That Michigan Vibe

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Michigan Vibe by Heather Aldridge

Heather shares that she rode her bike to the pier in Frankfort for sunrise & was delighted with the Michigan cloud next to the bluff. That makes two of us Heather – WOW! 😍

Click the pic to view her photo on Facebook & here’s hoping you have a magical day!

Check out more Michigan amazingness on Michigan in Pictures.

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Heading Home for the Night

Heading Home for the Night by TP Mann

Heading Home for the Night by TP Mann

TP took this shot a couple of years ago & shares: 

This is an example of being at the right place and at the right time. The sun had set long ago and the boat heading in for the night. The light reflections added to the pure beauty of this beautiful evening. This from the pier in Charlevoix Michigan, located along beautiful Lake Michigan.

Here’s hoping you find yourself in the right place at the right time this weekend! See more in TP’s Charlevoix, Michigan gallery on Flickr.

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White Shoal Light & Terry Pepper

White Shoal Light by Joel Dinda

White Shoal Light by Joel Dinda

Terry Pepper was almost certainly the greatest champion ever for the lighthouses of the Great Lakes. Although he passed in 2019, his Seeing the Light website remains as a fantastic resource for the lighthouses of the western Great Lakes. The White Shoal Lighthouse entry says (in part, because these are VERY thorough):

Located approximately 20 miles east of Mackinac Point and 2.6 miles northwest of Waugoshance Island, the shallows around White Shoal had long presented a hazard for vessels entering the Straits from the either the North Shore or the Manitou Passage. Lying in an east/west orientation, and almost two miles long, the shoal was so shallow that its west end broke the water’s surface. With the dramatic increase in vessel traffic in the late 1880’s, the Lighthouse Board specifically identified White Shoal, Simmons Reef and Gray’s Reef as three Straits-area navigational hazards requiring immediate demarcation.

…Spring of 1908 saw work begin on the White Shoal light on two separate fronts. While a crew at the site leveled a one hundred and two-foot square area on the shoal through the addition and careful placement of loads of stone, a second crew worked on building a timber crib on shore at St. Ignace. Seventy-two feet square and eighteen and a half feet high, the huge crib contained 400,000 square feet of lumber, and on completion was slowly towed out to the shoal and centered over the leveled lake bottom. Once in location, the crib was filled with 4,000 tons of stone until it sank to a point at which its’ uppermost surface was level and two feet below the water’s surface.

…As work on the tower continued, the nine decks took shape within the tower. The first deck mechanical room housed the oil engine powered fog signal, heating plant, and storage for the station’s powerboat. The second deck housed a tool room, bathroom and food storage area. A kitchen, living room and one bedroom made up the third deck, with two more bedrooms and a toilet located on the fourth. A living area and another bedroom were found on the fifth deck, and the sixth and seventh contained a single open room on each. The service room made up the eighth level, and the watchroom topped the living quarters on the ninth.

Work at the station continued through the end of the shipping season in 1909, when once again the station was abandoned until work could resume with the receding ice in the spring of 1910.

Work crews returned to the station on the opening of the 1910 navigation season, and the the tower was capped with a circular watch room and lantern room, both of twelve and a half feet in diameter. The aluminum lantern featured helical astragals, which the Board had recently begun incorporating in new construction, since it was believed that they offered less light interference than the vertical astragals that had been prevalently used for the past sixty years. As construction of the tower wound to completion, the entire structure from the crib deck to lantern ventilator was given a coat of bright white paint, designed to improves the structure’s visibility during daylight hours.

More from Seeing the Light & definitely check out the tribute to Terry Pepper from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Joel took this photo from Shepler’s ferry Hope during a Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association lighthouse cruise in June of 2014. See more in his Lighthouse Cruise 6/16/2014 gallery on Flickr.

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Macatawa Masts

Sail Boat Masts - Macatawa, Michigan by Lita Sandy

Sail Boat Masts – Macatawa, Michigan by Lita Sandy

Here’s a gorgeous shot of the masts in Macatawa’s harbor. See more in her Other West Michigan Photos gallery on Flickr & have a great day!

