March 31, 2015
The Detroit Free Press reported that Michigan moose numbers are down:
The moose population in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula appears to have dropped over the past two years and experts warn that a warming climate could be cause for concern for the species’ future in the state.
The latest biennial survey by the Department of Natural Resources produced an estimate of 323 moose in their primary Michigan range, which includes Baraga, Iron and Marquette counties. If correct, that would be a decline there of about 28 percent from 2013, when the estimate was 451.
…Even so, surveys since 1997 turned up regular population increases of about 10 percent. Beginning in 2009, the growth rate slowed to about 2 percent.
Now it appears to be dropping.
“It might not happen in our lifetime, or our children’s, but we have to face the possibility that there might not be a wild moose population in Michigan,” Chad Stewart (deer, elk and moose management specialist with the DNR) said.
Scientists are not certain what caused the apparent decline over the past two years, he said. Bitter cold and heavy snow the past two winters is one possible culprit. Also, wolves increasingly may be targeting moose because of falling deer numbers, although Stewart said there’s no hard evidence of that.
But in the long term, a warming climate may be the moose’s biggest enemy. Blood-sucking ticks thrive under such conditions. Thousands can attach themselves to a single moose and weaken the hulking beast.
More Michigan moose information & photos on Michigan in Pictures
March 30, 2015
(but just to be clear, I’ll be back)
I wanted to let you all know that I’m about to embark on a little adventure to Central America for the next couple of weeks. To keep you company while I’m gone, I’ve selected a bunch of photos so you probably won’t notice much in the way of difference. I do apologize if something happens that makes a photo I scheduled seem tone deaf.
Anyway, enjoy my vacation!
March 28, 2015
It’s 8 degrees right now in Traverse City, and while the weeklong run of wintry weather hasn’t been good for such popular pursuits as getting the garden ready, boxing up winter clothes and keeping your house from being declared a Cabin Fever Disaster Area, it has left the ice in many parts of the state just perfect for the sport of ice boating.
Northern Michigan AP News photographer John Russell is a Michigan in Pictures contributor and wrote Ice Boating: An Ancient Sport in a Modern World a few years ago. It begins:
Sailing on frozen surfaces is believed to have its roots in Northern Europe, where goods and people moved around the region on frozen rivers and canals, using simple sails and handmade boats.
The Dutch and others brought iceboating to the Hudson River valley and other places along the East Coast, where miles of frozen rivers made for great sailing during the winter months. Freight and people were commonly moved up and down the Hudson River in huge, slooped-rigged boats.
Ranging in length from 30 – 50 feet, the stern-steering boats are still raced today by the Northwest Ice Yacht Association, having recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The ancient sport of sailing on frozen lakes and rivers is alive and well in our state, which has a long and involved history in the sport. Innovations developed in Michigan have enhanced and improved iceboating.
During the winter of 1936-1937, in the hobby shop at the Detroit News, boat builder Archie Arroll, along with Norm Jarrait and Joe Lodge, designed an ice boat they called the Blue Streak 60. Designed to be small enough to build in a garage, and easy enough to be built by anyone, the 12-foot hull design became known as the DN 60, for Detroit News and the 60-square-foot sail.
It is now the largest one-design boat class in the world, with over 8,000 registered boats around the world.
Read on for more including our state’s role in international ice boat racing, some state clubs, safety tips and a couple of photos from John.
More Michigan iceboating on Michigan in Pictures!
March 27, 2015
One of my favorite Michigan fine art photographers is Bill Schwab, and I still remember the day when I pulled up the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr to find he’d added some of his photos to the group, including the one above.
This morning I learned that he will be presenting an artist lecture “Across Iceland” for the Charlevoix Circle of Arts:
Fine art photographer, Bill Schwab has been taking photo-expeditions to Iceland since 2009. He will share some of his favorite photographs of Iceland’s harsh, yet beautiful, landscape. Schwab is also the founder of PhotostockFest held annually in Harbor Springs. The Artists Adventure Lecture Series are free and open to the public.
Click above for more on the event and visit the Charlevoix Circle of Arts for more about them. Bill’s PhotostockFest takes place June 18-21 and you can register and get details on workshops and the event at that link.
