"Bridge to Nowhere" Foggy Mackinac Bridge - Mackinaw City , Michigan.

“Bridge to Nowhere” Foggy Mackinac Bridge – Mackinaw City , Michigan, photo by Michigan Nut

“Unless we move without delay to halt the deterioration of our land, our water and our air, our own children may see the last traces of earth’s beauty crushed beneath the weight of man’s waste and ruin.”
~Governor William Milliken to the Michigan legislature, January 1970

While “environmentalism” has become a polarizing term, it seems to me to be a concept that’s at the core of loving & caring for the Great Lakes State. One of my personal heros, Michigan Governor Bill Milliken, recognized this and he and his wife Helen fought strongly throughout their careers to enshrine protection of the natural bounty that they loved into the fabric of Michigan’s laws. It’s no surprise that every year the Michigan Environmental Council recognizes an individual for outstanding leadership, enduring commitment and extraordinary public service in protecting natural resources at the local, state and national levels with the Helen & William Milliken Distinguished Service Award.

The 2013 recipient has been announced, Dave Dempsey. Dempsey is the author of numerous books, a former member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, environmental policy adviser to former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard, and member of the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund Board.

“Dave Dempsey is the rare leader who is able to move effortlessly from talking about the arcane technical details of some issue, to explaining in vivid and powerful terms why that issue is so critical to the quality of life for the generations that come after us,” Chris Kolb, MEC president, said in a press release Monday.

“Dave’s contributions to a better Michigan through his public policy advocacy alone deserve our recognition and gratitude. However, when you add in his authoritative chronicling of Michigan’s environmental history through his books, it’s clear he has made a special, positive, and lasting impact on our state.”

There’s no doubt that Dempsey has been a champion of the Great Lakes, and this Sunday (July 14) you have a chance to do some championing of your own as dedicated groups from all over the state host Oil & Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes to raise awareness about climate change and the dangers posed by an oil pipeline that runs through the Mackinac Straits. Enbridge Energy – the company responsible for the devastating July 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill and over 800 other spills since 1999 – has been pumping oil through the Straits for 60 years. They are seeking to pump even more oil through the aging Mackinac pipeline – possibly including tar sands, the most toxic and hard to clean up if spilled.

The rally this Sunday, July 14 at noon at Bridge View Park in St. Ignace (just across the bridge) and there are numerous busses heading there from Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City and other locations. Click for details or view the event on Facebook!

Check John’s photo out bigger and see more in his Bridges / Covered Bridges slideshow.

Yellow Tulips
Yellow Tulips, photo by srab44_2000

Holland’s annual celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, the Tulip Time Festival, starts Friday May 4th and runs through May 11th. While last year’s crazy March heatwave had tulips blooming in mid-April, tulips have been in the slow lane in 2013 due to a cool spring. The good news according to meteorologist Bill Steffen is that a well-timed warmup should have tulips in near perfect bloom this year.

Check this photo out background bigtacular and see more in E. Benson’s Tulip Time Festival 05/2009 slideshow.

More tulips and more Holland on Michigan in Pictures.

La Marche du Nain Rouge

March 11, 2013

Detroits Red Dwarf by Billyvoo

Detroit MI, photo by billyvoo

Over 300 years ago, around the same time the city of Detroit was founded, an evil was discovered in and around the city. An evil that has plagued the people and the city, and even wrecked havoc upon the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. This ‘evil’ was said to have been a Nain Rouge, other wise known as the “red dwarf of Detroit.”
~La Marche du Nain Rouge

La Marche du Nain Rouge is held every year on the Sunday following the spring equinox. That’s Sunday March 24, 2013, and they explain:

La Marche du Nain Rouge is an annual Detroit tradition that purportedly dates back to shortly after the city’s founding by the French in 1701. Annually held on the Sunday closest to the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, it is parade and street theater similar in sensibility to Mardi Gras and other Carnival celebrations. However the impetus for La Marche is different.

La Marche drives Le Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf) out of Detroit, preventing its evil spirit from plaguing the people of the city for the rest of the year. By forcing Le Nain Rouge from the city (and into the spirit plane), Le Nain is banished, transforming Detroiters’ fears and doubts into the hopes of new life and the coming Spring season.

Tradition holds that a citizen of Detroit dresses up as Le Nain Rouge, temporarily embodying its spirit, wearing a mask to conceal identity. As Le Nain Rouge, this person accepts responsibility for leading people through the streets of Detroit to La Marche’s final destination.

Read on for more including pictures and definitely head over to Absolute Michigan to learn much more about one of Michigan’s spookiest stories, Nain Rouge: The Red Dwarf of Detroit.

Billy took this in March of 2011 at the 300th anniversary of La Marche. See it bigger and see more in his La Marche du Nain Rouge slideshow and also check out billyvoo.com.

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

Flying High at Suicide Hill

February 11, 2013

126 Suicide Jumps

126 Suicide Jumps, photo by PhotoYoop

Cory writes that he attended the 126th annual ski jumping tournament Friday night at Suicide Bowl in Ishpeming, where skiers have been jumping annually since 1887! It’s run by the Ishpeming Ski Club. You can get more photos on their Facebook where I also found a video by Under the Radar Michigan.

Here’s a feature by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan about the history of Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill from a couple of years ago on Michigan in Pictures.

Check his shot out bigger and see more in his ski slideshow. Be sure to follow him on Facebook too!

More skis and skiing on Michigan in Pictures.

Ice Climbing in Munising

January 25, 2013

Ice Climing in the Pictured Rocks

HMR Ice in Pictured Rocks, photo by Luke Tikkanen

The abundant waterfalls that make the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore such a treat in summertime turn it into an amazing mecca for ice climbing every winter. Since 1983, Down Wind Sports has organized and promoted the Michigan Ice Festival in Munising. The event brings some of the top ice climbers in the world and features product demos, presentations, intro to climbing and plenty of climbing socials. 2013 dates are January 31 – February 3, so consider a trip north next weekend!

Today’s photo is the cover of the forthcoming edition of An Ice Climbers Guide To Munising Michigan by Jon Jugenheimer and Bill Thompson. There will be a release party for the book next Thursday (Jan 31) at Sydney’s in Munising. They explain:

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has been called one of the premier ice climbing areas in the country. Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Superior, it is renowned for its beautiful setting and phenomenal ice routes. This edition An Ice Climbers Guide To Munising Michigan offers the most thorough and up-to-date information, maps, and descriptions of the major ice climbing formations.

Click through for more about the book including some more great photos. This climb is known as HMR, out by Grand Portal Point in the Pictured Rocks. Here’s a panoramic photo of the climb in relation to the Portal.

LFA

LFA by JSFauxtaugraphy, photo by JSFauxtaugraphy

Snapshots from the 2013 North American International Auto Show aka NAIAS 2013 aka the Detroit Auto Show started yesterday for media & industry. The public show runs Saturday, January 19 through Saturday, January 26. Here are a few quick hits:

Check this out background bigtacular and see more in Joseph’s NAIAS 2012 slideshow.

More NAIAS on Michigan in Pictures.

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!

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