Christmas Day Snowfall

“Winter Blues” Rural Michigan Countryside, photo by John McCormick

Editor’s Note: I inadvertently re-blogged a barn photo by John that I posted last year. This one’s a beauty too though!!

After a promising start, the Great Lakes snow machine has shut down leaving us to wonder if a white Christmas is on the horizon. mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa seeks to answer that as he looks at three storms headed our way:

The first storm is mostly a rain maker for most of Michigan. As the colder air moves in this Tuesday and Wednesday, some accumulating snow will occur in the U.P. and far northern Lower Michigan. It looks like points north of Gaylord, and into the U.P. will pick up a few inches of snow… Storm number two will be a stronger, moisture laden storm. Right now and for several days in the past, the track has been projected to be to our south.

…The third storm I can see is still quite uncertain since it is about 10 days out into the future. Both of the most widely accepted weather computer models show a storm system dropping southeast out of Canada toward Christmas. This storm could bring a swath of light snow across Michigan around Christmas Day. There is still a lot of uncertainty on the exact track and amount of moisture. Definitely watch this storm with me, as it looks like it is Lower Michigan’s only chance of a white Christmas.

Here’s hoping!

John took this photo in Montcalm County last year on Christmas Day after an 8″ snowfall. View it bigger on Flickr, see more in his Winter slideshow and definitely join 30,000 other fans by tuning into Michigan Nut Photography – it’s one of the best follows on Facebook!

More snow on Michigan in Pictures.

Geminid Meteor ...

Geminid Meteor…, photo by Ken Scott

As you’re making plans for this weekend, consider including some offbeat nightlife. EarthSky has everything you need to know about this weekends Geminid Meteor Shower:

The peak night of the 2014 Geminid meteor shower will probably occur on the night of December 13 (morning of December 14). The night before (December 12-13) may offer a decent sprinkling of meteors as well. Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night. A last quarter moon will rise around midnight, but Geminid meteors are bright! This shower favors Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.

…In a year when moonlight doesn’t obscure the view, you can easily see 50 or more Geminid meteors per hour on the peak night. However, in 2014, the waning moon will dampen the display in the peak viewing hours. Don’t let the moonlight discourage you. A good percentage of these yellow-colored Geminid meteors are quite bright and will overcome the moonlit skies.

The moon will rise quite late on December 13 and 14, creating a window of darkness for watching the Geminid shower in the evening. Keep in mind that the moon will rise about an hour earlier on December 13 than it will on December 14. Click here for custom sunrise/set calendar. Check boxes for moonrise/set times..

Even as the moon rises, however, it will be sitting low in the east. If possible, find a hedgerow of trees, a barn or some such thing to block out the moon. Sit in a moon shadow but at the same time, find an expansive view of sky. Or simply look away from the moon.

Read on for all kinds of viewing tips and all kinds of info about about this December meteor shower including the chance of seeing an earthgrazer meteor, a slow-moving, long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky.

View Ken’s photo from December 14, 2012 bigger and see more in his massive Skies Above slideshow.

More meteors on Michigan in Pictures!

#TBT Ice Wine Season

December 11, 2014

Ice Wine Season

Ice Wine Season, photo by Andrew McFarlane

This morning as I was working on a Facebook post announcing the release of Black Star Farms’ 2013 A Capella Ice Wine, I stumbled upon a cool synchronicity that brought together several of my personal and professional pursuits into such a neat package that I had to share it!

It turns out that exactly one year ago today, I spent a very cold day on the Old Mission Peninsula shooting a photo feature for eatdrinkTC of the ice wine harvest & pressing at Black Star Farms. Ice wine, eiswein in the original German, is a rare dessert wine that requires care and skill to produce and…

While December 11, 2013 was by no means the coldest December 11th on record (that would be 1977 at -11), it was a bone-chilling day with temps hovering around 11 degrees with a wind chill that never got above zero after 9:30 AM.

