The UFO Show

The UFO Show by Jamie Macdonald

The UFO Show by Jamie Macdonald

In 1973, the nation (and my 8-year-old self) were captivated by a wave of Unidentified Flying Object sightings. Clipping the stories from the paper for a scrapbook left me with a lifelong fascination for UFOs which is apparently becoming mainstream. Last night 60 Minutes showed some declassified UFO footage previously leaked to The New York Times by Christopher Mellon and Luis Elizondo:

“It’s bizarre and unfortunate that someone like myself has to do something like that to get a national security issue like this on the agenda,” Mellon said. Everyone Whitaker spoke with underscored that unidentified means just that, not yet identified, there’s no evidence these phenomena are extraterrestrial, and they are a potential national security risk no matter who created them because the technology seems far beyond what the U.S. can currently produce.

Mellon said the UFOs are not secret U.S. government technology, and “I can say that with a very high degree of confidence in part because of the positions I held in the department, and I know the process.”

Former Navy pilot Lt. Ryan Graves told Whitaker that fellow pilots began seeing UAPs hovering over restricted airspace off Virginia Beach in 2014, after upgrades to their radar, and continued seeing UAP’s off the Atlantic Coast “every day for at least a couple years.”

Jamie took this photo back in June of 2016. See more in his Stormy Weather gallery on Flickr & for sure head over to his website at mirrorlessminutes.com for more!

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How about a Driveway Concert?

Driveway Concert by Nicholas James Thomasma

Few industries have been hit harder by the pandemic than the music industry. Although things are definitely looking up for the 2021 concert season, there’s still a whole lot of ground to make up. One idea that a friend of mine had is one that I think a lot of musicians could use: driveway concerts!

More from Nicholas on his Instagram & on his website.

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Beautiful Grand Mere Dunes

Beautiful Grand Mere Dunes by Mark Swanson

Beautiful Grand Mere Dunes by Mark Swanson

Michigan Trail Maps says that Grand Mere State Park:

…is a 985-acre unit in Berrien County that lacks the amenities found in most other state parks along Lake Michigan, including a campground and even direct access to its mile of Lake Michigan shoreline. It attracts only a fraction of the visitors that flock to parks such as Warren Dunes or Hoffmaster. Yet from a naturalist’s point of view Grand Mere is one of the most inquiring set of dunes in the state, an area so ecologically diverse that it 1976 it was designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Congress.

The glaciers that scooped out the Great Lakes 10,000 years ago also carved out a number of smaller depressions along the western edge of the state, which evolved into interdunal lakes, ponds, and wetlands. At one time, this area contained a chain of five such lakes that were protected ecologically by a line of windblown sand dunes between them and Lake Michigan. Now there are only three, a result of aquatic succession. Today Grand Mere is a textbook example of the various stages of succession from aquatic communities to terrestrial. Beginning at North Lake, you can see how each lake is progressively disappearing, with open water first turning into marsh and then woodland swamps and closed bog forests, the fate of the former two lakes that lie south of the park.

Almost 4 miles of trails form a loop through open dunes and the wooded areas of the park, but the only designated trail is a half-mile Nature Trail. The paved, handicapped accessible trail extends from the picnic shelter around South Lake, passing 10 interpretive posts that correspond to back of the park map. The rest of the trails are neither posted nor maintained. The most distinguishable trail extends almost a mile from a small parking area off Wishart Road to the west end of the Nature Trail.

Mark took this photo a couple months ago & you can see more in his Spring gallery on Flickr.

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Looking through to another time … again

Looking Through to Another Time by Anna Newhouse

Looking Through to Another Time by Anna Newhouse

Sometimes I save photos I feature on Michigan in Pictures to a folder that changes my computer background every day. This one by Anna from 5 years back has always been one of my favorites.

You can see more in Anna’s My 365 Photo Challenge gallery.

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South Fox Island Light Station

South Fox Island Light Station by Dusty Klifman / Blueyes Below

South Fox Island Light Station by Dusty Klifman / Blueyes Below

My company recently completed a new website for the Fox Island Lighthouse Association. Their website explains:

The South Fox Light Station is located 22 miles offshore in NW Lake Michigan, south of Beaver Island and north of the Manitous. The 115 acres of MI state-owned land has much to offer, with seven original structures still standing and acres of pristine dune and wildlife; it is one of the most unique stations on Lake Michigan. The original tower was lit in 1867; the fog signal and oil house were built in 1895. The Workshop and Boat House were built in 1897. In 1934, the 68’ steel skeletal tower was brought from Sapelo Island, GA and reassembled on the island (automated in 1958). The two-story Assistant Keepers Quarters was added in 1910. The station was decommissioned in 1969.

