Michigan Blue Magazine - Summer 2021

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Set Your Course! Exploring the state’s treasures

Discover Petoskey: Biking, wine-tasting, hiking, golfing, and touring one fascinating region Island adventures | Three home tours: From Torch Lake to Pentwater | Outdoor kitchen “design stars” Rock-hounding lowdown | Birding in Marquette | Sip & Savor on the Sunrise Side

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This is Traverse City. What’s your perfect vacation? Enjoying the many lakes or rivers by yourself? Taking your family to places you’ve never experienced? Try hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, winery or cra beer tours, unique downtown shopping and meals that will forever change your taste buds – it’s all here. Traverse City: A Pre y Great Place.

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“Petoskey’s panoramic views and sunsets over the water never get old.”

Features 42 Pentwater Perch With four stories and two sets of spiral stairs, this quirky west Michigan retreat — one of the tallest houses in town — is lovingly referred to as the family’s “birdhouse.” By Megan Swoyer 2

52 Midwest Modern A Harbor Country home rejuvenates a nature-loving family. By Jeanine Matlow

58 Making Memories This rustic-style new-build cottage on Torch Lake in Bellaire is a getaway that will welcome family for decades to come. By Khristi S. Zimmeth

68 Entertaining at Home Meet a charcuterie queen, plus Fourth of July-themed serving pieces. By Jamie Fabbri

72 PostcardPerfect Little Traverse Bay’s allure infuses energy into Petoskey-area getaways. By Ron Garbinski

80 IslandHopping A guidebook author shares tempting tours of seven Great Lakes-surrounded vacation destinations. By Maureen Dunphy ON THE COVER Idyllic Harbor Springs. Photo courtesy of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau




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“The success of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society is based on ... volunteers, members ...”







10 Sky, Sand & Surf

26 Studio Visit

86 Tasting Room


14 Get Outdoors Marquette’s interesting bird species, and Black Star Farms’ adventure-andwine discovery packages. By Ron Garbinski and Dianna Stampfler

20 Headwaters Photographer profile, and an author’s new work. By Julie Bonner Williams and Patty LaNoue Stearns


Michigan’s natural wonders star in one-of-akind jewelry. By Khristi S. Zimmeth

30 Design Stars Meet a few experts who know exactly how to create great outdoor entertaining environments. By Megan Swoyer

36 The Elements Around the Cottage: Creating curb appeal, Great Lakes colors, and nautical nuances. By Jamie Fabbri and Giuseppa Nadrowski

Checking out the Alcona Brew Haus and Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery. By Chuck Warren

90 Dining Out A pair of wonderful St. Clair River eateries. By Patty LaNoue Stearns

94 Book It Opportunities (some include overnight stays) to help preserve lighthouses. By Dianna Stampfler

96 Discoveries Lexington’s beautiful Lake Huron beaches, tee times, and inviting charm. By Jamie Fabbri

Reflections Son Rise, Son Set By Megan Swoyer

98 Postcard Photographing a waterfowl’s beauty head-on at Kensington Metropark. By Jocelyn Anderson


Elk Lake property owners maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem, and rock hounds search for prized finds. By Jeff Nedwick and Meagan Francis


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Son Rise, Son Set


y 2020 birthday was among the best I’ve ever had. It started with a knock on my hotel room door at 7 a.m. Standing in the hall of the lovely Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island was my oldest son, exclaiming, “Birthday ride time!” Although it was early, how could I turn down that kind of invitation? In just a few minutes, the two of us were spinning along Mackinac Island’s eight-mile shoreline loop, taking in a sunrise highlighted by slivers of tangerine and swathes of violet. The quiet Straits of Mackinac gleamed in shades of lilac and deep navy as we pedaled along. This was the fourth morning of a biking adventure my family and friends were enjoying. Planned every August by my husband, last year’s trek started in Gaylord, cruised along the gorgeous North Central State Trail through Wolverine, and headed on to Cheboygan and Mackinac Island before hitting Petoskey. We would end in Boyne City. After leaving the island on that glorious morning, the riders (my good friend and I weren’t biking, as we served as support drivers and chefs) pointed their bikes in the direction of Petoskey, along another converted rails-to-trails route — the North Western State Trail. By noon, they had pulled into their designated lunch destination, where my friend and I had set out a picnic lunch for the whole entourage. This was a favorite stop. Alongside the Maple River in Pellston, a gently moving ribbon of ice-cold water meandered past our picnic chairs and flowed beneath the bridge the cyclists would soon be on as they made their way to Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Cruising along the rails-to-trails was truly idyllic. Birdsong, evergreens, hardwoods, silvery-white birches, and signs of yesteryear were abundant. In Brutus, for example, a quaint vacant shack just off the path


had aging red-and-black-painted letters on the side that read Post Office, Brutus. My friend and I joined the bikers in Petoskey, and at dinnertime our group indulged in a delicious dockside meal at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs. The Champagne (thanks, friends!) went down smooth, in the same way the sailboats glided past us on the water. The mussels-and-clams appetizer, served with garlic toast, was the best I’d tasted in a long time — and isn’t everything better outdoors, especially when you’re looking out to a beautiful view? An after-dinner wander through Harbor Springs (those charming Victorian houses — architectural jewels!) led us past puffy peppermint-pink hydrangeas and lemon-yellow and raspberry-hued dahlias, as well as flower-filled window boxes. Then my husband, sons, and I were off to the boardwalk in Petoskey’s Spring Lake Park, across from our hotel. An early evening birthday saunter led us past water lilies, great blue herons, yellow warblers, darting fish, and wavy green grasses, and put me in heaven. If I were to see an eagle, my birthday would be the most memorable yet, I thought. Just seconds later, my younger son pointed to the still-cerulean blue sky. “An eagle!” he whispered. And I made a birthday wish. A jaunt over to a beach near Bay View delivered the most perfect Lake Michigan sunset. The action-packed day had come full circle, and I stood on the rocks with my two sons, taking in the sky’s tangerines, violets, and golds, which illuminated the calm waters of Little Traverse Bay. Just about anywhere outdoors in Michigan is a good place to be on your birthday, especially if it’s on water. For me, being with my guys in that Petoskey-area paradise was the icing on the cake.

Volume 16 | Issue 3 mibluemag.com PUBLISHER: John Balardo ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Jason



EDITOR: Megan Swoyer COPY EDITOR: Anne Berry Daugherty CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jocelyn Anderson,

Maureen Dunphy, Jamie Fabbri, Ron Garbinski, Jeanine Matlow, Giuseppa Nadrowski, Jeff Nedwick, Dianna Stampfler, Patty LaNoue Stearns, Chuck Warren, Julile Bonner Williams, Khristi S. Zimmeth


ART DIRECTOR: Austin Phillips ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR: Alexander Shammami CONTRIBUTORS: Jocelyn Anderson, Ashley Avila

Photography, Maureen Dunphy, Meagan Francis, Scott Leader, David Lewinski, Beth Olson, Molly Reddish, Carl Sams, Beth Singer, Tony Soluri, Patty Lanoue Stearns, Kat Stevenson, Martin Vecchio, Hallie Wilson


GENERAL INQUIRIES: advertisingsales@grmag.com ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Jenn Maksimowski ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Todd Anderson, Jessica Laidlaw,

Renee Looman, Maddy Messerly TO ORDER REPRINTS: Receptionist, 616-459-4545






Luanne Lim, Bart Woinski



Jeremy Leland








Katie West


Stefan Wanczyk | PRESIDENT: John Balardo

Michigan BLUE magazine is published quarterly by Gemini Media. Publishing offices: 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-5098. Telephone 616-459-4545; fax 616459-4800. General email: info@geminipub.com. Copyright ©2021 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Michigan Blue magazine, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-5098. Subscription rates: one year $14.95, two years $24.95, three years $34.95, U.S. only. Single issue and newsstand $5.95 (by mail $8.95). To subscribe or to order back issues, please contact Circulation at 866-660-6247. Advertising rates and specifications at mibluemag.com or by request. Michigan Blue magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.


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Fly nonstop to Portland. Safely. From West Michigan to the West Coast, we’ll get you there safely—with more than 30 nonstop routes plus enhanced cleaning and safety protocols. Learn more and book your ight at flyford.org/safe.

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In this section, find out how this couple preserves their lakefront.

10 Field Guide Michigan’s beautiful water trails, Cherry Festival update, Great Lakes cruising, and more.

10 Sky, Sand & Surf Shoreline protection projects, and rockhoundiing secrets.

14 Get Outdoors Birding in Marquette, plus great wine-and-adventure packages.

20 Headwaters Nature photographers extraordinaire, plus a Michigan novelist pens his next book. MICHIGAN BLUE

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FIELD GUIDE Exploring Michigan: Tips, trends, and tidbits

CHERRY FEST RETURNS: The 95th National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, with in-person, virtual, and hybrid events, is July 3-10. The Arts & Crafts Fair and the Old Town Car Show will be held in a separate location. Due to COVID restrictions, the Bayside Music Stage and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds air show will not take place this year. cherryfestival.org GREAT LAKES CRUISING: Dreaming of exploring the Great Lakes? Victory Cruise Lines includes several Lake Michigan and Lake Superior cities as ports-of-call on its small-ship round-trip Chicago itineraries. See the variety at victorycruiselines.com. STATE PARK DIGITIZES: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has launched a Facebook page called Michigan State Parks, Trails and Waterways to focus on its 103 state parks, 13,000 miles of statemanaged trails, 1,300 state-sponsored boating access sites, 140 state forest campgrounds, and 83 public harbors. facebook.com/mistateparks WATERWAY WONDERS: Boaters and paddlers can experience all or part of the 40-mile scenic Inland Waterway connecting Crooked Lake near Petoskey, the Crooked River, Burt Lake, Indian River, Mullet Lake, the Cheboygan River, and Lake Huron at Cheboygan. Along the route are state parks, campgrounds, nature preserves, and paddle and pedal options. michiganwatertrails.org/northwest.asp – Compiled by Ron Garbinski

Have news that pertains to Michigan travel and exploration? Send a note to MSwoyer@Hour-Media.com. 10

Shoreline Preservation

Elk Lake property owners strive to maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem


By Jeff Nedwick | Photography by David Lewinski

ob Kingon vividly recalls the excitement of traveling north to his family’s cottage as a child. His pulse would quicken upon reaching that bend or rise in the road every southern Michigan resident recognizes — the one where row crops suddenly turn to hardwoods — because he knew they were getting close. His four-hour journey up U.S. 27 to Elk Lake near Traverse City seemed twice that

long until, finally, the bright blue waters of Elk Lake came into focus from between the pines. Over time, the family cottage was passed down to Kingon from his parents. In 2008, he razed the old cottage and built a new year-round home. As the decades passed, Kingon’s appreciation for the natural beauty that endeared the property to him as a child morphed into a passion for helping others preserve and protect


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Left: Elk Lake property owners Mary and Jim Lill are enjoying the results of their work to preserve natural shorelines by adding plants, trees, and stormwater retention areas. Right: Many residents have placed rocks along their beaches to prevent erosion.

Elk Lake’s quality and natural shoreline, which is about 1.5 miles wide and nine miles long. At a maximum depth of 192 feet, it’s the second-deepest inland lake in Michigan, right behind Torch Lake. That means there’s a lot to safeguard. Kingon works tirelessly to help his Elk Lake neighbors implement their own shoreline protection projects. As a past president and a current board member of the Elk–Skegemog Lake As-

sociation, he has recruited a community leaders, local government officials, and conservation groups to promote the preservation of natural shorelines and the implementation of shoreline improvement projects. Kingon practices what he preaches, especially when it comes to protecting the lake against the negative consequences of runoff. While the natural power of erosion can be spectacular and beautiful, manmade changes to the landscape can be destructive, resulting in runoff from heavy rains that floods the lake with nutrients, pollutants, and sediment. Kingon addressed this concern by observing the natural flow of rainwater on his property and installing stormwater retention areas to capture and hold rainwater. For additional protection, Kingon promotes the use of natural filters, such as plants with leaves that reach skyward for enhancing wildlife habitat and roots that burrow deep beneath the soil to intercept and extract phosphorous and other nutrients before they can reach the lake. Like Kingon, Jim Lill’s memories of Elk Lake span decades. An owner of a Chicago-based business, he commutes between his Elk Lake home and the Chicago area aboard his King-Air C90. The aerial view provides a unique perspective of the area’s natural beauty. Shortly after marrying his wife, Mary,

Lill transformed their home into a seasonal residence that serves as a testament to the compatibility between old growth forests, native plants, and stunning lakefront views. Careful placement of a patio that considers sight lines through the hardwoods, a walkway to the boat dock that minimizes the impact on native plants, and the addition of rocks to prevent shoreline erosion were all part of the Lill residence’s transformation into a conservation-minded homestead. Karin Wolfe is a fellow Elk Lake lakefront resident who advocates for healthy, natural solutions that beautify her property. Wolfe spent her childhood in southeast Michigan and much of her adult life in the Florida Keys. It was there that she became active in local garden clubs and conservation groups supporting the protection of the Everglades. Upon returning to Michigan with her husband, Ted, in 2016, she brought her passion for nature to her Elk Lake property, planting native grasses and flowers to attract pollinators and birds. For Kingon, Lill, and Wolfe, the shoreline is a thread to cherished memories — an interface between the family homestead and the pristine waters of Elk Lake. And just like connections between people, all three agree that shorelines require nurturing and protection to stay vibrant for generations to come. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Picking Pretty Stones Rock hounds search for prized finds along Great Lakes shorelines

An avid rock hound searches the Lake Superior shoreline for treasures at night, including the elusive sodalite (right). It’s often referred to as the Yooperstone, and glows under a UV light.


synthetic fish egg bait glows, frogs glow, and even a left-behind water bottle will illuminate,” says Molly Reddish, an avid rock hound from Rochester who’s been hunting rocks since she was a little girl. “I grew up pouring buckets of cold water from Lake Superior on the beach so my mom and grandmother could look for agates,” Reddish recalls. She’s more recently become enthusiastic about searching for fluorescent sodalite, which glows orange under longwave UV light. Reddish now regularly finds herself on the Lake Superior shore near her Michigan summer cottage in Grand Marais, in the pitch dark, often alone in search of these glowing stones. She’s such an avid rock hound that she even invented a special UV display case she calls the “miniUVdisplay” so she can show off her prizes in the proper lighting conditions. When asked how she’s developed such an eagle eye for the prized fluorescent so-

dalite — sometimes referred to as emberlite, Yooperlites, or Yooperstone — Reddish credits patience and experience. “Like anything else, you have to know what you’re looking for,” she says. “When I take someone out (rock hunting), the first thing I do is carry a fluorescent sodalite down to the beach and shine my UV light on it so they can see the color. Then I drop it and have them find it on their own.” Just like she did at first, she says, people tend to pick up a lot of fossils. “Everything that glows is so new and fun to see,” she explains, adding: “There’s nothing wrong with collecting fossils, either.” While searching for glowing stones late at night is definitely an exciting way to hound, there’s also a lot to be said for the simple pleasures of collecting agates, quartz, Petoskey stones, and other Michigan staples by daylight. Like many Michigan kids, I grew up idly picking pretty stones along the Great



ne cool July night last summer, my 11-year-old daughter, Clara, and I meandered along a Keweenaw Peninsula stretch of Lake Superior shoreline in Eagle River, carefully studying the rocks. We exclaimed over and over, “Is this it?” “How about this, is this it?” as the light from a small UV flashlight illuminated glowing bits on the rocks’ surfaces. An older couple stopped to peer at our haul. “Did you find it?” the woman asked. We nodded with excitement. This had to be it! Sadly, we later discovered, we had not found “it” — a fluorescent sodalite, the mineral that’s been causing a hunting frenzy along the Lake Superior shoreline since its discovery a few years ago. While sodalite looks like a normal gray rock in regular light, under a UV light, it glows. But, it turns out, so do a lot of things. Under a UV light, “fossils will glow,

By Meagan Francis


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Lakes coastlines and testing my skill at skipping them across the water’s surface. It wasn’t until I started traveling with Eric Neilson of Lansing (my brother-inlaw) that I witnessed serious rock-hounding in action. While my sister and I strolled up and down the shore, chatting and occasionally picking up an interesting-looking rock, he’d wander far away from us, down the beach, squatting, wading, and sometimes abruptly plucking out a treasure like a bird swooping in after a glittery fish. His contagious enthusiasm eventually caught on, which is how I found myself braving conditions such as high winds, whipping sand, drizzle, and chilly Upper Peninsula evenings in order to troll the shorelines the past two summers. Most of the rocks I find stay on the shore — in many protected areas, that is required by law — but as with anything else, often the thrill is in the hunt more than the harvest. “I’ve been rock hunting for as long as I can remember,” Neilson says, citing how “dazzling and downright magical” even an ordinary quartz crystal can seem when pulled out of a pile of gravel. He recalls the pencil box where he stashed the rocks he collected in his grandparents’ driveway when he was little. On the box lid, small Eric had written “Top secrit, open and die.” He still has the box, but over the ensuing decades his hunting gear has gotten somewhat more sophisticated. “Thick gloves are handy,” he suggests. “At the beach where the rocks tend to be smooth, it's less important. But in a wasterock pile or gravel site, digging your bare hands into chunks of rock can be painful.” Neilson doesn’t limit his searches to the shoreline like most recreational hounds. He literally digs through piles of rocks at excavation sites and gravel pits to find his treasures (make sure to ask permission if it’s an active or private site, he advises). Another recommended piece of gear is a squirt bottle. “Dusty, dirty, and dry rocks mostly look the same. A quick squirt of water can bring out colors and features that are otherwise difficult to see,” he ex-

Inspired by their mother and uncle, these youths have become enthusiastic rock hounds.

plains. And a heavy-duty bag or backpack is “a must,” since the weight of your haul can easily snap cheap handles or straps. On bigger hunts, Neilson might bring a shovel or trowel, reference book, a bucket of water, or even a metal detector if he’s looking for copper or iron. Patience and planning pay off. “I've found chunks of copper bigger than my fingers and strange minerals that are typically deep underground like chrysocolla, hematite, and epidote,” he says. When asked what makes him such a prolific hunter, Neilson says “it takes patience, plus a fascination with the rocks that you don’t intend to take with you. For each exciting find, there are three trips where I find nothing but ordinary rocks.”

