The Season of Awe

No season of this four-season state seems more fleeting than fall. The brilliant confetti of Michigan’s six million acres of state and national forest and the unique vantage points offered by the Great Lakes — also morphing into a kaleidoscope of new color — are reasons to pause.
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Michigan Blue Bridge
Photography Courtesy of BlueWater CVB/Frank E. Quinlan

No season of this four-season state seems more fleeting than fall. The brilliant confetti of Michigan’s six million acres of state and national forest and the unique vantage points offered by the Great Lakes — also morphing into a kaleidoscope of new color — are reasons to pause.

For many, no word is adequate for this most extraordinary passage, so it is through the eyes of photographers selected for this most spectacular Michigan BLUE Fall issue that true homage is paid. The Autumn Splendors photo essay begins on page 40, where readers likely will pause with great regard.

As the color season explodes, so too does the sky, as the parade of bird migration begins. Writer Marla Miller invites readers along on Michigan’s newest pathway, the 150-mile stretch of the North Huron Birding Trail. Huron-area native and avid birder Elliot Nelson notes the many species flying from Canada and migrating back south along two major migratory flyways that intersect in Michigan. He told the writer, “You get so many birds, you can see them on Doppler radar.” Managing Editor Howard Meyerson reveals the effort of a retired Michigan chemist whose campaign to protect monarch butterflies from extinction has aligned with a state bill to designate the butterfly as Michigan’s official state insect. The monarchs provide another marvel of fall, as they migrate thousands of miles to wintering grounds in Mexico.

The color would be enough, but there’s more to fall than changing leaves

Traveling the state in this season is a favorite pastime. In the spirit of the road trip, Michigan BLUE celebrates the “31 Flavors” of one of Michigan’s most historically significant byways, U.S. 31. “Lakeshore all the way” was the early slogan for this pike, and award-winning travel writer Kim Schneider offers reason to stop along the way from Mackinaw City to southernmost Buchanan.

On the “quieter side” of Michigan, writer Jeanine Matlow invites readers to a trip from Port Huron around the tip of Michigan’s Thumb and northward along the lakeshore. The “Sunrise Side” is regarded as more rugged and, in these areas, less populated, offering an array of “diamonds in the rough.”

Sustenance for any road trip is as near as any orchard, farm-to-table operation, cider or hard cider mill. This month, Michigan BLUE also invites readers to taste Michigan “By the Bottle” through the story of two sommeliers who opened a tasting room in Shelby Township, featuring unaffiliated wineries together in one retail location. The married couple has since opened two more locations uniting Michigan wine lovers.

Few adventures are more fun than a charter fishing trip, and this, too, was made more interesting by participation in the preparation of the catch. Writer Miller sets out with one charter captain and a chef from Grand Haven where “catch and cook” is among increasingly popular activities: “It’s not just fresh catch — it’s your catch.”

Carole Valade, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine

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