.

.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tradition -- Michigan Cottage on the 4th of July.

CHARLENE'S LAKEFRONT COTTAGE

They are 11,037 inland lakes in Michigan. Surrounding most of these lakes are cottages. Many of these cottages are only used in the summer time. The 4th of July is one of the peak times that they are used by family and friends It has been this way for decades and has become traditional and ritualistic in Michigan to celebrate the 4th "up at the cottage."

I was raised in Michigan and am very familiar with this tradition.

My cousin Charlene lives in northern Michigan and has a summer cottage fairly near her home in Traverse City. Summers are spent there painting watercolors, keeping the place in good repair, growing a small garden in pots on her porch, kayaking the lake with her husband and being a good steward of the ecology of her section of the lake.

She leaves Mother nature to herself and is rewarded by native "sweet smelling" water lilies in July and lovely wildflowers such as colonies of pink lady slipper (or moccasin flower).

WATER LILIES BLOOMING IN THE SHALLOW WATER IN FRONT OF HER COTTAGE

Some of the recent-comers to the lakes in northern Michigan bring their suburban mentality to their summer places. Tearing out the native plants along the waterfront and around the cottage. They plant commercial grass and bring sand in to fill in along the waterfront. They complain that the fish population has been declining -- not thinking that the native water and land plants needed for wildlife and fish are being depleted by they themselves. Their motto is, "there is no place like home," even if means bringing suburbia to nature's northern lake fronts.

PINK LADY SLIPPERS IN CHARLENE'S WOODS

Difficult to assess the damage to the lake environment by some of the suburbanites of southern Michigan. Hopefully, they will notice places like Charlene's and see that the natural beauty of wildness is better than their fake lakefront reality.

Happy 4th!

No comments:

Post a Comment