By night or by day, rock-hounding has become one of my favorite ways to spend time on Michigan’s shorelines. Whether it’s the thrill of possibly finding a collectible stone or just the simple pleasure of strolling the coast, eyes to the ground, I’ve discovered that when you consider the beauty of the coastline, the meditative sound of the waves, and the tantalizing possibility of finding something really special, it’s always time well spent. Read more about rock-hounding in this issue’s Studio Visit feature.

PLAN IT! Rock-hounding in Michigan facebook.com/MIRockhounding/ MICHIGAN BLUE

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This page: A common yellowthroat. Opposite page: A golden-winged warbler and a golden-crowned kinglet.

A Birder’s Paradise Marquette area’s blend of natural settings provides hot spots for finding interesting species


By Ron Garbinski | Photography by Beth Olson

irders love to discover new sightings they can joyfully add to their personal lists or detail in their birding journals. That’s why the Lake Superior region around Marquette rates as such a popular area for birders of all experience levels, says Jeff Towner, chair of the Laughing Whitefish Audubon Chapter of Marquette and Alger counties. “We’re a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts


of all types and a great area for birders, especially during spring and fall migration periods,” he says. “Marquette is surrounded by public land that’s accessible to anyone,” so birders have lots of opportunities to spread out and explore. Marquette is located in the North Woods biome, so the species differ from those usually found in southern Michigan. “There are also boreal forested wetlands that provide habitat for species normally

found farther north, for those who are looking to add noteworthy species to their life list,” Towner says. Time to Explore: “Some of the best places to bird are situated within the city limits, while others are less than an hour’s drive away,” adds self-described dedicated birder John Pepin, deputy public information officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources office in Marquette. He also says birders in Marquette are


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keenly focused on the spring and fall migrations, as numerous bird types — from warblers to hawks and shorebirds — arrive to nest or pass through the area. He strongly recommends visitors bring binoculars and keep them handy, even if they’re just out riding around town, because you never know what you might see. With hundreds of miles of trails, 77 waterfalls, and great access to Lake Superior, “there are numerous places to chase interesting species. Our area has a great blend of high bluffs, coniferous and deciduous forests, riparian habitats, open shorelines (83 miles in Marquette County alone), and various parks to explore,” Pepin says. The city is centrally located in the Upper Peninsula, with superb day-trip opportunities available to nearby wellknown bird migration meccas. Pepin’s Favorites: “In the city, birders will enjoy the Presque Isle Bog Walk and Presque Isle Park, which are good places to view wetland, woodland, and shoreline species. Peregrine falcons nest in this area, and the bog walk’s wetlands have provided sightings of uncommon species such as least bitterns. I’ve seen various warblers, merlins, and soras. I also have the feeling that when (you’re) birding here, almost anything might happen to show up,” he

says. His other preferred spots for birding, especially if birdwatchers have limited time, include the trails along the Dead River, the upper and lower harbor breakwaters, Park Cemetery, Founders Landing, and small city parks. Towner’s Picks: “My favorites also include Presque Isle and the nearby Peshekee Grade and Kate’s Grade. An option a little farther to the east is Whitefish Point, which is a great place for viewing migrating birds, especially in the spring and fall. Another favorite location to the north is Brockway Mountain at Copper Harbor (735 feet above Lake Superior), at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, especially for migrating raptors,” he says. “Try birding in areas that offer something different than your home areas.” Their other hot spots include: • The designated songbird trail along Harlow Creek at the Little Presque Isle Recreation Area, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the watercourse of the Carp River, where a harlequin duck recently was a long-term winter visitor. • The trails to Miners Falls and Miners Lake, near Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, are ripe for fun sightings. Pepin reliably finds blackthroated blue warblers, one of his favor-

ite birds, along the Miners Falls trail, as well as yellow warblers along the trail to Miners Lake. • Grassland birds, including bobolinks and sharp-tailed grouse, often are spotted at the AuTrain Wildlife Management Area and Refuge near Limestone in Alger County. • “The beauty and magic of Peninsula Point on Delta County’s Stonington Peninsula is an incredible place to find spring migrants,” Pepin says. • About an hour to the west, birdwatchers can experience the beauty of the Peshekee River and the Michigamme Highlands, which are home to various boreal species, including boreal chickadees and gray jays. The McCormick Tract wilderness area and Craig Lake State Park, Michigan’s most remote state park, are nearby. • Towner says the Seney National Wildlife Refuge is another great birding spot, with opportunities to see trumpeter swans, common loons, and bald eagles. It has a very informative visitor center. Pepin reports that “Marquette County also has been home in recent years to nesting Kirtland’s warblers in small numbers, scattered widely throughout various young Jack pine stands. There’s typically a


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A northern parula.

handful of sightings reported in the region each summer,” he says. Recommendations: “For beginners,” Pepin suggests, “the Presque Isle Bog Walk or the trails at Little Presque Isle or Au Train Lake would be great places to start. The Laughing Whitefish Audubon Chapter offers birding outings, which are great opportunities for birders to ask questions and learn from patient, experienced leaders. Experts may enjoy picking through the numerous herring and ringbilled gulls along Marquette’s shores in search of rarities, heading to any of the 16

local riparian areas to look for spring migrants or chasing various accidental species, some of which seem to always turn up somewhere in the area during the spring migration or the weeks following.” After a day of birding adventures, Towner tells out-of-town birders to relax and enjoy the charms of Marquette, dine along the sidewalk at a downtown restaurant, or visit one of a growing list of brewpubs to toast their new bird sightings. For the next day, he says, “choose to do things in our beautiful natural environment that you can’t do at home.”

PLAN IT! Laughing Whitefish Audubon Chapter laughingwhitefishaudubon.org The group provides regular programming on birds from September through November, and January through April. Its Facebook page features member photos, rare bird alerts, and advice from accomplished local birders. The chapter also funds graduate-level bird research.


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Vineyard Ventures

Black Star Farms mixes outdoor adventures and wines in its new discovery package


fireplaces, soaking tubs, outdoor patios, or quiet sitting areas that beg guests to linger just a little longer with a good book, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine. As if the accommodations, views, and award-winning wines weren’t enough, two years ago Black Star Farms introduced its Outdoor Adventure Package as a way to encourage overnight guests to explore the scenic countryside and shorelines at their leisure. “This package has definitely brought us new guests and it’s fun to see parents with young adult kids coming to the inn because of it,” says Sherri Campbell Fenton, managing owner of Black Star Farms.

“We recently had three rooms booked from the same family — parents and three 20-something kids. It gives families an opportunity to do something together that will appeal to them all.” After a refreshing night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, guests can step out the back door of the inn and hop on a bicycle (or an e-bike) and pedal the short distance west on Revold Road to the Leelanau Trail (a 17-mile TART Trail route), which ends in Suttons Bay just three miles to the north. There, locally owned shops and galleries line the streets like a scene out of a painting. When hunger strikes, riders stop in



estled against the backdrop of sloping rows of grape vines and overlooking expansive horse paddocks, Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay has been one of the Leelanau Peninsula’s premier agritourism destinations since it welcomed its first guest in 1998. Located 12 miles north of downtown Traverse City — along scenic M-22, which skirts the freshwater coastline of West Grand Traverse Bay — this winery also boasts a 10-room boutique inn that exudes elegance and invites relaxation. Each distinctly designed room is named for various stars in the sky, and some offer cozy

By Dianna Stampfler


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Suttons Bay to pick up their picnic lunch from Black Star’s Hearth & Vine Café, and then meander across the street to the Suttons Bay beach for an al fresco experience. During the afternoon, it’s time to hit the water. Package participants can choose between a stand-up paddle board or kayak to enjoy the bay, with the village as a backdrop and the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay all around. After these adventures, guests return to the inn in time to freshen up for hospitality hour, which features select wines and small bites served indoors or on the covered patio or front porch. Black Star Farm’s seasonal café welcomes guests for lunch and dinner May through October, and there are numerous other dinner options within a short drive. Another option is to pre-order an artisan charcuterie board to go and head to Leland, to the west along Lake Michigan,

and end the day with a stunning sunset. “We were struggling to find something to do for our anniversary that was active, to fit our lifestyle, and the Outdoor Adventure Package checked all our boxes,” says Kim Bolt, of Grand Rapids, who stayed at the inn with her husband, David, last August. “We so enjoyed our bike ride on the trail, as well as our paddle-boarding and kayaking in the bay. Our picnic lunch was delicious and carefully prepared to accommodate our vegetarian needs.” The Outdoor Adventure Package is available to inn guests only. Advanced reservations are required, either online or by calling 231-944-1251 to schedule. The cost is $140 per person, plus room charges, with an upcharge for e-bikes. The package includes equipment rental, bike helmets, life jackets, a brief paddle board or kayak lesson, picnic lunch delivery, and a souvenir water bottle, as well as roadside assis-

tance and transportation service if needed. For something different, Black Star Farms also offers a Winter Adventure Package with snowshoeing and fat-tire biking activities.

PLAN IT! Black Star Farms blackstarfarms.com

This page: Participants in the Black Star Farms Outdoor Adventure Package can bike the backroads around Suttons Bay or explore the 17-mile-long Leelanau Trail. Opposite page: Guests sample wines after an action-packed day.


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Through the Lens More than 20 years after they published their first book, wildlife photographers Carl Sams and Jean Stoick zoom in on how they got started By Julie Bonner Williams | Photography by Carl Sams


t was the thing every writer and photographer fantasizes about: receiving phone calls from the two largest bookstore chains in the U.S., saying they want to sell your book. When that happened to photographerwriter Carl Sams, he said, “No, you can’t have it.” “Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy” was the first book Sams and his wife, Jean Stoick, published. Sams, who lives in Milford and spends time in Marquette and the Huron Mountains, says: “We printed 20,000 copies to start with. At the Art and Apples Festival in Rochester, this lady comes up to me in my booth (and) she (said she could) get Kiwanis to sell the book. (Kiwanis is an organization that helps kids around the world.) When Barnes & Noble and Borders called and wanted to carry the book, I said, ‘No, you can’t have it; I’m using it to make money for kids.’ ” After hanging up, Sams realized what he’d done. “So I called back and said, ‘If you match the money for kids, I’ll let you carry it.’ And they did,” he says. Since then, “Stranger in the Woods,” first published in 1999, has sold more than 1.5 million copies and won more than 25 awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award. It also became a national and New York Times bestseller. Sams’ wildlife photography, which has made his name known in the literary and photography worlds, was a long time coming. “I grew up hunting and fishing in my teenage years. I always wanted to photograph, but I didn’t have a camera. There was a photography class in high school, but you 20

had to have a camera and I couldn’t afford one. I took photos in my head,” he says. The years passed by, and Sams earned a builder’s license and a real estate broker’s license. One day, after working in real estate for what he calls “a long time,” he walked out into a nearby field while at a model home and realized it was the perfect place to try getting wildlife photos. He says it was the moment that would turn his life in a long-awaited direction. “I … started photographing bobolinks. That’s when I knew I’d crossed over,” Sams says. His long-awaited dream — becoming a wildlife photographer — is something to which he’s devoted. He frequently spends hours outdoors, often in frigid, Michiganwinter temperatures, awaiting the “perfect” shot. He has yet, however, to attain his personal holy grail of photographs: Getting a picture of a snowshoe rabbit, white animal on a white background. The closest he’s come so far, he says, was finding a group of the elusive creatures huddled under a car, where he wasn’t able to get the shots he hoped for.

Left to right: Carl and Jean Stoick are in front of the lens, for a change. A Sams photo that captures the breathtaking beauty of a pair of loons.

“(Another shot) I wanted to get was a deer eating the (carrot) nose off a snowman. I wanted to get that shot for the book. We had a snowstorm in March, and I thought, ‘This is probably going to be my last chance to get it this year.’ My friend and I were out there three and a half hours that day, (but I got what I wanted),” Sams says. He explains that the secret to capturing wildlife photos is about always being ready and having the camera ready. His signature style also involves getting a great background. “I look for backgrounds, and then behavior,” he says.

SEE IT! Learn more about Carl Sams and Jean Stoick and their books by visiting strangerinthewoods.com.


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Complete Your Michigan Experience With Michigan History Magazine From Star Trek and Detroit’s Green Book to Governor Milliken and the first women who trained to be astronauts, discover the history that has formed the Michigan of today.

hsmichigan.org • (800) 366-3703

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The Simple Truth Author Wade Rouse’s new work, “The Clover Girls,” showcases the Sleeping Bear Dunes and other area locales By Patty LaNoue Stearns


Early reviews say it’s a novel “you will forever savor and treasure,” and it’s been called “Viola Shipman’s (the author’s pen name) most beautiful and most important novel.” Rouse calls his book “a love story about friendship and a love story about Michigan, where four very different girls who become friends at summer camp in the 1980s lose touch, then reconnect, reunite, and reclaim themselves and their dreams.” The Clover Girls’ summer camp is outside Glen Arbor, and the novel prominently showcases the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Leland, and the historic log cabin that’s now the Cottage Book Store in Glen Arbor, of which Rouse — who grew up in libraries and bookstores — says: “If there’s one bookstore in America that screams ‘I’m Michigan,’ that’s it.” The book also takes readers on a scenic, sentimental ride across Michigan, and Rouse says “the four friends in the book are based on dear friends of mine.” The Clover Girls is certain to inspire readers with its message about the true meaning of living — and loving. Simplicity, as Rouse reveals, is the answer.

READ IT! “The Clover Girls” is available everywhere books are sold. It’s been selected as a Summer Target Recommended Book and will be available in all Target stores from June 27-Aug. 28.

A BOU T V IOLA No.1 international best-selling author, humorist, and writing teacher Wade Rouse has written 12 books, and his works have been translated into 20 languages. He uses the pen name Viola Shipman for his novels, honoring his grandmother, whose heirlooms and family stories often inspire his fiction. Writer’s Digest declared Rouse “The No. 2 Writer, Dead or Alive, We’d Like to Have Drinks With” — he’s sandwiched between Ernest Hemingway and Hunter Thompson. Rouse’s novels include “The Charm Bracelet,” a 2017 Michigan Notable Book of the Year; “The Hope Chest”; “The Recipe Box”; “The Summer Cottage,” the No.1 best-selling novel in Michigan in 2019; and “The Heirloom Garden.” He’s also written four well-received memoirs, and hosts the popular Facebook Live show, “Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour,” every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Viola Shipman author page. For more information, visit violashipman.com and waderouse.com.



ade Rouse is as warm and genuine in real life as the charming characters in his novels. The 56-year-old native of Missouri is in love with Michigan, his adopted home since 2006, and the “throwback, old-school” knotty-pine-paneled cottage on seven acres near Lake Michigan in Fennville that he shares with his husband, Gary Edwards. “I’ve written almost every one of my books from that cottage,” the author says. And even though he and Edwards winter in Palm Springs, Calif., he says no other state is as beautiful as Michigan in the summer. “Michigan resonates and reverberates in my soul,” the prolific writer proclaims. “The towns have such fascinating histories.” It’s been a highly emotional time for Rouse. The COVID-19 pandemic took one of his dear friends, as well as his father-in-law. “That shook me to the core,” he says, explaining that it made him reevaluate his life, his priorities, and especially his connections with childhood friends — many of whom he’d lost touch with over the years. “They knew us when we were our true selves — our simple selves — and the simplest things in life mean the most.” The past 12 months have also been exhilarating for Rouse, who recently signed a four-book deal with prestigious publisher Harper-Collins. Three of his novels are scheduled for release in 2021; the first, “The Clover Girls,” made its debut in May. MICHIGAN BLUE

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The paradise of Northern Michigan is more than a pristine beach, a day


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time, an emerging food scene, or Vegas-style gaming. It’s having all of those things at your fingertips. You won’t believe it if you haven’t seen it. Get up and go at grandtraverseresort.com.

