Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides a wonderful setting for leisurely fall leaf peeping drives. Fall has signaled its arrival with the sweet smell of slow turning of leaves in the air. Michigan’s 19 million acres of woods are near the peak of their crescendo into vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds, finally exploding in their stunning annual blaze of color around every bend in the road.
A good choice for U.P. leaf peeping is the Watersmeet area. This scenic area is a blur of woods, wildlife and, of course, water. Watersmeet is where the Ontonagon River flows north into Lake Superior, the Wisconsin River flows south into the Mississippi, and the Paint River flows east into Lake Michigan. Fall color is abundant in this area with its spruce, balsam, maple, birch, and aspen trees, many of them 300-400 years old!
My surprise was following autumn finery to find Bond Falls tumbling 50 feet over a thick belt of fractured rock, dividing it into numerous small cascades. Turns out Bond Falls is one of those “best kept secret” spots on the Western Upper Peninsula that you want to make sure you don’t miss. This beautiful water fall is located on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River near Paulding. Although it doesn’t get the press of the famous Taquamenon Falls, it’s been listed as one of the most scenic natural places in the world! http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=412&type=SPRK
It was a splendid fall day with crisp air and vibrant fall foliage. When I returned home to upload the photos from my phone I was shocked to see that I had captured a glowing light in one of them. This has never happened before so I zoomed in and the glowing orb was definitely there. I was actually disappointed because it distracted from the foliage. Later I was researching Bond Falls and read that others have seen strange lights in Paulding that rises out of the night forest, hovers, and disappears.
I was near Paulding, but not in town and not at night. Yet, I was to witness the “Paulding Light,” without knowing what it was. Is it a ghost, gases or car lights? Theories abound. One story tells about a man out late one night carrying a lantern looking for his lost little boy in the woods. Supposedly, the man was hit by a train and his ghost continues to search for his son! The conclusion is yours.
Meanwhile, may you be awed as you dwell in the magical beauty of this season.