Bring the rain

April 23, 2014

Green by kellyanne

Untitled, photo by kellyanne berg

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
~Roger Miller

View Kellyanne’s photo bigger and see more in her Rain slideshow.

More rain on Michigan in Pictures.

Earth Day Daffodils

April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, photo by Linda

I’d like to wish everyone who wants to have a happy Earth Day a very happy Earth Day.

I love this state and I love the planet it’s on and really hope that we can do a better job taking care of it because I want my kids and grandkids to enjoy it as much or more than me.

View Linda’s photo background bigalicious and see more from Linda’s backyard.

More Earth Day on Michigan in Pictures. If you’re interested in Earth Day’s Michigan roots, check out Ann Arbor’s First Earth Day from the Ann Arbor Chronicle and this video from the first Earth Day at UM courtesy the Bentley Historical Library.

Bring on the Spring!

April 21, 2014

Untitled

Untitled, photo by Brooke Pennington

Brooke has our yearly dose of spring bokeh. Drink deep and wash those winter blues away!

View his photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More about bokeh on Michigan in Pictures.

Menominee Ice Shoves

April 19, 2014

Everyone came out to see the ice shoves

Everyone came out to see the ice shoves, photo by Ann Fisher

While much of the state is enjoying springlike weather, folks in northern Michigan and the UP are still going toe to toe with a winter that will not quit. In solidarity, here’s one more wintry shot.

It comes from Ann Fisher in Menominee and shows the large “ice shoves” or “ice push” that came off Lake Michigan last Sunday. In Ice Shove: Giant Ice Slabs Invade Great Lakes Shorelines, Jon Erdman of the Weather Channel explains:

An ice shove is a rapid push of free-floating lake or sea ice onshore by wind. Strong winds from the same direction over, say, a 12 to 24 hour period, are enough to drive large chunks and plates of ice ashore.

The initial slabs or blocks of ice will slow down momentarily when reaching land, creating a traffic jam of ice piling behind and on top. The result is a massive ice pile often over 10 feet high, surging ashore in a matter of minutes, surrounding and damaging everything in their path, including trees, sod, fences, and homes.

Read on at Weather.com for more including the much bigger ice shoves in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and a look at the most widespread ice coverage on record for mid-April - over 39% of the Great Lakes! You can see some more photos from Fox6 in Menominee and if you head over to Absolute Michigan, you can look back to March of 2009 and some a CNN video of the crazy massive ice shoves on Saginaw Bay.

View Ann’s photo background big and see more in her Ice slideshow.

More ice on Michigan in Pictures.

Snowshoeing the U.P.

Snowshoeing the U.P., photo by Ashley Williams

Ashley took this shot in February in the Upper Peninsula, and by “February” I mean “this Monday”. It’s a beautiful scene for sure, but I think I speak for most of us when I say, “You’re drunk, Winter. Go home.”

View her photo bigger and see more in her Nature slideshow.

Nest Building Heron

April 17, 2014

Nest Building Heron

Nest Building Heron, photo by Dawn Williams

Last year I cited the Michigan Natural Features Inventory entry for Great Blue Heron Rookeries. It remains the definitive source, so I guess a rewind is in order:

The great blue herons in Michigan are largely migratory, with almost all leaving the state during the winter months. Most leave by end of October and return in early to mid-March.

The great blue heron is mostly a colonial nester, occasionally they nest in single pairs. Colonies are typically found in lowland swamps, islands, upland hardwoods and forests adjacent to lakes, ponds and rivers. Nests are usually in trees and may be as high as 98 ft. (30 m) or more from the ground. The platform like nests are constructed out of medium-sized sticks and materials may be added throughout the nesting cycle. Nests are usually lined with finer twigs, leaves, grass, pine needles, moss, reeds, or dry gras. The same nests are refurbished and used year after year…

Most great blue herons return to southern Michigan heronries in mid-March although a few may remain through the winter if there are areas of open water. Courtship and nest building commences from early April in southern Michigan to early May in the extreme northern portions of the state. Both sexes are involved in the nest building process with males primarily gathering sticks from the ground, nearby trees, or ungarded nearby nests. Males pass sticks to females who then place them on the nests.

Click to read more and you can see more on these herons at the Kensington Metropark’s annual Heron Days May 17 & 18, 2014.

View Dawn’s photo background big and see more in her slideshow.

You can read more about heron rookeries and Michigan herons and get more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Frequency

April 16, 2014

Frequency

Frequency, photo by Liz Glass

Liz says that these decaying pilings in Lake Charlevoix at Boyne City are the only remnants of the docks and roundhouse that stood at the waterfront during the town’s lumbering days. About this photo she writes:

Haven’t played with these guys in a while. This is the best time of year for them: we start having more colorful sunsets, and the ice that remains out on the lake helps keep the water still closer to shore. These pilings actually launched my ice fixation years ago when I noticed the elaborate frozen coats they grow in the winter. And then they became a year-round obsession themselves.

