Farewell Robin Williams

August 12, 2014

Robin Williams

Robin Williams, photo by Gene Schilling

“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
~Robin Williams

Like many who have enjoyed the zany & genuine wit of Robin Williams, I was saddened to hear that he lost his lifelong battle with depression.

View Gene’s photo bigger, see more from this show in his Robin Williams @ The Sound Board, Detroit, MI (assignment for MotorCityBlog.net) slideshow and check out musicimagesbygene.com for some great concert photography.

PS: I found this quote in a Huffington Post article with some really great shots of Williams.

Regrets

Regrets, photo by Ann Fisher

‘Tis the season when Michiganders wonder what Noah was thinking…

View Ann’s photo background big and see more in her U.P. 2014 slideshow.

More funny business on Michigan in Pictures.

Polar Vortex Cabin Fever

Polar Vortex Cabin Fever, photo by lauraherd

A few readers shared Thursday that they’d rather I check my politics at the door and stick to the Michigan photo posting. 6 even unsubscribed, but since 8 more subscribed I guess it’s a wash.

I’ve run a lot of blogs and similar online projects, and I’ve seen what happens when they become places for people to fight about things. That’s not going to happen on Michigan in Pictures, and I want to make a couple of things clear, just so there’s no surprises.

  1. And this is #1 for a reason. I love Michigan. Love love love it. I’ve worked really hard on this site for 8 years for no financial gain, sharing and promoting and discovering Michigan. What I do gain is the satisfaction of learning more and seeing more of my state. My love of Michigan extends to a commitment to the preservation of Michigan’s water and environment, which I believe is critical to our state’s long-term economic health. I can’t and won’t separate this, so you’re going to have to deal with the occasional post about my thoughts on these matters.
  2. And this is really part 2 of #1: I love YOU. You follow Michigan in Pictures because you love Michigan and love learning about the same weird, fun, beautiful things that I do. You also appreciate the talented photographers who share pieces of the glorious whole of the Great Lakes State in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Thank you for your support of my efforts and your support of all the photographers who trust their work to me.
  3. This is my personal blog. I’m glad that so many people enjoy it, and I try go out of my way to confront people. That said, I don’t do Michigan in Pictures for money, I do it for love and my own satisfaction. I find comments along the “Stick to posting pretty pictures of Michigan” insulting and offensive. I’ll be sticking to doing what I do, and if that’s a problem for you, there’s a big wide internet out there so please feel free to unsubscribe now.

Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend.

Laura let me post this photo she took of our cats, Monty & Acorn. It’s a personal favorite. Click to see it bigger on Instagram.

Sweetheart Splash

February 11, 2014

Rockford Sweetheart Splash 2014

Rockford Sweetheart Splash 2014, photo by DJ Wolfman

I solemnly swear that I will never get tired of looking at polar bear plunge photos. They are Michigan’s Mardi Gras which I think is awesome.

DJ Wolfman captured some great fun at Rockford’s Sweetheart Splash. Check this photo out bigger and see more in his Rockford Sweetheart Splash slideshow.

lighthouse snowman

December 4, 2013

lighthouse snowman

lighthouse snowman, photo by kiwirat

Frosty’s got nothing on the St. Joseph Lighthouse.

View Dave’s photo bigger or in his St. Joseph, MI slideshow.

Formal Day at the Beach 2012

Formal Day at the Beach 2012, photo by flambedude

Staying safe at the beach? There’s an app for that. The Great Lakes Echo recently reported on myBeachCast, a smartphone app that gives you beach information:

Although drownings appear to be on track to fall from a record high in 2012, the overall trend from the past several years have seen consistent increase, according to the Great Lakes Surf Commission. The hazard warnings on the app informs users when and where there is a potential for dangerous rip currents.

In addition to the hazard warnings, the app will continue to feature lake temperature, beach locations and other components.

“The app is GPS enabled to allow a user to discover local Great Lakes beaches based on their location, save favorite beaches and view real-time information [on conditions],” said Christine Manninen, communications director of the Great Lakes Commission.

The app will hopefully reduce drownings, she said.

“Having the information at their fingertips gives people a better chance of making smarter decisions to protect their own health and safety and their family’s.”

Jonathan writes that this photo was taken at Formal Day at the Beach, a yearly event in Grand Haven where people dress up and get into Lake Michigan and swim around looking fabulous. If anyone knows when this is in 2013 please post it in the comments! Jonathan just let me know that Formal Day at the Beach takes place this year on Sunday, July 28th at 2pm.

Check his photo out bigger and see more in his Formal slideshow.

Much more about Michigan’s beaches on Michigan in Pictures!

