November 25, 2013
The winds are howling right now in Traverse City with the wind chill around 20 degrees. A scan of the state via Michigan-based Weather Underground shows that we’re at the top end with temps like 28 in Marquette, 21 in Grand Rapids & Detroit, 19 in Ann Arbor and 20 in Lansing along with wind chills in the low teens.
Although you might now believe it from this bench, Wunderground founder Dr. Jeff Masters writes that October 2013 was the 7th warmest October on record since 1880, the 344th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The month also saw three $1 billion dollar weather disasters.
More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!
November 16, 2013
November 8, 2013
Lake Fanny Hooe is located in Fort Wilkins State Park on the Keweenaw Peninsula near Copper Harbor. A great article from Marquette Monthly about the hard life of UP women back in the day tells about how the legend of the lake turns out to be a lot more dramatic than the reality:
Local tales related that the beautiful young woman had drowned in the lake, or got lost in the woods while picking blueberries and was never seen again. In truth, Lucy Frances Fitzhigh Hooe, Fannie, spent the summer of 1844 visiting her brother Thornton, who was stationed at Fort Wilkins. Her sister, Richardetta was the wife of Lt. Daniel Ruggles, also stationed there. At the end of the summer, she returned to the family home in Virginia. She then married Chester Bailey White in 1849, and had three children. While she led an interesting life, her visit to Fort Wilkins was not a major part of it. She died in 1882, probably in Fredericksburg, (Virginia).
Read on for lots more!
October 2, 2013
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center posted Geomagnetic Storm Starts Early about 8 hours ago:
The awaited CME passed the ACE spacecraft around 0100 UTC on October 2 (9:00 p.m. EDT October 1), sooner than forecasters had expected. G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic Storming now prevails, with the prospects of G2 (Moderate) levels still to come. The shock had no effect on the current Solar Radiation Storm, still declining through the S1 (Minor) category. Aurora watchers in North America may want to check the skies in the next few hours.
Those who got out were rewarded, and there’s more on tap for tonight. With this strong on an aurora at Torch Lake, the might be visible tonight in Grand Rapids or even further south!
PS: Shawn Malone simply posted “Oh My” about an hour ago, so definitely take a look at her Lake Superior Photo Facebook later today when she’s had a chance to grab some shut-eye and post them!
September 16, 2013
Wikipedia entry for Charlevoix (pronounced shar-le-voy) says:
The city is situated between Lake Michigan and the western end of Lake Charlevoix, which drains into Lake Michigan through the short Round Lake/Pine River complex in the heart of downtown Charlevoix. Charlevoix’s Round Lake has been called the best natural harbor on Lake Michigan.
Charlevoix is named after Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, a French explorer who travelled the Great Lakes and was said to have stayed the night on Fisherman’s Island one night during a harsh storm. It was during this time that Native Americans were thought to have lived in the Pine River valley.
The City of Charlevoix website adds that Charlevoix first became a village in 1871 and was later established as a city in 1905. The city has a year round population of roughly 3,000 people. FYI, Round Lake is the little lake right off Lake Michigan whick opens into the much larger Lake Charlevoix – here’s a map of Charlevoix!
September 13, 2013
John McCormick comments that it won’t be long and we will be seeing scenes like this one again. With a north wind blowing and highs not expected to reach 60 today in Michigan’s northern half, it’s pretty clear that fall and fall color is right around the corner! I hope you get the time to plan a color tour or two to enjoy places like the Lake of the Clouds. Michigan is especially amazing when the hardwoods catch fire, and the show only comes once a year
John is one of my favorite photographers, and his Michigan Nut Facebook page is on fire right now with new photos every day!
August 30, 2013
Early stamp methodology was a very simple and archaic one – nothing more than a simple process of smashing rock down into small pieces and sorting out the copper. Everything that remained would then be dumped into tailing ponds as waste. In the Copper Country the largest of these tailing ponds was Torch Lake, where no less than five mines dumped millions of tons of waste rock into its depths. Unfortunately, these waste tailings often contained a great deal of copper which the jigs and wash tables of the mills failed to remove. Copper that ended up in Torch Lake.
As copper prices dropped and milling technology improved, mine companies began to take a second look at these copper bearing deposits in Torch Lake. It was now possible – and economically advantageous – for mines to retrieve those tailings and remove the copper that they still contained. The process was known as reclamation, and was first undertaken in earnest by C&H around 1920. Towards that end C&H built itself a dredge that could suck up those sands from the lake bottom and send them out to the reclamation plant on shore. This first dredge – known as C&H Dredge No. 1 – would be responsible for retrieving over 48 million tons of C&H sands in its lifetime, yielding over 423 million pounds of copper for the company.
