The Energy of Fall Amid Legends, All

Chapel Rock
Photography by Aaron Peterson

Leaving summer behind has rich rewards in Michigan. My favorite is the trade of a smooth summer sail for the excitement of fall’s gustiness and views of the shore ablaze in a kaleidoscope of colors.

This season, whether on land or under sail, is one of excitement and enticement. Michigan BLUE Magazine takes readers on a journey through the state’s beloved, windswept dune lands, through the forests of some of the country’s oldest and tallest trees, and into the orchards where boughs hang low bearing the bounty of summer growth.

Michigan’s three heralded national forests assist in the state’s rank as one of the most forested states in the country. Department of Natural Resources records indicate 20 million of Michigan’s 36 million acres (55.7 percent) are covered with trees. The number is higher in the Upper Peninsula, at 84 percent. Contributor Frida Waara takes readers on a journey from the forests of the northern Lower Peninsula and into the Upper Peninsula on a well-described tour of these “Legends of the Tall.”

BLUE Sporting Life columnist Jon Osborn provides a guide to foraging in Michigan forests (and his very tasty recipe for fall’s fungi — Black Trumpet mushrooms). Further edible surprises wait on tree and bush boughs, including Michigan’s autumn olives, which peak for picking in October.

Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the country, and the greatest numbers of those richly abundant orchards are in western Michigan. Author Sharon Kegerreis details the legends of those orchards, sharing “provenances of the past” in interviews with multi-generational apple growers who reveal Michigan’s apple legacies.

Several Michigan natives also are focusing on hard ciders, created with an increasing array of flavors based on Michigan crops of apples, cherries, blueberries and … so much more.

Fall is a time ripe with winery tours in the state’s notable vineyards; this issue of Michigan BLUE focuses on a seasonal favorite — mulled wine — and tips for making it at home.

It would be impossible for such a varied landscape of native treasures to thrive without fresh water. Michigan also counts 36,000 miles of navigable waterways offering unlimited fishing potential.

Michigan BLUE this month introduces Bob Gwizdz, an award-winning outdoor writer. His Michigan Top 5 salmon stream picks include a few “legends” among fishers, including the Pere Marquette, which he notes is one of the highest-quality, cold-water rivers in the continental United States.

Fall offers a unique energy evident by pounding surfs, crunching dune sand and robust harvests. It’s good to be part of it.

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