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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Memories from June

What a whirlwind the month of June has been!

Last month (I can’t believe it’s July already) has been filled with all kinds of new beginnings, including starting up my business much later in the season than  I’m used to. The vast majority of islanders are very serious about mask wearing, and businesses here are certainly doing their part to keep their employees and customers safe with social distancing and mask wearing in stores. I myself had a heck of a time getting plexiglass installed, but I have to say that the end result tuned out to be a good match with the overall store decor, plus (and more importantly) provides a barrier between customers and the marble slabs where I make all of my candy.

Since I missed out the income that I usually get from May and early June, I’ve been making most of the candy myself, along with some help from my candy gals (that’s the name I call my salesclerks!) as well as a few very supportive island friends of mine.  There’s one thing for sure that has remained exactly the same, and  that is the tried and true May’s family recipe for candies, including fudge.

Classic Chocolate Fudge

Grandpa’s Peanut Brittle, thinnest in town!

One of our newest flavors, Love Potion: A coffee flavored fudge using coffee from my sister’s store, Lucky Bean Coffeeshop

 

Along with the long hours of hard work going into the fudge shop, I do my best to get out and at least run errands around town. Mask wearing among tourists seems pretty low, but I feel as though it’s been going up more recently. We absolutely want all visitors to know they should at least bring a face mask on your trip here, since many stores will require you to have one on in their stores.

 

 

The scene down by Carriage Tours with 6 feet distancing markers

Fort Hill and Marquette Park – still a gorgeous view in June

I don’t know why I took this picture so far away from the sign, lol – these blue sandwich boards can be found all over, encouraging visitors to wear masks and keep a safe distance from others

One thing we missed this year was the Lilac Festival, but the lilacs still showed up for us! I had planned on opening my shop the day after the scheduled day for the Lilac Parade, and therefore was able to take a little time to walk among the lilacs:


And just a few more views from down by the lake…

I’m looking forward to having a healthy and fun July month! I hope you’re all staying safe out there, too! Until next time,

Heather

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!

Changes in Season

There are always a lot of moving parts happening in March, whether we notice it or not. Changes in weather, additions to staff, stores quietly getting ready for the season, snowmobiles being stored away, snowmobiles braving the lack of snow on roads… the first time I left the island this month was in the first week. I left for only two days, and went by boat.

At that time, the boat was running, and we were traveling the regular route to St. Ignace. Great! By the time I was ready to drive back up north, ice had floated back into the dock at St. Ignace and the boat couldn’t break free. So, back by plane I went…

In the picture above you can see how clear the water is around the island. It was a beautiful day for a plane ride, and it turned out to be a pretty nice day for a walk back down to my house, as well.

As the week progressed, more and more snow started to melt on the roads. It made snowmobile travel much more difficult downtown, but there was still enough for people to get by driving. As someone who lives close to downtown, I walk most everywhere, so it hasn’t affected me too much this year. The city does a great job of keeping our sidewalks clear and safe.

One dicey spot where the melted snow likes to create a little lake.
Melting, but still driveable
A beautiful view of the water and ice off the docks

The last time I was off the island was last week, headed to Petoskey to bring my mom back with me. No issues with breaking through the ice in the lake this time, but there was also another issue… by that Friday, schools had officially decided to close down for the next 3 weeks. By time I had gotten back to the island Monday, it had finally settled in with me that I wouldn’t have anything to do for awhile. My mom and I also missed out on getting any toilet paper or cleaning wipes. More than just seasons on the island was changing.

The ice had moved again on our boat ride back, too compacted to go the normal route, so we traveled around the North side of the island where you can see Arch Rock. It’s a longer trip, but the view is still great. I think I was more fascinated by the buttery smooth waves, followed by larges patches of ice.

Right now, the roads are pretty clear. We’ve had quite a few sunny days, and it’s still the same, quiet Mackinac Island that I’m accustomed to this time of year. I just don’t go out very much. Or, at all. Except to get groceries at Doud’s.

Our two restaurants are now closed to the public, but they do offer take out, as well as offer delivery service to our older residents. Doud’s is open as well, and has offered delivery service to all residents. And we are all sticking to social distancing requirements as much as any other place in Michigan.

As far as activities to keep myself busy during this social distancing phase, I’ve been cleaning at home a lot, practicing ukulele and guitar a lot more, taking more photos, bird watching, drawing a little, and spending way too much time on my phone. I’m lucky, however, to have a camera lens that zooms close enough to clearer see birds high up… I’m hoping to catch an owl or eagle one of these days in my back yard again, or possibly on my next walk on the boardwalk.

Until next time, I’ll be hunkered down at home. I hope everyone out there is staying safe, and wishing everyone a little comfort from my home to yours.

Heather


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!