Banded Iron Formation of Jasper Knob

Banded Iron Formation by Linda Grashoff

Banded Iron Formation by Linda Grashoff

Back in August of 2007, Linda & her husband took one of their many trips to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula & visiting Grand Marais, Ishpeming and Copper Harbor. She visited the Jasper Knob just outside of Ishpeming & writes:

It is a banded iron formation. The layers consist of jasper (the red rock) and hematite (the silvery rock). I’m delighted to tell you that some biogeologists believe that banded iron formations were formed by my old pals, the iron bacteria.

Head over to her photo blog for a lot more pictures and for sure check out her book They Breathe Iron for more about iron bacteria.

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Sofa, Sand & Saipan

Private First Class Raymond L Hubbard from Detroit by Andrew B Knight

Private First Class Raymond L Hubbard from Detroit by Andrew B Knight

My buddy Cave Canem shared this absolute gem of a photo in our Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook. He writes:

A Special Treat…

“Sitting on top of the world: Of all things, Private First Class Raymond L. Hubbard from Detroit, Michigan chooses a huge exploded naval shell as a sofa as he removes a three day accumulation of Saipan sand from his field shoes.”

Photograph by: Staff Sergeant Andrew B. Knight, US Marine Corps WWII 1939 – 1945

PS: You can see some of Cave Canem’s photos from back in the day on Michigan in Pictures right here!

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Grand Sable Dunes Sunrise

Grand Sable Dunes Sunrise by Michigan Nut Photography

Grand Sable Dunes Sunrise by Michigan Nut Photography

Sunrise overlooking Grand Sable Dunes in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore seems like a glorious way to start the day. See more from John at michigannutphotography.com or on the Michigan Nut Facebook page & have a wonderful week!!

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Construction Season: Blue Heron Edition

Perfect Shadow by Jiafan(John) Xu

Perfect Shadow by Jiafan(John) Xu

Jiafan definitely got the perfect shadow in this shot of a pair of herons building their nest. Head over to his Flickr for more shots of this industrious pair!

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Waterfall Wednesday: Kakabika Falls

Kakabika Falls on the Ontonagon River in Michigan's UP by Tom Clark

Kakabika Falls on the Ontonagon River in Michigan’s UP by Tom Clark

The Waterfall Record says that Kakabika Falls:

…is a series of small drops that adds up to a larger total. None of the drops are really that big. The largest drop might be 10′ at most (across a distance). So if you’re really into big waterfalls, Kakabika Falls will probably not be for you.

Kakabika Falls still has many redeeming qualities for those that don’t mind smaller waterfalls. First off, the falls are pretty easy to get to, requiring a short drive off of US-2. Second, the waterfall will probably be devoid of people. When I visited, nobody else was there. So if you want peace and quiet, this might be the place for you. Third, the short hike to the falls is amazing. When I visited, it had rained the night before, giving the hike to the falls a very “rain-forest” feeling, even though it’s not a rainforest. It was humid, and there were a lot of mosquitoes, so you’ll definitely want to wear bug spray! The most dangerous animals in Michigan aren’t the bears or cougars, but instead the really annoying mosquitoes and biting flies (not that they’re dangerous).

Head over to the Waterfall Record for directions.

Tom took this photo last fall. You can see more in his North Shore Waterfall Trip album on Flickr & see more photos from him on his website or Facebook page.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

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Spring it on, Michigan!

Untitled by Scott Glenn

Untitled by Scott Glenn

I don’t know about you, but even some snow & cold in the forecast can’t stop me from believing that spring is truly here! Scott got a lovely pic of some colorful crocuses. See more in his Flowers album on Flickr.

 

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Michigan looks like this: Silver Lake Dunes

Silver Lake Dunes by Michael Koole

Silver Lake Dunes by Michael Koole

For me, one of the coolest things about Michigan is the incredible range of scenery our state offers including positively otherworldly vistas like Michael captured yesterday at Silver Lake Dunes in Silver Lake State Park. See more great shots from Michael in his Parks gallery on Flickr & follow him on Instagram!

