January 29, 2013
This photo is from a feature on today’s Leelanau.com blog about the historic water lows on the Great Lakes. It includes a great video so definitely check it out.
Leland is my home town and to see the difference from just 27 years is astonishing!
More Lake Michigan on Michigan in Pictures.
July 7, 2012
The National Cherry Festival (July 7-14) kicks off today in Traverse City. From Black Diamond jets screaming across the skies to Cherry Queen candidates parading across the stage to all manner of parades, tasting events, concerts and games for all ages, this is the biggest party anywhere in celebration of Michigan’s mighty cherry!
One downside is that Michigan’s cherry crop was devastated by our wacky spring, but hopefully we’ll be back at the top of cherry production in 2013. Also see more about the Cherry Festival from Michigan in Pictures.
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the only federally protected national marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes. It encompasses 448 square miles of Lake Huron’s bottomlands off Alpena. It was established in 2000 to protect a nationally significant collection of nearly 200 shipwrecks, spanning over a century of Great Lakes shipping history. It draws over 70,000 visitors every year and is a haven for protection, education and research for shipwrecks and our maritime heritage.
Now Thunder Bay is poised to grow almost tenfold to over 4,000 square miles including waters off Alcona and Presque Isle counties. The Great Lakes Echo notes that today is the last day for public comment for or against the expansion. You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Carolyn Sundquist of the Echo explains that vessels can pass through it without restriction and that:
The proposed expansion includes an estimated 200 shipwrecks and would connect the underwater sanctuary from Michigan to the shores of Canada. No public funds are allotted as part of the approval.
“Very positive support has been received from the public comment sessions and many of the local governments have passed resolutions supporting the expansion,” said Jeff Gray, the sanctuary’s superintendent.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, various state senators and officials of adjacent cities have written letters of support. So has the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Sanctuary explains that the 126′ two masted schooner F.T. Barney was built in 1856 and wrecked on October 23, 1868 en route from Cleveland to Milwaukee. The F.T. Barney was run into by the schooner T.J. Bronson and sank in less than two minutes in very deep water with a cargo of coal. No lives were lost, and the wreck is one of the most complete of its kind with masts and deck equipment still in place.
See many more shots of divers and shipwrecks in their Fieldwork 2007 gallery - be sure to toggle the “View” link to slideshow in the top left for larger pics.
Many more Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures!
May 23, 2012
The Elberta Alert tipped me off last year that in 1978, Michigan Governor William Milliken proclamed May 23 Gwen Frostic Day in Michigan, and in 1986 she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Their page for Sara Gwendolyn Frostic (Gwen Frostic) who was born in 1906 and passed away in 2001 says:
Author, artist, lecturer, and founder and sole proprietor of Presscraft Papers in Benzonia, Michigan, Gwen Frostic is known throughout the nation for her images of nature and for illustrated books which reflect her indomitable philosophy.
Frostic was born in Sandusky, Michigan and lived in St. Charles before moving to Wyandotte for her high school years. Interested in art from an early age, she used a band saw to create life-size posters for school events, and later studied art education at Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan Universities. During World War II, she worked in a Ford Motor Company bomber plant where she learned production, a skill she put to good use running the 15 Heidelberg presses in her northern Michigan printing and sales establishment. These presses make impressions from her hand-carved linoleum blocks onto paper and the resulting prints found their way into distinctive books, pamphlets, stationery, and other products she designed.
After beginning her business in Wyandotte, Frostic moved to Benzie County in 1955, starting with 40 acres and gradually creating a 285-acre wildlife sanctuary 35 miles southwest of Traverse City. Her commitment to nature and design is reflected in her home, studio, and print shop which draw thousands of visitors each summer.
Check the photo out bigger and see more from the studio (including the massive Heidelberg presses used to print her iconic designs in Trish’s Gwen Frostic slideshow.
March 22, 2012
“We are seeing the unusual becoming the norm.”
~Nate Fuller, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
Michigan’s strange “Summer Spring” has seen magnolias, cherries, trillium, daffodils and all manner of plants blooming more or less at once under the pressure cooker of a week of 70 and 80 degree days. For some reason the news that morel mushrooms are being found already in Southwest Michigan has been the most shocking to me of all the action of so far. Hunters from further north in Manistee & Traverse City reported finding tiny ones as well at morels.com.
You can usually set your clock to morels in late April to early May, but it appears we have to revise our The general wisdom appears to be that although it is very early and pretty dry out there, forecast rain over the next few days could bring these delicious woodland treasures out.
Much more Michigan morel info on Michigan in Pictures.
March 5, 2012
While the winter of 2012 has been one of the mildest in Michigan history, the month of March has come in like Ndamukong Suh, dumping over 2 feet of snow in some spots and knocking out power for 250,000+ Michiganders!
Today on Absolute Michigan we posted Five Things You Need to Know about Michigan snowstorms that has the details about this and other snowstorms in Michigan.
January 3, 2012
“January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.”
January is upon us and – for the northern part of the state at least – that means snow! It also means that many of the events on our Michigan January event calendar on Absolute Michigan are focused on celebrating all that snow Michigan gets! From ice skating all month at Campus Martius in Detroit to racing with sled dogs in Newberry to Michigan’s largest ice sculpture display in Plymouth, you’ll find plenty to do all over the state. There’s also wine tours, autos shows and much more. Click through for all the details!
December 28, 2011
The Detroit Free Press reports that Coast Guard has given the Frankfort Lighthouse to the City of Frankfort under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. It’s one of 15 historic light stations in Michigan that have been transferred at no cost to nonprofits and government agencies.
The Frankfort North Breakwater Light entry at Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light details the long history of the lights at Frankfort Harbor and says that:
By 1924, the total car ferry tonnage through Frankfort Harbor was twenty five times greater than that prior to the establishment of the ferries. To better serve this vital commerce, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of a pair of reinforced concrete arrowhead-type breakwaters at the harbor entrance in order to create a large stilling basin to protect the opening into the harbor. With the completion of these breakwaters in the early 1930’s, the twin piers at the entry into Lake Betsie no longer served any purpose. With plans in place to shorten them into short stub piers, the North Pierhead Light was lifted from the pier onto the deck of a barge and carried out to the end of the North Breakwater. A square steel base 25 feet in height had been erected on the end of the breakwater to receive it, and the tower was lifted onto the new base. After being bolted into position, the new tower stood 67 feet in height from the upper level of the pier to the top of the lantern ventilator ball. By virtue of its location on the concrete pier, the light stood at a focal plane of 72 feet, and the 17,000 candlepower incandescent electric light within the Fourth Order Fresnel was visible for a distance of 16 miles in clear weather.
Be sure to click for much more including some very cool old photo of the South Pier fog bells and the story of captain George Tifft, who more or less founded Frankfort when his schooner was driven into Lake Betsie.
December 19, 2011
Point Betsie Light is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The Friends of Point Betsie website notes that the point was originally known by the French as “Point Aux Bec Scies,” meaning “sawed beak point” and that it was was built in 1858 at a cost of $5000. If you want to get a taste of life at a lighthouse, you can rent the Assistant Keeper’s apartment in the summertime.
Much more about Point Betsie Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures!
October 5, 2011
It’s a great time to tune into fall color all across Michigan. The Upper Peninsula is about at peak with the northern half of lower Michigan looking at peak color this weekend and next. Southwest and southeast Michigan aren’t far behind!
Stacy took this photo near Maple City in Leelanau County, and it jibes with the near peak forecast we’re giving for this weekend over on Leelanau.com. Check it out bigger and in her Generic Fall Images slideshow.