Saturday, May 31, 2008

Passenger Pigeons

Yesterday in the museum we learned a lot more about Passenger Pigeons. At one time, there were 5 billion of them in North America. Now they are extinct. This is a stuffed pigeon in the museum, where it tells how these birds were hunted and shipped down south for food. They were so plentiful, one dozen could be had for a penny! There was an invoice from a company specializing in hunting and shipping these birds about 130 years ago that listed how many birds were shipped that one season alone--1.1 million. Now, all we have are stuffed ones and pictures of them to remind us what these pigeons looked like. Very interesting and thought provoking exhibit.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A visit to the History Museum

Today was rainy so the kids and I went to the History Museum. It was, in my daughter's words, "Great!" They had a lot of fun exploring and finding out new things about our town. This is a photograph of Ignatius Petoskey and his Native American headdress and moccasins. It is very intricate in its beading and feathers and it quite beautiful.

One wing of the museum is about the early days of Petoskey and the other wing is about the Victorian age in Petoskey. I think the kids liked the Victorian side the most as there was a working telegraph code machine they could practice on. A very nice place to visit!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Art About Town

This is part of a revolving sculpture exhibit in town. There are a few other pieces that exchange places every few months. This one is on the grounds of the Art Center downtown. There is also a leaping stag that is here sometimes. This particular sculpture is about 12 feet tall and of a butterfly sipping daintily on a trumpet flower. It is lovely to have such whimsical and fun pieces of art around us!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gazebo in the Park

Downtown Petoskey has beautiful Pennsylvania Park right in the middle of town that is used for many things, including: people watching, squirrel chasing, picnicking, ice cream cone eating, and listening to the music that is played live every week during the summer. The park was founded by the Garden Club in the middle of the last century, saving it from becoming a parking lot. Thanks, Garden Club!!

This is also the location of "Art in the Park" in the middle of July every year. A juried art fair that has local and national artists that do beautiful work.

It is a lovely park and one we visit frequently as we walk through downtown.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Seagulls are back!

Meet our summer garbage crew. They come back every spring, clamoring loudly that you should share your picnic lunch with them. I have even seen them steal food off a picnic table while people are sitting there. When there are only 2 or 3, people think it is fine to feed them because they are so cute and there are only a few of them. Little do they know that once word gets around (in as little as 30 seconds) the air will soon be filled with dozens of them all screaming for their fair share. There does seem to be a pecking order among them as well. Maybe it is just territorial, but the squawking bird in the middle of the photo was not happy with the others and was basically telling them to shove off. Just a part of the summer adventure near the lake. So, if you're here and eating, make sure you don't leave anything laying around; it won't be there when you get back!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day!

It's Memorial Day here in the United States and my family and I went downtown to see the memorials for those that have given their lives in different wars. It is a good time to remember and be thankful for those who take such good care of us here at home. To all of you who are veterans, thank you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Small town, lots of history.

Petoskey's history museum is located at the waterfront and overlooks the marina. It is an old train station with some of the tracks still in front of the building. I haven't been here in a few years (not the best place to take really young children) but my kids are old enough to read now and they have been asking to go and visit next week. From what I remember, there are quite a few artifacts from the time when Petoskey was a health resort favored by people from Chicago and Detroit. They would come for a few weeks to take the "cure" of fresh air and long walks along the bay. Hopefully more on this later!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Everyday Art

Here in Petoskey there is a large art community. A few years ago, the Red Cross did a fundraiser where they had local artists paint fish and then sold them at auction to raise money. It was very successful, so they've gone on to do elephants and sailboats as well. This elephant is on display in the children's section of the Petoskey library, having been purchased by a downtown store. Before the auction, they are scattered all over the towns in the this area for a few months, some as far as 30 miles away. Then they are brought together a few days before the auction so people can peruse them. One of my favorites was a fish that had scenes of Italy painted on it; Michaelangelo's Sistene Chapel scene with God and Adam, the Mouth of Truth, and other things unique to Italy. An artist I know also designed a sailboat covered in mosaic glass. Very beautiful! We are very blessed to have so many artists in this area!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ignatius Petoskey...

the founder of the city of Petoskey was honored by a statue about 3 years ago. He was born the son of a French trapper and an Ottawa woman back in the 1780's. His name was "Biidassige" or "Pe-to-se-ga" which is Ottawa for "One who Brings the Light". He was given the first name of Ignatius by the Jesuit missionaries and his last name was recorded as Petoskey.

