Words escape me: Grand Island Ice Caves, 2015

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Words escape me, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Words escape ME on the beauty of the video that Shawn of Lake Superior Photo shared. The ice caves on Grand Island near Munising didn’t happen this year, a very unfortunate thing for everyone in Michigan who makes their livelihood from winter recreation. However, thanks to the magic of the video below, we can travel back to 2015.

You can view Shawn’s photo from winter of 2015  bigger on Facebook and purchase the photo right here. I can’t stress enough that you should follow Shawn and Lake Superior Photo on Facebook. Please do it.

Now here’s that video. Be sure to turn your volume up and watch in HD – there’s a “boom” from the ice sheet at 4 seconds that’s incredible!

Time for the 2017 Michigan Ice Festival!

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dairyland, photo by Wilkinson Visual

Wilkinson Visual writes that this photo shows David Hixenbaugh scrapping up dairyland on a blustery day out on the lakeshore. Great climbing, very unique features formed by the wind making for an exciting top out!

The annual Michigan Ice Fest runs today through Sunday (Feb 15-19, 2017) in Munising. It’s an annual celebration of the sport of ice climbing that brings together some of the world’s best climbers and experts for climbing exhibitions, seminars, guided climbs, get togethers and much more! Click the link above for all the details.

View the photo bigger on the Wilkinson Visuals Facebook and visit their website for all kinds of photos including this cool Michigan Ice Climbing Gallery.

Here’s climbing video from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by David (@alpine_elevation on Instagram):

Michigan in Pictures Top 6 Photos of 2016

Welcome to the 2017 Michigan in Pictures year in review! I’d normally wish you a Happy New Year and fun New Year’s Eve in this space, but my timing was thrown off. Please do still have a safe & fun New Year!

patreon-supportThe major 2016 update was that I added an account on Patreon that allows folks to toss a few bucks my way once or every month if they choose. I’m up to a burger with a couple of beers every month, so thank you supporters – it’s very much appreciated! Also appreciated is all of you sharing my posts here and on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook.

Once again the most visited post was Know Your Michigan Turtles, and I added the Red-eared Slider on May 23rd in celebration of World Turtle Day. If I were a betting man, I would lay long odds on the Common Musk Turtle being added to the list May 23, 2017 as it’s the only one not yet featured.

Instead of a top 5, I added an extra one because a razor-thin margin separated numbers 5 & 6 and #5 was really more of a graphic I made than a photo. I’d also like to point out that other than the graphic, ALL of the photos have a lake in them.

#6

Sometimes the the stars align Frankfort Lighthouse

August 12 – Sometimes the Stars Align by Snap Happy Gal Photography

Flat-out stunning photo of the Frankfort Lighthouse by Heather Higham, a Michigan in Pictures regular. 

#5

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April 1 – “MU” merges University of Michigan & Michigan State University via Absolute Michigan

Historic merger to create the largest university on the planet, known simply as “MU” was announced.

#4

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October 21 – Lake Charlevoix Fall Colors by frank wulfers

Fall color was a little later than normal this year, and Frank got a gorgeous shot of late October color from the Avalanche Mountain Scenic Overlook in Boyne City.

#3

Black Rocks Summer of 16

October 21 – Black Rocks, #1, Summer of ’16 by Lake Superior Photo

Shawn of Lake Superior Photo has been a longtime supporter of Michigan in Pictures and it’s always good when one of her photos makes the list!

#2

Point Betsie Lighthouse- Ice Station Zebra Edition

January 23 – Enchanted Point Betsie by Kristina Lishawa

The winds howl, the snow falls, and the waves crash, yet Betsie stands more beautiful and enchanting than ever. ~Kristina Lishawa

#1

Chapel Rock in Winter

February 20 – Live Anywhere by Jay

FUN FACT: My absolute favorite place in Michigan is right here – Chapel Rock and Chapel Beach in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. While I have visited the Lakeshore in the winter, I haven’t made it to Chapel Rock yet.

As with so many photos I share, I do get the vicarious experience though.

Thank you everyone for your support of Michigan in Pictures in 2016!

 

Falling Skies: The Geminid Meteor Shower

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Falling Skies, photo by Heather Higham

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight but will continue tomorrow as well. EarthSky explains:

The shower starts around the second week in December, but, in a bit of bad timing, full moon comes on the peak night (December 13-14) this year. Still, these meteors are known for being bright, so some Geminid meteors may well overcome this year’s moonlit glare. Watch on the evening of December 13 until dawn December 14. The nights before and after might be good as well. Geminid meteors tend to be few and far between at early evening, but intensify in number as evening deepens into late night.