In short, as Black Star Farms winemaker Vladimir Banov explained, the perfect day for the ice wine harvest.

Ice wine is not made every year, and not by every winery. U.S. law for ice wines specifies that the grapes must be naturally frozen to be sold as ice wine.

To begin, a winery will leave a portion of the harvest to hang. Even under the bird netting, it’s a gamble against mercurial weather and clever creatures. Many years, it will leave the winery with nothing.

In some years however, such as this one, patience is rewarded.

Click through for a photographic look at the ice wine process along with some videos. If you’re interested, here’s information about A Capella Ice Wine.

You can view my photo background big and see more in my Ice Wine at Black Star Farms slideshow.

More wine and more winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Shoreline Anemones

December 9, 2014

Shoreline Anemones

Shoreline Anemones, photo by Aaron Springer

Aaron got a great pic of the mid-day December sun illuminating the ice-soaked plant life at the Point Betsie Light.

View his photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More icy goodness on Michigan in Pictures!

The Anvil and the Pine

December 6, 2014

Cliffs from below

Cliffs from below, photo by David Clark

David writes that “The Anvil” is a high point where a white pine somehow makes a living growing out of a crack in the rock. On his blog, Cliffs and Ruins he writes:

This is one of my favorite places along the Cliff range: The Lookout. Apparently different people have different lookouts, but this is what I think of as the Cliff Lookout.

It’s a bit of a hike (no, you don’t have to go straight up the side of the cliffs… but you can if you want), but the view is 100% worth it. You can even see the silhouettes of the Huron Mountains in the distance. The most amazing thing, to me, is that tree — you can see it here. It’s a big old pine growing straight up out of the rock, over the edge of the cliffs.

There’s nothing quite like the solitude at the top of the lookout. When I snowshoed out to the lookout, there weren’t any tracks at all on the trail to the lookout — nor on the trail to the trail! It was one of those feelings which I love when I’m hiking up here — that I’m the first person in years to set foot here and see these sights. It might not be true, but this is still one of my favorite places to go whenever I really need some time alone.

View his photo background bigtacular and see more in his Winter slideshow. You can purchase David’s pics right here.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Over the River…

November 25, 2014

Wintry Seven Bridges

Wintry Seven Bridges, photo by Heather Higham

AAA Michigan reports that about 1.5 million Michiganders are heading over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is that gas prices are the lowest since 2009 – down 40 cents from last year. The bad news is another weather system that’s dropping freezing rain & snow, closing schools and

View Heather’s photo bigger and see more in her Rivers slideshow. She took the photo at the Seven Bridges Natural Area near Kalkaska.

There’s more rivers and more bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

Cooler Tour … Fishtown

November 22, 2014

Cooler Tour ... fishtown, dam view

Cooler Tour … fishtown, dam view by Ken Scott Photography

Ah, November in Michigan. The Fishtown Preservation Society explains:

Fishtown is a unique historical attraction composed of weather-beaten fishing shanties and small shops lining the mouth of the Leland River. The site has endured and adapted over the last 150 years as an ever-evolving working waterfront that still operates as one of the only unmodernized commercial fishing villages in the state of Michigan.

One of the most important characteristics of Fishtown is its core of historic shanties. Though only a few are still used for commercial fishing operations, most of the structures in Fishtown had their origins as commercial fishing buildings. These buildings served many purposes, including net-mending sheds, ice houses, smoke houses, and storage. Though processes like ice-making are now mechanized in a commercial fishery, running a fishery still requires extensive space for equipment storage and net repairs.

Many buildings have come and gone from the Fishtown landscape with the changing fortunes of the industry, yet Fishtown survives as a rare working waterfront and an authentic and active commercial fishing village.

Head over to fishtownmi.org for more.

Click to see Ken’s photo bigger, check out his Cooler Tour photos and be sure to follow him at Ken Scott Photography on Facebook.

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