Naturally shy about promoting her own work, acrylic artist Michelle Hart Jahraus eventually came to the realization that if you want to make waves other than in a painting, you must put your art “out there.” The Maple City resident, and owner of Duck to Swan Gallery in Cedar, entered her 22” x 22” original canvas, “Cherry Orchard Reflections,” in the Adult Fine Art division of the 2013 National Cherry Festival poster competition and won, from a field of more than 100 entries.

In its bucolic setting about two miles west of Maple City, the Blue Oxer Farm and Riding Academy offers a variety of horse training, rider instruction for both children and adults, boarding and sales. Set on the 120-acre Cold Spring Farm, owned by Alton and Kathy Smith of Raleigh, NC, Blue Oxer was established in 2008 — the dream come true for horse lover, competitor, trainer, instructor and owner Emily King Brinkman.

During the night trees snapped and limbs crashed around my house, but Saturday was characterized by an uncommon quiet. Even the snowmobilers that regularly race the nearby road were nowhere to be heard. I suppose they too were home digging out from the overnight snowfall — 29 inches in some places, I’m told — and attending to basic survival.

At the top of a green and wooded hill near the Bow Lakes area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore lies the meticulously handcrafted homestead of builder, philosopher, musician and community activist Joe Spaulding and his equally dynamic wife, painter and classical musician Carol Spaulding. The approach to their home winds along a bridge-like boardwalk that takes a visitor past a thriving vegetable garden, outbuildings fancifully clad in shingles as playful as a flapper’s dress, and stained-glass lanterns that herald the festive atmosphere and occupants within.

Rachel Reid, 18, of Rochester and Maple City, Michigan, has been awarded an NCAA Division I equestrian scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where she will attend as a freshman this fall. An honor student and student council member at Glen Lake High School, Reid graduated in June.

Geradine Simkins’ new book is a comprehensive anthology of the life stories, struggles, and triumphs of 25 women who have dedicated their lives to social change and the practice of midwifery, and who have made significant contributions to shaping maternity health care in this country.