Happy Halloween from Michigan in Pictures!

Halloween Spectacle, photo by Kim Nixon

The Halloween Spectacle is an annual event that took place last Saturday in Marquette. Here’s hoping you can get out and make a spooky spectacle of yourself tonight!

Check this out bigger on Facebook and see her slideshow from the Halloween Spectacle on Flickr. More work from Kim at Create with Kim.

…and more Halloween from Michigan in Pictures and Absolute Michigan!

Riding towards Halloween

Halloween sunset... ©n.wamsley

Halloween sunset…, photo by Through My Eyes, Nicole Wamsley (astra.amara)

Nicole has the perfect photo for the day before Halloween. Check it out on black and see more including some really cool Headless Horseman (woman?) shots in her Halloween slideshow.

More Halloween photos on Michigan in Pictures.

The Strongest Storm Ever on the Great Lakes

"October Gale" Grand Haven lighthouse, Grand Haven Michigan

“October Gale” Grand Haven lighthouse, Grand Haven Michigan, photo by Michigan Nut

As the eastern seaboard braces for Hurricane Sandy, a storm of possibly unprecedented power, I thought I’d take a look back and see what the strongest October storm ever was. I didn’t have to look far, as it’s actually the Great Lakes storm of late October 2010:

On October 26, 2010, the USA recorded its lowest pressure ever in a continental, non-hurricane system, though its pressure was consistent with a category three hurricane. The powerful system was dubbed the “Chiclone” by the media as it hit the Chicago area particularly strongly, as well as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was also meteorologically referred to as a bombogenesis due to the rapid drop of barometric pressure experienced.

…The storm also produced some of the highest officially recorded waves by weather buoys stationed in Lakes Superior and Michigan. Specifically, on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, buoy no. 45136, operated by Environment Canada, in northern Lake Superior recorded a significant wave height of 26.6 feet (this is average height of 1/3 of the highest waves over an hour), and buoy no. 45002, operated by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), recorded a significant wave height of 21.7 feet in northern Lake Michigan. The NDBC and many models indicate that multiplying significant wave height by a factor of approximately 1.3 will equal the approximate average height of the highest 1/10 of waves recorded -here that would translate into such average wave heights of approximately 34.5 feet and 28.2 feet on Lakes Superior and Michigan respectively [please verify]. This would appear consistent with the NOAA forecast for northern Lake Michigan calling for 21-26 foot waves that day. The persistence and strength of the storm’s westerly winds also piled the waters of Lake Michigan along the Michigan shoreline leading to declines in lake levels on the Illinois and Wisconsin side of the lake. Based on NOAA lake level sensors, an updated analysis of Wednesday, October 27, 2010 water levels on Lake Michigan revealed a two-day decrease of 42 inches at Green Bay, WI and 19 inches at Calumet Harbor, IL—while NOAA sensors at Ludington, MI and Mackinaw City, MI measured lake level rises of 7 and 19 inches respectively.

A 78 mph gust was recorded the afternoon of October 27, 2010 at the Harrison-Dever Crib, three miles offshore of Chicago in Lake Michigan.

You can read a detailed account of the damage in the October North American Storm Complex on Wikipedia and also read Dr. Jeff Masters’ analysis of the storm at Weather Underground.

Check this out on black and see more in John’s Grand Haven Lighthouse slideshow.

More Michigan weather on Michigan in Pictures.

The Ghost Keeper of Old Presque Isle Lighthouse

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

The Lightkeeper’s Ghost tells the tale of George and Loraine Parris who became the beloved caretakers of the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, running the small museum and giving tours. George was something of a trickster and delighted in playing harmless tricks on visitors. He passed away in 1992, but the story doesn’t end there.

As Loraine was driving to the property on Grand Lake Road, which had a clear view of the lighthouse, she saw that it was illuminated.

She knew that the Coast Guard had rendered this impossible, but there it was before her. By the time that she arrived at the keeper’s house, though, everything was dark. The next day she climbed the steps of the lighthouse to make sure that everything was in order, and she saw that there was no way that someone could have turned the light on. Yet, this same pattern repeated itself again and again. Loraine never said anything about it because she thought that people might think her crazy.