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Meet metalsmith Christine Leader, and learn about her work inside this section.

26 Designers’ Notebook State park art, Michigan artist textiles, virtual assistance for design, and fish-inspired tiles.

26 Studio Visit A Charlevoix metalsmith crafts jewelry from her shoreline finds.

30 Design Stars Meet three talented designers who know their way around outdoor entertaining.

36 The Elements Adorn your cottage with Great Lakes blues, nautical nuances, and inviting curb appeal. MICHIGAN BLUE

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DESIGNERS’ NOTEBOOK Home-related tips, trends, and tidbits

FISH-INSPIRED: Walker Zanger’s scallop, or fish-scale-shaped tile trend, is one that’s both current and nostalgic. The curved edges create a softened touch and textured surface that can be refrained or emboldened, depending on material and color selections. Available at Virginia Tile Co., Michigan Design Center, Troy; and Virginia Tile Co., Farmington Hills and Sterling Heights. michigandesign.com, virginiatile.com, walkerzanger.com

Elemental Inspiration Michigan’s natural wonders star in one-of-a-kind jewelry


By Khristi S. Zimmeth | Photography by Scott Leader

’ve always wanted to live on the water,” admits artist Christine Leader, who says that she’s bounced around the state. After attending college in Detroit, the Battle Creek native and her fine arts painter husband, Scott, moved to Charlevoix — hopefully their final destination — four years ago.

Although they might not live on the water yet, they’re definitely getting closer. It takes the pair just seven minutes to walk from their home to either Lake Michigan or Lake Charlevoix. “We can hear the waves and feel the winds whipping off Lake Michigan,” Leader says. Clearly a source of inspiration, lakes

STATE PARK BOOST: Dearbornbased artist Carolyn Whittico is publishing a series of art prints featuring different state parks and natural places around Michigan. Part of the proceeds from her sales will be used to support Michigan state parks. acupofcloudy.com NEW TEXTILES: Milford-based watercolor artist Kelly Ventura is expanding her offerings from home décor and wallcoverings to include a textile collection, available in mid-June. She pays homage to the movements, patterns, and observations found in nature in her gestural style. kellyventura.com SCREEN TIME: Matt Mosher, the landscape architect who runs Mosher Design Co. in Royal Oak, just launched Dzinly, which virtually assists with seeing how exterior elements of your home will look. You can experiment with color palettes, lighting, building materials, and upgrades such as adding a portico, porch, or pergola. dzinly.com, mosherandassociates.com — Compiled by Megan Swoyer

Have news about waterfront living? Email MSwoyer@Hour-Media.com. 26


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also provide many of the raw materials featured in Leader’s naturally beautiful creations. Petoskey stones, beach glass, rare stones, and other pure Michigan symbols such as pine cones and leaves are at the heart of her distinctive designs. It was by another Michigan waterway — the Detroit River, while studying at Wayne State — that Leader found her calling. “I took metals as an elective and that was that,” she says. She went on to teach metalsmithing, manage a metalsmithing studio, and work at a jewelry company before starting her own business. She turned to jewelry-making in part, she says, when

she couldn’t find the one-of-a-kind adornments she wanted for herself. “My favorite artists are those who step out of expected boxes without a fear of experimentation,” she explains, adding that her search for the unexpected is “also what initially inspired me to work exclusively with Michigan stones and elements. I wanted something I wasn’t seeing in the market.” Clearly others want that, too. Leader’s innovative designs, set in recycled gold and silver, are sold online, at art galleries, and at select boutiques statewide. “My work is directly inspired by the incredible and vastly varying natural habitats we’re

surrounded by,” she says. “I’ve designed pieces off of specific sunsets, patterns in leaves, textures of bark, and more. I’m always conscious and respectful of any local and state rules for collecting rocks and materials for my jewelry,” she adds, noting that sustainability and recycling are important to her. “Michigan only allows 25 pounds per person, per year, to be collected on state land.” Most of her rocks — some millions and billions of years old — are found in northwest Michigan, between Manistee and Petoskey. She also likes to search the U.P.’s abandoned waste rock piles, located

Both pages: Christine Leader collects stones, glass, and more along Michigan’s shorelines to create unique jewelry in her Charlevoix studio.


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around old mine sites, for copper-studded specimens and other rare stones, and admits she never knows when something will spark an idea or design. “I’m looking for anything that catches my eye. Anything unusual or peculiar, I’ll grab. Some stones I pick up off the beach and immediately see a finished design in my head. It’s like the stone is telling me what it wants to be.” Her goal, she says, is to create future heirlooms. “People like to take a little piece of the lake home with them,” she says. “I like to think I’m capturing a moment forever in time, and that when my clients put on their jewelry, (they’ll be)

taken to a specific place, time, or memory with their special people. Every piece is naturally one-of-a-kind, because there are no two same hues of Leland Blue (a brightly colored stone that’s a byproduct of iron refineries; Leland had a refinery in the late 1800s, she says, and the byproduct was used as paver base for roads and pavement, or thrown into the lake) or patterns in Petoskey stones.” Plans include a new line of “jewelry for the home” — collections featuring Michigan stones, casting, and natural elements displayed in different-size shadow boxes. Leader describes them as “a brooch for your wall.”

Leader and her husband say they don’t regret giving up their downstate jobs to work full time as artists — even if they don’t yet live on the lake. “It was, hands down, the best decision we’ve ever made. We love this town and area so much,” she says. Northern Michigan provides more natural beauty and ideas than she can keep up with, she adds. “I’m that woman running through the parking lot after the perfect tumbleweed,” she says. “Inspiration, for me, is literally everywhere.”

MORE INFORMATION clmetalsmith.com

Christine Leader focuses on metalsmith techniques in her Charlevoix studio.



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Beautiful Transition Al fresco dining is a must for these Harbor Springs homeowners By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Beth Singer



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ill Nuding’s clients wanted to extend their outdoor space and enjoy outdoor dining, recalls the head of construction for Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. Located on Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Harbor Springs, the home underwent a full remodel, inside and out. “It was a super fun transition

Both pages: Jill Nuding, head of construction for Cottage Company of Harbor Springs, designed an outdoor space for clients who wanted to cook outdoors and enjoy dining al fresco. She removed a bank of windows and installed French doors to access the new kitchen.

where we removed a bank of windows and installed beautiful French doors to access the new outdoor kitchen,” says Nuding, who’s been with Cottage Company for 20 years. The residence was originally built by Cottage Company as a spec home. The construction head tells clients who want to create an outdoor kitchen to think first about convenience. “You’re adding an outdoor kitchen, so furnish it the way your indoor kitchen works,” she says. “Don’t skip the sink; you’ll want it! Don’t skip the beverage center, because I promise you you’ll want it. And give yourself enough counter space to prep, grill, and serve.” These clients, she says, “did everything to make it work for their family.” The outdoor kitchen, located on the home’s east side (the lake is on the west side), was once an open patio that was accessed from a lower level. Nuding, who’s currently building the clients a guesthouse, adds that Cottage Company’s interior design team was involved in procuring the furniture. Nuding says there’s no shortage of outdoor kitchen projects in northwest Michigan; in fact, she’s also working on three outdoor kitchens for a mixed-use project with views in downtown Harbor Springs, and she’s in the process of creating a rooftop outdoor kitchen for a single-family home. “We all want to be in the beautiful outdoors,” she says, “under the skies of Harbor Springs.”

MORE INFORMATION: cottage-company.com

LA K E LI FE LOW DOW N Living in Harbor Springs is like being on vacation all the time, says Jill Nuding, construction head at Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. “Our waterfront is so accessible, and our Cottage Company office is (in the) front row, (bordering) the harbor downtown. I literally see the beautiful water every single day.” Her favorite body of water, naturally, is Lake Michigan, with its “multiple shades of blue.” She also loves how you feel small when standing next to it. “It’s like an ocean,” she says. Nuding has fond childhood memories of spending endless summer hours playing in the inland lakes in northern Michigan. “(My cousins and I) negotiated with our parents, stating we didn’t understand why we had to stop playing to take a bath because we swam in the lake all day!” — MS

DESIGN STA R’S SECR ET “I love to cook for a lot of people,” says construction head Jill Nuding, of Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. If you’re like Nuding, you’ll want to heed this advice: “Don’t forget the convenience factor. Make a place for your spices and make certain your grilling tools fit in the kitchen drawers. Take time to think about how you’re going to use the space as an area to prepare and serve.” — MS MICHIGAN BLUE

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A River Runs By It

Outdoor cooking and entertaining with friends and family require an easy ebb and flow. This Saugatuck home’s got that and more. By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Ashley Avila Photography


hree years ago, when Marilyn Allemeier Nagelkirk and Laurah Boogaard started a design project for an outdoor entertainment area at a cottage on the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck, they knew it would be fun and turn out well. “The home is positioned so that the clients look out to the river, but the community of Saugatuck is right on the other side; it’s a great view,” says Nagelkirk, a longtime designer who founded Kitchen West Design Studio in Douglas (also re32


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Both pages, clockwise from upper left: The results of a top-notch project by Kitchen West Design Studio. The layout supports several needs including side burners, a sink, and beverage fridge. Design stars Marilyn Allemeier Nagelkirk and Laurah Boogaard.

DESIGN STA R’S SECR ET Knowledge of design and materials is a must for any design firm, but at K West another winning tool is teamwork. “Laurah (Boogaard) and I work as a team. We feel that benefits the clients immensely,” says K West founder Marilyn Allemeier Nagelkirk, who oversees kitchen designs as well as bar areas, pantries, and any space that requires or has cabinetry. “Having two of us keeps the line of communication open and detailed, with a lot of expertise,” she says. “I have 30-plus years of design experience and Laurah has 10. Our experiences are different, which makes us even stronger.” — MS


ferred to as K West) in 2004 and worked as a designer for years before that. “It was a run-down space when the homeowners purchased it,” recalls Kitchen West project designer Boogaard, “and there was no entertaining space out there.” It’s now a chic gathering spot replete with excellent decking material, creative poured-concrete countertops that are dense and durable, storage aplenty, and a perfect grilling and cooking area. “One of the most important things was to integrate the indoor kitchen with the outdoor space so the homeowners can

easily take things outdoors,” says Nagelkirk, who also oversaw the design in other areas of the home where there were cabinetry needs. “They entertain frequently and, pre-COVID, they’d have very large gatherings and needed everyone to be able to freely move back and forth between spaces.” Not only is there excellent connection between the inside and outside, but the elements literally flow from one space to the next. “The flooring (Ipe flooring) in the kitchen extends right out to the deck (Ipe decking) and their front patio,”

Marilyn Allemeier Nagelkirk has enjoyed family vacation homes on both Lake Erie, near Sandusky, Ohio, and Lake Michigan, near Stony Lake. Presently, Nagelkirk is designing her own home on Spring Lake (just north of Grand Haven), enjoying boating on the channel out to Lake Michigan, and her close proximity to client projects. “I’ve been around water all my life. Spring Lake is my love,” Nagelkirk says. Adds designer Laurah Boogaard: “I love to vacation by the water; it influences us.” And, of course, working near water is great, too. “Just the other day we were in steep dunes near Pentwater looking at a home,” Boogaard says. “It’s going to be a unique, beautiful, and challenging space to work on.” — MS MICHIGAN BLUE

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Nagelkirk says. Ipe is also known as ironwood, or Brazilian walnut, and works well outside because it’s scratch-resistant, bug-resistant, and stays cooler in hot weather. Referred to as the “Clam Shell” house by its owners, the residence is named after the number of clam shells that accumulate along the river’s shoreline. K West’s goals were to size up the space, and then learn more about the couple’s appliance needs. “We needed to create a layout that supports the appliances,” Nagelkirk says. “In this case, there isn’t just the grill, but (there are) side burners for creating side dishes, a sink with a faucet, an icemaker, and a beverage fridge.” The cooking area, along a side yard, is

in a narrow space and close to neighbors, so they had to work with the length of the area. “They wanted seating for as many people as possible, so we created two seating areas,” Nagelkirk says. When it comes to cabinetry, K West designs it all. Because the kitchen and cabinetry must withstand Michigan weather in all seasons, things like gasket seals, integrated outlets, covered outlets, floor drains, leveling legs, powder coating, and more come into play. Homeowners can choose things like hardware for the cabinetry, but other elements are standard givens, if it’s going to last. “The items are rated for exterior use,” Boogaard explains. Both of the women are members of the National Kitchen &

Bath Association and have taken national qualifying exams. “I carry the CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) and Laurah carries the AKBD (Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer) after her name,” Nagelkirk says. A lot is required to get those accreditations, and the two attend ongoing classes to maintain their status. “That’s what sets us (and K West) apart,” Nagelkirk says. “Very early on, I had a drive to improve the quality of people’s lives by improving their environment. Being in a space that’s beautiful and designed properly enlightens your daily routines.”

MORE INFORMATION: kitchenwest.com

From left to right: Storage space is a must for outdoor kitchens. From lounging on the deck to dining or cooking in the outdoor kitchen, space flow at this home works well and can accommodate large gatherings.



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Got the Blues?

Lamps, chairs, paint colors, and more in these watery shades add Great Lakes appeal to your vacation home By Jamie Fabbri 1. Timeless and refined, BENJAMIN MOORE’s Van Deusen Blue is a winner in traditional or contemporary spaces. benjaminmoore.com.

3. SERENA & LILY’s Sunwashed Riviera Side Chair (shown in Coastal Blue) is a reinvented classic. $268, serenaandlily.com.

2. Drift away with Stardew — a calming, muted blue gray hue — by SHERWIN-WILLIAMS. sherwin-williams.com.

4. The Portsmouth Chair in Blue Ikat from ARHAUS exudes quaint harbor charm. $1,499, Ann Arbor and Troy, arhaus.com.


5. Turn on the style with an Ionian Table Lamp by CURREY & CO. $530 suggested retail, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy, curreyandcompany.com, michigandesign.com.

7. THIBAUT’s Chamomile Wallpaper in Navy makes a statement. $80/single roll retail pricing, To the Trade, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com, thibautdesign.com.

6. The Driftway Chest by SERENA & LILY has a slightly weathered finish, matte lacquer, and brass ring pulls. $2,498, serenaandlily.com.


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Interlochen Center for the Arts inspires people around the world through excellence in education and the arts, providing dynamic opportunities for artists and arts enthusiasts of all ages. INTERLOCHEN ARTS ACADEMY | Grades 9-12 The nation’s premier boarding arts high school

INTERLOCHEN ARTS CAMP | Grades 3-12 World-renowned summer arts program INTERLOCHEN ONLINE | Grades 2-12 Live virtual instruction, master classes, and synchronous performances




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Ahoy, Cottage Owners! Catch a wave of nautical nuances with everything from shell pendants to oar décor By Jamie Fabbri 1. Capiz shells shine on in CURREY & CO.’s Cruselle Pendant. $990 suggested retail, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy, curreyandcompany.com, michigandesign.com. 2. SERENA & LILY’s South Seas Coffee Table offers natural warmth and easy elegance. $898, serenaandlily.com. 38

3. This Framed Blue Oar from ARHAUS is hand-painted with a simple, geometric motif. $899, Ann Arbor and Troy, arhaus.com.

5. Seas the day with this Anchor Hand-Tufted Indoor/Outdoor Rug from POTTERY BARN. $49-$329, multiple locations, potterybarn.com.

4. Add chic coastal style with the Liza Round Mirror by THEODORE ALEXANDER. $1,950, Michigan Design Center, Troy, theodorealexander.com, michigandesign.com.

6. Add organic interest to any room with the Slice Teak Wall Art from CRATE & BARREL. $429/two, Novi, crateandbarrel. com.

7. Set sail with LEE JOFA’s St. Tropez Print (in fabric and wallpaper) in Navy/Marine. To the Trade, Kravet/Lee Jofa/ Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy, kravet.com, michigandesign.com.


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Photo courtesy of: Dan Vis Builders Carly Visser, CVI Design Photos by Kaity

From lakehouse to farmhouse to your house, real wood ceiling and wall planks from Great American Spaces™ deliver the look you want—inside and out. Available in a wide range of texture, color and profile options. Find what inspires you at greatamericanspaces.com

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Curb Appeal

Guests who pull up to your cottage are sure to feel welcome, thanks to these decorative pieces By Giuseppa Nadrowski 1. This classic wicker rocker by ARTICLE features a durable synthetic material for inside and outside use. Medan Rocking Chair in Graphite, $429, article.com. 2. Slats of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified teak surround an aluminum liner in REJUVENATION’s contemporary take on a rustic


planter. Tall Jasper Square Planter with Legs, $559, rejuvenation.com.

