Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall Color on the Forest Floor

Everyone notices the flaming colors of fall leaves, but fall also brings color to the forest floor with an amazing array of fungus in an endless variety of form, texture and color. Perhaps not quite as charming as springs wildflowers, fungal forms provide much inspiration for my work and also fill an important role of breaking down the forest litter to provide usable nutrients for the forest plants.

Join me for a fall walk in the woods and lets keep our gaze a little lower than we might normally - and be prepared to enjoy the view!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday at the Beach

We don't have much fall color just yet, but the signs of the season changing are starting to appear including the behaviour of the birds - the gulls are starting to assemble on the backside of the Island, preparing to move south for the cold season.

They spend their time preening, preparing for flight.

And the evidence is everywhere!

True fall color will be here soon enough, it's time to enjoy the late summer sun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Impromptu Art

The "found object" sculptures are appearing again, even more ambitious and amazing then before!

Here's a just a small selection of the many we spotted on a recent ride around the Island:

Friday, September 11, 2009


After a long week at work, you just have to soak your feet in the lake...

Or, maybe not!

The End....

0f summer!
These big guys are on their way down to the ferry, to start their off season in the pastures of the Upper Pennisula. Just as the horses arrive in stages in the spring, they leave in stages at the end of summer.

Experiencing the ongoing seasonality of nature and life is one of the joys of living on Mackinac. It's unfortunate that such seasonality has been lost to such much of our society; it always gives us something to enjoy, something to look forward to, as well as something to remember fondly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the 3/50 project

We went traveling this weekend and saw an interesting flyer:

We'd like to take this one step further:

The next time you're travelling,for business or pleasure, consider visiting the local, independent restaurants, markets, or shops - not only will you stimulate the local economy, you'll have the opportunity to learn and experience what makes each area of our country unique!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Centenial Celebration

The Father Marquette statue was first dedicated on September 1, 1909 with pageantry, music, and remarks in Marquette Park on Mackinac Island. Exactly 100 years to the day later, at 7:00 p.m. on September 1, 2009, the statue was celebrated once again, marking a century of its towering presence beneath the bluffs of Fort Mackinac.
At the original dedication, a massive crowd gathered in the park, some coming from Cheboygan, Petoskey, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette. A reviewing stand was erected between the statue and the rear of the park, from which dignitaries made various speeches. The Petoskey City Band and the Grand Hotel Orchestra provided the music. Park Superintendent B. F. Emery opened the festivities by introducing Bishop Foley of Detroit who offered introductory remarks. Upon the unveiling of the statue to loud applause, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and former Secretary of State, William R. Day, reviewed the life and heroic efforts of Marquette. The day’s festivities concluded with the singing of “America” followed by a Benediction delivered by Bishop Charles D. Williams of Detroit.

At the recent celebration, the crowds were much smaller, the speeches much shorter, but Grand Hotel's orchestra was there to play and the festivities once again concluded with the singing of "America".

No images of the seventeenth-century missionary were known to exist, so the features of the subject were speculative on the part of the artist, Gaetano Trentanove. He reportedly conferred with Father R. J. Meyer, of St. Louis, secretary of the Jesuit order, on the life of the missionary and with the head of the Jesuit order in Italy regarding the history and garb of Jesuit missionaries. Trentanove’s design presented a heroic figure. Standing and looking forward, “as if for some discovery,” with a map of the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi and compass in his right hand. The original design had him holding an open book, possibly a Bible. Some found this objectionable and it was changed, possibly because it over-emphasized missionary work instead of exploration. The left hand is shown holding the edge of his cloak and tucked at his waist is a crucifix and a rosary. Trentanove’s Marquette is bearded and appears older than the missionary, who was only 38 when he died. Such a figure contained an air of nobility that undoubtedly appealed to the Victorian sensibility.

Wisconsin Senator William Vilas later commented: “Go view the artist’s work, gaze upon the noble figure…then you shall find the ideal we would commemorate, a noble man with a soul lifted up to God, a mind inflexibly bent to duty, a heart swelling with tenderness to his fellow creatures….The man to dare without flinching, to do without boasting, ‘the deeds that heroes do when heaven calls.’” The style of the statue followed neo-classical tradition that held prominence in sculpture since the late 1700s. This was true of most public statues and monuments erected in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The statue underwent a recent restoration, to remove some of the ravages of time (and the evidence of the gulls penchant for perching on his head); Marquette should be gazing on the great waters for another 100 years.