Fall Color from Sugar Loaf by Andrew McFarlane
Every so often I like to sprinkle in one of my own photos on Michigan in Pictures, and today is one of those days! I took this photo on October, 22, 2018 at the long-shuttered Sugar Loaf Resort on the Leelanau Peninsula. The ski run was called Devil’s Elbow, and you can see Little Traverse Lake, Lake Michigan, and South Manitou Island & Pyramid Point in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (shout out to the Lakeshore for yesterday’s 51st birthday!)
While the color isn’t as spectacular this year as 2018, it’s still pretty nice. Also, fun fact: when I was 11 years old an out of control man ran me off the left side of the Elbow. I slid over 100′ down a very steep hill, broke my arm & had to be pulled out by a rope with a snowmobile by the Ski Patrol. You know I was right back at it as soon as the arm healed!!
If you want to read the long & depressing saga of the ski area, head over to Sugar Loaf Resort on Leelanau.com!
Sunlight through the autumn trees by T P Mann
Fall color remains in full swing across much of Michigan. Here’s hoping you have a chance to enjoy it before it’s gone!
T P took this photo way back on October 20, 2007. See more in his Michigan Autumn Colors gallery on Flickr.
More fall color on Michigan in Pictures!
Peak Colors at the Cut River Bridge by Michigan Nut Photography
John got a fantastic angle on one of my favorite Michigan bridges, the Cut River Bridge. He shares that when he was a kid it was known as “The Million Dollar Bridge Over the Ten Cent River” 😂 Historic Bridges says that the Heath Michael Robinson Cut River Memorial Bridge was built in 1947 by the Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company:
This bridge is large enough that MDOT actually has maintained this bridge as an area attraction. Surrounding the bridge is a roadside park and a series of trails around the bridge. The intent to make this bridge something more than just a crossing goes back before this bridge’s status as a historic bridge to its initial construction. The bridge was designed as an attraction even when it was built, since sidewalks above the bridge in this rural area are present. Also, a set of stairways, part of the original design, take pedestrians under the bridge where they can view the supporting trusses. The abutments and piers were also given unusually exceptional detail, in particular the use of decorative stone facing. The two main piers give the appearance are attractive cut stone arches.
The bridge includes a total of 888 tons of steel and its height over the Cut River is 147 feet. It offers views of Lake Michigan from its deck. The bridge was originally painted a silver color, but is today painted green. This bridge is a steel deck cantilever truss bridge. This structure type is much more common in more hilly states like Pennsylvania, but is extremely rare in Michigan. The structure has visual complexity as a result of the extensive lattice and v-lacing on its riveted, built-up members, which are all very massive, typical for both a bridge of its size and its age. The bridge retains original standard-plan metal guardrails (Michigan’s “signature” type R4 railings) on the sidewalks that flank the roadway on each side. It also retains standard Michigan State Highway Department plaques.
Follow Michigan Nut on Facebook & Instagram and for sure head over to his website to view & purchase prints, calendars, stickers & more!
More Michigan bridges on Michigan in Pictures.
Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer
This week longtime Congressman Dale Kildee passed away. Kildee, uncle of current Flint Representative Dan Kildee, represented Flint for over 30 years earning the nickname “the Cal Ripken of Congress.” He was involved in many efforts including some vital early childhood bills and (of course) auto industry support, but one interesting thing that I learned from writer David Dempsey is that Dale was the sponsor of the 1987 Michigan Wilderness Act which created 10 State Wilderness Areas protecting nearly 100,000 acres of old growth forest, dunes, lakes, and rivers including Sturgeon River Gorge.
Thank you Dale for your work on the behalf of Michigan’s wild places! Click for a map of all 18 of Michigan’s Wilderness Areas.
David took this back in October of 2012 in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. See more in his Porcupine Mountains gallery on Flickr.
Rainbow Falls on the Black River by Michigan Nut Photography
Rainbow Falls is the last of five waterfalls on the Black River in the Upper Peninsula. You can read all about Rainbow Falls & the Black River (and see another shot of these falls by John) on Michigan in Pictures.
As you can see, the Yoop is looking pretty beautiful right now!! See more on the Michigan Nut Facebook & view and purchase prints at Michigan Nut Photography!
Tunnel of Trees by Mark Smith
Here’s a great shot from Mark showing the current state of color on M-22 on the Leelanau Peninsula. You can check out a current map of Michigan fall color along with some photos on mLive.
This weekend will be amazing for fall color so get yourself up or outside this weekend!
Head over to downstreamer on Flickr for the latest from Mark.
Mirror Lake in Autumn by Julie Chapa
In their excellent article on The Science of Fall Color, the US Forest Service explains the role of the weather in the annual seasonal show:
The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences.
A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions – lots of sugar and light – spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year.
The amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors. Like the weather, soil moisture varies greatly from year to year. The countless combinations of these two highly variable factors assure that no two autumns can be exactly alike. A late spring, or a severe summer drought, can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors. A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.
Julie took this photo at a small lake near Fife Lake back in 2014. See more in her Michigan gallery & follow Julie Chapa Photography on Facebook.
TONS more fall color on Michigan in Pictures!
Overlooked Falls by Jim Sorbie
GoWaterfalling’s page on Minor Waterfalls has this to say about this pretty little waterfall in Porcupine Mountains State Park:
Overlooked Falls is a small falls on the Little Carp River. The scenic falls consists of two drops, each about 5′ in height. This is the most easily accessed of the falls on the Little Carp River, big or small. It is only a few hundred feet from the parking area. The trailhead to the falls is at the end of Little Carp River road. This is also the trailhead to Greenstone Falls, which is about 1/2 mile away. The trail also leads to the much larger Trappers Falls, which is three miles away.
I found this great shot by Jim this morning in the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr which just happens to be from September 22nd way back in 2014! See more in Jim’s Color Tour 2014 (UP & Ontario) gallery.
Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!
Reaching for the light by Mike Carey
In just over a day – 3:20 PM tomorrow at the vernal equinox to be precise – Summer 2021 will be in the books. Here’s hoping you get a little of that summer light before it’s all gone!
See more in Mike’s Lake Michigan 2021 gallery on Flickr.