Season’s End

We’ve reached a pivotal moment in the year 2020… the end of another season on Mackinac Island. As much as I love making candy and love the summer, I’m happy for the season’s end. It was one heck of a season!

There were definite positives to the season, especially those things that I wouldn’t think would work out but did… I really lucked on out having such a wonderful crew of workers this year. They really had my back (and at one point I mean that literally, as I did throw out my back mid-season!), and we all got along so well and had the best time. I was really fortunate to have such great people to work with this year.

Another positive was the chance I had to get back out and into exploring Mackinac Island itself. It’s easy to get swallowed up with work and I think that’s totally ok to do that when you want to get the work done… and especially when it’s work you like! But I also miss out on a lot of Mackinac in the summer because of that, so I spent more time hiking and biking my favorite trails, learning about how to search for mushrooms, looking for more photo opportunities, and just staying offline and focusing on nature. What a great way to recharge after a long day of work, too! And especially in the fall, that smell of fallen leaves is the absolute best.

Now for the future… at least for the near future, anyway. I’m definitely looking forward to having another winter of the island “to ourselves,” now that the season is over, I’m excited to get back into the settings of my camera and refamiliarize myself with what I love most – capturing the untouched snow on island in the winter. There’s just something about that peaceful quietness that accompanies the snow that you just can’t beat! But until then, we’ve got to get ourselves through these crazy few moments of October and November weather. We’ve already had multiple days of rain, snow, sun, high winds, high waves, and even a water spout, that I can only imagine whatever else comes next, we’ll be able to handle it!

Here are a few final pictures for you from the last couple weeks:

Arch Rock from a distance… our boat to the back way around the island to get to St. Ignace due to high winds

A cleaned out secret garden with Halloween decor…

Stay safe and warm out there, everyone! Until next time…

~ Heather

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The Rushing of Summer

How August flies by so quickly I will never understand.

The month had been quite interesting, with lots of ups and downs, and opportunities to enjoy the weather, and even more chances to enjoy my hobbies. Although work at the fudge is still far from the normal good ol’ days, we’ve been able to accommodate and be comfortable with the changes we’ve made. I rather enjoy not opening so early anymore, although it would be nice if I could keep the store open later than we do, but unlike last year, there just isn’t anyone around looking for full time work, or part time work, or any work really. Still, my core staff of 2 has been handling it in the best way possible, and we get through the days sharing our love of certain flavors and our experiences on the island in general. This week we’ll celebrate the annual fudge festival, one festival that we were fortunate to not have to cancel, although many of the regular activities did either get cancelled or changed to something online. I also get to continue my tradition of creating a fudge festival flavor.

Some views from work…

For those of you who have been reading here long enough, you’ll remember a project I started as a type of art therapy and in honor of my dad. I finally was able to finish that project, along with another painting, both with a water theme. Below you can see the final painting that I did for my father:

Two of my paintings on display at the exhibit at Mission Point Resort

It will be up on display at the Art Museum at Mission Point Resort, along with several other island artists. I’m happy to be able to complete the work, and even more honored that I could even display it for others to enjoy. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I’ve had more opportunities to enjoy my hobbies, which has included more painting but this time it has been more of an exploration in other mediums. I’ve started a sketchbook filled with gouache paintings, and hope to continue learning how to paint in this medium, along with watercolor paintings that I hope to do with my students in the coming school year.

Another of my hobbies… photography, took somewhat of a dive this month as work became my main focus, but nevertheless I found times to get out there and take photos regardless of my busy schedule. My largest excursion took me out to Leslie Ave (the road I had adopted for my dad) and enjoyed the scenic ride up and down this winding road.

On the way back down, around East Bluff

I hope everyone is having a safe month! See you next time,


If you would like to show your support for my blog, The Copper Lake, please consider contributing as a patron at my Patreon Page. Your support will help me to continue to provide high quality photos in the future. Thank you!

Hot in July

WOW, what a month it’s been!

I was hit with the heat at the beginning of the month, as the 80s are not my favorite temperatures, and it made for some pretty uncomfortable days at work and nights of sleep. But, I made it through, of course, and just kept focusing on work. July (and all of June) has been some of the most hard-working moments for me, and I am definitely not in the best shape I used to be in either. Thankfully work has evened out better and I’m not so hit by the labor of candy making. And the candy making in general has been working out pretty well, despite all the mandates and extra preparedness procedures that we’ve been following this summer at May’s Candy Shop.

Peanut butter fudge

Love Potion fudge – our coffee chocolate fudge

A batch of Monsters, with caramel setting and waiting for a layer of chocolate on top

Peco flake – our brittle with peanut and coconut

Cherry fudge waiting to be flipped

Blueberry fudge

Although some places downtown have opted to stay closed for the season, others have changed gears and reopened as new businesses. The Old Time Photo shop has turned into a Little Bookstore, and I’m definitely all for it!

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending at least a partial day off the island to give my car a good drive around St. Ignace, and just being able to drive around for an hour or two is a nice enough break from the island sometimes! St. Ignace also has some wonderful places to visit, such as their Museum of Ojibwa Culture, as well as a few shopping places downtown like the French Outpost. But once I’ve done my driving, I just hop back on the boat.

Boat views

On one of the few rainy days we’ve had recently

I’ve had the pleasure of at least taking walks around the areas of the island close to downtown, including places like the Grand Hotel’s secret garden, the boardwalk, and Devil’s kitchen. M-185 was closed for repairs for awhile but has opened back up recently. You can still see some erosion in spots but for the most part it is bikeable. I recently decided to walk to Devil’s kitchen and the views did not disappoint, with clear blue water and splashing waves against the boulders protecting the island, watching the ferries sail by along with a rogue speedboat or freighter passing through, and the wildflowers growing over every spot available, the views were enjoyable all over the place.

Peeking at Devil’s Kitchen

I hope to continue getting more walks in and hopefully venturing further into the island if my schedule allows it ~ and here’s hoping for steady work to continue at my fudge shop, and for everyone’s businesses downtown. Take care, everyone!

Until next time,