By Ken DeLaat
"By all these lovely tokens
September days are here
With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer."
Wait a sec!
Seriously? September? Already?
What happened to August? For that matter where did July go, leaving like she did without even a quick goodbye?
Schools back in session, apples have pushed their way into the forefront of the area’s farmer markets (can pumpkins be far behind?), football is being played on television as well as on area fields, the Tigers are out of contention (get real used to this one fans we’re in for a long haul here), and pumpkin spice aromas are suddenly inundating the olfactorial landscape..
The leaves are even starting to alter their hues in concordance with an ongoing agreement with Mother Nature.
We could heave a heavy sigh of sadness about the departure of summer (yes, we know the autumnal equinox has yet to descend but face it, Bucko, it’s over) or we can embrace all the wonderfulness of this magical season we who dwell in these parts are so gifted to receive each year.
There is nothing quite like Fall in the Mitten and her sister peninsula to the north. Perhaps it’s dear Mom N. delivering a dose of kindness prior to unleashing winter’s worst. A little peace offering before gloves, boots and layering once again define personal fashion trends.
But it is truly the most glorious of all the four seasons with a splendor unmatched by its three comrades. A casual drive results in a collection of oohs and aahs as the maples, birch, and their colorful counterparts set the woods on fire with radiance.
So get out there and enjoy. Do a little trail walking, meander down the Mighty Mo or the White in a kayak or canoe, cruise about the countryside to capture the colors, catch a high school football game, and attend one of the myriad of festivals heading our way this month.
The Wheatland Music Festival in Remus is next weekend and has been sold out for months but you can get still get a daily pass for Sunday’s performances. If you’ve never been, a Sunday visit is a good way to find out if you’re up for the whole 3 day extravaganza next year but if so plan on getting your tickets early. They sell out soon and with good reason. Anyone who’s been can tell you why.
The following weekend brings the Irish Music Festival, the absolute best idea Muskegon has had this century. This 4 day event is a cornucopia of Celtic conviviality with magical music, delightful dance, Irish oriented shopping and food, and the feats of strength (Highland and Celtic games) competition. The tents that house the bevy of musical groups have two added attractions…adult beverages and televisions that are tuned to the day (and evening) football games.
“Want to go to the Irish Fest?”
‘Uh, I dunno,it’s been a long week and the game’s on today so…’
“They have beer tents with big screen broadcasts of the games…”
‘What are we waiting for? Let’s get going!’ Notre Dame starts at noon!’
And closer to home?
At the end of the month, the final day before October makes its 2017 debut we are gifted with Trail Town III.
For the third year White Cloud rolls out the welcome mat for this celebration of the area’s wondrous natural resources. It features a spectacular trail run, a fun kayak competition (light on the competition, heavy on the fun) and this year’s musical guests are...wait for it… the Braunschweiger Blues Band.
So grab September with both hands and take a 30 day ride straight through to the month that truly unfurls fall in all its scintillating magnificence .
“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul... but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.” -Peggy Toney Thornton
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