By Holly Wren Spaulding Sun contributor Working outside and tending our gardens many of us have noticed that the bees are active of late, in some cases aggressively defending their food sources and nesting areas. Bee and wasp killer is on display at the hardware store and for some among us, stings mean allergic swelling […]

By Linda Jo Scott Sun contributor While our country is focused on end-of-life issues, perhaps it is a good time to look at burial practices, as well. Are you aware that an ordinary funeral costs between $6,000 and $10,000? And that with steel caskets and concrete vaults, we aren’t returning our bodies to our mother […]

By Jacob Wheeler Sun editor Under-30 local leader Ashlea Walter is the key organizer behind the Empire Asparagus Festival, which drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to Empire the weekend before Memorial Day for the town’s third annual asparagus bash. But you might not have realized that had you seen her donning a giant asparagus […]

By Holly Wren Spaulding Sun contributor We move back and forth between stone walls under a low ceiling and even lower light. The root cellar is musty, dark with odors of long-stored root crops, new onion starts and leeks, seeds ready for planting. Field maps, shears and clipboards clutter the spare nooks and crannies. Robert […]

By Dan Herd Sun contributor Wine touring in Leelanau County is a religious pilgrimage, involving a group, an ideal, and a passion for the process. It is for this process that we return annually to the Leelanau hills. With church bells ringing on a recent Sunday, we seven seasoned friends gather at Kejara’s Bridge in […]

By Shelley Yeager Sun contributor One must look closely to find it. You almost need to train your eyes to pick it out, much like finding Petoskey Stones on the beach or Morel mushrooms among the dead leaves. You must carefully observe the patterns of leaves and flowers in the woods around you. Once you […]

Ashlea J. Walter Sun contributor Villagers and tourists came out of winter hibernation to celebrate together in Empire on May 20 and 21. The reason? Asparagus, of course. Thankfully, the weather committee for the Empire Asparagus Festival worked hard all winter to ensure a beautiful blue-sky weekend for the Second Annual fete to celebrate the […]

By Jane Greiner Sun contributor Every year I love to watch for the signs of spring: a robin on the ground; a crocus pushing up; the return of the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks; the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird; the first balmy breeze’ the evenings getting longer. Like everyone else, I also eagerly await the Trillium. This year it […]

By Pat Stinson Sun staff writer First, a disclaimer. I am not a member of the esteemed Mycological Society of America, the North American Mycological Association, nor any organized amateur mushroom club. I am the lowliest of wild mushroom fanciers, a two-timing (spring and fall) picker of the rankest sort, perhaps best likened to a […]

By Codi Yeager Sun staff writer Many of us have seen or heard of the Sumac. It flourishes in much of Leelanau County, growing in large clumps of tropical looking green foliage. The Sumac is a small, twiggy tree with large compound leaves that turn bright red and yellow in the fall. The fuzzy branches […]