March 5, 2014
At night, as cold settles in, lake ice creaks and groans. It’s been excessively cold, and I camped exposed on the snow-swept surface. Other than the lack of vegetation and the sounds at night, you’d never know you were on a lake. It feels like an empty plain. In some places, you see pressure ridges where ice has pushed into itself, sticking up like clear blue stegosaurus plates.
~ Author Craig Childs on Lake Superior
From the latest satellite photo, it looks like Lake Huron is 100% frozen with Superior & Erie 95% and Michigan somewhere in the 85% area. Ontario is looking like the slacker right now, and you can follow along and see daily satellite shots from NOAA.
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center provided the quotation above and reported on the Great Freeze Over the Great Lakes saying (in part):
Scientists say it’s understandable that the Great Lakes have had so much ice this year considering the cold temperatures in the region that persisted through the winter. Cold air temperatures remove heat from the water until it reaches the freezing point, at which point ice begins to form on the surface, explained Nathan Kurtz, cryospheric scientist NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
“Persistently low temperatures across the Great Lakes region are responsible for the increased areal coverage of the ice,” Kurtz said. “Low temperatures are also the dominant mechanism for thickening the ice, while secondary factors like clouds, snow, and wind also play a role.”
The freeze this year has local implications, including possible changes to snowfall amounts in the Great Lakes area, explained Walt Meier, also a cryospheric scientist at NASA Goddard. When the lakes are primarily open water, cold air picks up moisture from the relatively warm and moist lake water, often resulting in lake effect snow on the lee side of the lakes, on the eastern and southern shores. When the lakes freeze, the lake effect generally shuts down. “Although this year, they’re still picking up a fair amount of snow,” Meier said.
Lake levels could also see an impact by summer, as winter ice cover generally reduces the amount of water available to evaporate during winter months. If that turns out to be the case, it would be “good news for local water supplies, as well as for shipping and recreational use,” Meier said.
A 2012 study in the Journal of Climate by scientists at NOAA’s Great Lakes lab, which included data from MODIS, found that winter season ice cover on Lake Superior has decreased 79 percent from 1973 to 2010. The study also showed that ice cover on the lakes is highly variable and difficult to predict.
Today’s photo was taken on frozen Lake Michigan off the Leelanau shore by my friend and neighbor Cammie, co-owner of Epicure Catering. You can follow her at caterleelanau on Instagram for lots of wintertime fun and summertime food!
More ice on Michigan in Pictures!
February 21, 2014
In addition to Michigan in Pictures and building websites & marketing campaigns, my partner Laura & I produce an online publication called eatdrinkTC that profiles Traverse City’s dynamic culinary scene. We feature a lot of the chefs and culinary artisans who make it all happen and engage people in helping to promote all the good things going on.
One way we do that is with our monthly #eatdrinkTC Photo Contest that offers a prize every month for the top photo. This month’s prize is two 3-course dinners at the popular The Cooks’ House, so if your photographic arsenal has some pics from Traverse City or the surrounding area that fit the bill, consider entering.
The photo shows Myles Anton, chef at Trattoria Stella. Myles and Chef Brian Polcyn of Forest Grill in Birmingham were announced as semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Great Lakes this week. It’s one of the top honors in chefdom – hats off to both for representing the Mitten!
Lisa was lucky enough to attend a cooking class with chef Myles at The Box last month. It was titled simply “The Pig” and Myles showed the class how to break down half a pig and how to cut, prepare and EAT the many cuts! (we have a full cooking class calendar if you’re interested)
February 17, 2014
IMPORTANT SAFETY UPDATE! The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department has declared the ice caves on Lake Michigan unsafe!! The winds have moved the ice and there is now open water within feet of the caves, and the strong winds expected today and tomorrow will continue to push water and ice inland. There are also large cracks in the arches and they are expected to start collapsing soon.
Ken Scott took a trip out to the massive ice caves off the shore of the Leelanau Peninsula near Traverse City. You can see a fantastic video of his explorations and should definitely take a minute to watch his cautionary video showing the cracks that can form in these massive structures. There are few things less forgiving than the Great Lakes in winter, and with temps forecast in the upper 30s for tomorrow, things could get very dangerous.
