Colors of Crisp Point


Colors of Crisp Point, photo by John Rothwell

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light says that Crisp Point Lighthouse is located on the Lake Superior coastline between Whitefish Point and Grand Island. It’s one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline in all of the Midwest and:

It is difficult to imagine that during the 1800’s this stretch of seemingly bucolic coastline was known to mariners as “The Shipwreck Coast,” with the hulks of innumerable vessels pushed onto the shore by violent storms out of the north, or lost in the pea soup fogs which frequently enveloped the area.

Since the early 1850’s, the Lighthouse Board had been working on establishing a series of Lights to guide mariners along this treacherous stretch, with Lights established at Whitefish Point in 1848, Grand Island in 1867, Big Sable Point in 1874 and Grand Marais in 1895. As further witness to the dangers represented by this stretch of coastline, Congress approved the establishment of four life saving stations between Vermilion and Deer Park on June 20, 1874, one of which was designated as Station Ten, and built at an unnamed point approximately fifteen miles west of Whitefish Point. Although David Grummond was appointed as the first keeper at life saving station 10, it would be Christopher Crisp who served as keeper from 1878 until 1890 who would have the most lasting impact on the area, as Crisp became so well known that the point on which the station was established would become forever known as “Crisp’s Point.”

…The station was officially decommissioned in 1994, and without keepers maintaining the protective piers, shoreline erosion had progressed to the point that the lake was lapping at the very base of the tower itself. After the brick service room collapsed in November 1996, the GSA feared that the tower itself was in danger of toppling, and not wishing the responsibility and cost of stabilizing or demolishing the tower, the property was scheduled for auction in 1997.

Ohio visitors Don and Nellie Ross came across the old station, and taken with the natural beauty and history of the location, partnered with a number of area residents to form the Crisp Point Lighthouse Preservation Society, with their charter being the restoration and long term survival of what was left of the station.

Read on for lots more and historical photos. Terry adds that a visit to Crisp Point is a “must” for any lighthouse fans, as it remains one of the most desolate and beautiful locations in all of the Great Lakes. More about the lighthouse and its preservation at

View John’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!

Lake Charlevoix Fall Colors


Lake Charlevoix Fall Colors, photo by frank wulfers

Frank took this shot on Wednesday from the Avalanche Mountain Scenic Overlook in Boyne City. As you can see, this will be the weekend for fall color across much of Michigan, so check out some great fall scenes on Michigan in Pictures and make your plans for a getaway!

View Frank’s photo bigger and see more in his Michigan – Northwest slideshow.

Misty Bond Falls


Misty Bond Falls, photo by Yanbing Shi

Gorgeous photo from Bond Falls in the western Upper Peninsula taken back in October of 2014. GoWaterfalling’s page on Bond Falls says (in part):

This is the best single waterfall in the Western U.P, and the second best waterfall in Michigan. If you are in the Western U.P., possibly on your way to or from the Porcupines or Copper Harbor, this is a definitely worth a stop.

…The main drop is 40 feet high and 100+ feet wide. Above the main falls are a series of cascades and rapids that must drop a total of 20 feet. The water level is controlled by a dam, and a steady flow over the falls is maintained for scenic reasons. Of course during the spring melt the flow is much higher.

View Yanbing Shi’s photo bigger and see more from Michigan and elsewhere in his Landscape slideshow.

More Michigan waterfalls and more fog & mist on Michigan in Pictures.

Friday Fall Color Update from the High Rollways



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!


Today’s the Day for the Michigan Apple Crunch!


apples, photo by Diane Greene Lent

A Healthier Michigan is a pretty cool blog with some state-specific tips for better health. Their post on the annual  Michigan’s Apple Crunch Day (Thursday, October 13)  says that every October, schools, organizations, and businesses bite into Michigan apples on the same day, setting records for apples eaten.

It’s a partnership between the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Farm to School, Cherry Capital Foods and Cultivate Michigan as a reminder of the importance of agriculture and knowing where your food comes from. Last year 400,000 people in Michigan ate a Michigan-grown apple on Apple Crunch Day!

The Michigan Apple Committee notes that with 11.3 million apple trees covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms, Michigan is the nation’s third largest producer of apples!