In 1971, the State of Michigan bought the station from the Department of the Interior with a promise to provide recreational opportunity and access to the public.

You can head over to their website for information & photos about the station, its structures, and how you can help them with their work.

Diver/photographer Dusty Klifman of Blueyes Below, provided some photos for the website & the cool drone footage. Check him out for lots more photos & videos of shipwrecks & other maritime subjects.

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Marching at the Marsh

Marching at the Marsh by PKHyperFocal

Marching at the Marsh by PKHyperFocal

This dude definitely has swag! Here’s a few mostly male facts about red-winged blackbirds from the excellent All About Birds website:

The Red-winged Blackbird is a highly polygynous species, meaning males have many female mates – up to 15 in some cases. In some populations 90 percent of territorial males have more than one female nesting on their territories. But all is not as it seems: one-quarter to one-half of nestlings turn out to have been sired by someone other than the territorial male.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds fiercely defend their territories during the breeding season, spending more than a quarter of daylight hours in territory defense. He chases other males out of the territory and attacks nest predators, sometimes going after much larger animals, including horses and people.

The oldest recorded Red-winged Blackbird was 15 years, 9 months old. It was banded in New Jersey in 1967, and found alive, but injured in Michigan in 1983. It was able to be released after recovering from its injuries.

PK caught this red-winged blackbird on patrol last week. See more in their Feathers gallery on Flickr

Read up on Red-winged Blackbirds on Michigan in Pictures!

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Blossoms & Blue

Leelanau Sweet Cherry Blossoms May 5

Sweet Cherry Blossoms by Andrew McFarlane

Here’s a photo of mine from yesterday afternoon of cherry blossoms on the Leelanau Peninsula. You can follow my @mileelanau Instagram for more shots from northwest lower Michigan!

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Once Upon a Time on a Farm

Once Upon a Time on a Farm by Jamie MacDonald

Once Upon a Time on a Farm by Jamie MacDonald

Jamie says that it’s always an amazing feeling to find a hidden gem like this far away from the hectic roads of Michigan, and I wholeheartedly agree! Lots more hidden gems in Jamie’s Buildings & Structures gallery on Flickr & you can learn more about Jamie’s photography workshops on his website!

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Waterfall Wednesday: Slate River Falls

Slate River Falls Splendor by Eric Hackney

Slate River Falls Splendor by Eric Hackney

GoWaterfalling is the premier source for information about Michigan’s many waterfalls. Their Slate River Falls entry says:

Slate River Falls is, unsurprisingly, on the Slate River. This is the largest of many drops over a three mile stretch of the river. This is a wild waterfall, with no fences, and the only trail is one left behind by the curious feet of others.

The falls are located along Skanee Road between L’Anse and Skanee, about 10 miles east of L’Anse. There is a sign marking the Slate River, so the falls are easier to find than some. The bridge over the river is just past Arvon Road. A few hundred feet east of the bridge there is a two track that leads to a small turn around. A rough trail starts here that follows the east side of the creek.

…If you continue upstream past the falls a few hundred yards you can find two smaller falls, Slide Falls and Ecstasy Falls (so named by kayakers). About 3 miles upstream you can find Quartzite Falls, Black Slate Falls and more unnamed drops. These falls can be reached by car. From Skanee Road head south on Avron Road, which is just west of the Slate River, for about 3.3 miles. Take the road to the right, which will soon cross the Slate River. A well groomed trail will lead you downstream to Quartzite Falls. Black Slate Falls and other drops are upstream and you just have to make your way along the river.

Detailed directions & more at GoWaterfalling.

Eric took this photo last summer. You can see a lot more of his adventures in his Personal Favorites gallery on Flickr & view/purchase his work on his website

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

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Double the Rainbow

Another Look at Our Rainbow Last Sunday Evening by Steve Brown

Another Look at Our Rainbow Last Sunday Evening by Steve Brown

One of my favorite websites, Atmospheric Optics, says that secondary rainbows or “double rainbows” feature a secondary bow that is nearly always fainter than the primary, with colors reversed and more widely separated:

Light can be reflected more than once inside a raindrop. Rays escaping after two reflections make a secondary bow.

The secondary has a radius of 51º and lies some 9º outside the primary bow. It is broader, 1.8X the width of the primary, and its colours are reversed so that the reds of the two bows always face one another. The secondary has 43% of the total brightness of the primary but its surface brightness is lower than that because its light is spread over its greater angular extent. The primary and secondary are are concentric, sharing the antisolar point for a center.

Steve took this photo last month & you can see more in his Michigan Skyscapes gallery on Flickr.

Lots more rainbows on Michigan in Pictures!

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