Blind Dog Hank and the Burdickville Boys played an Empire Area Emergency Fund concert in the Friendly Tavern’s outdoor beer garden on May 26. The venue is for sale, and local musicians hope the beer garden remains a dynamic locale for them to jam. Photo by David Geisler

March is maple sap month. Britton Wheeler, a 15-year-old ninth grader at Glen Lake School, makes and sells maple-coated cashews under his brand Northway Maple Company from syrup he harvests and boils on his parents’ property near Cedar. This is Britton’s third year making maple syrup and coating cashews he buys wholesale. The name for his project was partly inspired by his great grandfather’s soda shop, Northway Bottling Co. Britton, who can sell at local farmers’ markets, hopes in the future to use a commercial kitchen and sell his maple-coated cashews at local stores.

“Hoar frost,” a feathery frost that forms as a result of specific climate conditions, covered trees and branches throughout Leelanau County on Sunday, Feb. 4, inspiring countless photos and conversations. The prematurely melting snow and the impacts of global warming on northern Michigan’s winter created a layer of fog that blanketed the region in an eery but beautiful landscape. According to the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, “the word ‘hoar’ comes from old English and refers to the old age appearance of the frost: the way the ice crystals form makes it look like white hair or a beard.

Heron (left, age 3) and August (right, age 2) Sedlar helped their parents last month during the apple harvest at Green Bird Organic Cellars near Northport. Photo by Tim Hearin.

Bestselling author Wade Rouse, who writes under the pen name “Viola Shipman,” beat Cherry Republic owner Bob Sutherland in a pit-spitting competition at the Cherry Public House beer garden on June 23, following their conversation about Shipman’s newest novel “Famous in a Small Town,” which was inspired by Cherry Republic and Bob’s late mother, Mary Sutherland.

Water and light dance together during a Lake Michigan sunset following an early April storm with gail-force winds. Photo by Jenny Elyse Bremer

Ethan and Hannah Goss and Sam Holmes took one last cross-country ski of the winter on March 26 at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive overlook 9.

Brooke, 11, springs for joy on a beautiful Easter Sunday, April 9, at Empire Bluff. Photo by Beau Warren

Brooke Baker of Traverse City danced for joy during her first snowshoe hike at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Feb. 26—a beautiful, blue sky day with fresh, sparkly snow on the ground.

Steve Webb took this photo on Jan. 31 of an ice disc spinning in the Crystal River. It seems that a small particle of ice got caught in an eddy, spun around and around, and the ice disc grew.