Is our summer out there?

February 23, 2013


090611_1186 by jsorbieus, photo by jsorbieus

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, and we’re having a great one. Around this time I start to wonder when we’ll be able to walk out of winter and into warmer times.

Check Jim’s photo out background bigtacular, view it in his Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore slideshow and see more of Jim’s work on Michigan in Pictures.

Red Sunflower

August 24, 2012

Red Sunflower

Red Sunflower, photo by d charvat

I wish I’d planted a field of these.

Check it out bigger and in d charvat’s Summer slideshow.

More flowers on Michigan in Pictures.

Lake Charlevoix Yacht Race

Lake Charlevoix Yacht Race, photo by Innerspacealien

Last week USA Today released their list of the best lakes in America. The Great Lakes were not eligible and Lake Tahoe was the winner, but Lake Charlevoix in Northern Michigan managed to grab the runner-up spot. Click that link to read what some of their readers wrote. The Lake Charlevoix Lake Association says:

Lake Charlevoix is the third largest lake in the state with a surface area of over 17,200 acres and approximately 60 miles of shoreline. The maximum depth in the main basin is 122 feet and in the south arm, 58 feet. It is located at 45 degrees north latitude and 85 degrees west longitude. It has direct access to Lake Michigan via dredged channels in and out of Round Lake in the city of Charlevoix. There are close to 1,700 lots on the lake, with approximately 1,200 different owners. The lake is usually frozen for about three months of the year from near the end of January to early April.

There are three cities at the ends of the lake. Boyne City is at the east end of the main lake and is a historic lumber and tannery town. It is now a year round recreation center with the lake in the summer and Boyne Mountain ski resort in the winter. East Jordan is at end of the south arm and was also important in lumbering in the nineteenth century as well has having a large iron works that is still there today. The city of Charlevoix is at the mouth of the lake and is both a historic and present day resort town.

The city of Charlevoix is named after Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, a French explorer who traveled the Great Lakes and was said to have stayed the night on nearby Fisherman’s Island one night during a harsh storm. Lake Charlevoix had been named “Pine Lake” until 1926 when it was decided to change the name because, among other reasons, most of the pines had been harvested in the previous century and there were 25 other lakes in Michigan with that name.

They also have some great historic photos you can check out.

See Craig’s photo background big and see more photos from the area in his Up North slideshow.

More great Michigan lakes on Michigan in Pictures!

Sunflower Field

Sunflower Field, photo by C E Andersen

August is sunflower season in Michigan, and this shot is a beaut!

Check it out background bigtacular and in Chuck’s Sunflowers slideshow.

More great Michigan wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

The Descent

July 21, 2012

The Decent

The Descent, photo by J.M.Barclay

Here’s hoping that the equivalent of the Fun Slide passes through your weekend!

View it on black and in J.M.’s slideshow.

More great black & white photos on Michigan in Pictures.

On the lookout for rain

July 20, 2012

Big Red

Big Red, photo by [DennisT]

Bloomberg is reporting that the Midwest drought is now affecting nearly 80% of the corn crop, over half of the US and is a factor in heat waves that have set or tied a whopping 6,639 daily high temperature records since June 1. The drought is already affecting southern and west Michigan and parts of the UP and appears likely to expand into northern Michigan as well.

This Detroit News article reports that the percentage of the state affected by severe drought has jumped to 21% from just 2% a week ago. The State Drought Monitor shows the level of drought severity in Michigan, and you can see more with the Midwest region map and the Michigan Interactive Drought Conditions map. This report on Yahoo lists some of the highlights (lowlights?) of Michigan’s 2012 drought:

  • Rainfall shortages since May 1 are up to six inches in some areas. The average rainfall at this time of year is eight to nine inches.
  • Last week, the Michigan State University Extension (of the Department of Geology) reported that across Michigan, particularly in the southwestern part of the state, there was evidence of plant water stress.
  • MSU Extension says that the extreme heat from the first week of July exacerbated crop concerns. Temperatures rose to high 90s and topped 100 degrees in some areas.
  • The Michigan DEQ has issued several ozone alerts already this year. Michigan cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ludington and Benton Harbor have been under air quality alert for 14-15 days since late May. Grand Rapids, Mich., has been under ozone alert for 17 days.
  • MSU Extension says the intense drought across Michigan’s southern, central and eastern Corn Belt region has similar conditions to the great drought of 1988.
  • …and the bad news: Continued dryness in Michigan is predicted for the rest of July, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

Check out this great capture from the other day on black and in Dennis’s thunderstorm slideshow.

