Fall is a special time full of changes. At its best it is glorious, a grand mosaic of color full of sunshine with cooler temperatures that invigorate. It’s a wonderful time to visit farm markets and U-Pick farms where apples and pumpkins and squash are being harvested. And it’s a great time to visit wineries around Michigan.
It is harvest time at vineyards all over the state. Plump ripened grapes are being picked and prepared for fermentation and eventual bottling, which is, of course, a source of joy for vintners and consumers, myself included.
But fall also can be a moody period. The weather often becomes unsettled. There is change in the air and we all sense it; the transition from summer to winter is underway. Our trees begin to drop their leaves and each day grows shorter. By November, the skies often are gray. Large storms track over the Great Lakes giving us pause. Meteorologists have a name for it: “The November Storm Season.”
Boaters and mariners — even kayakers — know it as the “Gales of November,” a time for caution on the water, a phrase popularized by singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in 1976 when his hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” memorialized the tragedy of the freighter that sunk in 1975 on Lake Superior taking all hands. That epic drama is only one of many involving great ships that foundered on our fresh water seas.
In this issue of BLUE, among other things, we commemorate those historic vessels with an introduction to Robert McGreevy, a historian and marine artist from Harbor Beach, who brings them alive on canvas and whose masterful paintings have earned him high honors and a place in several private collections.
“…McGreevy’s commissions — over 400 to date — have encompassed all periods of Great Lakes vessel design and development. The ornate pre-Civil War-era wooden vessels and the great passenger steamers of the Detroit and St. Clair rivers remain his favorite challenge,” the feature story by Christopher Winters reads.
Another feature celebrates Michigan’s oldest family-operated farm, located on Grosse Isle in the Detroit River where 240 years ago, the Macomb family bought the island from the Potawatomi indigenous people and built a farm that is still family-operated today, eight generations later.
Our fall issue also invites readers to consider winery inns as a fall getaway, where patrons can sip and stay overnight, or for a weekend or even longer, enjoying fine foods and wines and the ambiance of a fall vineyard during the harvest. There are stories about farm markets, growing Michigan hops, haunted dining establishments and much more. Enjoy the issue and the season.
Managing Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine