Halloween Spectacle, photo by Kim Nixon

The Halloween Spectacle is an annual event that took place last Saturday in Marquette. Here’s hoping you can get out and make a spooky spectacle of yourself tonight!

Check this out bigger on Facebook and see her slideshow from the Halloween Spectacle on Flickr. More work from Kim at Create with Kim.

…and more Halloween from Michigan in Pictures and Absolute Michigan!

Riding towards Halloween

October 30, 2012

Halloween sunset... ©n.wamsley

Halloween sunset…, photo by Through My Eyes, Nicole Wamsley (astra.amara)

Nicole has the perfect photo for the day before Halloween. Check it out on black and see more including some really cool Headless Horseman (woman?) shots in her Halloween slideshow.

More Halloween photos on Michigan in Pictures.

"October Gale" Grand Haven lighthouse, Grand Haven Michigan

“October Gale” Grand Haven lighthouse, Grand Haven Michigan, photo by Michigan Nut

As the eastern seaboard braces for Hurricane Sandy, a storm of possibly unprecedented power, I thought I’d take a look back and see what the strongest October storm ever was. I didn’t have to look far, as it’s actually the Great Lakes storm of late October 2010:

On October 26, 2010, the USA recorded its lowest pressure ever in a continental, non-hurricane system, though its pressure was consistent with a category three hurricane. The powerful system was dubbed the “Chiclone” by the media as it hit the Chicago area particularly strongly, as well as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was also meteorologically referred to as a bombogenesis due to the rapid drop of barometric pressure experienced.

…The storm also produced some of the highest officially recorded waves by weather buoys stationed in Lakes Superior and Michigan. Specifically, on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, buoy no. 45136, operated by Environment Canada, in northern Lake Superior recorded a significant wave height of 26.6 feet (this is average height of 1/3 of the highest waves over an hour), and buoy no. 45002, operated by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), recorded a significant wave height of 21.7 feet in northern Lake Michigan. The NDBC and many models indicate that multiplying significant wave height by a factor of approximately 1.3 will equal the approximate average height of the highest 1/10 of waves recorded -here that would translate into such average wave heights of approximately 34.5 feet and 28.2 feet on Lakes Superior and Michigan respectively [please verify]. This would appear consistent with the NOAA forecast for northern Lake Michigan calling for 21-26 foot waves that day. The persistence and strength of the storm’s westerly winds also piled the waters of Lake Michigan along the Michigan shoreline leading to declines in lake levels on the Illinois and Wisconsin side of the lake. Based on NOAA lake level sensors, an updated analysis of Wednesday, October 27, 2010 water levels on Lake Michigan revealed a two-day decrease of 42 inches at Green Bay, WI and 19 inches at Calumet Harbor, IL—while NOAA sensors at Ludington, MI and Mackinaw City, MI measured lake level rises of 7 and 19 inches respectively.

A 78 mph gust was recorded the afternoon of October 27, 2010 at the Harrison-Dever Crib, three miles offshore of Chicago in Lake Michigan.

You can read a detailed account of the damage in the October North American Storm Complex on Wikipedia and also read Dr. Jeff Masters’ analysis of the storm at Weather Underground.

Check this out on black and see more in John’s Grand Haven Lighthouse slideshow.

More Michigan weather on Michigan in Pictures.

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

The Lightkeeper’s Ghost tells the tale of George and Loraine Parris who became the beloved caretakers of the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, running the small museum and giving tours. George was something of a trickster and delighted in playing harmless tricks on visitors. He passed away in 1992, but the story doesn’t end there.

As Loraine was driving to the property on Grand Lake Road, which had a clear view of the lighthouse, she saw that it was illuminated.

She knew that the Coast Guard had rendered this impossible, but there it was before her. By the time that she arrived at the keeper’s house, though, everything was dark. The next day she climbed the steps of the lighthouse to make sure that everything was in order, and she saw that there was no way that someone could have turned the light on. Yet, this same pattern repeated itself again and again. Loraine never said anything about it because she thought that people might think her crazy.

Soon other folks began to see the light, however – a yellowish glow was reported from the lighthouse by several people. Some thought that the light had been put back into operation, but others drove out for a closer look, only to find that it was dark once again.

It was even spotted by members of the Air National Guard, who flew a few missions over the area, and by the Coast Guard, who investigated to make sure that no one could fire the light back up. It had been permanently disabled years before, so there was no way that the light could be shining. Yet it was. Many people believe that the spirit of playful old George is occasionally paying a visit to the lighthouse that he loved so much, just to let folks know that he’s doing just fine and to keep alive the stories of the lighthouse that he loved so much.

Read more about the history of the lighthouse from TexasEscapes.com and learn more about the light and visiting from the Presque Isle Township Museum Society.

This photo from Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan was taken in 1963 at Old Presque Isle Light. See it bigger and check out more of their photos of the old and new lighthouses on Presque Isle.

More ghosts and ghost stories on Michigan in Pictures.

Big Sable Moon Rise

Big Sable Moon Rise, photo by Mi Bob

The Farmer’s Almanac says that October’s moon is the Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon:

This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

Bob took this last October at Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Check it out bigger and see more in his Sunset slideshow.

More on the moon and more of Big Sable Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures.

Pumpkin Army

October 25, 2012

pumpkins 3

pumpkins 3, photo by northernlightphotograph

Over on Absolute Michigan our PumpkinPalooza can tell you everything you want to know about pumpkins including some facts from our friends at Taste the Local Difference:

Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbita family, which includes squash, watermelons, and cucumbers. Their origins are believed to have come from Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico that date back over 7000 years ago.

Pumpkins were an important food source for Native Americans. They regularly made pumpkin porridge, stew and pumpkin jerky and they made a broth that contained squash blossoms. They also dried pumpkin shells, and then weaved them into mats, which they used for trading. Early pilgrims quickly added pumpkins to their menus and also sent seeds back to Europe. The earliest version of pumpkin pie was made by baking a hollowed out pumpkin that was filled with milk, honey and spices.

Pumpkins are high in potassium, Vitamin A and fiber. They are also a good source of beta-carotene. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, copper and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

Read on for more including recipes and a comprehensive listing of Michigan pumpkin patches.

Check this out bigger and in Tim’s big old Petoskey images slideshow.

Lots more pumpkins on Michigan in Pictures.

The Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple, photo by kc Jacoby Photography

Halloween is fast approaching and the Awesome Mitten has a great post on the Ten Most Haunted Places in Michigan. We’ve visited a few of those places on Michigan in Pictures, but #4 on the list, The Masonic Temple in Detroit, was spooky, cool and new:

Built in 1912 by a wealthy gentleman named George D. Mason, the Detroit Masonic Temple has over 1,000 rooms, and several secret staircases, concealed passages, and hidden compartments in the floors. Mr. Mason went slightly overboard when financing the construction of the building, and eventually went bankrupt, whereupon his wife left him. Overwhelmingly depressed about his financial and personal circumstances, Mason jumped to his death from the roof of the temple. Security guards claim to see his ghost to this day, ascending the steps to the roof. The temple, abundant with cold spots, inexplicable shadows, and slamming doors, is known to intimidate visitors with the eerie feeling of being watched…

Read on for more and share any thoughts you have on these or other haunted Michigan places in the comments below!

The Detroit Masonic Temple is the largest masonic temple in the world, and you can get all kinds of pictures and history including some shots from construction on their website. The theater has its own site as well for events and this weekend they are going Beyond the Other Side.  One note about George Mason is that in addition to the masonic temple, he also designed several other Michigan buildings including the Detroit Yacht Club and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. See Historic Detroit for more.

While it may feel like the Ken Jacoby show with 2 appearances in just a week, his shot was the most brooding of the many interior and exterior photos of the temple in the Absolute Michigan pool. Check it out on black and see more in Ken’s The Masonic Temple slideshow.

More ghostly fun on Michigan in Pictures and also at absolutemichigan.com/ghost!

Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods, photo by .Larry Page

The Cornell Mushroom Bog is a great resource for mushroom hunters. Their entry on Eating the Chicken of the Woods begins:

David Arora remarks in Mushrooms Demystified that this is one of the “foolproof four” — an unmistakable mushroom. (see below)

This large, brightly colored fungus is often found in clusters but is occasionally solitary. You may discover this mushroom during the summer and fall but rarely in winter or spring. The top surface of Chicken of the Woods is bright orange which can be either more reddish or yellowish than you see here. It tends to lighten in color near the edges. This mushroom has no gills, instead its bright yellow undersurface is covered with tiny pores. The young Chicken of the Woods is “succulent” and has a mild flavor. Older specimens tend to change color as they develop, as well as become brittle. The young mushrooms have bright yellows and oranges; in age they dull to yellow and then pure white.

A good tree can yield up to 50 pounds, but be wary of older fungi as they toughen and develop a sour flavor! If you have found a specimen worthy of collection, you can harvest the mushrooms and return the next year for another crop. Or cut just the outer edge (about 5 cm of the fungus) and return later in the season for a second helping. Be wary of Chickens growing on conifers (in the Northeast) as they are a different species and can cause poisoning. Chicken of the Woods can make a fine chicken substitute as long as you make sure to fully cook the mushroom.

Chicken of the Woods grows in trees that are either living or decaying. These mushrooms cause a reddish brown heart-rot of wood. If the mushrooms are seen fruiting, you can be sure that the fungus has already attacked the tree. They can destabilize a tree by hollowing out its center–this can be problematic for forest owners. Historically, this fungus was known to damage the wooden ships of the British Naval Fleet.

Read on for more and also see Chicken of the Woods or Sulphur Shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) from MichiganMorels.com and Laetiporus on Wikipedia.

Check this out bigger, view a zoomed out shot and see more in Larry’s Fungi slideshow.

I realize I should list the foolproof four. In addition to chicken of the woods, there’s also puffballs, chanterelle & morels. (although there are toxic false morels)

More Michigan mushrooms on Michigan in Pictures!

Zombies love Michigan Blood

October 22, 2012

ZombieDay

ZombieDay, photo by cpcaines

The Annual Grand Rapids Zombie Dash bills itself as the most terrifying night race in the world. Much as in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse, participants are divided into 2 classes, hardy survivors who will run a 5k for their lives a 5k, and members of the zombie horde who will attempt to separate said survivors from said lives. All the details are on the web site, and there’s also a post-race concert.

The event is also raising awareness for a topic near and dear to the un-beating hearts of zombies everywhere and also Michigan citizens. They’re holding early registration where you can also register for Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids on Friday the 26th.

According to Barbara Hile, Program Manager for Michigan Blood’s Marrow/Stem Cell Program, “Patients needing blood stem cell (marrow) transplants can only find a suitable match within their family about 30% of the time. The remaining 70% of matches are made between complete strangers via the Be the Match Registry. Therefore, the more young people who join the Registry, the more chances we have of a match for thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. A marrow transplant is often the patient’s last, best chance for survival.”

Read more at the link above or at www.BeTheMatch.org/join.

Check this out gruesomely gigantic and see more in cpcaines World Zombie Day, Royal Oak MI 2012 … if you dare.

Interesting (for me) side note: CP added three photos to the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr and one of them was of my friend Bradley!

mackinaw island

mackinaw island, photo by amanda vanvels

One of my favorite books as a kid was Lore of the Great Turtle by Dirk Gringhuis. The book has some of the rich legends of Mackinac Island. One is the tale of the Red Geebis and Devils Kitchen, retold by Tehuti_88. It begins:

A long time ago an old man, Aikie-wai-sie, was left behind on Mackinac Island when the rest of the tribe departed for the winter hunting grounds on the mainland. Left behind with him was his young granddaughter, Willow Wand, and the old man was greatly upset that she too would have to remain with him since they had no canoe by which to escape the island. Still, Willow Wand had refused to leave the old man behind, since he was blind and couldn’t fend for himself; but her decision pained him.

“You should have returned with them to the mainland, because Keewenaw will seek you there,” he told her, referring to her beloved.

Willow Wand shook her head. “I’ve left a white deerskin with vermillion spots upon the cliff,” she said. “The fishermen will see it, and Keewenaw will come to rescue us.”

That having been done, they moved up onto a cliff projecting from the side of the bluff, to live upon until they should be rescued. This cliff, and the cave upon it, were just above a cave known as the Devil’s Kitchen, for in this cave lived the Red Geebis, who were cannibal giants. The Geebis were known to roast and eat humans inside this cave, and so Willow Wand and her grandfather had to remain upon their ledge and out of the Geebis’ sight in order to remain safe. Because of this, they could not even go down to the lake for water, even though the shore was just below. They had not been left with much food and so the old man knew that their time there would be rough…

And how. Read on for the rest of the story of Devil’s Kitchen on Mackinac Island.

See Amanda’s photo on black.

More from Mackinac on Michigan in Pictures.

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