Another favorite activity for a hot August day is taking the pontoon boat out on Pickerel Lake to fish, one of many lakes in the Irish Hills area. (Photo by Cheryl Kemp)
Story and Photos
By Michelle McLemore
Some call them the dog days of summer — when the heat rises high, and the days seem to drag. The Farmers’ Almanac specifically denotes July 3 to August 11 as the “Dog Days.” However, many residents still find joy in a few simple pleasures in southern Michigan during this time of seasonal transition.
Tammy Shoemaker of Onsted relishes, “the farmers working hard harvesting the crops — especially the wheat. The fields look so beautiful afterward.”
Butterfly bushes blooming in late July and August feed “the loveliest visitors” says Onsted area resident Cheryl Kemp. Among them, the yellow tiger swallowtail is a common sight in the Irish Hills. (Photo by Cheryl Kemp)
Sara Davis, formerly of Onsted agrees. “Walking or taking a slow cruise down a dirt road with corn fields on both sides right before sunset when the heat is dying down is the perfect smell and feeling.”
Residents Gene Elliott and Shelly Dechert agree that the fall harvest of fresh vegetables from the garden and canning is always something to look forward to and anticipate with joy. Dechert recently yielded three buckets of lima beans and canned over 20 jars of tomato soup. She explained, “With a juicer, we got from Italy a few years ago, we can process five bushels in an hour!”
Chad Phipps looks forward to the Onsted Festival (coming up on August 19 to 21) and enjoying the live music whereas Lillian Walker and friends enjoy the guitar by a campfire in Tipton with Connor McClure and Alec Seel.
Paul Lewis Junior looks forward to Hayes State Park campfire evenings in addition to visiting the local breweries and wineries. Cheryl Kemp also looks for relief in the water during August by “taking a pontoon boat ride around Pickerel Lake and to fish and swim.”
Shelly Dechert, of Onsted, weighed in this hefty home-grown tomato at one pound, 5.9 ounces.
And for the nature lovers? Planning an August-blooming garden can bring a refreshing air to your porch view while inviting butterflies and hummingbirds and other pollinators. Area resident Lisa Clark advocates for morning glories and zinnias because “they are so easy to grow.” Cheryl Kemp dotes on her butterfly bushes for their name-sake visitors. Other August blooms one might consider planting include purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, Asiatic lilies, perennial sunflowers, hibiscus, tiger lilies, balloon flowers, and liatris.
Of course, Michigan International Speedway hosted the NASCAR race this past weekend and the U.S.-12 Michigan’s Longest Garage Sale was held from August 12 to 14. For more information, check out us12heritagetrail.org/garage_sale.asp. Don’t let your day “go to the dogs.” August in the Irish Hills has something for everyone.