Make Isle Royale your office in 2022!

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

How would you like to wake up to this view?? Well, if you are a college student, the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Research Project is seeking volunteers to assist with data collection for the 2022 summer field season. Students studying natural resources, conservation, ecology, or related fields will gain valuable field work experience working with distinguished researchers in Isle Royale National Park in the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. 

The opportunity is for 4-5 weeks between early-May and mid-June, and requires students to have documented experience backpacking & camping for extended periods of time in remote settings, proficiency with orienteering, and  the ability to get along with others in backcountry settings for 10-day periods of time are all critical. Get the full rundown of qualifications, activities & more on their website at IsleRoyaleWolf.org.

Carl is definitely Michigan in Pictures’s Isle Royale Bureau Chief! His photos feature prominently in our posts about Isle Royale & his photo of a Bull Moose Faceoff is one of the most popular photos of all time on Michigan in Pictures. He  took this way back in the summer of 2009, and you can see hundreds more in his Isle Royale National Park gallery on Flickr. For sure head over to his Mackinaw Scenics website to view & purchase his work!

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Holland gets high marks for quality of life

The Big Red by Ayman Haykal

The Big Red by Ayman Haykal

The Great Lakes Echo shares that Holland ranks first in quality of life for Michigan small cities:

This small city nestled off Lake Michigan ranks number one in the state for quality of life in “Best Small Cities in America,” a study published by WalletHub, a personal finance website that tracks financial and other trends. It is one of five measures the study used to rank the desirability of small cities. (The other measures are affordability, economic health, education and health, and safety.)

Quality of life was assessed by measures like average commute time, city walkability and number of bars, restaurants and cultural centers per capita.

Holland, Kalamazoo, Flint, Muskegon and Saginaw ranked in the top five of 39 small Michigan cities for the quality-of-life measure. The state’s lowest were Holt, Eastpointe, St. Clair Shores, Lincoln Park and Garden City.

You can read more in the Echo & see all the cities in the study at WalletHub. Also, Traverse City, Marquette, Petoskey – you weren’t in the study so continue thinking whatever you think about yourselves.

In all seriousness, “studies” like this are basically nonsense, but I’ll take any excuse for a banger photo of Big Red like this one! Ayman took this pic back in 2019. See more in their Lighthouses gallery on Flickr.

Lots more about Holland Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!

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It’s not going great for Michigan drivers

Downtown Detroit Driver by marsha morningstar

Downtown Detroit Driver by marsha morningstar

WXYZ-ABC Detroit reports that Michigan ranks as the 8th worst state to drive in:

The study looked at all states to see which were the most driver-friendly, and compared them across 31 key metrics, ranging from rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality and average gas prices.

Michigan came in 43rd, just behind Missouri and ahead of Colorado.

The state ranked 20th in share of rush-hour congestion, 19th in traffic fatality rates and car theft rate, 26th in road quality and 39th in auto maintenance costs.

Marsha took this back in 2014 in downtown Detroit and would like you to help explain how this happens at a 25 mph speed limit. Head over to her Flickr for the latest!

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Winter’s smile

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Chris’s photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse from last weekend really shows the power of winds off the Great Lakes. You can click the pic to follow him on Facebook, and also see his pics on Instagram and view & purchase prints & calendars on his website.

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MLK and the Garment of Destiny

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail, April 16, 1963

Today is the day America remembers civil rights giant Dr. Martin Luther King, and for me these words engraved on the north wall of the MLK Memorial in DC encapsulate both his work and the still incomplete journey to justice for every American, and for every person.

Are the conditions for justice for all better today than when Dr. King wrote those words? Unquestionably.

Are they as good as they can be? Of course not. As Flint, Benton Harbor, and other communities have shown, the drinkability of your water in Michigan depends in large part of the color of your skin. Three times as many Black Michiganders live in poverty and they face 7 years less lifespan on average, clearly demonstrating that a lot of the work that Dr. King championed still needs to be done.

For sure check out the Detroit March to Freedom of June 23, 1963 on Michigan in Pictures if you haven’t already. It was at the time the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history, with 125,000 marching down Woodward Avenue culminating in a speech by Dr. King at Cobo Hall that is recognized as his first delivery of the “I have a Dream” speech.

Rudy took this photo of graffiti in downtown Grand Rapids way back in 2009. See his latest on Flickr & Instagram.

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So Cold

So Cold by Julie

So Cold by Julie

With Michigan is plunging back into the deep freeze this weekend I think we can all identify with this little guy. 

Julie took this back in 2017. See much more in her massive Winter gallery on Flickr.

Stay warm folks!!

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#TBT: Walking with the Icefoot on Agate Beach

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Here’s a special Science Term Throwback Thursday from January 14th 8 years ago!

