My next trip to Nepal, Bhutan and India seemed so far away at one point, slowly edging their way into my present. Now the trip is picking up speed and soon I’ll be flying over snow-capped mountains. Back home it is fall in Michigan, I’ve been savoring the season I missed on my year long journey across oceans. It was also slow to appear this year with warm weather reaching far into October. I caught it earlier up north while exploring Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, and Tawas. It was my first time experiencing autumn on the island and at the falls. Both were spectacular and showcasing an array of hues for the nature lover in me.
Now fall is showing its last bloom of warm colors here in lower Michigan. Trees burst with shades of yellow, orange and red that take me back to my college days of painting with watercolors. Yellow ochre, burnt umber, and cadmium red flutter under a wash of cerulean blue fading to gray skies. I’m happy to walk in crisp air with a cool freshness to it that fills me with a lighter step and smile. Fallen leaves that are turning to mulch underfoot send a sweet comforting scent into the breeze. Brown boots and knit sweaters start to make an appearance and blankets are snuggled under on the sofa. My cats seek sunlit corners and stretch into the light.
Pumpkins and squash fill markets while old jack-o-lanterns line curbs, faces drooping over the sorrow that Halloween has passed. I love this time of year and am thankful to catch its quiet splendor before trading it in for the month and a half of travel coming up. Soon honking horns and tuk tuks will be zooming by street markets and I’ll be in places so “other” that it will seem like another planet. I’ll happily fall for fall for a few last moments and shuffle through leaves before the day comes when I have finally left.
Fall in Michigan can be quite lovely and you don’t have to go far to enjoy it. Here are some of my favorite spots in lower Michigan that are featured above.
Maybury Sate Park – This park in Northville has the perfect hiking trail that goes through rolling hills, forests, and loops around a lake. Tall trees here turn yellow and create a beautiful golden walk through the woods.
Heritage Park – This small park in Farmington Hills has many short trails that go through wetlands, over rivers, through forests and around a historic home. I often see deer along the trail.
Iargo Springs – A true hidden gem located outside of Tawas on the Ausable River. Many tourists opt for nearby Lumberman’s Monument when just down the road Iargo springs is just as, if not more beautiful. A tall wooden stairway takes you down to a maze of boardwalks that run over natural springs and streams. Views along the water here are quite stunning. It’s even great to visit in the winter. When all else is frozen the streams still run under the cedars here.