February 18, 2013
A couple of weeks ago a reader sent me a link isleroyalewolf.org. The website documents the interactions of the island’s wolf & moose population as their decades long dance unfolds on this remote, wilderness island. Their overview explains:
Isle Royale has offered many discoveries… how wolves affect populations of their prey, how population health is affected by inbreeding and genetics, what moose teeth can tell us about long-term trends in air pollution, how ravens give wolves a reason to live in packs, why wolves don’t always eat all the food that they kill, and more. The wolves and moose of Isle Royale also frequently reveal intimate details of their daily life experiences and they have inspired numerous artistic expressions. If we pay attention, they all tell us something important about our relationship with nature. These insights and discoveries are all presented here for you.
Building on the graph above and to develop a deeper understanding, here is more on the history of wolves and moose on Isle Royale. Moose first came to Isle Royale in the early 20th century, and for fifty years, their numbers fluctuated with weather conditions and food abundance. Wolves first arrived in the late 1940s by crossing an ice bridge from Canada. The lives of Isle Royale moose would never be the same.
Every winter since 1958, a team of researchers has spent numerous weeks at Isle Royale observing the lives of these wolves and moose and reporting back. Now they offer a website with photos and detailed reports, a fascinating tale that I encourage you to follow. Today’s photo is from the edition I began with - It’s Complicated. A snapshot:
Isabelle’s signal was surprisingly close. By the time we saw her, she was running for her life, north along the beach of Rainbow Cove. She was being chased by Pip’s two companions. Pip was nowhere in sight. While those two wolves have been eating regularly, Isabelle may not have had a decent meal in weeks, perhaps longer. Isabelle’s half-mile lead was reduced to nothing in just a few minutes.
More wolves on Michigan in Pictures.
February 13, 2013
GoWaterfalling’s page on Memorial Falls in Munising says:
MNA Memorial Falls is in Munising, off of H-58. Some of the locals refer to this waterfalls as “Twin Falls”. This is a very seasonal waterfall and is often dry. However when the water is flowing, which may only be after a good rain or when the snow is melting, you will be treated to a very pretty gorge with two waterfalls in it. MNA Memorial Falls is owned by the Michigan Nature Association and it is open to the public.
…Two streams empty into this gorge, but the second one likely only has water after or during a good rain. One very interesting feature of this gorge is a “window” in the walls between the two falls. You can crawl through this window, or just walk around it. You can see each of the waterfalls through this window.
Another nice thing about this waterfall is its proximity to Tannery Falls. The trail from Nestor streets forks just before it descends into the gorge. The trail to the right leads to the base of the falls. The trail to the left leads to H-58, about 100 feet away from the stairway to Tannery Falls, so you can visit both falls on the same hike.
In the winter both of these falls turn into ice columns that are tackled by the ice climbers. Despite their low volume of water, each of these falls manages to produce a very impressive column. Every winter Munising hosts an ice climbing festival. After the festival the ice columns look like they have been attacked by woodpeckers. There are many other interesting ice formations to see in the area.
January 25, 2013
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.
January 17, 2013
Remembering Michigan’s Historic Moose Lift from the Michigan DNR begins:
On Jan. 20, 1985, separate convoys carrying men and equipment set out from Michigan on a mission to reach the 3,000-square-mile Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.
Over the next two weeks, this team of wildlife biologists and veterinarians from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, working with a team of Canadian specialists from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, would locate, capture, transport and release a number of wild moose to form the nucleus of a new population in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
It was an unprecedented, historic operation. The wind chill at times approached 100 degrees below zero. Utilizing helicopters, tranquilizing dart guns and slings, some moose were air-lifted as far as 14 miles from the capture area to base camp.
At base camp, each animal was subjected to thorough medical testing and was fitted with a sophisticated radio collar, before being lifted into a shipping crate and placed onto a transport truck for the non-stop 600-mile overnight journey back to Michigan.
The remarkable effort was called “moose lift.” A total of 29 moose (10 bulls, 19 cows), ranging in size from 750 to 1,250 pounds, survived the arduous journey.
Crowds assembled each day at the release site north of Lake Michigamme in Marquette County. Despite temperatures well below zero, a welcoming committee of U.P. residents always showed up to greet the new “American” citizens.
More moose on Michigan in Pictures!
December 3, 2012
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore explains that Miners Falls is about five miles north of Alger County Road H-58 off Miners Castle Road. It’s a short hike of just over a mile round-trip from the parking area and Miners Castle.
I always wondered about the whole “miner” thing with Miners River/Falls/Castle. The Miners Falls Trail Guide explains that:
Visited by passing English geologists in 1771-1772, the nearby Miners River was named by employees of Alexander Henry during one of his exploratory trips on Lake Superior. At that time, indicators or “leaders” were used to locate mineral deposits. Discolored water oozing from bedrock was one such leader found in the Miners Basin, although no minerals were ever extracted from this area.