4. This DWR feeder is made from recycled plastic, Bird Silo, $70, dwr.com.

3. With a weather- and faderesistant Trilux finish, this outdoor lighting option from CURREY & CO. is as durable as it is chic. Wright Small Outdoor Sconce, $1,220, curreyandcompany.com.

5. Inspired by the design of a “small-town gas station light from the 1930s,” REJUVENATION’s USAmade outdoor sconce comes in a myriad of colors. Carson Shepard’s Hook Wall Sconce in Matte Pine, $599, rejuvenation.com.

6. SCHOOLHOUSE’s locking mailbox is a retro design encased in a steel frame. Locking Mailbox, $149, schoolhouse.com. 7. With a patina finish, REJUVENATION’s house numbers evoke a casual feel, $60/ea., rejuvenation.com.


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info@omw.tc 231-947-2120 oldmissionwindows.com/BLUE/

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Kolbe Windows & Doors leads the industry with innovative products that push the boundaries and defy the limits of function, performance and style. Contact Old Mission Windows, northern Michigan’s premier window and door supplier since 1985, to schedule a personal design consultation today.

5/20/21 9:21 AM

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Pentwater Perch With four stories and two sets of spiral stairs, this quirky west Michigan retreat — the tallest house in town — is lovingly referred to as the family’s ‘birdhouse’ By Megan Swoyer | Photography by Martin Vecchio

Both pages: The Petrellas’ cottage is always ready for good times, at the firepit and on the deck, night and day.

he first thing your eye is drawn to on the third floor of Lisa and Ennio Petrella’s cottage is a pair of swivel chairs, and your first thought is likely to be: “I wish I was sitting there!” The comfortable seats look out to the tip of west Michigan’s Lake Pentwater and the adjoining channel to Lake Michigan, just a few feet from the Petrellas’ home. “We can just sit there for long periods of time and relax,” says Lisa, who runs Troy- and Detroit-based Lisa Petrella Interiors.“ In the summer, we watch large boats go in and out of the Pentwater Yacht Club. In the winter, you see ice floes. ”There’s no TV on the third floor, she adds — just the two chairs and the views beyond. “This is our quiet room for sitting and reading and daydreaming,” she says. The couple discovered the 15-year-old home seven years ago. “We were actually looking for a Victorian, as there are so many in that area,” Lisa recalls, but then they set eyes on a quirky sixbedroom, four-story home that was built by a man from Chicago who apparently had a passion for “partying,” as Lisa puts it. “It has two spiral staircases and seven balconies,” she says, “and we can sleep 26 people!” After the original owner sold it to the couple who lived next door, the new owners moved the structure 35 feet to make room for a new home they were building. When the Petrellas purchased the cottage, they knew there were changes to be made. Lisa’s keen eye quickly took in the spaces and made a list of necessary design modifications. “For one thing,” she says, “there were no closets in the bedrooms!” After about six months of renovations, the couple was able to start enjoying their newly designed, charming getaway. Tradespeople were hired to install engineered wood floors; add new kitchen counters and cabinetry; add 10-inch shiplap throughout; paint the walls in


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Left and below: Oranges and blues make a favorite color combination. A few nautical touches convey a lake theme.

pretty Simply White (by Benjamin Moore); renovate two of the four-and-ahalf bathrooms; add on to the deck; install new window treatments; create a firepit area; and refurbish an old shed by adding a new roof, cement floor, and electricity. The Petrellas also embellished the landscaping, which had 127 flourishing cedar trees when they bought the home. Today, the treescape — which provides great privacy — is complemented by black-eyed Susans, daisies, flowering cherry trees, Annabelle hydrangeas, hostas, and sea grasses (“we planted anything we could think of that the deer wouldn’t eat,” Lisa says). Then there’s the interior design. Lisa fell in love with a large poster that she purchased at an antiques store just steps from her cottage, and that was her jumping-off point. “I wanted the home to be bright, with a lot of white, and then I brought in splashes of color in the artwork — oranges, blues, and reds.” She also “shopped my own house in metro Detroit. Plus, I had things in storage, as many designers do, so that came in handy.” She says she also bought some items, including a chair for the great room and some outdoor furniture, from Four Hands. A wave of patterns adorn the cottage’s spaces, from gingham and plaids to koi-splashed fabrics. Polka dots, Ikat, and seersucker add dollops of fun. Lisa called on some of her favorite fabric companies, including Pindler, Schumacher, Kravet, and Ralph Lauren, to help bring her vision to life. The Petrellas had the home’s dark brown bunk beds, left by the previous owner, painted a lake-inspired blue. Ennio installed west Michigan nautical



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Right: One of two spiral staircases leads to yet another fabulous spot for taking in a sunset view.

“I wanted the home to be bright, with a lot of white, and then I brought in splashes of color in the artwork ...” — LISA PETRELLA


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Above and right: A charming vignette welcomes visitors, while the room on the third floor showcases amazing views of the lake and channel.



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Below: Have a seat and savor a summer’s day on captivating Lake Pentwater and the adjoining channel.


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Opposite page: Ennio Petrella’s favorite perch — the daybed. The guest room features checks and zigzags, and cheerful beach art.

maps as wallpaper in their powder room. They then placed map pins where their town, their cottage, and other favorite spots are located. Lisa selected a stained V-groove paneling for the ceiling. “I wanted it to look like a boat deck,”she says. The finishing touch? A nautical-style light fixture. Summer is a busy time. If the Petrellas aren’t cruising the waters on their pontoon, which is docked at the local marina, there are sailboat races to attend. In July, the couple throws a huge Fourth of July party; come August, they look forward to the town’s annual Homecoming Celebration. “There’s something every weekend,” Lisa says. With four stories, two spiral staircases, and those sunsetview balconies, no doubt there are several delightful perches at the Petrella cottage. A favorite for Ennio is the wooden daybed swing on the deck. Lisa designed it, and the craftspeople at South Carolina-based Lowcountry Swing Beds created it. She also hired Designer Furniture Services in Pontiac to make a mattress that can be left outdoors, using Sunbrella’s ticking from Schumacher. “I wanted the swing to look vintage and old,” Lisa says. “The house — I like to call it a ‘birdhouse’ — is perfect for us and our visiting family and friends,” Lisa continues. “And Pentwater is a cute little town with a farmers market, fun shops, and parades that are so Norman Rockwell-ish. Ennio asked me once, ‘Why didn’t we do this 20 years ago?’ “

Above and left: Ennio Petrella installed west Michigan nautical maps as wallpaper in the powder room. The blueand-white master suite suits the whole family.


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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER Lisa Petrella, Petrella Interiors, Detroit, Troy, petrelladesigns.com BALCONY Bed, Suspended – Custom, The Porch Swing Co. Cushion – Schumacher Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Fabricated by Designer Furniture Services, Troy Pillows, Accent – Pottery Barn Stool – HomeGoods Wall Paint – Simply White, Benjamin Moore Wall Treatment – 10-inch Pine Shiplap BEDROOM, GUEST Art, Beach – HomeGoods Bed Frame – Jenny Lind Bed, Land of Nod Bedding – Serena & Lily Drapery – Kravet Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy Gazelle, Ceramic – Made Goods Lamp – Made Goods Table – Antique Wall Paint – Simply White, Benjamin Moore


BEDROOM, MASTER Bed Frame – Century Furniture Bedding – Peacock Alley; Serena & Lily Drapery – Ralph Lauren, Kravet Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lamp – Doug Buffet Lamp, Stray Dog Designs Pillows, Accent – Romo-Fleur, Capri, Tulipa Table, Bedside – Stanley Furniture Wall Paint – Simply White, Benjamin Moore Wall Treatment – 10-inch Pine Shiplap DINING AREA Chair, Hostess – Lee Industries – RJ Thomas Ltd., Schumacher Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy Chairs, Dining – Four Hands Console Millwork – Custom-made by Mod Interiors (Design by Petrella Interiors, Troy, Detroit) Light, Above Table – Visual Comfort Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy FAMILY ROOM Armchair – Lee, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy; Schumacher Fabric, Bailey Seersucker, Blue Chair, Striped Fabric – Outdura, Pindler, Seacrest Denim Flooring – Somerville Wood Flooring Lamp, Table – Made Goods Ottoman – Custom, Designer Furniture

Services, Troy; Kravet, Brunschwig & Fils Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy Pillows, Accent – Custom, Pindler and Thibaut Fabric, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Pottery Barn Sofa, Cover Fabric – Nanda White, Pindler Table, Occasional – Made Goods Wall Paint – Simply White, Benjamin Moore Wall Treatment – 10-inch Pine Shiplap Window Shades – Montana Prairie, Hunter Douglas POWDER ROOM Cabinet – Custom Flooring – Somerville Wood Floors, West Michigan Carpet & Floor, Hart Light, Ceiling – Morris Flush Mount, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Treatment – Nautical Maps

Lisa Petrella loves to garden and often spends time at her potting table near the shed.

THIRD-FLOOR ROOM Chairs, Swivel – Lee Industries, RJ Thomas Ltd.; Fabric, Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Cots and Bedrolls – Hedge House (Bedrolls) and Byer Maine (Heritage Cots) Pillows (On Cots) – Serena & Lily Pillows (On Swivel Chairs) – Anthropologie Table, Wicker – Four Hands EXTERIOR Landscaping – Wessie Brothers, Hart

TABLE VIGNETTE Lamp – Vagabond Vintage Lighting, Overhead – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Mirror – Vagabond Vintage Table – Lillian August, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Paint – Simply White, Benjamin Moore Wall Treatment – 10-inch Pine Shiplap


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Paradise Naples, FL


Tracey Albert RE ALTOR®

Your Relocation Specialist

(239) 572-8643

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Tracey@LiveParadiseLiveNaples.com Stay Connected


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MIDWEST MODERN Harbor Country home rejuvenates a nature-loving family By Jeanine Matlow | Photography by Tony Soluri



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est Michigan provides a respite for many city dwellers, as this awardwinning custom build in Sawyer so deftly demonstrates. After years of renting in the Harbor Country area, the Massey family came to the conclusion that they needed more space for their family and a flurry of guests, and the idea for the exceptional residence was conceived. Following a hiatus spent visiting national parks with their children, Ruby, now 20, and Ethan, 17, when they were younger, William Massey — principal of Massey Associates Architects in Chicago — and his wife, Shari, returned to the Great Lakes State to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in Saugatuck. “My wife said, ‘Why don’t we look at buying a place?’ ” recalls Massey, who grew up vacationing on water. With the right location, he knew they could create their own haven from scratch. And as fate would have it, they found the perfect spot in Harbor Country — a region of eight towns along Lake Michigan known as a getaway destination — during a lake-effect blizzard. “We came across the site, over the hill from the top of the dune, and it was great,” he says about the land that met his top priorities. “It was wooded and it was on the water,” he says.

BOTH PAGES: On the main floor, the kitchen and great room (along with the dining area) are all one big space.


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His wife gave him carte blanche to design their dream home. The original plan turned out to be cost-prohibitive, so Massey went back to the drawing board after getting his wife’s feedback. The next plan stuck. At around 2,100 square feet plus a screened porch, the Scandinavianstyle structure feels just as comfortable for one as it does for the 10 who gather on holidays. “We can all sit at the table and they all have a place to stay,” Massey says. The magical location offers the perfect diversion to the family’s everyday life. “We have our city house, but being able to escape to a wooded area and 650 feet of beach, we love going any time of year,” Massey says. “With only 30 families in the neighborhood, we don’t really see that many people, except on the Fourth of July. It really ebbs and flows. “It’s an opportunity to just go hang out,” he adds. “I call it the cottage, but my wife and kids call it the beach house.” Both kids are swimmers who love the water, situated about 500 feet away from the home.




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In the summer, they try to get out of town on Thursday night, if possible. After unpacking, they head to their favorite spot: the two-story screened porch. “It’s like being outside without the bugs,” Massey says. “We go for a walk along the beach and wait for the sun to set. The spectacular sunsets on the lake are never the same — whether it’s the color of the water, or the waves, or the color of the sky. I love that aspect, that no two are alike.” Days get off to a leisurely start with coffee and the newspaper as the sun streams through the trees. “We might go for a run through the woods and the neighborhoods, and come back for lunch before going to the beach,” Massey says. “We usually never have plans. We call it ‘Pure Michigan’; we just kind of roll with it, shower up, have a drink, go to dinner, or order pickup (they did that frequently during the pandemic).” Massey appreciates the newness of the house. In the city, their 110-year-old home is more compartmentalized compared to the open floor plan of the cottage. And while their Chicago residence features dark wood tones, their retreat has a lighter look and feel.

THIS PAGE: Timeless furnishings merge with striking window designs in this daughter’s bedroom, providing serenity. OPPOSITE PAGE: The Massey cottage, including the dining area and great room, has a lighter look and feel than their home in the city.


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The exterior of the modern structure is clad in cement fiber shingles. Cathedral ceilings add volume to the four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home, which sports white walls and warm woods. The evolving landscape includes ornamental grasses, boxwood, lavender, and hydrangeas, along with weeping hemlocks and evergreens, which provide layers of screening. On the main floor, the great room, dining area, and kitchen are one big space. Timeless furnishings merge with striking material selections like the cross-cut travertine tile on the fireplace and the rift oak with a champagne finish on the kitchen island. Stainless steel toe kicks play against European white oak floors that have knots that add natural movement and character. In the end, Massey was in for a pleasant surprise. “I never wanted to live in something I built because I thought I would sit and nitpick, but I ended up not being critical of it. I just enjoy being there, and I thank my wife all the time for pushing us to do this,” he says. “As much as we love our house in Chicago, we can break it up and go to the cottage for a little bit, which is so refreshing.”


THIS PAGE: Fiber shingles clad the home’s exterior. Cathedral ceilings add volume. OPPOSITE PAGE: The evolving landscape includes ornamental grasses, boxwood, weeping hemlocks, and evergreens.

BUYER’S GUIDE ARCHITECT William Masssey, Massey Associates Architects, Chicago and Sawyer, Mich., masseyassociates.com

BEDROOM Bed Frame – White Headboard, Stainless Steel Frame, Copenhagen, Room & Board Bedding – White Quilt, Bar III, Macy’s Ceiling Treatment – Cathedral Ceiling; Benjamin Moore, Snowfall White Flooring – BoardHouse 8-inch-wide Plank European White Oak with Custom Finish, Apex Wood Floors Pillow, Accent – Room & Board Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Aura Paint, Snowfall White


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DINING AREA Benches, Dining – Big Sur, Crate & Barrel Chairs, Dining – CH24 Wishbone Chair, Black Ash Frame with Natural Paper Cord Seat, Hans Wagner Chandelier – Big Bang Suspension Lamp, Foscarini, Lightology Flooring – BoardHouse 8-inch-wide Plank European White Oak with Custom Finish, Apex Wood Floors Table, Dining – Big Sur, Crate & Barrel Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Aura Paint, Snowfall White GREAT ROOM (ALSO INCLUDES STAIRCASE) Artwork – Color Lithograph Chair, Leather – Callan, Vento Black Leather with Natural Maple Finish, Room & Board Fireplace – Wood-Burning Stove, Isokern Fireplace Treatment – Latte Vein-Cut Travertine Wall Tile, Materials Marketing; Horizon Grey Porcelain Hearth and Base

Tile, Artistic Tile Flooring – BoardHouse 8-inch-wide Plank European White Oak with Custom Finish, Apex Wood Floors Pillow, Accent – Room & Board Sofa – Cordoba Sectional, Domicile Furniture Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Aura Paint, Snowfall White KITCHEN Artwork – Water’s Edge, Margo Burian, Water Street Gallery, Douglas Backsplash – Satchmo Stick Linear Mosaic Tile, Artistic Tile Bar Stools – Collin, White Leather Seat with Matte Black Frame, Room & Board Cabinets – Custom, Massey Associates Architects, Open Grain Rift White Oak with Painted Finish and Linnea Satin Stainless Steel Pulls; Fabricated by All Seasons Woodworks, St. Joseph Countertop – Caesarstone, Blizzard White Faucet – Elio, Dornbracht, Crawford Supply

Flooring – BoardHouse 8” Wide Plank European White Oak with Custom Finish, Apex Wood Floors Hood – Viking Chimney Hood Island – Custom, Massey Associates Architects, Rift White Oak with Champagne Satin Stain; Fabricated by All Seasons Woodworks, St. Joseph Sink – Poise, Kohler, Crawford Supply; Undermount Sink, Stainless Steel, Inset Bamboo Cutting Board Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Aura Paint, Snowfall White EXTERIOR Building Materials – James Hardie, Cement Fiber Wall Shingle with Window Trim ,and Board and Batten Siding Entryway Board and Batten Color – James Hardie, Light Mist Masonry – Bluestone Flagging Roof – GAF Timberline HD, Asphalt Roof Shingles, Fox Hollow Gray

Shingles and Siding Color – James Hardie, Iron Grey Window and Door Trim Color – James Hardie, Arctic White Windows – Marvin Windows, Ultimate Series, Stone White ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Builder – Steve Tollas, Tollas Construction, Watervliet Fabricator/Cabinetry – Don Kluge, All Seasons Woodworks, St. Joseph Landscaper – Dan Starbuck, Starbuck’s Landscaping, Baroda


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M a k in g M e m o r ie s A rustic-style new-build cottage on Torch Lake is a getaway that will welcome family for decades to come By Khristi S. Zimmeth Photography by Beth Singer

Covered and uncovered porches take full advantage of the views of Torch Lake.