More about Holland’s Big Red Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures.


Untitled, photo by North Woods Conservancy

When someone with the commitment to jump into the icy waters of Lake Superior in February asks you to take a look at something she thinks is important, my feeling is that you darn well do it.

Kate shared news that the Keweenaw-based North Woods Conservancy owns a piece of property called Seven Mile Point. It’s 32 acres with 1,854’ of sand, basaltic bedrock and volcanic cobble beach located on Lake Superior about 5 miles from Eagle River. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory listed it for high-priority protection due to the unique plant and animal communities associated with the 1.1 billion-year-old basaltic lava flow lakeshore.

While they were able to get going with the purchase, they haven’t been able to raise enough funds to make the payments. They’re seeking folks to help with one-time or monthly donations. Click for more information and photos of this gorgeous spot and also follow them on Facebook!


You can get this photo background big and in their Seven Mile Point slideshow.

More of Lake Superior on Michigan in Pictures.


Fireworks!, photo by Craig – S

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
~Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, 1952

The safety to be unpopular is a freedom we don’t always think of, but something we might well consider. It strikes me that in our relentless drive to get everyone on the same page, we’re not able to get anything done. There is a lot to be done and a lot of places we can find common ground to make our schools and communities better and protect the natural resources that make Michigan the place we love.

If it’s total agreement you’re looking for, that’s probably fascism. Democracy is messy.

Speaking of messy, you’ve no doubt noticed bigger booms over the last few days, That’s due to a new law in Michigan that allows the purchase of any federally allowed firework. The messy democratic process is already at work:

City officials across Michigan have scrambled in recent weeks to try to stymie the party in the sky — limiting when residents can set off fireworks in light of a change in state law that allows a more powerful category of explosives to be sold and used in the state.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts blasted the state law, saying “pyromaniacs” are terrorizing the community, scaring children, pets, seniors and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with the louder explosions caused by the more powerful fireworks.

“The state has legalized these ‘consumer fireworks’ and people are going gung ho,” Fouts said. “People, who were hesitant to do illegal fireworks now are empowered.”

State legislators approved the looser fireworks legislation, which went into effect in January, to keep residents from taking their money to other states to purchase fireworks not available here. The new law forces communities to allow the fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after federal holidays, such as the Fourth of July.

Warren, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, Novi, Birmingham, Royal Oak and other cities across Michigan are already creating ordinances to ban these fireworks during other times of the year.

Check this out background big and in Craig’s Bay City Michigan slideshow.

Here’s hoping you have an explosively fun and very safe Fourth of July! Here’s many more Fourth of July photos from Michigan in Pictures!

Daylily Deliciousness

June 30, 2012


Daylily, photo by joeldinda

Yesterday I was talking with some folks about how tasty a daylily is. I’ve always called them tiger lilies, and last summer I learned that you can eat them so we stuffed the flowers and baked them!!

It’s important to note that these are NOT the poisonous easter lilies, and as with all wild food, know what you’re eating is of supreme importance. This article about harvesting and eating daylilies has some excellent tips and you might also enjoy dining on day lilies by Hank Shaw.

Check this photo out background bigtacular and in Joel’s massive Flowers slideshow.


Untitled, photo by Brooke Pennington

I thought a cool photo would be perfect for this scorching hot summer solstice! The Summer Solstice is the yearly moment when the sun’s apparent position in the sky reaches its northernmost point. You can think about it as throwing a ball up in the air – when the ball reaches its maximum height, that’s the solstice.

In addition to being the longest day of the year, it’s also the first day of summer. It all happens today  at 7:09 PM in Michigan! More about the solstice from National Geographic.

Check this out bigger and in Brooke’s Summer slideshow.


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