Autumn Orange, Brilliant and Subtle
Dennett’s Prompt: October is all about Orange
There is no better place to be in fall than the North Woods for the changing colors. The last 2 days of September and the first 3 of October, I had a treasured and rare long weekend away with my husband and both of our adult children and their partners. We all went camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
After crossing the Mackinac Bridge, we stopped along Highway 2 on the sandy north shore of Lake Michigan and dipped our toes in, a family ritual each time we come to one of the Great Lakes that surround us. The orange in these images is incipient, present within the glint of light and refracting out in tiny bits as the water moves over rippled sand in the video. If you pause it at any point, your eye is likely to see orange bits if you are tuned to see colors.
Likewise, you may see undertones of orange in the complementary blue of the water or embedded in the tan of the sand — a part of the mix.
We drove west and then north to camp. The campground we stayed in is situated on a narrow peninsula curving into a large and sprawling inland lake with lots of nooks and crannies, near Lake Superior and its Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Each campsite has a little beach of its own and some of the sites on the narrow area of the peninsula even offer a view of the lake from two or more directions.
Auburn hammock happiness after setting up camp.
The Maples always go first in the autumn costume change and they were prominently flaunting their vermilion and gold along the shoreline in view from our campsite, shining out amidst the oaks and pines and hemlocks.
Sunset view from our tiny beach,
leaf and sun and water, burnished.
Rising light out of darkness: the early sun, burning fire through the chilly clouds as I walked along the eastern side of the campground peninsula at sunrise.
The more subtle, just-barely-orange-almost-creamsicle, of reflected morning sky on the water, looking west from our campsite, a little later.
A 9-mile round trip hike to Lake Superior and lots of different mushrooms along the way, but these were some of the most impressive and orange.
Lake Superior’s gorgeous rocks that we never tire of. It is effortless to see the orange glowing in the clear water — lots of reds, greens, purples and yellows, too, but this particular view is dominated by the color we are attending to here.
Beautiful and deep Mother Superior, containing 10% of the world’s fresh, sweet surface water, and the rest: Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, another 10%. Altogether they are shining precious jewels on the earth worthy of all the protection and care we can offer.
Our youngest, 27, has a partner who loves to cook with a dutch oven on the campfire. Under those glowing coals, below the iron lid, delicious, buttery garlic rolls were almost done baking. They were golden crusty on the outside and soft and steaming on the inside. Perfect accompaniment to a rich stew after a long day of hiking.
Five days out, finished packing up our wet things after a rainy Saturday playing games under a tarp, we left for home with heavy clouds overhead.
The roadside was graced with even more autumnal color — reds, oranges and golds — than when we arrived. It would have popped more brightly under a blue sky, but was still warm and beautiful and more vibrant than the photo allows.
Thanks for coming along on my tour of Michigan orange! And thanks to Dennett for the invitation to share!
All photos by Michelle Lane, 2021, All Rights Reserved.