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ishing, hiking, sailing, skiing, and large family gatherings with lots of food” are among the memories the owners of this rustic retreat cherish from their childhoods — his in northern Michigan, hers in New England. It’s not surprising that, years later, they wanted to re-create those happy years with their own family. After many scouting trips to northern Michigan, the couple opted for a place on Torch Lake in Bellaire, in part because it offered “pristine water quality,” not to mention an excellent youth sailing program, nearby ski areas, and easy access to Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs. The active family, who live downstate but also have a home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., purchased an existing Mid-century home on the lake’s east side that boasted stunning sunset views in 2000. Less impressive, however, were the home’s ongoing water issues, caused in part by the lot’s 12- to 14-foot grade change, says architect Steve Werner, of Shoreline Architecture & Design in Petoskey, who also worked with his business partner, architect Michael Pattullo, on the project. Fifteen years later, the homeowners consulted with builders and architects about renovating the home — a plan they eventually abandoned. “Most said it would be more efficient and cost-effective, and we would end up with a more cohesive complex if we started from scratch,” the homeowner recalls.

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A fresh start meant they were able to prioritize what they’d always wanted in a lake home. At the top of the list was “a place our family will enjoy for generations,” the homeowner explains. “We wanted to have a home that was comfortable, with room for our extended family (and grandchildren in the future). But while we wanted plenty of room and comfort, we didn’t want our place to be overstated. It was very important to us that it fit within the environment. It’s somewhat hidden from the roadside and the water by native trees and other landscape. We both like the look and feel of the barns and ranches we’ve experienced in Jackson, Wyo., and wanted to bring some of that feel to Torch Lake.” The couple eventually selected their builder — Roger Widing, of Widing Custom Homes in Traverse City. They had also kept a thick inspiration file, which they passed along to the architects and interior designer Lucy Earl, of Jones-Keena & Co. in Birmingham, during the planning process. “Natural products, especially the blend of barn wood and stone, appeal to us,” the homeowner explains. Werner and Pattullo researched Western building styles — reclaimed mining structures in particular — and eventually landed on a style Werner calls “Mountain Rustic.” Popular out west, there’s nothing similar in northern Michigan. “I like how it embraces the site and the views,” he says. “It’s designed to capture as much natural light as possible.” Designer Earl says the architects “did a great job laying out the house; everything works fantastically.” THIS PAGE: Wood and steel elements were inspired by old mining architecture in the West. O PPO SITE PAGE: A first-floor hallway shows the homeowners’ art collection. Handpicked stone in the fireplace and overhead beams in the living room reinforce a “Mountain Rustic” look.

“ It ’ s c a p n a t p o s

d e s ig n e d to tu r e a s m u c h u r a l lig h t a s s ib l e .” – S t e v e W e rn e r MICHIGAN BLUE

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THIS PAGE: Splashes of crimson — including a red ladder, oven knobs, and a mixer — complement the kitchen’s otherwise black-and-white palette. O PPO SITE PAGE: Green chairs add a fresh feel in the dining room; the powder room features hand-stenciled Venetian plaster walls; and a pine hutch is filled with vintage and contemporary pottery.



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Texture plays a large part indoors and out, according to both the designer and the architect. Barn beams and stone complement the judicious use of steel and other industrial elements. A stone fireplace in the living room is among the designer’s favorite features, as is the open-plan kitchen, with its expansive soapstone island and bright red ladder. Earl integrated color “in small ways” throughout the home’s predominantly black-and-white palette. Also prominently featured is the family’s enviable art collection. “Textiles, rugs, and art — she loves the same things I do,” Earl says of the homeowner. For their part, the homeowners praised Earl’s ability to personalize their décor. “She quickly learned our sense of style and helped us refine it,” they explain, adding that the designer also introduced them to Environmental Artists’ Jeff Hennig, who integrated the structures and the landscape and added one of the female homeowner’s favorite features: a large raised garden full of organic vegetables and a spot she calls her “happy zone.” Guests might prefer the renovated on-site guest house or the new three-story barn, the only structure visible from the road. Built using reclaimed lumber, the barn features the same large beams and rustic style found in the main house. In addition to extra sleeping quarters, it houses an entertainment area with vaulted ceilings and a lower area that provides storage space for sailboats and other toys. Finished in 2017, “the house came together beautifully,” says Werner, who adds that “it’s one of the houses we’re most proud of.” The designer agrees, adding: “I wouldn’t do anything differently.” Earl says the two-year project “was just a blast.” The lucky owners spend approximately six months a year enjoying the lake and the home’s many pleasures. They treasure their quiet weekends, but point out that they’re seldom there alone — which is exactly what they had in mind when planning began. “Our niece recently had a wedding in northern Michigan and we actually had room to sleep 38 people,” the couple marvels, adding that they and their young adult children also host family and college reunions at the house each summer that are filled with fishing, hiking, sailing, skiing, and, of course, lots of food.



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“ ( Th e a r c h i t e d id a g r e a t j la y in g o u t th h o u se ; e v e r y th in g w o r k s fa n ta s tic a lly

c ts) o b e .” – Lucy Earl

THIS PAGE: An upstairs guest room is the preferred sleeping space among younger visitors. Two vanities in the master bath give the homeowners plenty of room to spread out. O PPO SITE PAGE: Who wouldn’t want to wake up to views of verdant trees and Torch Lake’s aquamarine expanse? Dark trim on the master bedroom’s bed echoes that on the nearby windows. MICHIGAN BLUE

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BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER Lucy Earl, Jones-Keena & Co., Birmingham, jones-keena.com BATHROOM, MASTER Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Ceiling Treatment – Travertine, Venetian Plaster, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion Countertops – Cristallo Honed Finish, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy Faucets – Rocky Mountain, Russell Hardware, Bloomfield Hills Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Mirrors – Frame, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Sconces – Covington Sconce, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Treatment – Venetian Plaster, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion BEDROOM, GUEST Beams – Reclaimed Wood, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Bed Frames – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Bedding – Pine Cone Hill, Annie Selke Lighting – Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Mattress Covers – Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore BEDROOM, MASTER Bed Frame – Metz Bed, Alfonso Marina Bedding – Halley Duvet, Alvasa Home Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Gap, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Chairs – Louis XVI Chairs, Cowtan & Tout Fabric, Alfonso Marina Drapery – Coraggio Fabric; Fabrication, Designs Designs Ltd., Wixom Fan – Quorum, Michigan Chandelier Co., Troy Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills 66

Lamps, Bedside – Clubcu Pillows, Accent – Daiquiri Pattern, Nobilis Paris, Lori Reed Rug – Nashville Rug Gallery Table, Occasional – Antique, Sleepy Hollow Antiques Tables, Bedside – Alfonso Marina Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore DINING ROOM Cabinets, Wooden – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Chairs, Dining – Verellen, Chatham House Interior Design, Troy; Upholstery, Nobilis Paris, Faux Leather Chandelier – Darlana, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Troy Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills Rug – Patrick Charles Ltd. Table, Dining – Elias Dining Table, Four Hands Home Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore FOYER Bench – Asia Minor Carpets Ceiling Treatment – Walnut, Salvaged Wood Beams, Steel, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Chandelier – Dos Cubos Pendant, Solaria Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets Staircase – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore HALLWAY 1 Artwork – Bodies Panel, Roberta Schilling, Designer Group Collection, Michigan Design Center, Troy Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Gap, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lighting, Ceiling – Dos Cubos Pendant, Solaria Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets Table, Display – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy

Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore HALLWAY 2 Door, Barn – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City; Paint, Positive Red, Sherwin-Williams Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Paint – Black Beauty, Lacquered Finish, Benjamin Moore HALLWAY 3 Chandelier – Ralph Lauren Roark, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lamp – Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Staircase – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac Wall Paint – Black Beauty, Lacquered Finish, Benjamin Moore HALLWAY, UPSTAIRS Lighting – Dos Cubos Lanterns, Solaria Railing – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore KITCHEN Appliances – Miele, Sub-Zero & Viking, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Backsplash – PMP Marble & Granite, PMP, Troy Bar Stools – Villiers Counter Stool, Alfonso Marina Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Board, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Countertops – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy Faucets and Sink – Julien, Advance Plumbing, Detroit Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills Hood – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Ladder – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City

Lighting, Ceiling – Darlana Pendant, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lighting, Sink – Tech Lighting, Lighting Resource Studio, Michigan Design Center, Troy LAUNDRY ROOM Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Countertops – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Lighting – Kennedy Hanging Lamp, Light and Living Rug – Asia Minor Carpets Wall Tile – EPRO in Pewter, Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy Wall Treatment – Gunmetal Lacquered Raffia, Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy LIVING ROOM Andirons – Delray Antiques, Atlanta, Ga. Art, Abstract – Graham Harmon Chair, Armchair – Noella Wingback in Wolf, Verellen, Chatham House Interior Design, Troy Fireplace – Brad Hagelstein Stoneworks, Traverse City Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills Lamp – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy Pillows, Accent – Sambra Charcoal, Jane Churchill Fabric, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Kuzu Oushak, Asia Minor Carpets Sofas – Milano Sofa, Alfonso Marina Table, Coffee – Four Hands Tables, Display – Casal Console, Alfonso Marina Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore POWDER ROOM Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Board, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Mirror – Custom, Widing Custom Homes,


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Traverse City Sconces – Watt Sconce, Waterworks Sink – Custom, Hard Topix, Jenison Wall Paint – Angel’s Trumpet, Benjamin Moore Wall Treatment – Venetian Plaster with Hand-Embossed Stencil Dots, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Architect – Michael Pattullo and Steve Werner, Shoreline Architecture & Design, Petoskey Builder – Roger Widing, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City Cabinetry – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey Home Technology Designer – Navot Shoresh, Spire Integrated Systems, Troy Landscaping – Jeff Hennig, Environmental Artists, Leland Masonry – Brad Hagelstein Stoneworks Inc., Traverse City Painting – AMS Custom Painting, LLC, Fife Lake Roof – Mills Construction Service, Traverse City

Stone Supplier – The Concrete Service Inc., Traverse City Trim Labor – North Park Construction Co. Inc., Empire Trim Material – Phillip Elenbaas Millwork, Traverse City Windows – Marvin Windows distributed by Thomas & Milliken Millwork Inc., Traverse City Wood Floors –Bob Trudel Floor Covering Installation, Buckley

THIS PAGE: Even the halls have personality. Here, a red barn door and eye-catching art lead to the laundry room, which also doubles as canine quarters. The home is equally comfortable for humans and their animal friends. A three-story barn on the premises provides additional sleeping quarters, as well as off-season storage.


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Say Cheese Meet Michelle Nix, charcuterie queen


By Jamie Fabbri | Photos by Kat Stevenson

heese and charcuterie are sure to please just about any palate, especially when handcrafted and paired beautifully with fruits, nuts, and sweets. The premise is simple, but the endless combinations and presentation truly make it an art form. Michelle Nix of Grosse Pointe Farms has turned the art of charcuterie-crafting into a profitable side hustle since starting cheese + honey at the end of 2019. What began as putting together a cheese board for a girlfriend who needed help with an event has evolved into a business offering various sizes of boards as well as picnic boxes, mini personal boxes, and brie kits equipped with everything you need to make a seasonal baked brie dish. Nix says making her first boards “lit a fire in me.” As the wife of her lifelong friend, John, mom of two children (Henry, 6, and Penelope, 1), and a working dental hygienist, Nix’s days are full — but she’s always strived to find time for herself and her passions. She credits cheese + honey as being the missing piece to a puzzle she had been trying to complete for years. “Prior to my current career in dental hygiene, I went to both Michigan State University and a private design school in Chicago for interior design. I’ve always had a passion for design, and these cheese boards were the


perfect way to combine my love for design and food,” Nix says. Nix comes from an Italian family and loves the emotions attached to certain smells and dishes, and how they bring people together. She credits her nona for her entrepreneurial spirit: “She was a hardworking businesswoman who came to the United States from Italy. She and my grandpa had a produce stand at the Eastern Market, among many other business ventures. She was feisty and fierce, but smart and hardworking. I try to channel her business sense and spirit.” Nix also notes her mother’s hosting and planning skills, which have been an inspiration to her in life and in business. “Everything in my life leading up to this business was the perfect road map to cheese + honey,” she says. “There are so many beautiful and creative charcuterie boards on the market,” Nix continues, “and they’re all unique. My boards feature carefully placed floral designs and a variety of seasonal garnishes and produce. I try to use Michigan cheeses like Idyll Farms (Northport) goat cheeses or Farm Country Cheese House (Lakeview) cheddars. I also work closely with Carmela Foods (Fraser) for products. My boards also feature a Michigan small-business owner’s allergy-friendly crackers (from The Real Renee). During some holidays I collaborate with Grosse Pointe Park’s Cute Sugar to give customers the perfect balance of sweet and savory.”


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WHAT’S CHARCUTERIE? Charcuterie is a French term for prepared meats, says Michelle Nix. “Technically, it has nothing to do with cheese and is often misused when referring to cheese boards. Our cheese + honey boards are filled with cheese and charcuterie — neither prepared by me, but carefully selected and presented thoughtfully on a board. I like to say ‘curated cheese and charcuterie.’ ”

NO MEAT, NO DAIRY? NO PROBLEM! Those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer call for the perfect charcuterie! Cheese + honey has just the ticket, and a bottle of Michigan wine makes it even tastier!

The beauty of a cheese and charcuterie board is in the customization, including options for vegans. Here are a few tips for vegan (or any) charcuterie boards: 1. Keep it simple. No need to overcrowd — simply highlight a few star items. 2. Make it colorful. Focus on seasonal fruits, like strawberries and cherries. 3. Add texture. This can be done through breads, crackers, and dips. Consider gluten-free crackers, if needed. 4. Experiment. Try different vegan cheeses and meat substitutes until you find the right ones. Ask your local grocer or farmers market vendors for their suggestions.


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Nix’s presentations also always include honey (a small jar or a stick, depending on the size of the board). Through cheese + honey, Nix is able to merge her love of food, design, and bringing people together. While business slowed last year due to COVID, things have picked up again as people want to connect with friends and family more than ever. Cheese + honey has become a way for people to say hello, happy birthday, thank you, or to express their sympathy. For those who want to make their own presentation at home, Nix’s No. 1 tip is to start with the cheese: “The cheese is your focal point — the fireplace mantel, the art piece you want everyone to see. Then go from big to little.” MORE INFORMATION To place an order or learn about updates, check out cheese + honey on instagram @cheeseandhoneymi. Facebook features menu updates at https://linktr. ee/cheeseandhoneymi. Or contact Michelle Nix, shown below, directly at cheeseandhoneymi@gmail.com. Delivery is available in metro Detroit, or you can pick your order up in Grosse Pointe Farms. Nix plans to offer workshops in the future for those interested in learning more about creating a great charcuterie presentation.

STAYING TRUE TO RED, WHITE, AND BLUE Michelle Nix loves a theme, and Fourth of July is no exception. Her business, cheese + honey, has curated Fourth of July boards in the past that include red, white, and blue items plus different elements like star-shaped cheese and candies. “A must for Fourth of July is berries — they’re the perfect festive summer treat!” Nix says. Some suggestions for Foruth of July gatherings, plus some starring products: 1.

Include blueberries and strawberries. You can’t go wrong with these fruits, especially in the summertime. Use dried cherries or other chewy elements. Sour and gummy candies come in the right colors, and are fun for kids and adults. Have fun with shapes. In addition to star cutouts, think about arranging items in the shape of the American flag, or use star-shaped bowls for dips, candies, and nuts.

2. 3.