BACKYARD NATURE

BACKYARD NATURE, photo by John E Heintz Jr

April is the time when we start to hear some of Michigan’s 13 species of frogs and toads making noise. While the green frogs pictured above were confusing their Frogbook friends in July, most of the distinctive spring frog calls are males advertising that they’re looking for love. The Michigan frog & toad page from the DNR explains:

As temperatures rise in early spring, frogs begin to move to their breeding sites. The actual timing depends on the warmth of the air and water, and the humidity, but there is noticeable order in which the various Michigan species become active and begin voicing their breeding calls. For example, in southern Michigan the raspy voice of the Western Chorus Frog is usually heard first, often in late March, followed quickly by the highpitched peeps of the Spring Peeper. In a few days the woodland swamps are filled with the quack like calls of the male Wood Frogs, while in another week in open marshes the low snores of the Leopard Frog are barely heard over the squeaky songs of newly arrived Red Winged Blackbirds.

The first warm rains of April bring American Toads out of the woods to the breeding ponds, where the air is soon filled with their melodious trills. Several of our frogs postpone their breeding activities until later in spring, when air and water temperatures are higher. Included in this late group are the Gray Tree Frog, Blanchard’s Cricket Frog, and Green and Bull Frogs.

Frogs are far more often heard than seen. Most frog sounds are the advertisement calls of the males, intended to attract the females for breeding. Frog voices may carry for long distances, especially the higher pitched calls of the smaller species. The males increase the loudness of their calls by ballooning out their throats or special sacs at the sides of their throats, creating a kind of resonating chamber. Only males produce advertisement calls, but both sexes may give shorter warning calls or screams when danger threatens. Males can also produce distinct calls that warn away rival males that approach their calling or breeding sites.

Female frogs and toads may lay hundreds or even thousands of eggs. These are usually attached to underwater vegetation or left floating in large masses at the surface. During egg laying, the male clings to the female’s back and fertilizes the eggs. The small, dark eggs are protected by layers of a jelly like substance. They may be in rounded masses (as in Wood and Leopard Frogs), loose clusters (Gray Tree Frogs), long necklace like strings (Toads), thin surface films (Bull and Green Frogs), or deposited singly or in small clusters (Spring Peeper). Many frog eggs are eaten by predators such as fish, turtles, and aquatic insects, or are lost to drying or destruction by micro organisms.

Read on for more and also read more about the frog life cycle from All About Frogs.

Check this out on black and see more in John’s BACKYARD NATURE slideshow.

More frogs & toads on Michigan in Pictures!

blah blah blah about being bigger than oneself

blah blah blah about being bigger than oneself, photo by hardyc

Is it just me or has the cloning of extinct species gone too far?

Check this out big as a brachiosaur and see more in Chris’s slideshow!

More April 1 fun on Absolute Michigan today!

South Arm Nessie

South Arm Nessie, photo by Cvx_Wx

Absolute Michigan has been known to hold Weird Wednesdays on the last Wednesday of every month. Our Michigan Sea Monsters post featured two denizens of the deep courtesy Linda Godfrey’s Weird Michigan, the Sea Monster of the Straits and the Lake Leelanau Monster:

The story of an early 20th Century sea monster sighting was sent to The Shadowlands Web site by a reader whose great-grandfather was the witness. The boy was fishing for perch one day in 1910 in the shallows of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County. The lake had been dammed in the late 1800’s to provide water power for the local mill and to enable logging. The dam also flooded much surrounding area, turning it into swamps and bogs punctuated by dead, standing trees.

On that particular day, the young great-grandfather, William Gauthier, rowed out to a new fishing spot near the town of Lake Leelanau. Looking for good perch habitat, he paddled up close to a tree that he estimated to stand about five feet tall above the water, with a six-inch trunk. He was in about seven feet of water, and after deciding this would be a good place to stop and cast a line, began tying the boat to the tree.

That’s when young William discovered the tree had eyes. They were staring him dead in the face at about four feet above water level. The boy and serpent exchanged a long gaze, then the creature went, “Bloop” into the water. Gauthier said later that the creature’s head passed one end of the boat while the tail was still at the other end, though it was undulating very quickly through the water. The writer noted that Gauthier always admitted to having been thoroughly frightened by his encounter, and that the event caused him to stay off that lake for many years.

The writer added that his great-grandfather came from a prominent area family and was very well-educated, and that he knew others who would admit privately but not publicly that they, too, had seen the creature. No sightings have been reported in recent times, but who knows how many people have believed they were passing by a rotting old cedar when in fact they had just grazed the Leelanau lake monster?

Could the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix hold similar creatures? Check this out big as a beastie and see more in Ed’s My Neighborhood slideshow.

More weird Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!

God’s Duck

September 7, 2012

SQUASH DUCK

SQUASH DUCK, photo by marsha*morningstar

Here’s the latest in the always popular Michigan in Pictures Duckie Series.

Marsha writes:

Seriously, untouched—-exactly how it grew and the markings are natural…just a little saturation of color and edging but this is really Gods duck.

See it bigger and in Marsha’s slideshow.

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