Although ice caves and similar formations form every winter on Michigan’s shoreline, these ones are particularly incredible due to the greater than normal mass of ice generating more force. They have made it all the way to national news and have drawn thousands of visitors. A couple more features are at Huffington Post, another nice YouTube video showing the structures and the crowds and this mLive article with directions.
December 31, 2013
Probably my favorite thing about the New Year is the sense that anything and everything is possible. For myself, I’m happy to close the door on 2013 which has been a tougher than usual year and looking forward to new opportunities in 2014.
I hope that whatever you’re feeling about the year that’s gone that the year to come brings you everything you hope for and some wonderful surprises that you weren’t expecting. Happy New Year everyone!
PS: Thanks everyone for the great comments and kind words yesterday!
December 14, 2013
Today’s post might win the 2013 Incomprehensible Garbledegook Award…
Almost all of the photos on Michigan in Pictures are those added to the Absolute Michigan pool on the excellent photo sharing site Flickr, with occasional photo posted to the Michigan in Pictures Facebook mixed in. While that’s very convenient for me, there’s a whole lot of great photos on Twitter and Instagram too.
If you’re interested in sharing your photos and aren’t into Flickr, please feel free to use the “michpics” hash tag: #michpics on Twitter and #michpics on Instagram. If your photo is in some other place, you can tweet it with that hash tag.
Thanks everyone for sharing and I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of Michigan’s beauty this weekend!
Jiqing Fan took some amazing photos this fall. View his shot from Brockaway Mountain on the Keweenaw Peninsula bigger and see more in his slideshow. Past features of Jiqing Fan on Michigan in Pictures.
December 11, 2013
The photo above won the first photo contest on our new eatdrinkTC website. If you’re in the Traverse City area and enjoy snapping & sharing shots of food & drink, click that link for all the details on the current contest.
Michelle says that she heads to the farmers market every weekend to grab fresh veggies. On the weekend she took the winning photo, she was inspired by sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes), created two different soups (Sunchoke Potato and Jalapeno Kale & Spinach) and swirled them together to create this beautiful bowl of deliciousness. I’ve included the recipes below!
November 26, 2013
DIVISION is planned to be the first feature-length film entirely filtered through Instagram. The story is inspired by local folklore from Traverse City and the nearby Old Mission Peninsula and begins when a young man embarks on a journey to cure his girlfriend’s writer’s block. Chaos ensues, sending the couple into questioning what is real and what isn’t. The real truth, or at least part of it, has been recorded by the couple and their friends.
As for processing the entire film through the popular photo-sharing site Instagram, Producer Cat Muncey explains their motivation:
Back when the photo app rolled out video capabilities in June, I got the idea to do a feature through it. First, it was unconquered territory and hadn’t been done before. Second, I thought it would be an interesting way to present a character’s story. Most everything people share through social media is self-edited, so you only see what they want you to view. There’s more to everyone’s story than what they are willing to share, and I think the use of social media makes is a compelling element within a suspense movie.
There’s been a lot of interest in the film locally. We are featuring small businesses and their goods throughout the film and focusing on sourcing local talent. It’s been kind of neat running into people around town talking about the project or recognizing me from our Kickstarter or social media. We’ve also gotten some nice media coverage around town and even on digitaltrends.com.
Really, the biggest aim of this project was to create a community experience. We are still looking for additional extras and filling in the blanks with some locations and we would love to have additional support from local people. If anyone is interested, they can find out more at our Facebook page or contact me.
They have just 3 days left to raise $3000 and complete their Kickstarter goal. Head over to Kickstarter to learn more about the project, see their video appeal, learn more about the Instagram processing and help them out!
More Michigan movies on Michigan in Pictures.
August 3, 2013
I’ve been doing a lot of stand-up paddleboarding this summer on Grand Traverse Bay courtesy my friend Michael who owns The River of Traverse City. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is and also what a great workout it is.
