June 20, 2014
The Grand Island National Recreation Area is located on Grand Island off the coast of the U.P. just west of Munising. The island is accessible by private boat or ferry and features cliffs like those in the Pictured Rocks, with some as high as 300 feet! There’s a hiking/biking trail around the island, but Shawn says this location is probably only accessible by boat.
You really should check this shot out background bigtacular on Facebook. There’s lots more great pics in Lake Superior Photo’s amazing gallery too. Do yourself a favor and follow Shawn & Lake Superior Photo if you’re not already and purchase prints online or in her gallery & studio in downtown Marquette!
More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
June 18, 2014
Amy Arnold has a cool feature on the West Michigan Pike called Highway to History at Seeking Michigan that says (in part):
You may know it as old M-11, old US 31, the Red Arrow Highway or the Blue Star Highway – all names for a road that was originally called the West Michigan Pike, the first continuous concrete highway in West Michigan. Begun in 1911 as part of a strategy to bring auto tourists from Chicago to Michigan, the road was completed in 1922 and ran from New Buffalo to Mackinaw City.
…In the 1920s, an effort to create a series of connected, safe places for auto travelers to stay resulted in the development of a series of parks along the route, including seven state parks between New Buffalo and Ludington. During the Depression, Ludington State Park was the first state park in Michigan to be constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was a showplace for the National Park Service program. The West Michigan Pike was also important in Michigan’s early conservation history. Much of Michigan’s land had been clear cut and abandoned by the lumber industry. The state incorporated highway beautification and reforestation as part of its work to create good roads in Michigan.
Read more at Seeking Michigan, and you can also check out Amy’s historical study of architectural resources along the West Michigan Pike at Michigan Beach Towns. If you’d like to retrace the route, here’s an old flyer with the West Michigan Pike route.
Also, they note that there’s an exhibit titled Yesterday on the West Michigan Pike: Photographs by Vincent J. Musi, that shows the noted National Geographic photographers photos taken along the Pike in 2008. View some right here.
More beach wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!
June 16, 2014
Jason shared this shot of one of my favorite views in Michigan, the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, in the Michigan Cover Photos Group. It’s the new cover photo for the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page and (in my opinion) looks just about perfect.
Much more about the Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.
June 14, 2014
Pictured Rocks Tours say legend has it that an Indian couple displayed their love for one another by jumping off the top of this rock arch together. They stress that the water at the base is only a few feet deep, so don’t try it!
While Myths and Legends of our Own Land by Charles M. Skinner (online e-book from Project Gutenberg here) doesn’t have a story about this Lovers’ Leap, Skinner does detail three tales from Mackinac Island in his chapter on Lovers Leaps that says (in part):
So few States in this country—and so few countries, if it comes to that—are without a lover’s leap that the very name has come to be a by-word. In most of these places the disappointed ones seem to have gone to elaborate and unusual pains to commit suicide, neglecting many easy and equally appropriate methods. But while in some cases the legend has been made to fit the place, there is no doubt that in many instances the story antedated the arrival of the white men…
When we say that the real name of Lover’s Leap in Mackinac is Mechenemockenungoqua, we trust that it will not be repeated. It has its legend, however, as well as its name, for an Ojibway girl stood on this spire of rock, watching for her lover after a battle had been fought and her people were returning. Eagerly she scanned the faces of the braves as their war-canoes swept by, but the face she looked for was not among them. Her lover was at that moment tied to a tree, with an arrow in his heart. As she looked at the boats a vision of his fate revealed itself, and the dead man, floating toward her, beckoned. Her death-song sounded in the ears of the men, but before they could reach her she had gone swiftly to the verge, her hands extended, her eyes on vacancy, and her spirit had met her lover’s.
From this very rock, in olden time, leaped the red Eve when the red Adam had been driven away by a devil who had fallen in love with her. Adam, who was paddling by the shore, saw she was about to fall, rushed forward, caught her, and saved her life. The law of gravitation in those days did not act with such distressing promptitude as now. Manitou, hearing of these doings, restored them to the island and banished the devil, who fell to a world of evil spirits underground, where he became the father of the white race, and has ever since persecuted the Indians by proxy.
Much (much) more from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan in Pictures. I also want to stress that while the price tag on the boat tour might give you pause, this is hands-down the best boat tour I’ve ever done and gives you a view of the Michigan natural wonder that is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that will stay with you forever.
May 28, 2014
The Washington Post has a feature on Lake Superior’s stubborn ice cover:
As of Memorial Day, ice covered 4.5 percent of Lake Superior according to NOAA, and 1.7 percent of the Great Lakes overall (though Superior is the only lake with remaining ice). The recent Great Lakes ice cover is unrivaled in records dating back to the early 1970s.
Ice cover the Great Lakes has been way above normal and, at times record-setting, for months.
In early March this year, the Great Lakes ice extent reached 94.19%, the second most on record for any month, dating back to 1973 in NOAA’s dataset, and most on record so late in the season. In late April, ice still covered nearly one-third of the Great Lakes, the most on record by a large margin so late into spring.
Click through for some photos of people enjoying the ice.
Ann took this last weekend at Miners Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. How cold is that water right now? Michigan Sea Grant’s Coastwatch for the central UP shore of Lake Superior recorded a balmy 36.7 degrees on May 25th!!
Like many, Rudy stayed up really late to see what the new May Camelopardalids meteor shower would deliver. The answer was “Not a whole lot.” One thing they say is that predictions might have been a bot off and they will put on a show tonight. You can read about the whys and wherefores on EarthSky, but I’d like to make a couple of points.
One is that (as you can see from the photo) the skies last night were jaw-droppingly clear, providing some of the most amazing star gazing in recent memory.
The second (and I think the real payoff) is that those hardy folks who stayed up or dragged themselves out of bed saw an the first act of an event that could take recur for millennia. Having a chance to see the birth of something that operates on a cosmic timescale is pretty darned cool!
More meteors on Michigan in Pictures!
May 9, 2014
One of the neatest things for me about online photography and social media is how things come together in a synchronistic fashion sometimes. Yesterday, I posted a photo by Shawn Malone from above at Miners Castle of the frozen expanse of Lake Superior. For everyone who wondered what things were looking like at beach level, here you go!