1. The THIRTYSTONE Stars Marble & Wood Cheese Board is the perfect serving piece for your party. $112, Macys, multiple locations, macys.com. 2. Go bold with THIRTYSTONE’s Wood & Enamel Tray. $134, Macys, multiple locations, macys.com. 3. The Festa Glass Red Star Dish by VIETRI adds a fun and festive touch to your spread. $58/four, The Italian Dish, Birmingham, theitaliandish.com, vietri.com. 4. VIETRI’s Santorini Stripe Square Platter is chic and stylish — great for Fourth of July gatherings and beyond. $54, The Italian Dish, Birmingham, theitaliandish.com, vietri.com. 5. This versatile American Flag Tray from WILLIAMS-SONOMA makes an ideal serving tray or gift for the hostess in your life. $16.95, multiple locations, williams-sonoma.com. 6. Dish out patriotic charm with WILLIAMS-SONOMA’s American Flag Appetizer Plates. $35.95/four, multiple locations, williams-sonoma.com. 70


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150 CENTER STREET DOUGLAS, MICHIGAN 49406 269.857.8880 www.kitchenwest.com

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This perspective of a Little Traverse Bay marina in Harbor Springs is breathtaking.


Little Traverse Bay’s allure infuses energy into Petoskey-area getaways


covers Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne Falls, Bay Harbor, Alanson, Bay View, and Boyne City. This beautiful lakeside region maintains “a healthy respect for its history, architecture, and culture,” he says. Adds assistant director Diane Dakins: “When Little Traverse Bay is dancing in the sunshine, even the most churlish of vacationers can’t help but be captivated by her allure. Fishermen, boaters, kayakers, and jet skiers, for example, take advantage of the clean waters of the bay and our inland lakes. The varied terrain means hikers and bikers (on the roadways, paved paths, and mountain trails) get the best of both worlds — flat and leisurely, or hilly and exhilarating.” Fitzsimons says downtown Petoskey’s signature feature is the famed and walkable Gaslight Shopping District, a collection of around 80 family-owned shops and more than a dozen restaurants. Harbor Springs, meanwhile, is known for its specialty shops, marinas, and fun places to eat — such as the classic waterfront Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, whose airy outdoor deck rates among my summer favorites. What else makes the list of favorites?

Fourteen wineries, six breweries, and four distilleries, all well worth a visit; a selfguided Ernest Hemingway Petoskey driving and walking tour; the Little Traverse Conservancy, which features more than 60 preserves around the region for hiking and bird-watching (including the Sunset Coast Birding Trail); and a promise (fingers crossed!) from Fitzsimons that many of last year’s COVID-canceled events and cherished activities are coming back with pizzazz this summer. Best Bets: The area’s charm centers around its natural beauty. The region presents a wonderful environment for golf courses, the arts, shopping and dining, water sports, biking or hiking, parks, historic sites, and so much more. It’s an inviting mix that’s hard to find elsewhere. The stories on the following pages include updates that showcase the splendors of life all around Little Traverse Bay and highlight what visitors can expect this summer. Enjoy!

PLAN IT! Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau petoskeyarea.com



xperiencing the picturesque 20-mile drive around Little Traverse Bay reveals why this slice of Lake Michigan’s splendid north country attracts so many visitors. It’s a delightful route I’ve traveled countless times: rolling through M-119’s famed Tunnel of Trees into the charming cottage town of Harbor Springs; driving past Petoskey State Park, where the sunsets seen from its westward-facing beach prove dazzling almost every night; and swinging around into the historic Bay View community — and then on to Petoskey’s downtown shopping district — before landing in the ever-developing golf and boating resort area of Bay Harbor. Together, these points frame a mesmerizing waterfront landscape of the approximately eight-mile-long and 3.5-milewide featured attraction that reigns over this laid-back, yet lively, Up North destination. “Petoskey sits on a bluff overlooking the bay. The panoramic views and sunsets over the water never get old,” claims Peter Fitzsimons, executive director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, which

Stories by Ron Garbinski


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Amazing Views


Take to the water to experience a different perspective

hat makes water sports activities so special around Petoskey? “It’s simple,” says Don Marszalec, owner of Bahnhof Sport in Petoskey. “Everyone can enjoy the water, and it’s everywhere you look and go. Most folks want the Lake Michigan experience, even the kids. Seeing the water is one thing, but to be on it is a whole new experience. Visitors often comment about the clarity and color of the water, and compare it to the Caribbean.” Good News: “Lake levels are receding from all-time highs in 2020,” Marszalec reports. “It’ll be down a foot or more, which will make access to the lakes and rivers much easier.” That means the waterways this season “shouldn’t be all look, no touch,” he adds. “Seeing northern Michigan from the water paints a completely different picture of the amazing vistas and brings them into more of a 3-D view. “Once you’re on the water, your adven-

ture is just beginning. A simple paddle can be an hour or all day, depending on your strength and ability. You can cross Little Traverse Bay to Harbor Springs, for example, which is about three miles, or take the picturesque shoreline route back, which is five miles.” That kayak, canoe, board, or boat adventure depends on your desires, he says. “Lake Michigan offers wide open water. Be sure to look at the views. The inland lakes (Crooked and Walloon) offer the calmest paddling for the inexperienced, and (there are) beautiful houses to see. They also offer distance, if that’s what you’re looking for. Lake Michigan can be for all levels, with the breakwall offering shelter from the waves, and the vast open water for the brave at heart.” He says families will love paddling a tandem kayak, so they can bring along the young ones and not worry about them veering off on their own in a single kayak. Top 3 Picks: “First, a morning paddle on Lake Michigan when the water is calm, quiet, and the boat wake is minimal. It’s a

great way to enjoy your morning beverage of choice,” he says. “Second would be Crooked Lake. It’s close, calm, and has a sand bar to paddle to — or even a paddle around Oden Island. More adventurous paddlers could head up the Crooked River all the way to Lake Huron.” Marszalec’s third pick is the white-water park near downtown. “This course offers the thrill and excitement of mountain paddling right here in Petoskey. The Bear River Recreation Park is a stretch of the Bear River, just before it enters Lake Michigan. We equip visitors with rubber boats, wet suits if they’d like, helmets, paddles, and some advice for a fun-filled time.” So, plan ahead to enjoy the views. Bahnhof offers equipment rentals for all experience levels at three-hour, all-day, or multi-day options. — RG PLAN IT! Bahnhof Sport bahnhof.com

Paddle-boarding around the bay is a popular water sport for families.


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The 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway connects Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and Charlevoix.

Biking & Hiking


iking Petoskey country ranks among my favorite rides. From the gorgeous M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route bordering Lake Michigan south from Cross Village to a delightful waterfront ramble through downtown Harbor Springs past charming cottages and Petoskey State Park, and then on to Charlevoix along the Little Traverse (Bay) Wheelway, they’re all part of a fantastic web of fun biking adventures. Add in the North Western State Trail (NWST) to Mackinaw City and you’re talking lots of good times in the saddle! That’s a big reason why people visit the Petoskey area, confirms Brent Bolin, executive director of the Top of Michigan Trails Council. “It’s the ‘Up North’ lifestyle — en74

joying inland lakes, forested preserves, charming small towns, and Lake Michigan. Traveling by trails is a great way to connect to these resources because it engages you in the journey and gets you into the great outdoors that you came up north for in the first place,” he says. “Biking or walking to your destination helps you (get) into the vacation by slowing you down and making the journey part of the experience. In one (long) northern Michigan summer day in the Petoskey area you can bike, swim, kayak, shop, and still have hours Runners of daylight enjoyleft the adventures.” forested trails to just relax or go on other around Marquette Use of the Top of Michigan Trails Netthatitareoffers available work is booming because great to outdoor biking and hiking opportunities for all enthusiasts. experience levels, with a variety of options for distance and difficulty.

“Thankfully, we have plenty of room on our trails, such as the iconic Little Traverse Wheelway — 26 miles of dedicated trail connecting Petoskey around the bay to Charlevoix and Harbor Springs, and our entire 250-mile network stretches north to Mackinaw City and east all the way to Alpena,” Bolin says. “The wheelway, for example, is very flat and accessible through Bay View and Petoskey, but features some ups and downs as you head toward Charlevoix.” The trails organization opened several new tracks last year: The Boyne Valley Trail, which now connects Boyne City to Boyne Falls and passes through Boyne Mountain Resort, and a new section of the Burt Lake Trail. This year, look for more activity on the Burt Lake Trail and the next section of the Charlevoix to Boyne


Let the good times roll along the amazing Top of Michigan Trails network


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City Trail. Maps of all the trails are available on the council’s website and at the Packy Offield Trail Center. Bolin’s Favorites Include: • “Our Packy Offield Trail Center sits at the junction of the Little Traverse Wheelway and the North Western State Trail, so we see and talk to a lot of trail users, many of whom tell us we have one of the best trail systems they’ve used,” he says. “I always say that the beautiful northern Michigan scenery does the heavy lifting for us, but equally important is the vision and foresight to build not only iconic trails such as the Little Traverse Wheelway, but also a 250-mile network connecting the whole region.” • “The Little Traverse Wheelway has wonderful water views and is always a good choice for a day trip,” Bolin suggests. “The NWST from Spring Lake Park to Alanson connects to Round Lake and the Oden State Fish Hatchery, which is well worth a stop.” • “Farther afield from our area, I love the North Eastern State Trail and send people there all the time,” he adds. “It’s another rail trail that runs from Alpena to Mackinaw City. It’s not difficult, but long sections of it pass through beautiful and remote natural areas, creating a unique experience. Trailheads can be accessed via a 45- to 60-minute drive from Petoskey.” 3 Tips: Bolin says there are several local bike shops that rent bikes. Call ahead. If you want to shorten your rides, the Little Traverse Bay Ferry offers summer service between Bay Harbor Lake Marina, Josephine Ford Park in Harbor Springs, and Petoskey’s Bayfront Park. There are several public Lake Michigan access points along the trail network where you can hunt for Petoskey stones. “If you come by the Trail Center on M-119, I may even tell you my personal spot for rock-picking,” Bolin laughs. — RG

Creative Diversions


Arts scene gears up for ‘rousing’ new season

rowsing the charming collection of local art shops, galleries, and art centers provides a creative diversion for those attracted by the outdoor options available. That’s why there’s a reason to rejoice, as the Petoskey region’s art havens and community events ramp up momentum for a rousing return. “After last year’s COVID-related trials, artists, performers, musicians, and galleries are all excitedly looking forward to the opportunities the summer season will provide — outdoor concerts and performances, artist paint-outs, art fairs, safe social gatherings, and more,” says Alex Dailey of Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Most programming is free and open to the public. “The arts scene here is special because a thriving and collaborative community of artists and art appreciators exists here. The galleries and shops support local, regional, and Michigan artists,” Dailey adds. Why Visit: “Our lectures, outdoor concerts, free arts activities, exhibits, and sales gallery are all great reasons to visit the Petoskey area,” she says.

The CTAC stands ready (pending additional COVID restrictions) to reboot a spectacular season. Here’s a sampling: • Now in its 40th year, the annual Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park Series kicks off at noon on Wednesdays and Fridays from June 16 through Aug. 20. Visitors can watch Michigan musicians perform at the Pennsylvania Park gazebo. • A weekly Open Studio offers free sessions for all ages and skill levels,10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. A teaching artist will be on hand to help inspire creativity. • The 24th annual Dart for Art fundraising event, featuring the pastel work of Heidi Marshall, is slated for July 14 and 15. • Kindred Traditional Arts of the Little Traverse Bay Bands (LTBB) of Odawa Indians will run Sept. 20-Dec. 4. Developed in partnership with the LTBB, the exhibit includes historical and contemporary examples of Odawa art and more, plus pieces from private and public collections. — RG PLAN IT! Crooked Tree Art Center crookedtree.org

Proceeds from the annual Dart for Art fundraiser help support CTAC.

PLAN IT! Top of Michigan Trails Council trailscouncil.org


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The Links at Bay Harbor Golf Club overlooks Lake Michigan.

A Golfer’s Dreamland


ou’ll relish Pure Michigan moments on every hole of the 17 amazing (they’re also humbling, if you let a wicked slice like mine affect your game) golf courses in Petoskey country. Seven outstanding local tracks complement the 10 absolutely divine courses under the three-resort Boyne Golf umbrella. For wonderful water views, I maintain you can’t beat Crooked Tree Golf Club or the trio of nines (The Quarry, Links, and Preserve) at Bay Harbor Golf Club, just south of town off U.S. 31. You’ll love the manicured Up North terrain and fairways at the other gems, a few of which I still need to cross off my own to-play list. When asked about an ideal Petoskey itinerary, Peter Fitzsimons, executive director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, admits: “Mine would be to golf all


day. It’s just that great!” Adds Ken Griffin, director of golf sales and marketing at Boyne Golf: “The quality and variety of the courses, in such close proximity, is unmatched anywhere in the United States. Often, when numerous courses are found in close proximity, the terrain is very similar. But we’re fortunate to offer mountain courses, wetlands courses, quarry courses, and lakeside courses. Petoskey’s location on the far western side of the Eastern Time Zone means long days in the summer (so you can) play multiple rounds per day, or experience the many other activities area Runnersthe enjoy offers once you’ve enjoyed courses.” the the forested trails around What to Expect: “At thisMarquette time last are available year, we all had morethat questions than outdoor answers about how the 2020 to golf season would play out, or even if we enthusiasts. would have a golf season,” Griffin recounts. “We’re op-

timistic that we’ll have a 2021 season with less questions and more vaccines that will allow everyone to get out and enjoy the season with less risks than last summer.” Most courses cover large tracts of land. That means a typical round could take four to five hours, Griffin says. “Green fees vary, based on the time of year, day of the week, and time of day. That range could be from $65 to $400, for example, for a round on the Links/Quarry course on a busy day in the middle of summer. Springbrook Golf Club near Boyne Falls offers a great value, as does Chestnut Valley north of Harbor Springs.” Boyne Updates: “We’re adding a TrackMan Range to the 32-acre driving range facility at the Ross Golf Center at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs,” Griffin says. “We’re also making upgrades there to the Donald Ross


17 courses offer unmatched quality, variety, and Pure Michigan memories


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Memorial Golf Course. Completion of this phase is targeted for the fall.” • The Heather, Boyne’s first course — designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1966 at the Highlands — won the National Golf Course Owners 2019 Course of the Year award. • Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Courses include the Links/Quarry (No. 82) and The Heather (No. 92). • GolfPass recently listed Boyne Golf as the No. 1 Golf and Ski Resort experience in the U.S. • The Inn at Bay Harbor, one of only 115 U.S. Marriott Autograph Resorts, is an Editor’s Choice award-winner for Golf Resorts, as determined by Golfweek. Boyne Best Bets: “Each Boyne course is unique; they’re very different experiences. The Alpine at Boyne Mountain in Boyne City and The Heather are two of our best for inexperienced golfers. There are beautiful views, and not many forced carries,” Griffin says. “We also offer six tee boxes on every course and encourage golfers to play from a box that allows them to enjoy their round.” Guest Favorite: The Arthur Hills Course at the Highlands. Its layout ambles through a pine forest with dramatic vertical drops and incredible views. Most Challenging: The Moor at the Highlands — a true test of your skills. Where Locals Play: Crooked Tree, especially after the workday ends. Where Golf Buddies Hang Out: Boyne Mountain’s Disciples Village. Incredible Views: The Quarry is one of a few true quarry courses in the country, while The Preserve is a delightful parkland course. Both offer amazing views of Lake Michigan. All of this excitement makes me want to tee it up this summer with Fitzsimons and play all day! How about you? — RG

A Quiet Escape


Book time to explore the Bay View campus

he gorgeous Victorian Bay View Association cottages overlooking Little Traverse Bay east of downtown Petoskey always intrigued me. Finally, one memorable weekend, my wife and I got out of the car, criss-crossed the area on foot, and discovered lots of wonderful amenities that are open to the public. We enjoyed two nights at the historic Terrace Inn, which was built in 1911 and today features 38 cottage-style rooms and larger suites. The inn’s 1911 Restaurant and huge welcoming porch for happy hour and dinner service (it faces Fairview Park and has water views) added to our cozy bed-and-breakfast-style experience. “Founded in 1875, the Bay View Association has unique Victorian architecture, a beautiful campus, and a 137-acre woods preserve,” says Executive Director Mike Spencer. “We’re a national historic landmark and welcome visitors to learn about our (Chautauqua) history. We have 445 cottages (some available for rent by the week), two historic inns, and about

30 common buildings including a library, museums, and seven parks.” Spencer says this summer’s agenda includes concerts, worship services, classes, lectures, and recreational opportunities, much of it open to the public. He suggests checking the association’s website. “We’re one of the oldest music conservatories in the country. Each summer, about 50 to 60 music students come to learn, study, and perform with our resident music faculty. Our 30 to 40 resident music faculty come from all over the country and include professional musicians and college professors.” — RG PLAN IT! Bay View Association bayviewassociation.org

Stunning Bay View cottages like this one are worth seeing.

