Sunrise #1,117 at Marquette’s Orehenge

Sunrise 1117 by Bugsy Sailor

Sunrise 1117 by Bugsy Sailor

On his Twitter, Michigan’s Sunrise King Bugsy Sailor shared a phenomenon that I’d never heard of – Orehenge! He writes: 

Twice a year, for a few days stretch, the sun rises down the center of the historic Marquette ore dock.

And oh boy, does the community loves it! Just as they should. But my introverted self, loving my mornings of solitude and meditation, has to overcome a lot of anxious energy to walk into a crowd during my most cherished time of the day.

Orehenge, as it’s affectionately called, falls in November and January, where the sun is really seen at sunrise. From my January data over three years, there is less than a 20% chance of seeing the sun at sunrise.

There’s more observations & photos of this very cool seasonal happening and the crowd that showed up @BugsySailor on Twitter. For sure check out his Twitter for more & if you’re low on Upper Peninsula swag, his UP Supply Co is a great source!

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Winter’s smile

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Chris’s photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse from last weekend really shows the power of winds off the Great Lakes. You can click the pic to follow him on Facebook, and also see his pics on Instagram and view & purchase prints & calendars on his website.

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#TBT: Walking with the Icefoot on Agate Beach

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Winter morning on Agate Beach by Gary McCormick

Here’s a special Science Term Throwback Thursday from January 14th 8 years ago!

Ernest W. Marshall talks about a common winter feature along considerable stretches of Great Lakes shorelines, the Icefoot, a narrow fringe of ice attached to the coast:

Air and water temperatures must be sufficiently low before an icefoot begins to form. The conditions favorable for icefoot formation are broad open shorelines gradually sloping below water level, and facing so that wind-blown spray is carried inland toward the shore to freeze. The character of growth of an icefoot differs during different periods of the winter. During the course of the winter the icefoot may suffer periods of denudation alternating with periods of accretion. The development of an icefoot can be held at one stage by the early freezing of fast ice offshore. An icefoot can be composed of any combination of frozen spray or lake water, snow accumulations, brash, stranded icefloes, and sand which is either thrown up on the icefoot by wave action or is blown out from the exposed beaches.

Observations of the icefoot along the shorelines of Lakes Superior and Erie indicated that the moderately steep portions of the shore were characterized by narrow terraces composed of frozen slush and brash thrown up by storm winds. The outer edge of this icefoot was often cusp-like in form, resulting from the mechanical and melting action of the waves. The inner portions of the cusps acted to concentrate the wave action, forming blowholes which threw spray back on the icefoot.

You can click to read more.

Gary took this photo at one of my favorite places, Agate Beach on Lake Superior in Grand Marais. In the distance is Grand Sable Dunes & the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See more in Gary’s Grand Marais Michigan gallery including a shot of a staggeringly huge ice mound & view and purchase his work at Footsore Fotography.

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City of Gold

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

City of Gold IX by Andrew McFarlane

OK here’s one of my pics of the frozen Lake Michigan shore of Leelanau County from back in January of 2009. I chose one with sun because I would like to see the sun! See more in my Frozen Shore gallery on Flickr and STAY WARM!!

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Into the Icebox

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

mLive shared yesterday that the coldest air of the season is blanketing Michigan right now, bringing icy temps & dangerously cold wind chills, according to the National Weather Service:

“The coldest air of the winter so far is surging into our area this evening,” according to the NWS meteorologists in the Grand Rapids office. “This is (going to) be the big story for the next 36 hours, how cold it will be. Wind chills will mostly be in the 0-degree to -10 degree range into Tuesday morning. Lows Sunday night will be (between) zero and 10 degrees, and tomorrow we have a secondary surge of even colder air coming in during the afternoon. That will limit our high temperature to the mid-teens.”

…Wind chills are expected to be especially brutal in the U.P. They could drop to 30 degrees below zero near the Wisconsin border tonight and into Monday, the NWS said.

This morning’s Michigan temperature map agrees with a toasty 18 degrees in Detroit dropping to 10 in Mt. Pleasant, 8 by the Mackinac Bridge, -9 in Marquette & all the way down to -15 in Ironwood at the western edge of the Upper Peninsula. Bundle up kids!! 

Tom took this back in February of 2018 near Mackinac City. See more in his Michigan Winter gallery on Flickr and view & purchase his work on his website.

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Waterfallish Wednesday: Seasons Greetings from Fishtown

via Leelanau.com…

Flowing All Night Long by Mark Smith

Flowing all night long by Mark Smith

While this dam isn’t an actual waterfall, I’m going to overlook it due to seasonal appropriateness. In their excellent overview of the history of Fishtown in Leland, the Glen Arbor Sun shares:

Fishtown is located where there once was a natural fish ladder on these traditional Native American fishing grounds. It is one of only few commercial fishing villages still operating today in Michigan. The Native Americans called this spot Mishi-me-go-bing, or alternatively Che-ma-go-bing or Chi-mak-a-ping, meaning “the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor.”