Ernest W. Marshall talks about a common winter feature along considerable stretches of Great Lakes shorelines, the Icefoot, a narrow fringe of ice attached to the coast:

Air and water temperatures must be sufficiently low before an icefoot begins to form. The conditions favorable for icefoot formation are broad open shorelines gradually sloping below water level, and facing so that wind-blown spray is carried inland toward the shore to freeze. The character of growth of an icefoot differs during different periods of the winter. During the course of the winter the icefoot may suffer periods of denudation alternating with periods of accretion. The development of an icefoot can be held at one stage by the early freezing of fast ice offshore. An icefoot can be composed of any combination of frozen spray or lake water, snow accumulations, brash, stranded icefloes, and sand which is either thrown up on the icefoot by wave action or is blown out from the exposed beaches.

Observations of the icefoot along the shorelines of Lakes Superior and Erie indicated that the moderately steep portions of the shore were characterized by narrow terraces composed of frozen slush and brash thrown up by storm winds. The outer edge of this icefoot was often cusp-like in form, resulting from the mechanical and melting action of the waves. The inner portions of the cusps acted to concentrate the wave action, forming blowholes which threw spray back on the icefoot.

You can click to read more.

Gary took this photo at one of my favorite places, Agate Beach on Lake Superior in Grand Marais. In the distance is Grand Sable Dunes & the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See more in Gary’s Grand Marais Michigan gallery including a shot of a staggeringly huge ice mound & view and purchase his work at Footsore Fotography.

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Leland Blue

via Leelanau.com

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

In last week’s post about an unidentified blue mineral discovered at the Adventure Mine on the Keweenaw Peninsula, I offered my personal theory that the color is due to the same reaction that created “Leland bluestones”. A couple people asked what the heck a Leland blue is, so here you go:

In the Glen Arbor Sun, Sandra Serra Bradshaw shares that Leland Bluestones were born over 100 years ago in the fires of the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company:

Between the years of 1870 to 1884, the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company operated an iron smelter north of the mouth of the river. They supplied the voracious furnace with ore from the Upper Peninsula. The charcoal they needed was made from local maple and beech timber that was produced in 14 beehive kilns that were kept near the smelting furnace. It produced up to an amazing 40 tons of iron per day. In 1884, the plant was sold to the Leland Lumber Co., which operated a sawmill on the site. Other sawmills and shingle mills operated in Leland during the years between 1885 through 1900.

Back then Leland was a smog-filled industrial town, the main industry of which was anchored by the iron company. The smelting industry failed because of large overhead costs and the lack of a good harbor in Leland. Interestingly, the remains of the industry, including heaps of slag, were dumped into the harbor and today, that has resulted in something as a precious collectible for many. As raw ore was heated, the desired iron ore was separated from various natural impurities. When those impurities cooled, it resulted in a stone-like slag. Hence the Leland Blue Stones were born!

The Leland Blue is a bit of a misleading title to this little man-made gem as it is the mix of blue glass with other chemicals — but this varying chemical medley can also cause the slag to appear in colors of purple, gray, or in shades of green. Today, people relish finding this slag material on the shores of Leland’s beaches. It is not only collectible as a stone, but also sought for as jewelry.

More in the Sun.

This sweet photo was taken by Cortney Brenner on the beach in Leland back in 2017. See more from Cortney on her Flickr!

PS: I promise no posts from Leelanau for at least the rest of the week!

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City of Gold

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

OK here’s one of my pics of the frozen Lake Michigan shore of Leelanau County from back in January of 2009. I chose one with sun because I would like to see the sun! See more in my Frozen Shore gallery on Flickr and STAY WARM!!

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Into the Icebox

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

mLive shared yesterday that the coldest air of the season is blanketing Michigan right now, bringing icy temps & dangerously cold wind chills, according to the National Weather Service:

“The coldest air of the winter so far is surging into our area this evening,” according to the NWS meteorologists in the Grand Rapids office. “This is (going to) be the big story for the next 36 hours, how cold it will be. Wind chills will mostly be in the 0-degree to -10 degree range into Tuesday morning. Lows Sunday night will be (between) zero and 10 degrees, and tomorrow we have a secondary surge of even colder air coming in during the afternoon. That will limit our high temperature to the mid-teens.”

…Wind chills are expected to be especially brutal in the U.P. They could drop to 30 degrees below zero near the Wisconsin border tonight and into Monday, the NWS said.

This morning’s Michigan temperature map agrees with a toasty 18 degrees in Detroit dropping to 10 in Mt. Pleasant, 8 by the Mackinac Bridge, -9 in Marquette & all the way down to -15 in Ironwood at the western edge of the Upper Peninsula. Bundle up kids!! 

Tom took this back in February of 2018 near Mackinac City. See more in his Michigan Winter gallery on Flickr and view & purchase his work on his website.

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