Soon other folks began to see the light, however – a yellowish glow was reported from the lighthouse by several people. Some thought that the light had been put back into operation, but others drove out for a closer look, only to find that it was dark once again.

It was even spotted by members of the Air National Guard, who flew a few missions over the area, and by the Coast Guard, who investigated to make sure that no one could fire the light back up. It had been permanently disabled years before, so there was no way that the light could be shining. Yet it was. Many people believe that the spirit of playful old George is occasionally paying a visit to the lighthouse that he loved so much, just to let folks know that he’s doing just fine and to keep alive the stories of the lighthouse that he loved so much.

Read more about the history of the lighthouse from TexasEscapes.com and learn more about the light and visiting from the Presque Isle Township Museum Society.

This photo from Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan was taken in 1963 at Old Presque Isle Light. See it bigger and check out more of their photos of the old and new lighthouses on Presque Isle.

More ghosts and ghost stories on Michigan in Pictures.

Hunter’s Moon, Harvest Moon, Blood Moon, October Moon

Big Sable Moon Rise

Big Sable Moon Rise, photo by Mi Bob

The Farmer’s Almanac says that October’s moon is the Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon:

This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

Bob took this last October at Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Check it out bigger and see more in his Sunset slideshow.

More on the moon and more of Big Sable Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures.

Pumpkin Army

pumpkins 3

pumpkins 3, photo by northernlightphotograph

Over on Absolute Michigan our PumpkinPalooza can tell you everything you want to know about pumpkins including some facts from our friends at Taste the Local Difference:

Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbita family, which includes squash, watermelons, and cucumbers. Their origins are believed to have come from Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico that date back over 7000 years ago.

Pumpkins were an important food source for Native Americans. They regularly made pumpkin porridge, stew and pumpkin jerky and they made a broth that contained squash blossoms. They also dried pumpkin shells, and then weaved them into mats, which they used for trading. Early pilgrims quickly added pumpkins to their menus and also sent seeds back to Europe. The earliest version of pumpkin pie was made by baking a hollowed out pumpkin that was filled with milk, honey and spices.

Pumpkins are high in potassium, Vitamin A and fiber. They are also a good source of beta-carotene. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, copper and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

Read on for more including recipes and a comprehensive listing of Michigan pumpkin patches.

Check this out bigger and in Tim’s big old Petoskey images slideshow.

Lots more pumpkins on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan’s Most Haunted: Detroit Masonic Temple

NOTE: Upon further research, it appears that George Mason did not leap to death from the roof of the Masonic, but instead died in bed at the age of 92 in 1948. In my defense, the story of Mason’s suicide has been reported by a number of news outlets!!

The Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple, photo by kc Jacoby Photography

Halloween is fast approaching and the Awesome Mitten has a great post on the Ten Most Haunted Places in Michigan. We’ve visited a few of those places on Michigan in Pictures, but #4 on the list, The Masonic Temple in Detroit, was spooky, cool and new:

Built in 1912 by a wealthy gentleman named George D. Mason, the Detroit Masonic Temple has over 1,000 rooms, and several secret staircases, concealed passages, and hidden compartments in the floors. Mr. Mason went slightly overboard when financing the construction of the building, and eventually went bankrupt, whereupon his wife left him. Overwhelmingly depressed about his financial and personal circumstances, Mason jumped to his death from the roof of the temple. Security guards claim to see his ghost to this day, ascending the steps to the roof. The temple, abundant with cold spots, inexplicable shadows, and slamming doors, is known to intimidate visitors with the eerie feeling of being watched…

Read on for more and share any thoughts you have on these or other haunted Michigan places in the comments below!

The Detroit Masonic Temple is the largest masonic temple in the world, and you can get all kinds of pictures and history including some shots from construction on their website. The theater has its own site as well for events and this weekend they are going Beyond the Other Side.  One note about George Mason is that in addition to the masonic temple, he also designed several other Michigan buildings including the Detroit Yacht Club and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. See Historic Detroit for more.

While it may feel like the Ken Jacoby show with 2 appearances in just a week, his shot was the most brooding of the many interior and exterior photos of the temple in the Absolute Michigan pool. Check it out on black and see more in Ken’s The Masonic Temple slideshow.

More ghostly fun on Michigan in Pictures and also at absolutemichigan.com/ghost!