October 14, 2014
October 13, 2014
The UM Animal Diversity Web’s entry for Parus atricapillus (black-capped chickadee) says in part:
Black-capped chickadees prefer deciduous woodlands, open woods and parks, cottonwood groves, and willow thickets. They are most commonly seen near edges of wooded areas. They are a frequent visitor to backyard feeders. Black-capped chickadees nest in cavities, usually in dead trees or stumps, and are attracted to habitats with suitable nesting locations. During the winter, small flocks of black-capped chickadees can be found in dense conifer forests.
…Black-capped chickadees hop on trees (occasionally on the ground), rather than “walking.” These birds are very active during the day, and can often be seen foraging upside-down. Black-capped chickadees form monogamous pairs which usually stay together for several years. The black-capped chickadee social system has two extremes, one shown by territorial pairs during the breeding season, and the other consisting of non-breeding flocks. These are often mixed species flocks including nuthatches, woodpeckers, kinglets, brown creepers, warblers, and vireos. Black-capped chickadees perform short-distance migrations, but remain in the same general region throughout the year.
Read on for lots more including photos and chickadee calls.
October 11, 2014
Fall color is everywhere this weekend in Michigan – get out and get some before the ice gets louder than the fire!!
About this photo of the Carp River in Porcupine Mountains State Park from five years and one day ago, Matthew writes:
Autumn in the Porcupine Mountains, from a few years ago…arguably one of the most bizarre weather experiences I’ve encountered. When I arrived, it was full-on blizzard conditions. The snow only lasted a few hours, but for that time, the forest was utterly surreal.
More from the Porcupines on Michigan in Pictures including this photo that Matthew took from the Lake of the Clouds overlook in 2009!!
October 10, 2014
On Thursday October 16 from 6-8 pm, Mark’s show of black and white prints opens at the Argus Museum at 525 West William Street in Ann Arbor. The show runs through December 5th, and the museum is open 9-5 weekdays.
PS: There’s a nice feature on the Argus Museum on Michigan in Pictures that features one of Mark’s photos!
October 9, 2014
The page on the Cut River Bridge at Historic Bridges begins:
Among Michigan’s largest and most well-known historic bridges is the iconic Cut River Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge is large enough that MDOT actually has maintained this bridge as an area attraction. Surrounding the bridge is a roadside park and a series of trails around the bridge. The intent to make this bridge something more than just a crossing goes back before this bridge’s status as a historic bridge to its initial construction. The bridge was designed as an attraction even when it was built, since sidewalks above the bridge in this rural area are present. Also, a set of stairways, part of the original design, take pedestrians under the bridge where they can view the supporting trusses. The abutments and piers were also given unusually exceptional detail, in particular the use of decorative stone facing. The two main piers give the appearance are attractive cut stone arches.
The bridge includes a total of 888 tons of steel and its height over the Cut River is 147 feet. It offers views of Lake Michigan from its deck. The bridge was originally painted a silver color, but is today painted green. This bridge is a steel deck cantilever truss bridge. This structure type is much more common in more hilly states like Pennsylvania, but is extremely rare in Michigan. The structure has visual complexity as a result of the extensive lattice and v-lacing on its riveted, built-up members, which are all very massive, typical for both a bridge of its size and its age. The bridge retains original standard-plan metal guardrails (Michigan’s “signature” type R4 railings) on the sidewalks that flank the roadway on each side. It also retains standard Michigan State Highway Department plaques.
Read on for lots more about this bridge that was constructed in the early 1940s. If you do make it to Cut River, do yourself a favor and hike down – it’s very cool!
More bridges on Michigan in Pictures!
October 8, 2014
The Michigan DNR’s page on the Jordan River Valley in Northwest Lower Michigan says:
The Jordan River Valley is an 18,000-acre block of state-owned forest land in northeast Antrim County. Good wildlife watching and beautiful scenery are common along the Jordan River, Michigan’s first waterway to be officially designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Much of the area has been proposed as an old growth forest area. Access to the river valley is provided by local county roads and an 18-mile hiking trail, the Jordan Valley Pathway, that winds through this portion of the Mackinaw State Forest. The Pathway contains several loops of varying lengths. One loop begins at Deadman’s Hill, which offers a spectacular vista of the surrounding countryside and river floodplain. A second breathtaking and popular vista is Landslide Overlook. Part of this Pathway is the North Country National Scenic Trail, that when finished, will extend 4,000 miles from New York to North Dakota.
…Fall colors are noteworthy in early October due to the hardwood forests throughout the valley.
Indeed! Click to read more about wildlife in the Jordan Valley and get directions.
Lots more fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!
October 7, 2014
A reminder that The Lunar Express boards early tomorrow morning for a total eclipse of the October full moon. The partial umbral eclipse begins at 5:15 AM EDT on October 8, with the total eclipse starting at 6:25 AM, peaking at 6:55 and ending at 7:24.
Get all the details on the Super Hunter’s Blood Moon in eclipse from Michigan in Pictures!