It’s been one heck of a year, hasn’t it? Lots of plot twists. But one thing we can always count on is that the fall colors on the Old Mission Peninsula will be glorious, and this year is no exception.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say the colors this year are even more stunning than usual. Maybe that’s actually true, or maybe it just seems that way because of everything we’ve been through this year.
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Well, the year’s not over yet, so let’s all bask in the beautiful fall colors before the wind whips the leaves off the trees and we see what else the year has in store for us.
Below are a few photos from around the OMP this past week – a photographic journey, if you will. I love taking fall color photos when the skies are a bit overcast, because quite often that makes for the richest colors and best photographic lighting, in my view. And you also get those magnificent fall clouds. Also, that’s just how it turned out for me weather-wise this week. 🙂
First up are a few photos from The Cut-Across, the little jog between Smokey Hollow Road and Center Road. An iconic locale on the Old Mission Peninsula. You might remember this is where my Mom and I pulled off after church one fine day five years ago and sang “In the Sweet By and By.” Mom passed away in January of 2020, and I miss her dreadfully, but am bolstered by these lovely memories from this lovely place.
The photo below is looking south from The Cut-Across. Check out those clouds! My brother Ward Johnson’s farm is on the left and also across Center Road to the right. Nick Kroupa owns the parcel in the triangle.
And below, that same location looking south towards The Cut-Across. I love the tree-line along here. Those big trees on the left look very Halloweeny.
Below is another one from the intersection of Smokey Hollow Road and Center Road, looking north towards the Hogsback. Looks a little different from the cherry blossom photo at this same spot in the spring.
We’re back at The Cut-Across, only looking north towards Danny Fouch’s farm. I realized how picturesque this spot is after seeing an artist painting it one day. I believe it was one of those one-day art projects where the artists went out, painted a scene in one day, then took it back (to Crooked Tree Arts?) to sell it.
The following set of photos is taken at the intersection of Smokey Hollow Road and Boursaw Road. I love that the school bus drove into the shot – perfect. I always think of my friends Jim and Lucy Heller, who owned the old Schavey house with the big barn just to the left of this tree. And of course, the Schavey family, too. They were a little before my time, but I met Jan Schavey Goodman, who now lives out west, at a Boursaw summer reunion a few years back. Love her. And she sends along cool historical photos, too.
Still in that same spot, but do you notice that little gray speck in the tree? I got a little closer and discovered a very cool wasp’s nest there. See second photo below. It was cold enough that no one was moving around there. Otherwise, I would not have gotten so close.
Here we are still on Smokey Hollow Road looking north towards the Ladd Road intersection, with Rocko Fouch’s orchard on the left and the old Leighton house on the right. Tim and I lived in that big house for a few years in the last century. I wrote a little about the history of this spot and the Leighton family here.
Below, we’re still on Smokey Hollow Road in that beautiful line of trees down by the water, looking north towards the Weatherholt’s farm.
Below, we’re on Mission Road looking north towards the Old Mission General Store. I grew up in the house to the right of this photo down by the shore. Best childhood ever. We had East Bay on one side and Bob DeVol’s penny candy box just up the road. (Thank you, Gary Noteware, for that thought from your Facebook post.)
Below is a little travelogue around the little village of Old Mission: Bay Street, Ridgewood Road, Bagley Lake and Swaney Road.
Below is a series of photos from Center Road: Looking north towards Swaney Road (you can see the Manigold’s farm stand on the right); looking north from the Old Mission Tavern; and looking north from Old Mission Flowers (corner of Ladd Road and Center Road). Ginny Coulter says she’s wrapping things up at Old Mission Flowers, but there are still a few blooms to be had there, so hop over and pick a fall bouquet.
Below are a few photos from Chateau Chantal, looking east (you can see their solar panels and boxes for grape harvest; it smelled like lovely wine there when I took the photos) and west towards Power Island and my brother Dean Johnson’s farm across the road. Sometimes you can see their horses Sugar and Summer in the pasture, but it looks like my sister-in-law Laura had already tucked them into the barn for the night.
This set of photos below is from the Hogsback, located on Center Road just north of the Smokey Hollow Road intersection. My brother Dean Johnson’s farm is on the west side of the road, and Danny Fouch’s farm is on the east and west side of the road. We’ve circled back around to where we started this photologue near The Cut-Across.
The photos below are on Center Road from Winery Hill (Chateau Grand Traverse). The iconic scenic turn-off where everyone stops to take photos. Always an amazing view any time of year.
But there’s another beautiful view of Power Island from the top of Wilson Road – see photos below. Thank you to the gentleman walking his dog on the westerly side of Wilson Road who kindly said I could publish a photo of them in Old Mission Gazette.
Below are photos of Blue Water Road and Bluff Road. On the right of Blue Water Road is Luke Dobron’s fun Labyrinth I wrote about a couple weeks ago.