December 16, 2013
November 20, 2013
GoWaterfalling.com is the premier site for Michigan waterfall information, and they write that Shining Cloud Falls:
…is the largest, and one of the wildest backcountry waterfalls in Porcupine Mountains State Park. You will have to hike at least 5 miles in to see the falls, and another 5 miles to get back. If you are looking for a good long day hike this is a winner. In addition to the main falls there are also a number of smaller cascades, and whatever route you take there is lots of wilderness scenery.
The total drop of the falls is about 20′. The falls consists of two parts, a slide on the left, and a plunge on the right. In higher water the two parts merge, but in lower water the two parts are distinct. Plunge falls are rare around Lake Superior.
They say that the real challenge is reaching this remote fall, but that it’s definitely worth the trip – read on for instructions!
Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!
November 18, 2013
About a month ago, Jiqing Fan spent the night at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountain State Park. I featured one of his photos then but I figured after Sunday’s ripping storm, we all deserved a glorious sunrise to start the week!
More sunrises on Michigan in Pictures.
November 11, 2013
Last week’s Leelanau Enterprise is reporting that October 2013 had the lowest number of Sleeping Bear Dunes visitors in a decade - an impressive testimony to the impact of our recent government shutdown. You’ll be able to read the article in a month … when it’s no longer news I guess.
More dunes on Michigan in Pictures.
November 6, 2013
During a hike late this summer I noticed the oddly bent trees shown above in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan. It’s likely that snow loading or extreme icing from big storms during a previous winter caused this bowing. These trees were perhaps big enough to bend but not yet so inelastic as to break beneath heavy the snow/ice load. In subsequent years, with less damaging weather conditions, their crooked trunks may begin to straighten. Photo taken on September 21, 2013.
If you have photos of interesting natural phenomena, consider submitting them to the EPOD!
October 10, 2013
About this gorgeous shot of the sunrise & fall color in the Porcupine Mountains, Jiqing Fan writes:
Weather.com forecasted that the sky would clear 2 hours before Monday’s sunrise after 3 days rain, so I decided to camp at the Porcupine Mountain to wait for it. Sunday afternoon, dense fog completely obscured the valley and the rain didn’t stop until midnight. My headlamp became completely useless because of the moisture/fog, I nearly got lost from the toilet to my car 100 feet away. I set up my tent at the parking lot in pitch dark and light rain. Apparently, I am not the only one trying to catch the break and photograph the peak color here. People started to show up, at 2am, 4am, 5am and 6am. Needless to say, I could not get a good sleep. I got up before 7am and found out that there were at least 20 cars already.
My miserable night finally paid off and the light was really amazing that morning.
He adds that color is surprisingly late this year with the Porkies likely peaking this week and says that most of Houghton hasn’t turn red a full week later than usual.
More sunrises on Michigan in Pictures.
October 9, 2013
James took this photo four years ago today at Spray Falls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
More about Spray Falls on Michigan in Pictures.
October 3, 2013
The Detroit News reports that Governor Rick Snyder has made a deal with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr for the State of Michigan to lease Belle Isle for 30-60 years:
Under the deal, Detroit will not receive any direct monetary payment for the lease, but state operation of Belle Isle is expected to save the cash-strapped city $4 million to $6 million annually, officials said. The state also plans to apply for grants to invest $10 million to $20 million in the park’s aging infrastructure.
The deal also gives the council, which was largely sidelined when Orr took over City Hall in March, the chance to approve the lease or offer an alternative plan that would save the same amount of money.
Starting Jan. 1, Detroiters and other state residents would be required to have Michigan’s $11-a-year Recreation Passport on their vehicles to enter the park. Pedestrians, bicyclists and individuals using public transportation could get onto the island for free.
The president of the Belle Isle Conservancy said the lease agreement is “a very important step” toward keeping the park in the public’s hands at a time when city assets are being targeted for liquidation in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy.
Under Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law, the Detroit City Council has 10 days to approve the lease or propose an alternative that would save the same amount of money or more. Read on for more.
About his photo Derek writes:
Taken from a few miles away ( 3.4 miles I believe ) on the 63rd floor of the Rencen, Detroit’s Belle Isle Park is one of the most popular summer destinations in the city. The land was purchased in 1879 and opened to the public 10 years later – the park itself was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York City’s Central Park. Admission is free but on a hot summer day get there early or all the best spots on this 982 acre island will be taken. It is America’s largest City-Owned Island Park.
PS: Go back in time at Belle Isle on Michigan in Pictures.
October 1, 2013
A taste of the Shutdown’s impact on Michigan via Leelanau.com…
The TC Ticker reports that the federal government shutdown that began at midnight has closed portions of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
A park representative said gates will be closed on the park’s campgrounds, bathrooms and popular Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive until the shutdown ends, though visitors may still access the park’s hiking trails and lakeshore. (our emphasis)
Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of five national parks in Michigan affected by the shutdown, a move that comes at an unfortunate time for tourism-dependent parks nearing the end of their operating seasons. The Leelanau County attraction, which will operate with a skeleton crew of emergency-only personnel until the shutdown has ceased, normally averages 2,300 visitors a day during the fall season, according to park reports.
The Freep reports that a similar scenario will unfold at other Michigan National Parks with Isle Royale & River Raisin Battlefield Park closing early for the season. Let me stress that you can still enjoy the majority of our parks and trails. In other Michigan-specific news, about 900 Michigan National Guard members are bracing for a furlough notice and training for another 12,000 will be put on hold. More details on the shutdown’s impact on Michigan at mLive.
September 24, 2013
Located just off the mainland coast of Lake Michigan’s east coast, a group of islands known as the Beaver Archipelago form a chain which marked the western edge of a tight passage along the coast. Known as the “Manitou Passage,” vessel masters taking this narrow passage were able to reduce the travel distance between the ports of Lake Michigan’s southern shore and the Straits of Mackinac by sixty miles, as opposed to taking the more circuitous route through open water to the west of the islands. As the most southerly of this chain of islands, South Manitou also featured one of the areas safest natural harbors, and with 5,260-acres of fine timber growth covering the island, it is not surprising that a few enterprising settlers arrived during the mid 1830’s to sell firewood to steamers taking shelter in the harbor when things turned sour out in the lake. By the late 1830’s it was commonplace to find upward of fifty vessels crowded into the harbor seeking refuge and taking-on supplies when things turned sour out in the lake.
Lying a scant few miles west of Sleeping Bear Point, mariners were hard pressed to locate the southern entrance to the busy passage at night or in times of thick weather, and a cry arose throughout the maritime community to light the southern entrance to the passage. Taking up their call on February 19, 1838, Michigan State Representative Isaac Crary entered a motion before the House of Representatives to erect a lighthouse on South Manitou, and fully cognizant of the vital role played by maritime commerce in the area, Congress responded quickly with an appropriation of $5,000 for the station’s construction on July 7 of that same year.
You can read on at Seeing the Light for the troubled saga of this light which saw high keeper turnover and some tragedy in its long tenure before being decommissioned in 1958. There’s also historical photos like this one showing the structure in full operation.
Many more lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!