A long ride from Ann Arbor to Watkins Lake was a beautiful way to spend several hours. It's a very small lake that offers a resting place for wildfowl that are migrating through the area. Part of the area is a wildlife preserve, part is a state park, and part is farmland. We ate a picnic lunch in the car as it was a bit too chilly to eat outside, but the weather in general was very pleasant. We've made the same trip a number of times during waterfowl migration season.
|"Even good dogs must be on a leash" says the Michigan DNR.|
On the way to Watkins lake we stopped at Fusilier's Farm Market, where we have often bought a variety of produce. As the inside of the market is very open to the outdoors, and we were the only customers, we could feel safe in our masks.
Before visiting the lake we bought peppers, lettuce, and a few other vegetables. We noticed that they sell beef from their own cattle and that of a nearby farm, as well as fresh eggs. We waited to buy meat until we were on the way home, to ensure that the beef would stay frozen. The eggs were so fresh that the woman tending the market had to go across from the shop to the farmhouse to rinse them off: they had been gathered in the morning. She told us about the temperament of the hens, which are very vicious to one another, and will kill an injured hen in the flock if not prevented from doing so. However, they are quite docile to her when she gathers their eggs, she says.
|Behind the tables of produce, you can see the freezer case for beef.|
Only USDA slaughter houses are allowed to process beef sold to the public: the Fusilier family's trips to the slaughter house only happen rarely, so the beef is frozen. Our self-imposed embargo on beef applies to industrial meat-processing facilities: the woman we were talking to is responsible for the beef in her store, and we don't have any problem buying it. We happily bought several packages of beef, which will last us a while.
As we drove we enjoyed looking at the rolling hills, the many-colored fall trees, and fields of dried-up corn stalks, harvested grains, and a variety of other fall scenes. Crows were pecking for food in one stubble field, and many hawks and vultures were circling overhead, catching small updrafts on a very still day. All beautiful. We enjoyed seeing horses and cows on various farms as well.
All photos ©2020 by mae and len sander.