October 31, 2011
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
Here’s hoping everyone has a spooky and safe Halloween. Don’t miss The Legend of the Michigan Dogman today on Absolute Michigan.
October 29, 2011
When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
Halloween weekend is here and at Absolute Michigan, we’ve always enjoyed bringing you all the fun and chills of the holiday. Here’s some links to help you get into the spirit of the season.
Michigan has its share of ghost stories. In addition to a bunch of ghost-hunter groups, “Ghost” on Absolute Michigan brings up a graveyard full of spooky stories including the rowdy ghosts of the Fenton Hotel and the Ghost of Minnie Quay. The Great Lakes State even has its own cryptid, the Dogman. For more on the Dogman and many more scary stories, turn to Linda Godfrey’s Weird Michigan, a compendium of strange tales from all across Michigan.
If it’s haunted houses or corn mazes you seek, Madman Mike has a list of Haunted Houses, Mazes & Hayrides. If you go to absolutemichigan.com/Haunted you’ll find a legion of links to haunted attraction websites and the remains of our massive 2010 Michigan Haunted Attractions, Corn Mazes & Halloween Guide. Don’t miss our Pumkinpalooza either!
Speaking of slideshows, there’s many more Halloween photos in the Absolute Michigan photo group slideshow and also at Halloween on Michigan in Pictures - Happy Halloween!
October 28, 2011
The Spider’s Web
The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unfolds a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.
And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.
Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.
~ E B White
October 27, 2011
Wikipedia’s entry for flint corn says that Flint corn (Zea mays indurata) is commonly known as Indian corn or sometimes calico corn. Its extremely low water content makes it much more resistant to freezing than other vegetables. Slow Food USA’s page on flint corn has some cool info and notes that this corn was the only to survive the infamous Year Without a Summer (1816), when snow fell in June and killing frosts struck in every summer month.
I found a Wisconsin Ojibway legend of the Father of Indian Corn that is very similar to one I heard from Michigan. It tells how a young man went out into the wilderness to seek another way of sustenance for his family.
For the first few days, he amused himself walking in the woods and over the mountain trails. He examined trees, plants, and flowers. This kind of physical effort in the outdoors prepared him for a night of sound sleep. His observations of the day filled his mind with pleasant ideas and dreams.
More and more he desired to know how the trees, plants, flowers, and berries grew. Seemingly they grew wild without much help from the Indians. He wondered why some species were good to eat, while others contained poisonous juices. These thoughts came back to him many times as he retreated to his lodge at night. He secretly wished for a dream that would reveal what he could do to benefit his family and his tribe.
“I believe the Chief of Sky Spirits guides all things and it is to him I owe all things,” he thought to himself. “I wonder if Chief Sky Spirit can make it easier for all Indians to acquire enough food without hunting animals every day to eat.”
“I must try to find a way in my dreams,” he pondered. He stayed on his bed the third day of fasting, because he felt weak and faint. Sometimes he thought that he was going to die. He dreamed that he saw a strong, handsome young man coming down from the sky, advancing toward him. He was richly dressed in green and yellow colours. He wore a plume of waving feathers on his head. His every movement was graceful.
“I have been sent to you,” said the sky-visitor. “The Sky Chief who made all things in the sky and upon the earth intends for me to be your Guardian Spirit and I have come to test you…
October 26, 2011
The last Wednesday of every month is a Weird Wednesday on Absolute Michigan, a time for stories of the spooky and strange. Definitely click that link to get your Halloween on, Michigan style, with stories from the Rowdy Ghosts of the Fenton Hotel to The Ghost of Minnie Quay.
Today’s tale is one of our favorites, the story of the Imp of Detroit, the Nain Rouge who some say has plagued the city since its founding over 300 years ago. It begins:
Among all the impish offspring of the Stone God, wizards and witches, that made Detroit feared by the early settlers, none were more dreaded than the Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf), or Demon of the Strait, for it appeared only when there was to be trouble. In that it delighted. It was a shambling, red-faced creature, with a cold, glittering eye and teeth protruding from a grinning mouth. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, having struck at it, presently lost his seigniory and his fortunes. It was seen scampering along the shore on the night before the attack on Bloody Run, when the brook that afterward bore this name turned red with the blood of soldiers. People saw it in the smoky streets when the city was burned in 1805, and on the morning of Hull’s surrender it was found grinning in the fog. It rubbed its bony knuckles expectantly when David Fisher paddled across the strait to see his love, Soulange Gaudet, in the only boat he could find, a wheel-barrow…
Read on for more, including more recent tales like the 1976 sighting by two employees of Detroit Edison of a small “child” climbing a utility pole on March 1st who then leaped from the top of the twenty-foot pole and scurried away. The next day Detroit was buried in one of the worst ice/snowstorms in its history.
Every March, the people of Detroit conduct the Marche Du Nain Rouge, a celebration to drive the Red Dwarf from the city. Vanessa got this shot there – see it bigger and in her 2011 March du nain rouge slideshow.
October 25, 2011
Last night Michigan was treated to an amazing show of Northern Lights as the skies exploded in red, green, white and even blues and yellows of the best display of the Aurora Borealis in years. Our Michigan Northern Lights Log and Flickr group lit up with photos and reports.
There were places you would expect – Marquette, the Keweenaw Peninsula, Escanaba – but also reports from literally EVERYWHERE in Michigan: Bath, Bellaire, Big Rapids, Blanchard, Clare, Charlotte, Charlevoix, Clark Lake, Coldwater Lake, East Leland, Frankfort, Fostoria, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lapeer, Leland, Leelanau County, Lenawee County, Marquette, Mecosta, Mikado, Mulliken, Ottawa County, Onsted, Pontiac, Petoskey, Reading, Saginaw, Stockbridge, Tecumseh, Traverse City, Unionville, Whitehall & White Lake. People even checked in with reports from Pittsburgh, Indiana & Ohio.
Shawn took these shots last night near Marquette. She writes that she went back to the car to change lenses and the sky just lit up. Check the photo out bigger and see more stunning shots from last night in her jaw dropping northern lights of 10/24/11 set on Facebook! She’s got some with amazing reds. You can also purchase photos at lakesuperiorphoto.com!
Much more on the Northern Lights from Michigan in Pictures!
October 24, 2011
When Karen McDonnell is alone she sometimes hears footsteps on the stairway of the former White River Light. But she isn’t afraid. She says, “I like the comfort it gives me. It’s like a watchman, just making sure everything is okay before it’s too late at night.”
McDonnell is the curator of an old lighthouse that has been turned into a museum. She takes care of the light and gives tours to visitors. Sometimes early in the morning or late at night she hears what sounds like somebody climbing the stairs and walking around on the upper level. She wonders if it might be the spirit of the light’s first keeper.
When the White River Light opened in the mid-1870s, William Robinson and his wife Sarah moved in. Over the years, the English couple raised their family at Whitehall. Sarah died at a young age, but William remained the lightkeeper for 47 years. When the government forced the 87-year-old keeper to retire in 1915, William’s grandson became the next lightkeeper at White River. William helped his grandson run the light, but the rules said that only the lightkeeper and his “immediate” family could live at the lighthouse. William would have to leave. But he refused, telling his grandson, “I am not going to leave this building.” He was right. The day before he had to move out, he died. His grandson buried him in a small nearby cemetery…
October 22, 2011
While the high windsof the last couple of weeks have wrought damage, there’s one group that welcomes the weather, Michigan’s cold water surfers.
October 21, 2011
found these cairns on the beach of Lake Superior. Three were on one rock, while one was left all alone. I tried to find an angle that showed their relationship (hence “family of four”) and used the sidelight from the setting sun to make them stand out from their background
More Michigan beaches from Michigan in Pictures!
October 20, 2011
Absolute Michigan has a pumpkinpalooza going today – check it out!
Marianne took this shot using a Great Wall df2 camera using tri X/hc110 film. Another friend of the blog, Mark O’Brien, has details on The Great Wall camera on his blog.
You can see more shots that Marianne has taken with this camera in her amazing Great Wall DF2 gallery.