The photography site RFOTOFOLIO has a great interview Seeing the Beauty: Bill Schwab that starts out:
My father’s side of the family was very much into photography. My Great Grandfather, Frederic C. Lutge had a portrait studio in late 19th and early 20th century Detroit and it branched out from there. My father always had interesting cameras and my uncle had a darkroom. I was fascinated by the gear. Even when I was too young to have a camera, I would draw pictures of them. After cutting them out I would pretend to use them and then draw the pictures “taken” with my cut out cameras and show them to people. Apparently I was hooked at an early age, but it wasn’t until I was twelve that I started processing and contact printing my own film from an old Ansco kit. After that, it is all a blur.
…Growing up in Detroit, pretty much everyone worked in the automobile manufacturing industry and I knew very well at a young age that wasn’t going to be my destiny. I can remember very clearly my dad asking me what I wanted to be at about age five. I said that I would get a job like his and he basically said, no way. Then there was my mom with her unbridled curiosity. She was an early news junky and I seriously think she missed her calling by not going into journalism. The major happenings of the day were right there on the TV during dinner and I was very aware and interested in what was going on. We had subscriptions to Life Magazine and Look and I loved to go through the pages looking at the photographs.
Read on for lots more and some beautiful photos.
View Bill’s photo of the ruins of the pier at Cross Village bigger on Flickr and see lots more from across the state in his Michigan slideshow. You can view and purchase prints at billschwab.com. He’s a good follow on Facebook and also just started up an Instagram @bill_schwab, so you might want to follow along there too!
More Michigan photographers on Michigan in Pictures.
March 26, 2015
I think the guy on the right is replaced by a computer in the 2015 version. About the photo, Ronnie writes:
Before the World War II started in Europe, 1939 was expected to be an exceptional year. America was filled with optimism, and with the Great Depression winding down, the nation was looking forward to what the coming decade of the 1940s would bring. Even the theme of the World’s Fair in New York was billed as “the world of tomorrow,” especially when it came to consumer and industrial electronics. However, for the Detroit Police Department one of the most important technological advancements in the world of law enforcement had become a reality.
Many electronics experts at the turn of the 1920s, said it would take another five decades before you would see two-way radios available for use in motor vehicles. While this philosophy was taken as gospel; several Amateur Radio operators pushed the envelope of experimentation to it’s zenith in their basements, and workshops across America. The fruits of their labor came to the forefront in the mid-to-late 1930s, which proved that two-way radio technology was viable for use by police officers in the field.
Earlier attempts at using two-way radio communications in the Motor City in 1934 had several drawbacks. The biggest was the cost, which was around $700 to equip each vehicle with the very large, and bulky equipment that took up the entire back seat and trunk of the patrol car. Not only did it take up a lot of space, but it really added a lot of weight that was hard on the vehicles’ suspension system.
March 25, 2015
Atop the Mackinac Bridge, photo courtesy Google Trekker
Pure Michigan announced a cool new way to experience some of Michigan’s scenic treasures:
Through a partnership between Pure Michigan and Google, many of Michigan’s iconic destinations are now accessible to people all around the world through Street View in Google Maps. Google’s Street View Trekker is a backpack system with a camera on top that is worn by an operator who walks through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot – or in the case of some Michigan locations by kayak. The imagery is captured automatically and stitched together to create the 360 degree panorama seen on Google Maps.
More than 44,000 panoramic photos were taken by members and volunteers on the Pure Michigan team and the Department of Natural Resources who borrowed the Trekker and traveled for four weeks, capturing breathtaking scenes around Michigan, including this stunning view from the top of Mackinac Bridge.
Click through for a video introducing the partnership and a bunch of panoramic scenes from the State Capital to Mackinac Island to the Sleeping Bear Dunes to Tahquamenon Falls. Be sure to check out the behind the scenes for this pano as well!
March 24, 2015
USA Today is polling their readers to see what they think the 10 best state parks in the nation are. The entry page for the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park says:
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, or the “Porkies” as its known to frequent visitors, encompasses 60,000 acres of lakes, rivers and virgin forest. The park offers camping on the shores of Lake Superior, 90 miles of hiking trails, kayak rentals, mountain biking and, in the winter, access to the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – Mich. is currently ranked #2 of 20.
You can click here to vote if you’re so inclined.
John took this evening shot in October 2014 near the east end off the Lake of the Clouds. View it bigger on Flickr, see more staggering photos in his Autumn in Michigan slideshow, and definitely follow him on Facebook at Michigan Nut Photography.