Winter is Coming

August 22, 2014

Hesperia Propane Tanks by John Mickevich

Hesperia Propane Tanks, photo by John Mickevich

“Winter is Coming.”
~ House Stark

A little reminder to soak up summer while we have it. If you need a little more, the Old Farmer’s Almanac says:

Published Wednesday, the New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a ‘super-cold’ winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than normal.

Publishers claim their forecasts–based on a ‘secret’ formula that looks at weather and astronomical trends–have an 80 percent accuracy rate.

‘Colder is just almost too familiar a term,’ Editor Janice Stillman said. ‘Think of it as a refriger-nation.’

John says this row of propane tanks caught his eye on a recent drive down M-20 near Hesperia. View his photo bigger and see more in his Ilford film slideshow.

More black & white photography on Michigan in Pictures.

The Detroit Flood of 2014

August 13, 2014

DSC_0004

Untitled, photo by Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division

On Monday, the city of Detroit was hit with over 4.5″ of rain, the second highest one-day total following 4.7″ on July 31, 1925. The rain hit during the afternoon rush hour and submerged freeways and neighborhoods.

There’s some photos and video from mLive, some pics from Twitter and Instagram put together by Oliver Darcy and more in this Huffington Post feature on the flooding with a bunch of photos and a few videos.

View this photo background big and see more in the State Police slideshow of the flooding.

More floods on Michigan in Pictures.

The Moon and the Vortex

July 12, 2014

Moon and the Ice Blob

The Moon and the Ice Blob, photo by Cherie

One of the cool things about having a Michigan photo group with nearly 200,000 photos to draw from is that I can find a photo for pretty much any post. Thanks all of you who share in the Absolute Michigan photo group!

Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd have a nice feature on one of my favorite blogs EarthSky titled What is a Supermoon? It begins:

We in astronomy used to call them perigean new moons or perigean full moons, that is, new or full moons closely coinciding with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. But, in accordance with the rapidly evolving skylore of the modern world, we now enjoy calling them supermoons. The name supermoon was coined by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, over 30 years ago. It was popularized and came to be the accepted term for most people only in the past few years.

Are supermoons hype? In our opinion … gosh, no, just modern folklore. And they can cause real physical effects, such as larger-than-usual tides. The year 2014 has a total of five supermoons. They are the two new moons of January, and the full moons of July, August and September. Next supermoon: July 12.

Read on for more about tonight’s supermoon and supermoons in general.

Of course, the supermoon isn’t the only natural phenomenon enjoying hype this weekend, because our old friend the Polar Vortex is returning for an encore. Or not, according to Dr Jeff Masters of Weather Underground in the Freep:

It is not, however, the second coming of a polar vortex, something the National Weather Service says it regrets tweeting earlier this week.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters says the weather pattern is similar to those dreaded words, but the key difference is that the chilly air mass isn’t coming directly from the arctic.

Masters says that Typhoon Neoguri in Japan altered the path of the jet stream and allowed polar air to spill out of Canada. That means next week’s temperatures will be as much as 15 degrees cooler than normal in the Midwest and could reach 90 in the normally temperate Pacific Northwest.

More at the Freep and also check out mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa’s take on the battle between El Nino and the Polar Vortex. He talks about El Nino’s chances to push the jet stream northward. If it’s not strong enough, winter 2015 could be ruled by the polar vortex again. Go El Nino, Go El Nino!

Cherie took this photo in February of 2009 on Belle Isle. See it bigger on Flickr and see more in her Belle Isle Slideshow.

More supermoons and more polar vortex on Michigan in Pictures!

Lake Superior Thunderhead

Lake Superior Thunderhead, photo by Lake Superior Photo

So far this summer we’ve gotten some free fireworks show such as the storm that swept through last weekend. Shawn wrote:

It was fireworks over the lake last night, my dog was not pleased, however I was ecstatic. Lightning was going off a couple times a second and it did not let up, but stayed mostly in the clouds. I watched this for over an hour, and it just drifted by, stars overhead the entire time – go big screen to see the stars right top of frame.