…Your local peak will typically be centered at about 2 a.m. local time, no matter where you are on the globe. That’s because the constellation Gemini – radiant point of the shower – will reach its highest point for the night around 2 a.m. (your local time). As a general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini climbs into your sky, the more Geminid meteors you’re likely to see.

Heather took this photo in September of 2016, and there’s FOUR meteors!! View it bigger, see more in her Night Sky slideshow, and view & purchase photos at snaphappygal.com!

Lots more meteors on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Lions in the Sky: The 2016 Leonid Meteor Shower

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Aurora Fireball, photo by Ross Ellet

Space.com’s page on How to Watch the Leonids says in part:

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year in November, when Earth’s orbit crosses the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The comet makes its way around the sun every 33.3 years, leaving a trail of dust rubble in its wake. When Earth’s orbit crosses this trail of debris, pieces of the comet fall toward the planet’s surface. Drag, or air resistance, in Earth’s atmosphere cause the comet’s crumbs to heat up and ignite into burning balls of fire called meteors.

…The Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night of Thursday, Nov. 17, and early the following morning. Skywatchers might be able to see some meteors as early as Sunday, Nov. 13. However, with a full supermoon slated to rise Monday, Nov. 14, moonlight will likely outshine most meteors, rendering them difficult to see.

But don’t feel bummed if you don’t spot any of the early meteors. The Leonids will continue to graze the night sky until Nov. 21. At this point, the waning moon will be at its third quarter, meaning only half of the moon’s face will illuminate the sky. With less of the moon’s natural light obstructing the view, skywatchers who were unable to see the meteor shower at first will still have a chance to catch the last Leonid meteors.

Ross took this photo in late September of 2014 and writes:

The sky was cloudy most of the night, but at 3:30am there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We made our way to the lakeshore and sure enough the northern lights were dim on the northern horizon. At one point you could hear the howl of a distant wolf pack while the northern lights were out. Then moments later a slow move fireball flashed across the sky. It lasted a couple seconds and the brightness pulsed as it moved through the atmosphere. After that the aurora faded, but several more meteors (some very bright) streaked above us.

View it background bigtacular and see more in his Porcupine Mtns slideshow, and definitely check out his website, Ross Ellet’s Weather & Photography for more!!

PS: Some of the best northern lights on the year happen in November so be sure to keep an eye on the skies!

Rainbow at the Soo Locks

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Rainbow at Soo Locks, photo by kdclarkfarm

Diane says that everyone was in awe at this rainbow apparently waiting its turn for the Soo Locks in late September.

View her photo background bigilicious and see more in her Freighters and the St. Clair River slideshow.

More rainbows and more Soo Locks on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Friday Fall Color Update from the High Rollways

 

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High Roll Away, photo by Charles Bonham

“Of all the places I’ve worked here in Michigan, this is my favorite place to collect my senses, do a little meditating and get rid of my problems. It’s like a soothing balm.”
-Ray Westbrook, retired DNR on the High Roll-Away

Charles took this yesterday at the Buckley High Roll-Away overlooking the Manistee River, and it shows how autumn color continues to lag a bit behind in northern lower Michigan. mLive posted some satellite pics of fall color from NASA’s Aqua satellite earlier this week that give you a look at how things are shaping up. If you’re thinking about a jaunt, Pure Michigan’s fall color tours provide some pre-planned ideas all over the state. To get current fall color, I usually find it best to pick your location and call their chamber or visitor’s bureau. The bigger ones in Traverse City, Petoskey, Marquette, Grand Rapids, and elsewhere will often have a good idea about a large range.

MyNorth’s Jeff Smith has a great story on Buckley’s Big View that says in part:

Like any notable landmark without an official name, this one goes by several aliases—Horseshoe Bend Overlook, Lookout Point or the Highbanks Overlook—not to mention spelling variations. Depends who you ask.

Stand atop the Roll-Away and the scenery is for certain. From the lookout it’s 200 feet down, and before you the valley curls up like a vast bowl, taking in a viewscape of almost 130 square miles of dense pine and hardwood forest. The bowl’s rim, a ridge, runs roughly from Manton in the east, around to Meauwataka and Harrietta in the south (you’ll see the distant radio towers), and on the west to Mesick.

Here, more than a century ago, the expanse of treetops inspired awe among those who saw wealth in the more than 1.2 billion board feet of lumber in the upper Manistee River basin. Surveying the area in 1869 for the Manistee River Improvement Company, A.S. Wordsworth wrote, “This river is the great highway that penetrates the vast pine region of Manistee. … It is without doubt the best logging stream in the world, and all along its circuitous path, reaching far away, it seems to bear mute testimony to the wonderful wisdom of the Creator.”

Read on for lots more and here’s the map on Waymarking!

You can get Charles’ photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

Lots more fall color and fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!