PLAN IT! Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau petoskeyarea.com/play/golf


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Casual & Unstuffy Tastings

Above: Guests sample wine selections on the 3,000-square-foot patio at Petoskey Farms Vineyard. Below: The Rudbeckia Farm/Winery once was a 190-acre dairy farm.

Tip of the Mitt winemakers specialize in cold-hardy grapes and distinctive varietals

Vickie Wysokinski, owner of Rudbeckia Farm/Winery and Burnt Marshmallow Brewstillery, which share a tasting/taproom area, adds: “Most visitors love our casual, ‘unstuffy’ approach to wine-tasting. They love that they get to be adventurous and try wines from grapes they’ve never heard of. They’re surprised at how many places they can visit, and that there’s so much to do and see.”

Runners enjoy the forested trails around Marquette that are available to outdoor enthusiasts.


Her winery started in 2015 on a 190acre former dairy farm, where 10 acres of vineyard were planted. The Petoskey company also began distilling in 2020. Roush and Wysokinski agree it’s always time to kick back and relax, because the focus is on fun at all of the tasting rooms in the 14-member Petoskey Wine Region (formerly the Bay View Wine Trail). It’s part of a larger Tip of the Mitt American Viticultural Area (AVA), which covers wineries/vineyards in a band of counties (Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, and Presque Isle) across the upper Lower Peninsula. The Tip of the Mitt is farther north than the other four federally certified AVAs in Michigan. That presents challenges and opportunities for the winemakers when it comes to growing the cold-weather-hardy grapes used in hybrid varietals such as Marquette, Petite Pearl, La Crescent, Frontenac, and many others produced in the region. “Lake effect conditions from Little Traverse Bay and the Straits of Mackinac often create colder and windier winter seasons, meaning varietals typically planted downstate can’t withstand the



roprietors often hear visitors talk about two surprises they experience while sampling the wines, spirits, and brews of northern Michigan. The first thing guests don’t expect is the personal interaction with the owners of many Michigan wineries — which are, by and large, family-owned and operated. “Many other wine regions have become very large, busy, and commercialized. We’ll often hear the comment ‘people are so kind in this area,’ ” says Tracie Roush, co-founder, along with her husband, Andy, of Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery. The couple planted their first grapes in 2012 and opened their Petoskey winery/tasting center in 2014.


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harsh conditions up here,” Wysokinski explains. “Most visitors are unfamiliar with the area and the grapes. The tastings are generally geared toward education, so everyone feels welcome.” The wine and spirits scene around Petoskey is fairly young, and local winegrowers are pioneers in cold-climate wines. “This is extremely exciting,” Wysokinski says. “Among the wineries that make up the region, each started with a family’s passion to create one-of-a-kind tastes and deliver unique experiences.” Roush adds that visitors don’t have to be experts to savor the joys of Up North wines. “Every palate is unique and different, and all of your senses impact your tasting and, ultimately, your experience. Ask your server for suggestions. If you’ve never had wine or cider before, it’s OK. We’re here to help make your first experience relaxing and memorable.” Favorite Spots: “I have a few,” Roush admits. “Up for a walk in the woods? I prefer Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs, as they have more than 200 acres of grounds, are open all year, and offer food, wine, beer, hard cider, and activities.” Roush’s tasting room, which was remodeled over the winter, added more outdoor seating to its 3,000-square-foot patio, all overlooking her 22-acre farm with 11 acres of vineyards. Tasting Options: Talking about other AVA members, Wysokinski likes Maple Moon Sugarbush Winery. “It’s one of the only wineries making wine from maple syrup. They also make wines from grapes. “Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery is the largest and longest-established winery (2004) in the area. They have an exceptionally large tasting room with seating inside and outside. It’s also the perfect place to take a classic tour of winery operations, from grape to glass,” she says. — RG

PLAN IT! Petoskey Wine Region petoskey.wine

Destination Highlights


Suggestions to round out your visit

elow, some of our experts share a few favorites and provide insights to ensure your visit checks all the boxes. Day-Tripping: “Four wineries, two breweries, and a distillery near Bay Harbor are quite close together (and only require) four stops. Start your day with a visit to Walloon Lake Winery, then proceed to Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery, move on to Resort Pike Cidery and Winery, and end at Rudbeckia Winery/Burnt Marshmallow Brewstillery for a facility tour and a private ‘lunch in the vines.’ Make reservations.” — Vickie Wysokinski, Rudbeckia Farm/Winery All’s Fare: “Breakfast in the H.O. Rose Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel offers stellar bay views. Don’t pass up the sticky buns! Park at Bayfront Park and walk to Magnus Park, or rent a bike and ride to Alanson and back, stopping along the way at Oden State Fish Hatchery. Have lunch at City Park Grill, a favorite for great food, history, and tablecloths the kids can write on. Tour the Little Traverse Historical Museum. Have dinner at the Vintage Chophouse|Winebar, Sage, or The Terrace

Inn. Go back to Sunset Park or East Park and catch a million-dollar sunset.” — Diane Dakins, Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau Water View: “After biking the local trails, ride the Little Traverse Bay Ferry, which criss-crosses the bay with stops in Bay Harbor, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs.” — Brent Bolin, Top of Michigan Trails Council Take a Look: “Grab a coffee/drink from North Perk before walking through Pennsylvania Park to listen to the live performers. Pop into NorthGoods for uniquely Michigan gifts, Merchant and Tailor for your vintage clothing needs, or McLean & Eakin Booksellers.” — Alex Dailey, Crooked Tree Arts Center Near and Far: “Tour the Earl Young homes and Castle Farms in Charlevoix. Stargaze at the International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City. Visit the Good Hart General Store, Legs Inn, and Three Pines Studio along M-119’s Tunnel of Trees. The family-friendly Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs has animals, a winery/brewery, and farm market. They’re all fun times.” — Peter Fitzsimons, Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau

The Stafford’s Pier Restaurant’s airy outdoor deck overlooks the Harbor Springs marina.


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C Island

P Adventures


Guidebook author outlines tempting tour of seven Great Lakes-surrounded nature destinations Story and Photos by Maureen Dunphy


he time may come when you just want to get away from it all. In Michigan, we’re fortunate to have an abundance of lakes we can escape to. In fact, it’s been written that the Ojibwe Native Americans who lived here believed “water is the first medicine.” While visiting the shore of a Great Lake certainly might help, consider that swaths of the Great Lakes are studded with islands. Ferrying across the water to one of those beautiful destinations might really take care of any wanderlust or desire to escape from your routine, even briefly. Imagine starting in southeast Michigan and heading north to embark on an islandhopping arc that involves ferrying to Harsens Island, Bois Blanc Island, Drummond Island, Grand Island, Beaver Island, and North and South Manitou Islands, and dipping into Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan on your way. When you’re surrounded by water, you may be surprised at how easy it is to shed any stress or doldrums you may be holding onto. Set aside two weeks, or an entire summer, to travel by ferry to all these less-discovered islands, or plan to take a series of day and overnight trips during Michigan’s May-through-October season of warmer-weather delight. Let these islands serve as the bow for your spirit’s arrow.



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Watching the freighters glide by is a favorite pastime when you have a ringside seat at Harsens Island’s San Souci Bar and Restaurant on the St. Clair River.

Straits of Mackinac island. And Bois Blanc (aka BobLo) exudes a very laid-back attitude. “What really stuck out for me were the people; (they were) incredibly welcoming,” Barbara Osher, of Franklin, says about her experience there. Maybe while you’re on the dock at The Pines, sun glinting on the water, you’ll run into someone you haven’t seen in 20 years — or maybe you’ll meet your new best friend. It’s island magic. As the island’s own singer-songwriter, Dan Reynolds, croons: “Heaven’s going to have to look a helluva lot like Bob-Lo, and if it don’t, I don’t want to go …”

Drummond Island

You can make an easy day trip to Drummond Island, beginning with a 10-minute ferry ride across the St. Mary’s River in the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula. Drive around this big island in your car, or stay a night or two so you can see and experience more. If you really want to slow down to island time, this is a good island on which to do it. You can rent a cabin for a week, hike on the Maxton Plains Preserve, hike to and along the Fossil Ledges, or follow the Drummond Island Township Park Heritage Trail, making a stop at the Drummond Island Historical Museum. Be sure to keep an eye out for puddingstones, a most unusual rock. Stop by the Puddingstone Rock Shop at North Haven Gifts to get some pointers on finding these jasper conglomerates that can only be found in an east-west band of 50 miles, primarily in Ontario, but also in a small area of Michigan, and particularly on Drummond Island.

Grand Island Harsens Island

Located near Algonac, this is where you can get close to the huge freighters plying the St. Clair River without getting wet. After a short car ferry ride, head to the Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Museum to learn about the history of the Flats, of which Harsens Island is a part. Then pedal your bike around this flat island to your heart’s content; water will be in view most of your way around.

Bois Blanc Island

You may think you know the Straits of Mackinac if you’ve been to Mackinac Island, but a very different island vibe awaits you to its south, at the other end of a 30-minute car ferry ride from Cheboygan. One of my favorite stops was the Bois Blanc Island Historical Society Museum, in the island’s one town of Pointe Aux Pins, which is closed until further notice. Pick up a self-guided tour map of the island at Hawk’s Landing General Store and Deli. Vacation rentals are available. Riding a bike is a great way to tour this much larger, much less crowded

Grand Island is another island that’s just a 10-minute, people-only ferry ride away from the mainland. You’ll travel out into Lake Superior from Munising, near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Once on the island, start off at the Grand Island Visitor Contact Station before taking the Alger County Transit’s twoto three-hour tour, which occurs once a day Tuesday through Saturday. This island can be a day trip, but if you want to take full advantage of the sandy beaches and great hiking on trails that are also perfect for mountain biking (bikes are available to rent on the island), plan to stay a night or two. You have choices of designated rustic camping spots or four cabins that are available to rent.

Beaver Island

No other island in the Great Lakes has such a history (it’s the only place on the U.S. mainland that once MICHIGAN BLUE

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had a ruling king) or perhaps holds such magic. The island — which has a lot of connections to Ireland and the Irish — is sometimes referred to as “America’s Emerald Isle.” Beaver Island has more history and more nature preserves than most of the other destinations in this tour, and thanks to an Irish bar or two, the Whiskey Point Brewing Co., a beautiful public library, and a studio where island artists display their work, it’s more of a town than most Great Lakes islands. However, Lake Michigan beaches and the island’s woods are what call to many who come to visit and often stay longer than expected. Janet Prater of Plymouth is one of those visitors who became a cottager, then became an islander for a bit, and now heads to her cottage whenever she can. “My sweetest memories of Beaver Island have to do with the wonderful quiet and the incredible beauty of nature. This is the best dark spot to view the Milky Way. The Northern Lights are thrilling. The island people are the real beauty of the island. They seem to understand that many folks love a quiet, private life, and that desire is honored,” Prater says. Beaver Island is a 32-mile, two-hour ferry ride from Charlevoix. Cars are permitted on the island.

Above: St James Harbor, Beaver Island, glows at sunset as light shines on the Harbor Light and Central Michigan University's Biological Station. Below: The Beaver Island Historical Museum and Mormon Print Shop is worth a visit.

The Manitou Islands

While the pair of Manitou (North and South) islands appear similar, both in legend — they’re the twin bear cubs to the mother bear of the Sleeping Bear Dunes — and on the map of Lake Michigan — both are parts of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — they’re not accessible from the same Manitou Island Transit ferryboat. A day trip is possible to South Manitou. You can take a hike, even if you’re not staying overnight in one of the three campgrounds. Popular day trip hiking highlights include a lighthouse, a shipwreck visible from shore, a cemetery, a schoolhouse, giant old-growth white cedars, and Florence Lake. Hiking to the perched dunes is worth a night of camping. One night of camping is minimally necessary on North Manitou because of the ferry schedule. The island has a preserved historic village, and a cemetery and old buildings from the island’s logging and farming eras await dis-

The Francisco Morazan, built in 1922, ran aground off the shore of South Manitou Island in 1960. It’s one of 16 shipwrecks in the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve.


covery by hikers. The rest of the island is being “rewilded,” meaning efforts are underway to restore its natural and wilderness areas. “Rewilding” is a good description of what a visit to a Great Lakes island can do for you. When the land on which you stand is surrounded by water, life takes on the rhythms of the waves, be they gently rocking toward or crashing on shore. When light, or the lack thereof, is magnified by water, you can’t help but follow its subtle shifts. A stay on a Great Lakes island can change you in myriad ways you may not be able to predict. That’s good medicine for whatever ails your spirit. About the writer: Maureen Dunphy, who has visited more than 135 islands, is the author of two books: “All About the Great Lakes” and “Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure,” which covers more than 30 islands and introduces readers to 50 more. Search by book title at wsupress.wayne.edu/books.


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Lovely Lexington! Read about this Thumb-area port and its small-town charm inside this section.

86 Tasting Room Sippin’ along the Sunrise Side in Tawas City and Harrisville — cheers!

90 Dining Out A taste of St. Clair with a side dish of freighterwatching and sailboats galore.

94 Book It Spend the night, lend a hand, and help restore the state’s iconic lighthouses.

96 Discoveries Lexington offers a quaint harbor escape, perfect for beach-combing, shopping, golfing, and more. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Alcona Brew Haus

Harrisville favorite prides itself on allergen-free dishes and gluten-free beer options


The Brew Haus features 14 beers on tap, glutenfree mead, and cider.

and all it has to offer.” Being allergy-aware doesn’t mean the Alcona Brew Haus’ menu is lacking. Guests can order many traditional dishes such as paninis, pizza, burgers, pulled pork, and a brisket entrée (a visitor favorite). Every dish is available with allergenfree options such as gluten-free buns or pizza dough, or even dairy-free mozzarella. The kitchen doesn’t use products that contain peanuts, tree nuts, or shellfish. There’s good news for beer lovers, too: The appetizers and main courses aren’t the only allergen-free options at the Alcona Brew Haus. The bar offers 14 beers on tap, gluten-free mead and cider, and serves allergen-free cocktails, as well. For more sensitive diners, Arens has a special menu that lists each dish and charts what allergen it might contain. “For diners

who may be unsure of the food choices,” Arens explains, “we’ll go through the options with them to ensure they have a safe, enjoyable experience here.” Customers who come in with serious food allergies have sometimes been overwhelmed with emotion when they discover they can safely order almost anything they want. For those people, eating out at the Brew Haus becomes a real treat. “We had a family drive more than two hours to bring their 15-year-old daughter with serious allergies here to eat,” Arens says with pride. “When she found out she could eat whatever she wanted on the menu, she got up and hugged the server!”

PLAN IT! Alcona Brew Haus



p North along the winding U.S. 23 Lake Huron sunrise side in Harrisville, the Alcona Brew Haus offers an appetizing variety of menu items, all created and served with a unique twist. Many inventions are born out of their creator’s need to solve their own problem. Case in point: When Sandy Arens wanted to take her 10 children out to eat, a series of food allergies made it nearly impossible for the family to enjoy a meal in a restaurant. As her children grew older, peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg, sesame, and berry allergies increasingly became a problem. So Arens went back to school and earned an associate degree from the nationally renowned Schoolcraft College culinary arts program so she could become a better cook for her family. Recognizing a larger need, Arens decided to open a restaurant where many offerings focus on allergen-free foods, and in May of 2019 she welcomed her first guests to the Alcona Brew Haus, where she trained her entire team to be allergenaware. Located on pretty U.S. 23, where groves of hardwood trees line both sides and beckoning Lake Huron rolls just to the east, the restaurant is a welcoming sight in this neck of the woods. Picnic tables and a patio adorn the outside, while indoors, a cozy Up North feel — highlighted by a gorgeous stone-surround fireplace — abounds. “I’m passionate about helping others,” Arens says. “I wanted to provide a safe place for people with food allergies to dine out.” Arens also loves the Harrisville area, and wanted to bring another eatery to the community. “Many people go to the west side of the state,” Arens says. “I wanted to help draw people to the beautiful Lake Huron side

By Chuck Warren


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The Boathouse, which offers 10 beers on tap, has a view of Tawas Bay.

Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery Lifelong friends serve up tasty grub and brews with Tawas Bay views


hen childhood friends Nichol Palumbo and Stephanie Rose decided to open a waterfront restaurant on U.S. 23 in Tawas City, their husbands agreed to help — as long as they could brew their own beer on the premises. Palumbo’s husband, Todd Howser, had made the beer for their wedding 22 years earlier, while Rose’s husband, Bill Tipton, developed an appreciation for Belgian beers while stationed in Belgium with the U.S. Army. “Both guys were home-brewers,” Palumbo says. “It’s something they’d been tinkering with for years.” In 2012, the two friends discovered a vacant 100-year-old historic building that once had been a restaurant and was being considered for demolition, to be replaced by a parking lot. The pair decided to purchase the structure and remodel it.