So… what are you waiting for? Go background big and see more at Lake Superior Photo on Facebook.

Have a great weekend everyone!

2014-houghton-blitz-2978

2014-houghton-blitz-2978, photo by Christopher Schmidt

“Our children were born here and now we have five grandchildren to celebrate also. We have proud geological roots here. We think the shaft should be bright on our birthdays, and this would be a good way to support geoheritage and the QMHA. We hope other local families will consider doing this.”
~Bill and Nanno Rose

Apparently, you can make a donation and have the Quincy Mine Shaft lit up in honor of a loved one. Click the link for details!

The photo above shows the Quincy Mine Hoist, part of the Quincy Mine complex, an extensive set of copper mines near Hancock. The mine was owned by the Quincy Mining Company . The Quincy Mine was known as “Old Reliable,” paying a dividend to investors every year from 1868 through 1920 and operated between 1846 and 1945. The Quincy Mine page on Wikipedia says (in part):

The Quincy Mine was founded in 1846 by the merger of the Northwest Mining Company and the Portage Mining Company. Due to poor communication between government offices, these two speculative mining companies had purchased the same tracts of land during the mining rush of the early 1840s. The directors met and decided to merge, with significant investment coming from Massachusetts (the town of Quincy, Massachusetts lent the mine its name). While many other copper mines were founded at the same time, the Quincy Mine became the most successful of the 1840s-era mines, and was the country’s leading copper-producing mine from 1863 (when it exceeded the production of the Minesota Mine) through 1867 (after which it was exceeded by the Calumet and Hecla).

The mine was the first Michigan copper mine to switch from fissure mining to amygdaloid mining, when the recently discovered Pewabic amygdaloid lode was found to cross Quincy property in 1856. High-grade fissure veins contained large, pure masses of copper, but the masses could take days or even months to extract, at high cost. Amygdaloid mining consisted of extracting lower-grade strataform orebodies in the “amygdaloid zones,” the upper portions of basalt lava flows. Rock bearing small pockets of copper could be blasted out immediately and processed elsewhere at much lower cost. Amygdaloid mining proved much more productive than fissure mining, and the size and richness of the Pewabic lode in particular allowed the Quincy to produce profits for 53 consecutive years. The Quincy company expanded laterally along the lode by buying out adjacent properties. The company bought the Pewabic mine in 1891, the Mesnard and the Pontiac in 1897, and the Franklin mine in 1908. This helped the mine survive longer than almost all other Keweenaw copper mining companies, except the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company and the Copper Range Company.

To attract a better class of worker, the Quincy Mining Company built and maintained housing for the workers. Over the course of operations, the types of housing ranged from simple tents in the early days, to complete three story houses shortly before the mine’s shutdown. The executives on the east coast wanted to build more elaborate and fancy homes with amenities such as electricity and running water. However, the on-site managers didn’t think it was necessary for the miners to have such high-class dwellings. But the east coast executives realized that if they offered nicer homes to the workers, the miners were more likely to stay, raise families, and be less likely to leave the area or transfer to another mining company. This strategy proved effective and helped the Quincy Mining Company retain its status as one of the premier mining companies in the region.

View Chris’s photo background bigatacular and see more in his Keweenaw Lightning slideshow.

More about the Quincy Mine on Michigan in Pictures including the second picture posted!

Beautiful Beast

May 13, 2014

Beautiful Beast

Beautiful Beast, photo by Jamie MacDonald

Yesterday saw strong storms in southeast Michigan including some tornado sightings (click that link for photos).

Jamie took this shot last week with a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye. Check his photo out bigger and see more in his Stormy Weather slideshow.

More wild & wonderful weather on Michigan in Pictures.

Amongst Lovely Things

May 2, 2014

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things. – Plato

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.
~Plato (photo by Jess Clifton)

Here’s hoping you have a chance this weekend to spend a little time amongst lovely things.

View Jess’s photo background big and see more in her Fabulous Fog slideshow.

 

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