Who was Alexander Henry you ask? Wikipedia explains:
Alexander Henry ‘The Elder’ (August 1739 – 4 April 1824) was one of the leading pioneers of the British-Canadian fur trade following the British Conquest of New France; a partner in the North West Company, and a founding member and vice-chairman of the Beaver Club. In 1763-64, he lived and hunted with Wawatam of the Ojibwa, who had adopted him as a brother. “Blessed with as many lives as a cat,” his time with the Ojibwa and subsequent explorations are retold in his Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories between the years 1760 and 1776 (published New York, 1809), which he dedicated to his friend Sir Joseph Banks. The book is considered an adventure classic and one of the best descriptions of Native Indian life at this time.
An “easy and dignified” raconteur, in 1776 Henry was invited to give an account of his journeys at the Royal Society in London and at Versailles to Queen Marie Antoinette. In the 1780s, Henry introduced John Jacob Astor into the Canadian fur trade and subsequently Astor would stay as Henry’s guest during his annual visits to Montreal.
See it on black and see more in Greg’s great slideshow which includes a shot of a UP moose! From the Small World Files, Greg took this photo on November 27th. On the 28th, John McCormick was also there and also shared his shot on the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr!
More from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan in Pictures.
December 1, 2012
The hardest 15 days for the year for the non-hunting lover of the outdoors in Michigan are November 15-30th. I think of December 1st as a mini-holiday. Call it “Back into the Woods Day” and celebrate as you will.
Joel’s photo is from Fitzgerald Park aka “The Ledges”, an amazing park along the Grand River near the town of Grand Ledge. Check this out background bigtacular and see more in his Into the Woods slideshow.
November 21, 2012
Nice shot from Hines Park in Livonia. Here’s hoping everyone and their guests have safe travels this holiday whether you’re headed over the river, through the woods or somewhere else.
More bridges on Absolute Michigan.
November 12, 2012
Wikipedia’s Tahquamenon Falls entry says that the upper Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park are more than 200 feet across with a drop of approximately 48 feet. In the spring, the falls can push as much as 50,000 gallons of water per second. That makes it the third most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi, after Niagara Falls and Cohoes Falls in New York.
As you can see, they are impressive even during times of lower flow. I thought this shot did a great job of conveying the size of these magnificent falls and really hope you get a chance to see them!
Much more about Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures!
November 6, 2012
I wondered a lot about what to post on Election Day, but when I saw this photo, I knew I didn’t have to look any more.
In the end, I suspect it doesn’t matter as much about what your vote is as the simple fact that you do vote. A lot of sacrifices have been made to give you this moment when you can make some statements about the future you want, and there’s way to much to be done to sit on the sidelines. Here’s an easy way to see your ballot courtesy of Absolute Michigan.
That light is shining today. Does it shine for you?
ShelNf writes that while walking out on Miner’s Beach in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on a rainy day, he noticed a patch of sunlight that had broken through the clouds, illuminating part of the cliff face. Check this photo out on black and see more in his really awesome slideshow.
November 3, 2012
Should you ask me, whence these stories, whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest, with the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams, with the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions, and their wild reverberations,
As of thunder in the mountains.
I should answer, I should tell you: “From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland, from the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs, from the mountains, moors, and fenlands,
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them.
From the lips of Nawadaha, the musician, the sweet singer.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha
You may already be aware that one of the main purposes of this blog is to allow me to indulge in my passion for Michigan and its history. Names of the first people who dwelt in Michigan are of particular interest to me, and I was very gratified to discover not only that nawadjiwan is an Ojibway word meaning in the midst of the rapids, but also that it was the name of the singer who taught Longfellow The Song of Hiawatha.
I almost had to leave it there, but then I found a reference in Michael Witgen’s book An Infinity of Nations: How the Native New World Shaped Early North America.
Longfellow acknowledges Schoolcraft’s influence on veiled fashion, when he tells the reader he learned Hiawatha’s story “from the lips of Nawadaha.” Few readers would realize that this was the Indian agent’s Ojibwe name. Logfellow asserts that Nawadaha had merely repeated these stories, not unlike himself and not unlike an Indian sitting in his lodge on long winter nights telling stories to amuse the children.
You can read on for the author’s puzzlement that Michigan Indian agent Henry Rowe Schoolcraft – himself married to a native woman Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (Oshauguscodawaquat) - would tell tales that are in large part false. As the Wikipedia entry on the Song of Hiawatha notes however, Longfellow was far more concerned with excitement over accuracy and made numerous editorial decisions in the construction of his epic poem.
GoWaterfalling.com says that Nawadaha Falls is the upper most of the three falls along the Presque Isle Rivers final stretch.
This is a low, wide waterfall. Its width varies greatly depending on the water levels. Nawadaha Falls is similar to but a little higher than Manido Falls. The steepest part of the falls is on the eastern side, and when the river is low, most of the water flows there. There is a nice natural overlook out in front of this drop easily reached from the trail on the east side of the river.
South Boundary Road is not to far beyond Nawadaha Falls. You can cross river here and hike down the other side to make a loop around all the Presque Isle Falls. The eastern side is much wilder, but the whole hike is very enjoyable.
They add that Manabezho Falls is the larger and most interesting but that the whole hike is well worth it. To bring this full circle, the figure that Hiawatha is modeled on is the trickster god and emissary of the Great Spirit, Manabezho.
Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!