He moved across Little Traverse Bay when he had a dispute with the local Catholic community about his children's education. Here he obtained 440 acres and became a successful merchant as a fur buyer for John Jacob Astor. There are still many descendants of Ignatius Petoskey in the area and are very glad that he is honored this way.

The statue shows Ignatius wearing European style clothing with Native American elements as well. He is facing the bay, so the clothes look as if the wind is blowing them back. The feathers he is holding represent honor for veterans, elders, country, flag and ancestors. He also wears a peace medallion as a symbol of the peaceful relations between the two cultures in which he lived and did business. It was fascinating to learn more about this man who lived here almost 200 years ago and founded this town.

Here are a few articles about him and his descendants:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Welcome to the Library

They just moved the library about 5 years ago from an older building across the street. This is the new wing that was built. The new library is very nice and LARGE with 3 stories of space for books. The Children's section is where we spend most of our time and my kids love it. They love the computers and it is easy for them to find books. There is also a brick maze in the back that they have to do every time it is nice outside, but that's a picture for another time...Hope you enjoy your day and visit your local library!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tthe Trillium are blooming too!

Here in Michigan, the trillium is an endangered species. It is illegal to pick them, but you can move them to another location to keep them alive. I'm hoping to transplant more of them to the woods behind our house soon. We have about 5 trillium right now, but I'd love a carpet of them. To look around the woods here, you wouldn't think they were endangered as there are thousands of them blooming. But only an hour south there are very few to none of them. They grow in the shade and are absolutely lovely. They start out white and when they are almost done blooming, they turn pink. They are one of the first flowers out in the spring and are so welcome after a long, snowy winter!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The daffodils are blooming!

We do live quite far north, and the daffodils just started blooming about 2 weeks ago. These are part of a reclaimed spot in town near the waterfront that the Petoskey Garden Club renovated a few years ago. It was just a wasteland of rocks and dirt when they brought in good soil, then planted grass and 5,000 daffodils. Drivers on the main highway that goes through Petoskey along the waterfront now have something lovely to look at--daffodils on one side, the beautiful Little Traverse Bay on the other.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The best bookstore around anywhere!

What goes better with coffee than a book? I can't think of anything (except maybe a pain au chocolat -- a chocolate filled croissant). This is McLean and Eakin, my favorite bookstore. Also locally owned, they have an award winning children's section and it is just a great place to hang out. They used to have a big cushy chair in the window that you could sit and read in. I did that one afternoon and scared quite a few people when I moved! Petoskey is a small town, but it has a GREAT bookstore! And, it is very conveniently located right next to Roast and Toast! Check them out at

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The best coffee shop in the world...

okay, in my opinion it is. It is a lovely place that roasts their own coffee every few days. They make the best coffee in town and it is definitely a local institution. They also have a cafe with great soup and wonderful sandwiches and salads. Locally owned, it is one of Petoskey's treasures. Any time of the day you can go and see groups of people from every age group enjoying themselves. A very eclectic mix, but one that is so cool! If you come to Petoskey and don't stop here, you haven't really been to Petoskey yet!

Welcome to My Town!

Petoskey is a lovely town on the shore of Little Traverse Bay which is a bay of Lake Michigan. It is May, but it was only 43 degrees outside this evening! This is a picture of our waterfront area, which is gorgeous. I'm sure that there will be many pictures from this area posted here as my family loves to go to the waterfront to play, read, ride bikes, have picnics, or just hang out. Welcome to Petoskey!