Memorial Day Weekend is a unique holiday. It’s both a celebration of the beginning of the summer, the weekend to throw off the shackles of cold & gray and embrace sun and sand, and also a somber remembrance of those who have given their lives defending our nation. I hope that light and love touch you in both of these pursuits.
I hope everyone is ready for the launch of summer 2017. Given the tension in the world, I’ve got a feeling it will be memorable. Hopefully not in a bad way but I admit, I worry.
If you’re looking for a new and fun way to kick off the summer, consider the Movement Electronic Music Festival this Saturday – Monday (May 27-29) in downtown Detroit. It takes place every Memorial Day weekend in the birthplace of Techno music with 6 stages and over 100 acts.
As we’re gearing up for summer, it’s a great time to think about Michigan’s many incredible museums. One of the coolest is Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford in Dearborn. They explain that the origins of Greenfield Village were with Henry Ford himself. His obsession to recreate his childhood home was a resounding success and:
…after several other restorations of buildings at their original sites, he began looking to create a village that would represent the early days of America up to the present. Working with Ford Motor Company draftsman and architect Edward L. Cutler, Ford began laying out plans for Greenfield Village.
It wasn’t meant to represent any specific place in the United States, or even serve as a particular town – Ford created Greenfield Village primarily from buildings that he had purchased and moved to the site, organizing them around a village green with a courthouse, a town hall, a church, a store, an inn and a school. He placed homes along a road beyond the green. He brought industrial buildings, such as carding mills, sawmills and gristmills to the village and made them operate.
Today, Greenfield Village is organized into seven historic districts, with real working farms, a glassblowing shop, a pottery shop and more…so that, just like Henry Ford when he surveyed his preserved birthplace, you, too, can be transported to another place and time to learn about the ordinary and extraordinary people who shaped America.
Click through for a whole lot more.
I’ve profiled Rainbow Falls and the other waterfalls of the Black River Scenic Byway on Michigan in Pictures, but my friend Gary shared a super-cool video that I want to share with all of you! GoWaterfalling’s says that Rainbow Falls is:
…the last of the main falls on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior. This is an interesting waterfall. Unfortunately the best views are from the east side of the river and the observation deck is on the west side of the river. The hike from the west side trailhead is 1/2 mile. In my opinion the smarter thing to do is to drive down to end of the Black River Scenic Byway, cross the river and hike back up to the falls. A supsension bridge takes you across the river and a mile long, scenic, and mostly level trail, takes you back to the falls. The views are far superior. In low water you can wade across the river above the falls.
The waterfall has carved out a large pothole. Most of the river falls into the pothole, but some of the water, depending on how high the river is, goes around or jumps clear over this hole.
OK, now here’s that video from the Bluffs Inn of Bessemer – definitely no wading today!!!
Happy World Turtle Day everyone!
World Turtle Day (May 23rd) was started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue to bring awareness about dangers to turtles worldwide. It’s also the perfect day to add the 10th and final turtle to one of the most popular posts on Michigan in Pictures, Know Your Michigan Turtles!
The UM Animal Diversity Web entry for the common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), a relatively small turtle with an average length of about 3 to 5 inches, says in part:
The habitat of the common musk turtle includes any kind of permanent body of water, like shallow streams, ponds, rivers, or clear water lakes, and it is rare to find the turtle elsewhere. While in the water, this musk turtle stays mainly in shallow areas. Sometimes it can be found basking on nearby fallen tree trunks or in the branches of trees overhanging the water
…The most prominent behavior of the common musk turtle is its defensive tactic. When disturbed, this turtle will quickly release a foul-smelling liquid from its musk glands. This kind of defense earned the musk turtle the nickname of “stinkpot”. Also, the male is particularly aggressive and will not think twice about biting. Another unique behavior the nocturnal common musk turtle exhibits while foraging is that they walk on the bottom of the stream or pond instead of swimming like other turtles.
Sternotherus oderatus is somewhat of a food generalist, as it is known to eat small amounts of plants, mollusks, small fish, insects, and even carrion. Foraging on the muddy bottom of streams or ponds is the chief way of collecting food.
Nick runs the very useful Herping Michigan Blog where you can find lots more of his excellent photos of Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians along with informative writeups. View the photo bigger and see more of Nick’s awesome turtle photos on Flickr.