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Wolf Making the Rounds

Wolf Making the Rounds by Bill Joyce Ziegler

Wolf Making the Rounds by Bill Joyce Ziegler

Bill got some stunning photos of one of the wolves in a pack south of Amasa in the UP. He shared this & another in the Pure UP group on Facebook. Check it out! Bill also wrote an article last year about the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s plans to take wolves off the Endangered Species List in Michigan. This happened in January 2021 but it’s worth a read: 

Michigan DNR wolf surveys indicate there is a minimum wolf population of 662 adult wolves. This is a minimum population since young of the year wolves are not surveyed.

Cody Norton, Michigan DNR Wolf Specialist said the average wolf litter is likely about four to six pups based on research in other similar states. Norton goes on to say in other studied wolf populations “up to 60 percent of the pups may die in the first six months due to disease and malnutrition.”

Norton stated, “The 2018 survey indicated there are 139 wolf packs in the U.P.” (mainland).

He went on to say the average U.P. pack was about five wolves. Norton continues, “Packs are typically comprised of a breeding pair, pups from the current year, offspring from previous litters, and occasionally other wolves that may or may not be related to the breeding pair.”

Norton said surveys indicate, “Wolf territories range in size from 5 to 291 square miles in the U.P., with an average of about 45 square miles. However, territory size has decreased over time, and the number of packs has stagnated, as the wolf population in the U.P. has increased.” Norton added “The U.P. wolf population appears to have been stable for the last eight years or so suggesting they’re likely nearing carrying capacity. This follows a long period of population growth from when we initially surveyed the first three known wolves in 1989 until 2011.”

…Regardless of how you feel about wolves, their population recovery in Michigan has been a success of a native species re-establishing itself. No matter what happens in terms of federal and state wolf management, residents of the Upper Peninsula will continue to live with wolves and will occasionally hear the howl of the wolf.

More from Woods n Water News.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Sleeping Shamrock by Joshua DuPuis

The Sleeping Shamrock by Joshua DuPuis

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you! Loving this photo of a sleeping shamrock. You can see more from Joshua on his Flickr.

More St. Patrick’s Day photos on Michigan in Pictures!

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Signs of Spring: Red-winged Blackbirds

Red winged Blackbird by Reji TV

Red-winged Blackbird by Reji TV

One of my favorite signs of spring in Michigan is hearing the calls of red-winged blackbirds. I started hearing them last week in northern Michigan & just saw these pics today in our Absolute Michigan group on Flickr. The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web listing for Agelaius phoeniceus (red-winged blackbird) tells us:

The range of red-winged blackbirds extends from southern Alaska at its northern most point, to the Yucatan peninsula in the south and covers the greater part of the continent reaching from the Pacific coast of California and Canada to the eastern seaboard. Winter ranges for red-winged blackbirds vary by geographic location. Northern populations migrate south to the southern United States and Central America beginning in September or October (or occasionally as early as August). Most western and middle American populations are non-migratory.


Red-winged blackbirds roost and breed in a variety of habitats, but tend to prefer wetlands. They have been known to live in fresh and saltwater marshes. On drier ground, red-winged blackbirds gravitate towards open fields (often in agricultural areas) and lightly wooded deciduous forests. In winter red-winged blackbirds are most often found in open fields and croplands.

…As migratory birds, red-winged blackbirds share many characteristics with related species. They are strong fliers that will often migrate in flocks of a thousand or more. Roosting is often communal, resulting in large, centralized populations. Red-winged blackbirds are largely diurnal, spending most of their day foraging. Males defend territories during the mating season. As the mating season progresses, both males and females will spend more time within their territory or the territory of their mate. Although fighting among red-winged blackbirds is not all that common, even among males, it is known to occur. Males chase females at top speed during breeding season. Because of their broad range and tendency to colonize large roosting areas, red-winged blackbirds are extremely common, and are easy to find in the mating season when singing and sexual displays make them more visible.

This great web resource includes many more photos and blackbird calls. Go there!

Reji TV took this photo near Auburn Hills. See more in their Birds gallery on Flickr.

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