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Trees lose color early, impacts Lakeshore tourism

4:58 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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Some trees have already lost leaves because of this summer's drought.

SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WZZM) - The days may be numbered for a colorful fall season this year because of the summer drought. Many leaves are changing early and it's already having an impact on some tourist spots along the Lakeshore.

Marcia Perry makes almost all her sculptures out of fallen trees, but this year she's seeing many more dying leaves.

"It's due, I'm sure, from the stress of the drought," says Perry, a local artist.

The effects of the drought are becoming more evident as the Saugatuck and Douglas area prepares for the annual art event, Gallery Stroll.

"The Saugatuck-Douglas area has been a major magnet for artists to come because it's so beautiful. What makes it so beautiful? Well, to me its mostly the trees," says Perry.

"If there's color that's wonderful, but if there isn't we still have a lot of romance to offer here in our restaurants and lodging establishments," says Felicia Fairchild, Executive Director of the Saugatuck/Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Fairchild says the lack of color in the trees will most likely impact people on tours the most. James Cook was forced to cancel one of his photography tours

"We couldn't count on the colors being there," says Cook, Founder of Saugatuck Photographic Workshops. "It's some loss, but we'd rather lose the money than have unhappy customers that didn't get what they signed up for," says Cook.

Perry has other trees that still have color in her back yard and that's keeping her optimistic.

"If the season is short this year, maybe next year it will be twice as long," says Perry.

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