View Diane’s photo of apples overlooking Grand Traverse Bay background big and see more in her Best 2012 slideshow.

Here’s a video with photos from last year’s Apple Crunch by Cherry Capital Foods!

Michigan Fall Color Running Late in 2016?


Autumn Tree Tunnel on M-22, photo by Owen Weber

The Detroit News is reporting that Michigan’s leaves are about a week late this year:

“The warm, dry summer has delayed things,” said meteorologist Jim Keysor of the Gaylord office of the National Weather Service. “ “People will just have to wait. Colder nights are coming and the color show will happen.”

“We’re a week to 10 days behind,” he estimated.

The National Weather Service recorded plenty of 90-degree days through August — five in June, nine in July and seven in August.

“We’re probably at 40 percent to 60 percent right now,” said accounting assistant Gina Penegor of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon of the Upper Peninsula. “We’ve had a light frost and this weekend could be the best time to view color here. In the last five days it’s really changed a lot.”

…“By all accounts, the color is coming a little bit later with all the great weather we’ve been having,” said Michelle Grinnell, the public relations manager of Travel Michigan, in a statement. “That extends our fall travel season.”

Grinnell said that the fall tourism season is expected to have a $3.7 billion economic impact on Michigan in 2016. Michigan has 19 million acres of woodlands. The golds, yellows and reds of autumn usually begin in mid-September and work their way south from Lake Superior, peaking in late October in the lower counties along the Indiana and Ohio borders.

You can read on for more. While I will say that the eyeball test agrees the colors are running behind around Traverse City, consider this article that maintains the timing of fall color is due mainly to the length of days and as such, unchanged year to year.

As a further piece of evidence, Owen took this photo of peak color on M-22 last year on October 21st about a week to 10 days from now. View it bigger and see more in his Michigan slideshow, and learn more about Owen at

PS: This was taken on M-22 right in front of the house I grew up in about 2 miles south of Leland on the way to Glen Arbor & Sleeping Bear Dunes! While those trees are definitely fading under the twin ravages of time and the power company/road commission, it’s still a pretty spectacular spot!

Pier Energy at Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse


Pier Energy, photo by Aaron Springer

The Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse entry at Terry Pepper’s excellent Seeing the Light says the tip of the light is 72 feet off the water, making that spray over 80′ tall!! Click above for a ton more, but here’s something about the light tower:

1912 saw significant a significant change in the lighting of the Frankfort harbor entrance. A new square steel pyramidal tower was erected on the North Pier. Fully sheathed in steel plates, the white painted structure stood 44 feet from its base to the top of the ventilator ball. Outfitted with a fixed red Fourth Order Fresnel lens, the tower’s location on the north pier provided the new light with a focal plane of 46 feet, and a visible range of 12 miles in clear weather. The air siren from the South Pierhead light was relocated into this new structure, and set up to emit a characteristic isophase characteristic of alternating periods of 3 second blasts and 3 seconds of silence. An elevated walkway, similar to that installed on the south Pier, was erected from the new light to the shore.

…By 1924, the total car ferry tonnage through Frankfort Harbor was twenty five times greater than that prior to the establishment of the ferries. To better serve this vital commerce, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of a pair of reinforced concrete arrowhead-type breakwaters at the harbor entrance in order to create a large stilling basin to protect the opening into the harbor. With the completion of these breakwaters in the early 1930’s, the twin piers at the entry into Lake Betsie no longer served any purpose. With plans in place to shorten them into short stub piers, the North Pierhead Light was lifted from the pier onto the deck of a barge and carried out to the end of the North Breakwater. A square steel base 25 feet in height had been erected on the end of the breakwater to receive it, and the tower was lifted onto the new base. After being bolted into position, the new tower stood 67 feet in height from the upper level of the pier to the top of the lantern ventilator ball. By virtue of its location on the concrete pier, the light stood at a focal plane of 72 feet, and the 17,000 candlepower incandescent electric light within the Fourth Order Fresnel was visible for a distance of 16 miles in clear weather.

Read on for lots more about the lighthouse including some great old photos.

View Aaron’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow,.

Tons more lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures.