January 19, 2012
You know that we love, love, love Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures. If you haven’t made the trek in wintertime, definitely do – it’s amazing!
January 18, 2012
Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this Michigan in Pictures — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed.
Today is the only day (except for Sundays) in six years that Michigan in Pictures hasn’t posted a photo. Please watch the video below to see why I’ve chosen to join this protest and how this legislation will affect internet freedom. Then PLEASE scroll down to take action.
The video discusses the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate the bill is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster.
PIPA would give the government new powers to block Americans’ access websites that corporations don’t like. The bill lets corporations and the US government censor entire websites and cut sites off from advertising, payments and donations.
This legislation will stifle free speech and innovation, and even threaten popular web services like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook and yes, blogs like Michigan in Pictures.
January 17, 2012
Here’s a crazy shot from last year on Lake Huron near Oscoda in the Ice Beast group that I created. Winter has finally arrived in force and our Great Lakes have once again become home to the fearsome and beautiful Ice Beasts. If you have captured these rare creatures, please share your photos in the group!
January 16, 2012
I have a dream this afternoon that my four little children, that my four little children will not come up in the same young days that I came up within, but they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
I have a dream this afternoon that one day right here in Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere that their money will carry them and they will be able to get a job.
~Martin Luther King, June 23, 1963 Detroit, Michigan
Martin Luther King delivered the above lines first in the massive Great March on Detroit in 1963 – click that link for the full speech and more on MLK.
January 14, 2012
On another photo from Tawas Point John writes:
Anywhere you live in Michigan, you can’t be more than 85 miles from a Great Lakes Shoreline, and you cant be more than 6 miles from a natural water source; Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes.
I can’t imagine living anywhere else. But I know, others feel the same about their own paradise.
I can’t imagine living anywhere else either. Here’s the state’s Tawas Point State Park page.
January 13, 2012
Winter 2012 has been a huge bust so far. The Detroit News notes that so far this winter, Metro Detroit has only recorded 6.7 inches of snow compared with a normal of about 15 inches, including less than 1/2 an inch in January!
While for the most part it’s a boon for cities and towns strapped for funds in some areas, it’s a whole different story for others. Brian Bienowski at the Great Lakes Echo wrote about how No snow, no ice means no business for some, saying that:
…while some rejoice the mild winter, the late ice and warmer temperatures hurt regional economies and could lower springtime water levels.
“Ice and snow are a real boon for our local businesses,” said Linda Tuck, executive director of the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce. Houghton Lake is in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.
“We have one of the most popular fishing lakes in the state, in the summer and winter, and this winter we’re seeing a real downturn,” Tuck said.
…Joy VanDrie, executive director of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, said the late winter hurts the northern Michigan town.
“Snowmobile dealers, ski shops, lodging facilities … they all rely on the weather getting cold and snowy,” VanDrie said.
The good news is that Hell has frozen over and snow is falling in many areas and slated to start soon in others.
Have a fun and safe weekend everyone!
January 12, 2012
There are some waterfalls that I’ve visited where I’ve had high expectations, and it’s not that I’m terribly disappointed, but not I’m not always sure what the attraction is. On the other hand, there are other waterfalls where my expectations are very low, and I am overwhelmed when I finally see the waterfall. There are two very impressive waterfalls on the Dead River right near Marquette.
I wasn’t expecting much because of the description I read in the book about Michigan waterfalls. I hadn’t seen any pictures, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The first waterfall is not that exciting, but wow, the 2nd waterfall is truly amazing. I wasn’t sure whether to keep walking along, but I did. The 3rd waterfall is small, but I decided to keep going. There was one turn along the trail where I suddenly realized that the 4th waterfall was going to be spectacular. It was early May, and the amount of snow melt created a great surprise. The waterfall is maybe 30′ tall or so, but the amount of water flowing over the falls was amazing. This group of waterfalls isn’t advertised that much, so you’ll likely be alone.
Also, I should mention, if I haven’t already, that the trail leading to the falls, while not terribly dangerous, would be best described as precarious at a few specific points. At one point, you’ll be hugging the dirt trail that is only feet from a river that is flowing VERY fast, at least in May. If you’re not careful, you’ll be carried away by the very swift current. As long as you’re paying close attention, I think you’ll be ok.
Read on for directions and a photo of the indeed impressive Upper Falls, and also to check out over 60 more Michigan waterfalls. Note that the site author says that on a June 2011 visit he encountered a No Trespassing sign due to work at the falls so maybe call the Marquette CVB to check before making the trek…
Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures.
January 11, 2012
A skier glides down Suicide Hill, circa 1959, photo by Michigan Tourist Council
On Absolute Michigan we regularly feature articles & photos from the Archives of Michigan and their great web site Seeking Michigan. When Bob Garrett posted this feature, however, I knew that I couldn’t let Absolute Michigan have all the fun!
Suicide Hill by Bob Garrett
Suicide Hill’s very name intimidates skiers. The Ishpeming Ski Club, however, describes it as “fine, competitive and safe” (See the Ishpeming Ski Club Web Site). Ski jump enthusiasts hold the hill – and its rich history – in high esteem.
In the Beginning
The Norden Ski Club – renamed the Ishpeming Ski Club in 1901 – held its first formal ski jump competition in 1888. The competition site was south of Lake Angeline, near Ishpeming, Michigan. An annual tradition did not immediately follow. The Club did, however, host competitions in some subsequent years. Various hills in the Ishpeming region served as competition sites.
In 1925, the Ishpeming Ski Club launched a search for a new hill. Peter Handberg and Leonard Flaa, then officers of the Club, found what would be called Suicide Hill. The Hill is located off what is now M-28, between Ishpeming and Negaunee. The Cleveland Cliffs mining company owned the land, and a lease was quickly negotiated.
In the autumn of 1925, development work began on the hill. It proved a community effort. Local citizens donated materials and volunteered their labor. The hill was cleared, graded and shaped. Finally, the Ishpeming Ski Club announced the first competition on the hill. This occurred on February 26, 1926.
“A Little Color”
Ted Butler, a local newspaper reporter, apparently gave the hill its nickname. An Ishpeming skier named Walter “Huns” Anderson was injured a few days before the 1926 meet. Butler wrote about this, using the phrase “Suicide Hill” in his story. “Sure, it’s a good hill, but why not add a little color to it?,” he reportedly said. James Flaa of the Ishpeming Ski Club protested the name, claiming that it created a bad impression and kept skiers away.
Today, eighty-six years later, skiers are still coming to Suicide Hill. They come from many countries and gather for the annual competitions, traditionally held in February.
The annual Suicide Hill Ski Tournament will be held next on February 8, 2012. Suicide Hill waits quietly for the day, ready to challenge a new wave of daring skiers.
“Flying into the Future” by Jane Nordberg. Michigan History Magazine, March/April 2002, pp. 6-11.
For a related article, click Ishpeming winter events
January 10, 2012
January 9, 2012
Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.
~Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Speaking of wolves and January, last month the US Fish & Wildlife Service removed wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the federal endangered species list. Wolves are now managed by states in the region and the ruling takes effect on Friday, January, 2012. A release from the Michigan DNR about wolf de-listing says:
Returning wolves to state management will allow the DNR to more effectively manage the species under Michigan’s highly regarded Wolf Management Plan, which was created through a roundtable process involving interested parties representing viewpoints from all sides of the wolf issue.
“This is great news for the state’s wolf population and for Michigan citizens who have been affected by this issue,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “Treating wolves as an endangered species, when the population has exceeded federal recovery goals in Michigan for more than a decade, has negatively impacted public opinion in areas of Michigan where wolves are established on the landscape. I firmly believe that the more flexible management options allowed under the state’s Wolf Management Plan will help increase social acceptance of the species while maintaining a healthy, sustainable wolf population.”
…After the wolf is taken off the federal endangered species list, the animal will remain a protected species in Michigan. There is no public hunting or trapping of wolves allowed in Michigan. The DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will investigate and continue vigorous prosecution of any wolf poaching cases..
You can find a lot more from the Western Great Lakes Wolf page, and the Michigan DNR’s Wolves in Michigan section has the Wolf Management Plan and a lot of information about the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Also see The Timber Wolf (canis lupus) in Michigan on Michigan in Pictures.