The result was Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery, which was born in 2017. Both Rose and Palumbo had successful careers when they purchased the property. Rose was a photographer, while Palumbo had been a practicing attorney and local prosecutor. When Palumbo decided to run for judge in 2016, she knew she would have to find a new job if she lost. She wasn’t elected. Then, another catalyst helped push the friends toward their new business idea. “Todd was selling RVs and decided it was a time for a change, so we jumped into the restaurant business head-first,” Palumbo recalls. Facing east on U.S. 23 with a beautiful view of Tawas Bay and a city park, the brewpub serves handcrafted, scratch-made fare utilizing local supplies and produce whenever possible. The menu includes smoked brisket tacos and smoked French onion soup, among many other dishes.

Although the menu attracts plenty of repeat business, the beer and cocktails are so good, they say, boaters will pull up as close as possible to the city park beach, then wade to shore to pick up to-go orders or top off growlers. The Boathouse offers 10 different beers on tap, most of which are brewed in-house in a two-barrel system. Flavors include Tawas Beach Blonde, Gravelly Shoal IPA, and Belgian Joie Du Lac (Joy of the Lake). Thankfully, the city began installing new day slips across from the restaurant this spring, so once they’re complete, loyal patrons arriving by boat should be able to stay dry as they make their way to the Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery’s front doors.

PLAN IT! Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery boathousebeerco.com


By Chuck Warren


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Waterfront Delights

Two St. Clair River eateries feature great entrées with a side of freighter-watching


to move close to the Michigan shore, visitors get an intimate view of these gigantic vessels — sometimes they’re so close, you can wave to the crews. As an incentive to visit their establishment, The Voyageur’s website showcases a few videos of the freighters in action. The river plays an important role in St. Clair’s history. The town began as a British fort in 1764. In the 1820s, it was developed by former U.S. Sen. Thomas Palmer,

the same man behind Detroit’s Palmer Park and another park of the same name in St. Clair. When it was first platted in 1828, Palmer named the then-village after himself; it was later changed to St. Clair, in honor of American Gen. Arthur St. Clair. The river town became a resort destination, in large part due to its mineral spas, in the steamship days. Today, the community features a beautiful boardwalk that spans five miles along



n the historic town of St. Clair, perched along the rolling international river of the same name that separates Michigan from Ontario, visitors can watch massive freighters glide by while enjoying the fine fare and relaxing amenities at two celebrated waterfront favorites: The River Crab and The Voyageur. Thanks to a sandbar that runs along the river bottom and forces passing freighters

By Patty LaNoue Stearns


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the busy river; it’s the longest such freshwater structure in the world and a nice way to see this charming town by foot, or get a firsthand look at the ocean-going and Great Lakes freighters.

TH E R I V ER CR A B Just north of downtown, a fine-dining, white-tablecloth restaurant with a huge outdoor deck facing the waterway features Executive Chef Scott Schneider at the helm. After a difficult year with reduced staff and mostly carryout-only service, he’s hoping life will be back to normal this summer.

“We’ve always been really busy for the annual St. Clair Art Fair (in August),” says the 30-year veteran, who worked his way up the ropes to chef. His menu is big on seafood such as lobster, crab cakes, and scallops, and also includes steaks and chops, fish and chips, and pasta. A customer favorite is the Cajun chicken tortellini. The Caesar salad and Martha’s Vineyard salad are hits, he says, as are happy hour offerings and the amazing Sunday brunch. “Everything’s fresh — I make all the salad dressings and everything else from scratch,” Schneider says.

Big picture windows, impeccable service, a piano at the bar, and a rustic yet elegant vibe are hallmarks of River Crab, once part of the Chuck Muer family seafood chain. It was sold in 2002 to Landry’s Restaurants. Boaters can pull up to River Crab’s dock after a day on the water and enjoy drinks and dinner on the expansive and comfortable outdoor deck. Inside, there are private dining areas for special events. For a delightful getaway, or if you want to spend more time enjoying the river life, the Blue Water Inn next door (also part of Landry’s) promises water views from each of its 21 recently remodeled rooms.



Another big-windowed eatery with a beautiful deck located near where the Pine River empties into the St. Clair River, this local favorite is a fun emporium that includes a fine-dining restaurant with a separate sports bar and bowling alley dating back to 1954. Owner Mike LaPort modernized the hotspot after he took over in 1996. Today there are well-distanced tables inside, and lots of room on the huge outdoor deck. LaPort says the piano bar is always popular, and the music is piped out to the deck in warmer weather, where guests can sip a Margarita and sing along.

This page: The River Crab’s menu includes crab encrusted Dynamite Scallops. Opposite page: The River Crab’s outdoor deck provides a comfortable environment to watch the St. Clair River boat traffic. MICHIGAN BLUE

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Above: The Voyageur’s huge outdoor deck is a popular place to watch the busy river traffic. Below: Diners often stroll along the St. Clair River boardwalk prior to enjoying their meals.

“Our menu changes with the seasons,” LaPort says. “We have the best perch, and in the summer our shrimp fest, with shrimp on skewers, is very popular.” The Voyageur’s menu offers a wide variety of soups, apps, salads, sandwiches, steaks, chops, and, of course, delicious seafood. Guests also can book a two-hour bowling party with a variety of food choices at the St. Clair River Lanes. It’s connected to the restaurant and sports bar, which also has great views of the freighters. LaPort just joined the boatnerd.com network, which posts all kinds of cool information about Great Lakes shipping and freighter traffic. It also tracks which vessels are floating by at any particular time, so even if it’s raining, The Voyageur has more than just great food on the menu.

After a hiatus due to the pandemic in 2020, the 50-year-old St. Clair Art Fair plans to return Aug. 28-29. Ralph Beattie, office manager for the St. Clair Art Association, says it’s one of the longestrunning art fairs on Michigan’s east coast, and more than 80 artists’ booths will fill Palmer Park across from the mall at Riverview Plaza. “We’re really excited that this is happening again,” Beattie says. For some diversions before dining, check out the St. Clair Historical Museum, the Art Center, the City Boat Harbor, Palmer Park, which offers outdoor entertainment on summer nights, and the shops, boutiques, and eateries at Riverview Plaza.

PLAN IT! The River Crab/Blue Water Inn rivercrabbluewaterinn.com The Voyageur thevoyageur.com





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S U M M E R 2 0 21 | B O O K I T

Lighthouse Renovations

Volunteer opportunities (some include overnight stays) allow you to help preserve iconic sentinels on both sides of the Mackinac Bridge


welve years before Michigan was admitted into the Union, its first lighthouse was constructed along the shores of Lake Huron at Fort Gratiot, north of Port Huron. Over the next century dozens of lights would pop up not only along the Great Lakes coastline, but offshore, on various inhabited and vacant islands and on naturally formed shoals or man-made cement cribs. Over time, the wind, water and waves — and, in some cases, vandals — wreaked havoc on many of these beacons. In recent years, dedicated groups of historians and

By Dianna Stampfler volunteers have taken charge of restoring the lights with vim and vigor, while also inviting an eager public to join in the process of preserving these iconic landmarks. The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) was the first organization to tackle the massive project in 1986, when it obtained a 30-year license for the abandoned St. Helena Island Light Station near St. Ignace and began the daunting task of bringing it back from the brink of collapse. Two years later, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places; today it welcomes hundreds of summer volunteers and visitors.

GLLKA then set its sights on the Cheboygan River Front Range Light, and began its refurbishment by upgrading the living quarters to safely house volunteers who host public tours, while simultaneously working on restoration and maintenance tasks. Thanks to two grants from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP), GLLKA has evaluated and subsequently initiated the rebuilding and resheathing of the lantern box and gallery. MLAP grants — funded by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Save Our Lights license


This page: After extensive restorations, the 83-foot-tall DeTour Reef Lighthouse has hosted hundreds of visitors. Opposite page: When volunteer work is completed on the White Shoal Light, the 121-foot-tall lighthouse may accommodate up to 12 guests.



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B O O K I T | S U M M E R 2 0 21

plate program — were awarded this year to projects at Crisp Point Lighthouse, North Manitou Shoal Light, and Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in the collective amount of $126,667. Since 2000, SHPO has awarded nearly $2.7 million in matching fund grants to nonprofit lighthouse organizations statewide. SHPO funds were instrumental in the work that’s been completed at the 83-foottall DeTour Reef Lighthouse, located near Drummond Island in northern Lake Huron. It was one of the last lights to be built in the Great Lakes, in 1931. Founded in 1998, the DeTour Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society (drlps.com) has worked diligently to restore this remote Upper Peninsula light and create a unique historical maritime attraction. “The success of our society is based on the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, donors, members, and the loyal support of grant agencies for the 14 restoration and educational grants received from 1999 to 2013, for a total value of $1.2 million,” says Jeri Baron Feltner, founding director emerita of the society and the 2016 recipient of the Beacon Award presented by the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance. “Since the first public visitor’s program in 2005, hundreds of lighthouse enthusiasts have enjoyed touring the restored lighthouse and participating in the over-

night keeper programs,” she says. Built in 1910, the White Shoal Light in Lake Michigan, about 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge, is one of the state’s most recognizable lights, and features red-andwhite candy cane (or legendary barber pole-style) striping. For the past five years, the White Shoal Light Historic Preservation Society (preservewhiteshoal.org) has been actively restoring this towering structure, with the hope of opening it up for both day tours and overnight stays. When complete, the 121-foot-tall lighthouse will accommodate up to 12 guests in six private rooms, plus a staff of three. For now, however, the only way to spend the night in this towering light is to volunteer to work on restoring her. The latest offshore light to join the restoration ranks is Spectacle Reef Light, located about 18 miles east of Cheboygan in Lake Huron, which marks one of the most treacherous stretches of the Straits of Mackinac. The Spectacle Reef Preservation Society (spectaclereef.org) — a 501(c) (3) educational organization — was recently formed to preserve this 1874 light. Marty Rosalik, an automotive engineer from metro Detroit, serves as technical director for the project. He spent the previous three years helping refurbish White Shoal. He’s now working with a handful

of other co-founders, including Tom McBride. McBride and his wife, Jackie, own and operate The Shoal Shoppe (shoalshoppe.com), an online store that generates restoration funds for Spectacle Reef and nearby Waugoshance Lighthouse. Another co-founder of the group is Patrick McKinstry, who has more than 20 years of lighthouse restoration experience, including directing operations at Saginaw River Rear Range Light in Bay City, which is owned by the Dow Chemical Co. “We’ve been gaining interested organization members and volunteers, but we need to support people’s needs out there first,” Rosalik says. “Electricity and hot water are ideas in the works. We have plans that involve solar, wind, and diesel for power. We’ll eventually offer longer stays, with a resident keeper program, and hope to provide public tours that will focus on the history of the light and educating visitors about why lights like this were deemed necessary, given the huge task to build them.”

PLAN IT! Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association To learn more about lighthouses offering restoration and day, overnight, weekend, and seasonal keeper programs, visit gllka.org. MICHIGAN BLUE

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A Quaint Harbor Escape Lexington offers beautiful Lake Huron beaches and inviting charm


y vacation daydreams often include soft, sandy beaches, outdoor adventures, and plenty of places to shop, eat, and explore. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do with my husband — research, plan, and enjoy a relaxing beach getaway. Lucky for us, one of those destinations is close to our home in southeast Michigan. About a 90-minute drive from metro Detroit, nestled along the banks of beautiful Lake Huron in Sanilac County, lies the village of Lexington. With scenic views, small-town charm, and warm hospitality,


By Jamie Fabbri Lexington offers inviting opportunities for fun and relaxation. Whether you’re a foodie, a golfer, or a beach lover, there’s a little something for everyone in this historic fishing village. With proximity to Detroit, Flint, and the Tri-City areas, not to mention plenty of places in between, Lexington is easy to get to for many Michiganders. It’s a welcoming spot to visit, take in stunning sunrises, and stay awhile. My husband, Tommy, introduced me to this charming harbor village on Michigan’s Thumb Coast just north of Port Huron. While Michigan getaways for me

meant long drives to Petoskey or Traverse City, he’s been visiting this picturesque community all his life. His family owns and operates Lakeview Hills Golf Resort, less than two miles from the lakefront. Their local roots run deep; they’ve been there since 1976. Many of his relatives live locally and work at the golf resort or around town, so we’re lucky to have personal tour guides whenever we visit. His aunt, Dana Fabbri, a lifelong resident and salon owner, says Lexington is “a beautiful place to call home.” She adds that the town is especially bustling in the


S U M M E R 2 0 21 | D I S C O V E R I E S


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This page: The downtown area is busy in the summer with lots of action at the shops, restaurants, antiques stores, and ice cream parlors. Opposite page: The Lexington State Harbor and beach serve as a hub for biking, boating, and water sports activities.

summertime. “When you go into restaurants or different businesses, it’s amazing to think these people know about our small hometown,” she says. My visits often include a stay at Lakeview Hills, which features two golf courses, a 29-room hotel, a health club, and a restaurant. Others might enjoy renting a cottage or staying at one of the town’s bed and breakfasts, like Butler B&B, A Night to Remember, or Inn the Garden. Whatever you choose as your home base, the water and other worthwhile sights and activities will be at your fingertips. What might entail a playful day in small-town Lexington? For me, it’s spending as much time as possible at the beach and Lexington State Harbor. I love strolling along the pier and savoring a day of lounging in the sun. There’s beach volleyball, boating, and a fun playscape for kids

— I can’t wait to introduce my 2-year-old daughter to it this summer. The harbor serves as a hub for biking, renting a pontoon, or taking a leisurely walk into town to visit the restaurants, gift shops, antiques stores, or ice cream parlors. For lunch or dinner, I recommend Steis’s for pizza or Wimpy’s Place for a burger. A stop at the Lexington General Store, Lighthouse Creamery, or Oh! Fudge Shoppe rounds out my favorites list. On Friday nights during the summer, Music in the Park attracts locals and visitors who come armed with their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy an outdoor concert series in Patrick Tierney Park, located at the harbor. With the free entertainment, food trucks, and splendid beach views, it’s a delightful way to unwind. Music in the Park was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, so it’s highly anticipated for

this summer. Other upcoming events include the Lakeside Craft Show (June 19-20), Independence Day Parade and Fireworks (July 2-3), and the Lexington Fine Arts Street Fair (Aug. 7-8). Lisa Detkowski, who moved to Lexington from metro Detroit in 2016, says she feels “like I wake up at my vacation home every day.” Between morning walks along the water, afternoon stops at the local stores, regular visits to her best-loved sweet shop (Bunny’s Frozen Custard), and all the fun community activities, it’s clear why she considers Lexington “an awesome little vacation town.”

PLAN IT! The Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, bluewater.org MICHIGAN BLUE

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Duck, Duck, Snap! Photographing a waterfowl’s beauty head-on


ne of the most stunningly pretty birds is one that can be found in Michigan: the wood duck. The male has iridescent colors of green and purple on its head, stripes of blue on its wings, and a bright chestnut chest decorated with delicate white feathers. The female has shades of deep blues and purples on her wings, and a bold white pattern around her eyes. My favorite park, Kensington Metropark in Milford, is home to several pairs of these beautiful birds. As if their colors weren't impressive enough, these birds nest in trees — thence their name — and are able to grip branches with specialized claws on their webbed feet. Wood ducklings make a mighty leap from their home to the ground or water below, and can jump from 300 feet without being injured. On one of my bird photography outings, I was hoping to catch a glimpse of 98

Text and Photo by Jocelyn Anderson these beauties. Wood ducks are especially fun to photograph, as their iridescent feathers will shift and change colors as the birds move, resulting in all sorts of wonderful and different looks. After three hours with no luck, I decided to check a small pond one last time. There, I spotted a pair paddling around. The male gave its slide-whistle call as it followed its female around. When they dipped behind some cattails, I quickly set up my equipment on a rail that goes around the pond, hoping they’d make another appearance. My heart rate went up a bit with excitement, anticipation, and hope. Finally, I was thrilled to see the female appear from behind the reeds and paddle over toward me. She was busy looking for food; as she did so, the male swam a little distance away, keeping a close eye on her. I was crouched along the railing, getting as close to the water as possible. The female swam quite close, and to my delight the

male turned and followed her — which is when I snapped this photo. I used a super telephoto lens, and with the male only about 40 feet away, I was able to capture his stunning feather details. The photo has become one of my favorites, with the male's gorgeous colors and his cute, poochy cheeks. Next time you’re on a nature walk along a marsh or a stream, you can look for these gorgeous birds around vegetation in the water or perched on logs along the shoreline. They’re quite a sight to see! P.S. Kensington Metropark is part of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system. The park covers 4,481 acres and has wooded, hilly terrain surrounding 1,200-acre Kent Lake. It offers a multitude of recreational activities throughout the year, from biking and boating to cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Jocelyn Anderson of Whitmore Lake owns Jocelyn Anderson Photography; visit jocelynandersonphotographyshop.com to see more of her work.


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