By the way, there’s no monkey-business here other than darkening the pilings a little to make them solid black. This is how it looked.

View her photo bigger and see more in her Pilings slideshow.

More from Liz on Michigan in Pictures.

Tax Day Eclipse by Kevins Stuff

Tax Day Eclipse, photo by Kevin

Here in Traverse City, the weather thoughtfully brought us snow because, well, April, amiright? Thankfully, others were not so unfortunate. If Michigan in Pictures had a house astronomer, it would certainly be Kevin, and thankfully he wasn’t so unlucky. He writes:

The full moon of April lies fully eclipsed in the Earth’s shadow on a cold & snowy April morning in West Michigan.

The Full Moon of April is called the “Full Pink Moon”. The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. This year it is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season.

About the image…

I had been waiting for this eclipse for a while, having seen my last one in 2008. Unfortunately it didn’t look like the weather was going to cooperate. The day before we had temperatures in the high 60′s with rain and thunderstorms, and the cold front went through Monday morning and dropped the temps into the 30′s. And then it started snowing in the afternoon.

I remained cautiously optimistic, and around 2.30am I could just barely see the moon through the clouds. I took a chance, packed up my cameras, and headed east to my astronomy club’s observatory. When I got there, it was completely cloudy, but I went up and opened the dome and attached my camera to one of the telescopes anyway.

Totality began just after 3.00am, and suddenly about 10 minutes later the clouds parted – I could easily seen the eclipsed moon, the star Spica nearby, and the planet Mars off to the right. I immediately started shooting, and took images at intervals – especially around mid-totality – until the clouds came in around 4.15am. That was fine, as totality ended about 10 minutes later.

I closed up, packed up, and went home. Images downloaded to the computer, quickly scanned for good ones, and here is one of the best. I’ve got a few wide-field ones I’ll put up later.

View Kevin’s photo bigger and see more in his Lunar Eclipse – April 15, 2014 set and in his massive Astronomy slideshow.

More eclipses and more on the moon at Michigan in Pictures. We’ll add links in the comments when we find more media about last night’s total eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

April 14, 2014

Inside the Ghost Forest

Inside the Ghost Forest, photo by jimflix!

There’s an eclipse of the full moon tonight! It begins at 2 AM Eastern time with the total eclipse lasting 78 minutes and starting about 3 AM. While the forecast is not great, it looks like there’s a chance that those brave souls who trade sleep for a shot at viewing the eclipse won’t be disappointed.

Eastern Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. EDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m. EDT
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. EDT
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m. EDT
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m. EDT

If you’re up in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area, they are having a star party tonight. If anyone knows of other viewing gatherings, post them in the comments! If the eclipse ends up getting clouded out locally, you can always take to the net and watch via the live stream from the Griffith Observatory. As I wrote about last week, this eclipse is the first of four total eclipses without a partial in between known as a Lunar Tetrad.

This photo is of the ghost forest on Sleeping Bear Point created when sand of the world’s largest shifting sand dune covered living trees.

View Jim’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Sleeping Bear Dunes slideshow.

More of the moon and more dunes on Michigan in Pictures!

Hundred Mile High City by Detroit Derek

 

Hundred Mile High City, photo by Derek Farr

When I saw Derek’s photo, I remembered that I had posted a photo of the Penobscot several years ago. I found that photo has been deleted from Flickr and therefor from Michigan in Pictures as well. So here then is the definitive Penobscot post.

The Wikipedia entry on the Penobscot Building says:

Upon its completion, it was the eighth tallest building in the world and the tallest outside New York City and Chicago. Like many of the city’s other Roaring Twenties buildings, it displays Art Deco influences, including its “H” shape (designed to allow maximum sunlight into the building) and the sculptural setbacks that cause the upper floors to progressively “erode”. The building’s architect, Wirt C. Rowland, also designed such memorable Detroit skyscrapers as the Guardian Building in the same decade. At night, the building’s upper floors are dramatically lit in floodlight fashion, topped with a red sphere.

Although the Penobscot Building has more floors than Comerica Tower at Detroit Center (45 above-ground floors compared to Comerica Tower’s 43), Comerica’s floors and spires are taller, with its roof sitting roughly 60 feet taller than Penobscot’s (566′). The opulent Penobscot is one of many buildings in Detroit that features architectural sculpture by Corrado Parducci.

The Penobscot Building served as a “compass” for pilots in airplanes during its early years, due to its position of facing due north. The building also served as an inspiration of sorts for the Empire State Building in New York City, and many individuals worked on the construction of both towers.

The Penobscot Building web site says that the building serves as the fiber-optic hub for the entire Detroit area and touts it as the place for office space. You might also enjoy Historic Detroit’s page on the Penobscot Building, the Emporis page on the Penobscot and this 3D model of the Penobscot Building for Google Sketchup.

View Derek’s photo bigger and see more in his massive Detroit slideshow. He says the title of his photo came from the Ocean Colour Scene song, Hundred Mile High City.

More architecture on Michigan in Pictures.

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