes and a canoe trip on a voyageur canoe).

The hiking talk was at the Community College on Monday, and I learned loads of useful information that would have helped when I was hiking in the Cotswolds (without a cell phone or map) or in the Lake District in northern England in November (when it got dark much earlier than in July) or in Sedona last January (where it was so cold when we left it did not occur to us to bring water). I came away from that talk thinking that I could be the poster child for what not to do when hiking. Note to self–always bring cell phone, printed map (in case my cell battery dies), compass, water, snack, flashlight.

The first hike was this morning at Stony Creek Metro Park, one of a network of thirteen parks in Southeast Michigan.

Stony Creek encompases more than 4,000 acres and has trails and paths for walking, running and bike riding. We walked along a trail through prairies and woods for a little more than two miles. Here are some pics I took along the way.

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Bees seemed to love these flowers.

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Some pics from my garden

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbekia) were a friend’s favorite and I imagine he would love this early-blooming variety.

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Early-blooming black-eyes Susans (Rudbekia)

My enclosed sunporch had to come down, which required moving one of my perenniel beds. The daisies got spread out along a side fence and seem quite content.

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Daisies along the side fence

The purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) that got moved are late in blooming, but this one took up residence among the black-eyed Susans a few years ago (and I forgot to move it–next year).

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Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) among the black-eyes Susans

This phlox had been dwarfed by the daisies when it was next to the sunporch. I hope it will thrive in this new spot with room to grow.

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Swamp milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata) is one of the butterfly attractors in my yard.

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Swamp milkweed

A poem on retreat

One of the requirements of the Internship in Ignatian Spirituality is a silent retreat (at least five days). I have gone on silent retreats for more than thirty years, but several of the people in the program had not. Last year, one of them, Amy, happened to sign up for retreat the same time as I was going to be there, so I offered to meet her before we entered the silence and give her an orientation to the retreat house, the grounds and the neighborhood (for walks). Amy returned to Manresa Retreat House for retreat this year and sent me this poem she composed while on retreat, which she dedicated to me. I am so touched and honored.

Summer Solstice Psalm

For Madeline who introduced me to Quarton Lake

All creatures of our God and King,

Lift up your voice and with us sing.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 (William Henry Draper with inspiration from St Francis)

May you open your self to the light like the lily that blooms in muddy water.

(a gem from my yogi friend, Sharon)

Light beams.

Geese swim.

Robins sing.

Fish flop.

Wood ducks lift

and land

and flap.

Herons stalk

and jab

and fly

with wide wings

oh so low.

Cottonwood fibers sail past on the breeze.

Metallic blue fireflies mate in midair.

A painted turtle soaks up the sun.

Walkers chat on a gravel path and side step               the geese.

In the surrounding neighborhood,

homeowners weed

landscapers mow

and earth movers dig.

Drills whirl.

Saws spin.

Roofers pound.

Huge houses emerge.

Down at the water’s edge, a pilgrim rests.

She spies a tiny black insect on a white petal.

Consider this lily

that bobs on the water

with the deep joy

that nudges our hips to sway

when we hum spirituals.

Amy Fryar Kennedy

June 21, 2022

Saugatuck Stroll

A visit with friends in Holland, MI, led to a side trip to Saugatuck, MI, a town I had never visited. It is a quaint tourist town on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Shops and restaurants line the streets, with gardens and parks tucked in along the way.

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One of the gardens in Saugatuck.
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Scupture in front of the Inn of Saugatuck (I also appreciated the flag of Ukraine.)
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Double doors.

Early spring in Ireland

I traveled to Ireland last month visit friends who live near Dublin. We visited Powerscourt Gardens and then the Powerscourt Waterfall, which is a few miles from the Garden.

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One of the garden gates at Powerscourt
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Powerscourt waterfall, Ireland
Me at Powerscourt waterfall, Ireland

We also spent some time in Dublin (at the National Gallery of Ireland and St. Stephen’s Green).

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Daffodils in St. Stephen’s Green
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Tulips in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

Thinking of the Cotswolds

I visited Chipping Campden at the northern edge of the Cotswolds a few years ago. I loved Hidcote Garden–and I loved the gardens and flower baskets I passed walking down the streets, the thatched roofs and the distinctive doors.

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The Old School House door
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