French Canadian millwright, Antoine Manseau, along with his family, are thought to be among some of the first whites to settle here. They came from North Manitou Island in 1853. The following year Manseau and his family, along with John Miller, built the dam at Fishtown. It raised the water level in the river and in Lake Leelanau by as much as an astonishing 12 feet. Since the dam prevented boat traffic from going back and forth in their daily business, launches were, and still are provided on both sides of the dam.

Lots more in the Sun. You can learn more about the history of the dam from Fishtown Preservation.

Mark took this photo a week ago. See more in his Leland gallery & view and purchase his work at Leelanau Landscapes.

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Surf’s Up … Again!

Surfs UpAgain by Julie

Surf’s Up Again by Julie

While the last weekend’s record winds were (and remain) a major headache for many Michiganders, there’s at least one group that’s all in favor of the current run of wild weather: surfers. Julie took this photo on Sunday & shares:

Yesterday woke up again to gale force winds. We clock 59 MPH here in town and the waves were churning again. I rode out north and there were 11 surfers. Never seen so many here. Temps rose to 59* and have never seen the likes. But the guys and girls out surfing were having a blast. I was talking to some and some drove over 50 miles to get here because of the way the waves were coming in. We still have so many that don’t have electric out and today it’s 26*. Lots of facilities open for them to come too.

I guess this is yet another reminder that every cloud may very well be someone’s silver lining. Head over to Julie’s Flickr for the latest & have a great week.

Head over to Great Lakes Surfing on Michigan in Pictures for lots more!

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Into the Gale

Muskegon South Pier leaning into the gale by Jerry Herrendeen

Muskegon South Pier leaning into the gale by Jerry Herrendeen

This past Sunday (Dec 11, 2021) was a very dark day in American meteorological history as tornados ravaged the middle south, killing at least 80 in Kentucky and visiting devastation on Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee in what has become since 2020 a new seasonal threat.

While the Great Lakes State was spared the worst, mLive shares that Michigan was buffeted by winds topping 60 mph with gusts as high as 72 recorded at the Saugatuck Pier. While there’s no wind reading from the South Breakwater Light, the Muskegon North Breakwater Light clocked a reading of 68 MPH. Waveheads in the audience who want to know just how big the wave in this photo can do a little visual math with the knowledge that the North Breakwater Light is 52′ tall!

Jerry’s The Moods of Lake Michigan gallery makes it clear he has no problem getting out there to get the shot & has a couple more photos from Sunday including this shot of a wave nearly topping the 48′ south pier light

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Wandering the sands of time

Sleeping Bear Dunes 1940 by Fredrick W Dickinson

Sleeping Bear Dunes 1940 by Fredrick W Dickinson

“What has been lost may yet live in memories.”
-Christopher Paolini

This morning a reader commented on John McCormick’s photo of the Au Sable Point Lighthouse that I shared last week, saying “This was an incredible shot, and I think of it whenever I go out to the lighthouse. I doubt that shot can be duplicated now; there are lights all along the foundation of the building, and the beacon is no longer operating.” That got me remembering other Michigan scenes that are lost to us except in photographs & one that was right in my backyard!

While the  that “the Bear” was also an actual formation atop a dune about a mile north of the Pierce Stocking Overlook. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore says that the formation pictured above known as “the Bear”…

…hardly looks like a bear now, for it has been changing rapidly in recent years. At the turn of the century, it was a round knob completely covered with trees and shrubs. You can still see some of the thick vegetation that gave it a dark shaggy appearance.

…For a long time, the sleeping Bear Dune stood at about 234 feet high with a dense plant cover. However, trough most of the twentieth century, erosion has prevailed. By 1961, the dune was only 132 feet high, and by 1980, it was down to 103 feet. The process is a continuing one. The major cause of the dune’s erosion was wave action wearing away the base of the plateau on which the dune rests. As the west side of the dune loses its support, it cascades down the hill. The wind, too, is a major agent of erosion, removing sand and destroying the dune’s plant cover.

The photo above was taken by Leelanau photographer Fred Dickinson. On Michigan in Pictures there’s a photo of Fishtown in 1940 that explains Dickinson’s hand coloration technique and another shot by Fred of some folks taking a break from a Sleeping Bear Dune ride.

Definitely check out the Dickinson Photo Gallery to view & purchase great photography of the dunes & other Leelanau locations. The gallery is still run by his daughter Grace who also colorizes photos. 

You can see a couple more photos of the Bear from MSU & click over to Leelanau.com for the Legend of the Sleeping Bear

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Thoughts on beating Ohio…

View from the Top of the Mackinac Bridge by Ken Scott Photography.jpg

View from the Top … of the Mackinac Bridge by Ken Scott Photography

On Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines defied recent history and absolutely thrashed the Ohio State Buckeyes 42-27 in the Big House. While this is certainly a huge victory by Michigan over Ohio, it pales in comparison to one the greatest fleecings in history, the trade of the 468 square mile Toledo Strip for the entire Upper Peninsula. Not bad eh? Read all about it in Michigan, Ohio & the Best Worst Deal Ever on Michigan in Pictures.

Ken took this photo looking north at a portion of Michigan’s haul from one of the towers on the Mighty Mac with St. Ignace, Mackinac Island and Round Island on the horizon. See more in his Mackinac Stuff gallery on Flickr & for sure view and purchase his work at kenscottphotography.com

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