By Howard Meyerson | Photography courtesy iStock
Autumn is the season of tidings. We know in our bones that winter is coming. Summer has passed and the days have grown cooler. Migrant birds are leaving for southern climes, and darkness comes earlier and earlier each week.
On farms around the state, the fall harvest is underway. That produce is for sale at farm markets where shelves and baskets are filled with squash and pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, chestnuts, apples and assorted jams.
October is typically peak color season in Michigan. It’s a wonderful time to be outdoors, largely comfortable when dressed for the conditions. Nuisance bugs are gone, and trails are less crowded. Rivers and ponds become memorable destinations, places to sit and watch the day go by, to meditate or picnic or leisurely tour by canoe or kayak, all while relishing the natural beauty of fall and the brilliant canvas of reds, oranges and yellows that develops in the trees.
Kristina Lishawa is one who understands those moments. The Traverse City photographer presents a stunning array of fall images in this issue. A practicing physician with a passion for nature photography, her images capture all that is beautiful in fall.
In this fall issue of BLUE, we also bring you a lively and informative guide to harvesting wild cranberries by Lisa M. Rose, author of two excellent books about foraging wild foods and plants for medical purposes. With Thanksgiving just weeks away, it’s not too early to go out hunting for them.
“Indigenous Americans recognized the value of the cranberry; its antioxidants and vitamin C content were helpful in the winter months. Wild cranberries were one of the original foods offered to the colonists by the Wampanoag Tribe, making it synonymous with Thanksgiving as we know it today,” she writes in her story about collecting them and making wild cranberry chutney.
Writer Michael Dwyer shares another fall favorite: the love we have for traditional cider mills, and the annual fall pilgrimage so many make once the leaves change colors as though the appeal of fresh cider and doughnuts was written into our DNA. Foodies also will enjoy Julie Bonner Williams’ exploration of heirloom tomatoes, those unusual fruits of the vine that are growing ever more popular.
And then there are the Upper Peninsula monks, the Holy Transfiguration Skete, Society of Saint John, who support their cloistered life by harvesting wild fruits and making jams and baked goods to sell to the public. Consider a visit if you have the opportunity. ≈
Howard Meyerson is the managing editor for Michigan BLUE Magazine.
Photo: Traverse City, Michigan – photography courtesy iStock