In a couple of weeks Traverse City will host the TC Waterman. It takes place on Saturday, August 17th and is the largest paddle board event in the Midwest and also the site of the 2013 Great Lakes Regional Championship. In addition to a variety of races and skills challenges for all ages and skill levels, the event features 50 booths by local and national SUP organizations and companies, free clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. The weekend also features two events from Porterhouse Productions: Paella in the Park on Friday (wine, music & paella) and the Great Wakes Festival Saturday (water-themed activities, organizations, music & fun).
More Traverse City on Michigan in Pictures.
June 7, 2013
I have to confess: I am a huge fan of Michael Moore. One of the reasons has nothing to do with politics or his films. Almost 10 years ago, Michael did something that I didn’t think possible. He galvanized support, spent and raised money and brainstormed to lead a vast & diverse army of volunteers to restore the theater of my childhood, the State Theatre in Traverse City. While the successful and wildly entertaining Traverse City Film Festival has been a huge driver of the theater’s comeback, many overlook how his dedication to the movie-going experience created a theater that hundreds of people every day enjoy as part of a vibrant downtown experience. Of course after the Motion Picture Association of America tapped the State as #1 on their list of the best theaters in America, that number has probably gone down.
All this is a rather long-winded way of introducing Michael’s latest Traverse City cause, restoring the empty Con Foster Museum as a new theater – the Bijou By the Bay. The story starts with Conrad “Con” Foster:
Manager of the State Theatre when it was originally known at the Lyric Theatre, he first arrived in Traverse City in July of 1917 as an employee of Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company to run and operate the Lyric. A true showman with a passion for the movies, one of the first things he did upon arrival was install a “newer and brighter” screen as part of his commitment to make the Lyric “equal to any motion picture house in the state.” It is this commitment to presentation the State Theatre continues today.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 21, 1875, Foster was not a Traverse City native, but the community embraced him and he quickly made the area his home. After less than a year in Traverse City, Fitzpatrick-McElroy transferred him to a new theater post in Wisconsin, and Foster spent the next six years heartsick, petitioning the company to bring him back.
Foster’s pleas were answered in April 1924 when he returned to Traverse City to resume his post at the Lyric. He placed an ad in the Record Eagle expressing his delight, writing:
“My ambition has been to return to Traverse City, since they made me leave, to operate what I think is the most beautiful theater in our circuit. I have come to love the city, its good natured folks, and have often told my wife that Traverse City is the place to make a home. So it is with great pleasure that I can announce that my longings have been realized and I have again been transferred to the best little city in the world.”
Over the course of the next sixteen years, Foster worked tirelessly to make the Lyric the best theater in Michigan. Ahead of his time, in the spring of 1929 Foster had the foresight to bring “talkies” to the Lyric, installing the latest state-of-the-art sound technology and film projectors in Traverse City. At that time, sound technician Walter Beck claimed this was the smallest city in the country, to his knowledge, to have installed this modern equipment.
Foster’s impact extended far beyond his movie house and into all aspects of civic life. He encouraged and promoted Cherry Festival programs, patriotic presentations and educational speakers. He knew the Lyric was more than a just movie theater, but an important gathering space for the community. Serving as head of the Chamber of Commerce, City Commissioner and even Mayor, Foster was committed to serving his community.
Foster managed the Lyric until he died suddenly of a heart attack in 1940. The city mourned his loss, with a tribute in the Record Eagle claiming, “When Con Foster died this morning a part of Traverse City died with him, not a physical part, but a spiritual part.” Downtown businesses closed for his funeral and the Lyric reopened afterward to screen Gone with the Wind.
Foster also created Clinch Park, which is home to the proposed theatre. Find out more and how to donate at Bijou By the Bay.
More Traverse City on Michigan in Pictures!
May 7, 2013
A run of warm weather has the cherry trees in Michigan ready to blossom. Due to their pent up demand to bloom, we should see blossoms all across the state this weekend. Up here in the “Cherry Capital of the World” near Traverse City, we saw leaves pushing out over the weekend and the first buds are getting ready to burst. The same is true in Southwest Michigan.
Even better news is that despite a little flirting with the 30s expected for the coming weekend, we aren’t likely to see full-on frost in 2013. This is a welcome change from 2012 when Michigan saw near total losses across a broad range of fruit crops due to our “summer in March.”