The Quincy Mine got into the reclamation game several decades later – in 1943 – after failing to make a profit on its underground operation. In 1953 the C&H Dredge No. 1 was bought by Quincy to supplement its own dredge. It turned out to be exceptional foresight, as Quincy’s first dredge ended up sinking in Torch Lake in 1956. Its roof top can still be seen sticking up from the center of the lake. As for Quincy Dredge No. 2, it continued to mine Torch Lake for several more decades until it too sank in 1967.
Read on for a detailed account of the workings of the dredge, lots of views of the dredge and some great historical photos.
More Michigan industry on Michigan in Pictures.
August 3, 2013
I’ve been doing a lot of stand-up paddleboarding this summer on Grand Traverse Bay courtesy my friend Michael who owns The River of Traverse City. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is and also what a great workout it is.
In a couple of weeks Traverse City will host the TC Waterman. It takes place on Saturday, August 17th and is the largest paddle board event in the Midwest and also the site of the 2013 Great Lakes Regional Championship. In addition to a variety of races and skills challenges for all ages and skill levels, the event features 50 booths by local and national SUP organizations and companies, free clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. The weekend also features two events from Porterhouse Productions: Paella in the Park on Friday (wine, music & paella) and the Great Wakes Festival Saturday (water-themed activities, organizations, music & fun).
More Traverse City on Michigan in Pictures.
June 4, 2013
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources page on Brown Trout, Salmo trutta says that Brown trout is something of a misnomer as many Great Lakes brown trout are mainly silver in color. Michigan Sea Grant has excellent information about Great Lakes fish, and their Brown Trout entry says that the they were first stocked in the Great Lakes in the 1880s and:
The brown trout’s scientific name translates to “trout-salmon.” The Atlantic salmon and brown trout both belong to the genus Salmo. Rainbow trout, coho salmon, and Chinook salmon belong to a different genus – Oncorhynchus.
Great Lakes brown trout typically enter tributaries to spawn during late fall. Reef spawning also has been documented in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Although naturally reproducing populations of brown trout exist in Michigan waters, most are maintained through stocking. Unlike Chinook and coho salmon, brown trout do not necessarily die after spawning and can live for up to 13 years in Lake Michigan.
Browns can tolerate warmer water than other trout species, which adds to their popularity as a gamefish in rivers that are not suitable for native brook trout. In the Great Lakes, brown trout stay near shore in waters less than 50 feet deep, which makes them an ideal gamefish for shallow bays such as Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay.
The diet of brown trout varies greatly depending on its environment and available food sources. In the Great Lakes, brown trout prey mostly on forage fish such as alewife, rainbow smelt, and round goby. In rivers, small browns eat a variety of aquatic invertebrates. Larger fish transition to a diet of small fish, large insects, and even small rodents. Big browns are notorious for their wariness and nocturnal feeding habits.
Read on for more from Michigan Sea Grant and connect with them on Facebook. For more information on how and where to catch brown trout see the DNR’s Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them and Better Fishing Waters.
March 13, 2013
Last week on Michigan in Pictures for a post titled Heavy (space) Weather, I referenced The 23rd Cycle:Learning to live with a stormy star by Dr. Sten Odenwald. This out-of-print book is available online for free and explores the impact of solar storms upon our electromagnetic grid. Chapter 1 is titled A Conflagration of Storms, and it begins with an account of one of the most memorable aurora borealis I’ve ever experienced:
On Thursday, March 9, 1989 astronomers at the Kitt Peak Solar Observatory spotted a major solar flare in progress. Eight minutes later, the Earth’s outer atmosphere was struck by a wave of powerful ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. Then the next day, an even more powerful eruption launched a cloud of gas 36 times the size of the from Active Region 5395 nearly dead center on the Sun. The storm cloud rushed out from the Sun at a million miles an hour, and on the evening of Monday, March 13 it struck the Earth. Alaskan and Scandinavian observers were treated to a spectacular auroral display that night. Intense colors from the rare Great Aurora painted the skies around the world in vivid shapes that moved like legendary dragons. Ghostly celestial armies battled from sunset to midnight. Newspapers that reported this event considered the aurora, itself, to be the most newsworthy aspect of the storm. Seen as far south as Florida and Cuba, the vast majority of people in the Northern Hemisphere had never seen such a spectacle. Some even worried that a nuclear first-strike might be in progress.
While I couldn’t find photos from ’89 of these amazing northern lights, I was able to get a really cool photo from one of Michigan’s best aurora photographers, Shawn Malone. About the display above from November 14, 2012 she writes:
I think this photo is my favorite to date. It felt like years of observing and photographing resulted in the reward of being able to catch this image. Beautiful place, right time, right conditions, and a great geomagnetic event materialized!