We sportsmen and women are a weak lot, sappily blabbing on about the color of the sunrise over a duck marsh, or the smell of sweetfern in a favorite bird cover. Little does the weight of our game bags matter if we managed to soak in a smidgen of fleeting fall in the process. Senses alive, we pack up for home after each outing, satisfied regardless if game will grace tomorrow’s table.

Elizabeth Paxson is a poet, writer and visual artist who resides in northern Michigan among mutable trees and elusive waters near the 45th parallel. She owes much gratitude to a now-deceased aunt who led her to the well of words and taught her to drink deeply. Her poems have appeared in collections such as “Peaceable Kingdom” and “Poet’s Night Out” (2016-18) and one of her short stories in the bilingual journal Night Picnic Press (2019).

Families gather for Colantha’s Garden Celebration at Historic Barns Park in Traverse City in honor of champion dairy cow Colantha Walker. The Holstein-Friesian is buried at the park, once part of a self-sustaining farm operation run by staff and patients at Traverse City State Hospital. She produced 22,918 pounds of milk in 1926, making her the highest producer in the world.

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The Michigan Trail Riders Association thinks the state Shore-to-Shore Trail is something to sing about. The organization’s annual October Color Ride completes the group’s 56th year of saddling up for the iconic Empire to Oscoda crossing.

You know you’re in for an adventure even before you get there.

Mother Nature’s kaleidoscope to the countryside — autumn — is painted with a rainbow of trees and plants that can be squeezed, sliced and stirred into flavorful, colorful drinks.

Monica Cory knows from personal experience that shopping can be therapeutic.

NAME: Forrest Moline. POSITION: Private chef and owner of Forrest, A Food Studio, a food-centric event space in Traverse City for cooking classes and pop-up restaurant events

Looking for a new spot to enjoy fall splendor? Explore Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy’s recently unveiled Torch Lake Nature Preserve.

"Honey, what’s the schedule on this fine, warm Saturday?”

Classic car owners gather with their enviable rides for Cars and Coffee at Hagerty Insurance Agency in Traverse City. The weekly social event has been held every summer since 2016 and brings together agency employees and other collector car enthusiasts.

Glen Arbor is one of the most popular tourist destinations in northern Michigan, as the town sits between Lake Michigan and Glen Lake, near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore attractions and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Not surprisingly, the 850-person Leelanau County community swells during the summer months.

NAME: Eric Nittolo. Job: Executive chef, food and beverage director at The Restaurant at LochenHeath. The Williamsburg restaurant at LochenHeath Golf Club is open to the public and focuses on locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients. It’s especially popular for its Sunday Brunch.

Renew body, mind and spirit this summer by uniting your yoga practice to nature. Outdoor classes offer opportunity to partake of Mother Earth’s sensory feast to nurture serenity, fitness and joy.

Mark Engelsman took a pair of paddlers on this season’s first Beaver Island Water Trail trip, which was filled with bird and fish watching, wilderness experiences and even a trip through Lake Michigan fog.

Cathy Sehnert has always had a taste for the artsy and a deep love of shopping. The two combined have made her a perfect fit for the Leelanau shopping scene.

Bellaire Bed and Breakfast’s Jim Walker is no ordinary innkeeper and his gardens are no ordinary gardens. They reflect his mastery of growing arts and his ability to enhance the environment by planting among the flora statuary, water features, seating and other artsy touches.

Summer in Michigan — anywhere, really — is, for many, the best time of year. For us Northerners, anything beats a long, sustained winter, the likes of which thankfully just passed. We not only look forward to the warm weather, we crave it; but not like craving a Hershey bar. More like a shark craves fresh blood or the Tigers crave a decent bullpen. This irrational yearning for not freezing anymore means that after the first 75-degree day, we firmly shelve common sense between the wool scarves and snowshoes and do things that defy logic, science and most genetic traits of an evolved human being.

Ladies wore their finest wide-brim, derby and fascinator hats for the Hats Off to Women Luncheon hosted by The Zonta Club of Traverse City at Northwestern Michigan University’s Hagery Center. The annual May event celebrates the leadership of women in the city and features awards, a hat contest and door prizes.

Situated on the southeast end of turquoise Crystal Lake, Beulah is in an ideal position to attract summer visitors. Normally populated with about 300 residents, the Benzie County village draws hundreds of guests for summer events just a stone’s throw away from the lake’s sandy shores.

TRAVERSE CITY — Retail vacancy rates in downtown Traverse City have hovered around 1 to 2 percent for the last several years, forcing those who want to open shop to find alternative locations on side streets or elsewhere off Front Street.

BEFORE THE SNOW FLIES by John Wemlinger. Major David Keller was well on his way to becoming a general when a roadside bomb in Afghanistan took his legs.

TRAVERSE CITY — The wind and waves always pose an unpredictable difficulty, but it’s not enough to keep Ashlea Walter from Grand Traverse Bay’s open water.

NAME: Randy Minish. POSITION: Chef-Owner at Terrain, a Bellaire restaurant and bar serving “honest yet ambitious” contemporary American food with a focus toward local ingredients and flavors

Sewn into the Grand Traverse and Northwest Michigan landscape is a patchwork of historic inns that stitch the past to the present.

There are among us masters in capturing the synergy of water and earth. Their hand-built watercraft are works of art and labors of love reflecting true passion for nature.

Limnologists study inland aquatic ecosystems, using terms like “spring turnover” to describe the warming of a lake. When surface temperatures match the rest of the lake, strong spring winds mix oxygen and nutrients, beginning the process of photosynthesis by aquatic plants once again. But in the land version of the spring turnover, receding snows reveal winter’s leftovers, both living and from beyond the grave — and it’s anything but serene. While a vital role in the circle of life, a pretty picture, it ain’t.

May 10-11, 2019; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Interlochen; an adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo tale with songs from the Disney animated feature. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. May 10 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 11 at Corson Auditorium. tickets interlochen.org.

Competitors donned their lucky green for the Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K foot race in downtown Traverse City’s Warehouse District. The annual St. Paddy’s Day event features a post-race party with medals for top finishers and prizes for the best Irish costume. This year’s event supported Munson Healthcare’s new Family Birth and Children’s Center.

CARDINAL COAT AND OTHER STORIES by Katharine Crawford Robey

A drive down M-115 leads to the small village of Mesick, which sits near the Manistee River just north of the vast Manistee National Forest.

Springtime fills our hibernating souls with a burst of energy, and it’s the perfect time for distilleries, coffee houses and tea shops to offer an array of libations with fruit, herbal and floral notes to melt away the winter blues.

SUTTONS BAY — Demarie Jones’ mornings start hours before her day job at Disability Network — two alpacas, four rabbits, 13 Angora goats and eight sheep keep her busy.

Name: Loghan Call. Job: Regenerative foods chef and founder of Planted Cuisine, creating events centered around showcasing hyper-local, plant-based foods. I work in partnership with Table Health TC and local businesses on events, education and pop-up food experiences.

Humans love flowers — so much so that it’s a billion dollar industry.

GT Scene video

Low Bar General Manager Josef Hess demonstrates how to make a Bourbon Smash at the Low Bar in Traverse City. Record-Eagle video by Erin Sloan

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