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La Chappelle: The incredible Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock by John Gagnon

Chapel Rock by John Gagnon

Atlas Obscura says that although there’s a whole lot to see in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, hikers should keep their eyes peeled for one feature in particular: Chapel Rock, once known as La Chappelle:

Composed of Cambrian age sandstone dating back approximately 500 million years, Chapel Rock is the result of the erosion caused by a proglacial lake somewhat confusingly referred to as “Nipissing Great Lakes.” This giant body of water consisted of separate basins joined by straits, and once occupied present-day Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Georgian Bay. Around 3,800 years ago, the high waters of Nipissing Great Lakes carved through the soft sandstone, resulting in today’s dramatic formation, which juts out into Lake Superior.

Although Chapel Rock’s stone is mostly beige, its base is a warm orange, thanks to mineral concentrations. The sandstone cliffs that comprise Pictured Rocks are full of iron, copper, manganese, and limonite, which impart red, orange, blue, green, brown, black, and white hues. Not long ago, a natural rock bridge spanned the area between Chapel Rock and the mainland. It collapsed in the 1940s, leaving the formation unconnected with the rest of the shore. Thankfully, the rest of the structure has remained intact and is protected from climbers by order of the Lakeshore Superintendent.

The rock isn’t the only thing that has proven to be remarkably durable. Charles Penny, a member of the Douglass Houghton expedition responsible for exploring Lake Superior’s southern shore, admiringly described a single pine tree that grew like a “spire” out of the sparse dirt covering the top of the outcropping. Till this day, the same resilient pine stands sentinel over Chapel Rock, connected to the mainland by its extensive root system.

More at Atlas Obscura & check out more Chapel Rock photos on Michigan in Pictures that include pictures of the pine tree’s astounding root system.

See more in John’s Pictured Rocks gallery on Flickr.

 

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Sail into the sunset … and weekend

Sunset Sailing by TP Mann

Sunset Sailing by TP Mann

TP shares: 

This shot was taken at one of my favorite places for photos, the lighthouse in Charlevoix Michigan along Lake Michigan. This is a case of perfect time and place.

Indeed!! Hope you get some of those “perfect time & place” moments this weekend & this summer.

Check out more stunning shots in TP’s Explored gallery on Flickr.

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Scientists now know what causes the northern lights!

Thanks by Julie

Thanks by Julie

NPR reports that scientists have finally confirmed the source of the Northern Lights:

An article published in the journal Nature Communications this week suggests that the natural light show starts when disturbances on the sun pull on Earth’s magnetic field. That creates cosmic undulations known as Alfvén waves that launch electrons at high speeds into Earth’s atmosphere where they create the aurora.

“It was sort of theorized that that’s where the energy exchange is occurring,” said Gregory Howes, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Iowa. “But no one had ever come up with a definitive demonstration that the Alfvén waves actually accelerate these electrons under the appropriate conditions that you have in space above the aurora.”

The sun is volatile, and violent events there such as geomagnetic storms can echo out into the universe. In some cases, the sun’s disturbances are so strong that they yank on the Earth’s magnetic field like a rubber band, pulling it away from our planet.

But, like a taut rubber band when it’s released, the magnetic field snaps back, and the force of that recoil creates powerful ripples known as Alfvén waves about 80,000 miles from the ground. As those waves get closer to Earth, they move even faster thanks to the planet’s magnetic pull.

…”Think about surfing,” said Jim Schroeder, an assistant physics professor at Wheaton College and the article’s lead author. “In order to surf, you need to paddle up to the right speed for an ocean wave to pick you up and accelerate you, and we found that electrons were surfing. If they were moving with the right speed relative to the wave, they would get picked up and accelerated.”

When the electrons reach Earth’s thin upper atmosphere, they collide with nitrogen and oxygen molecules, sending them into an excited state. The excited electrons eventually calm down and release light, which is what we see as the aurora.

More at NPR.

Julie took this celebratory photo back in March. See more in her massive Michigan gallery on Flickr & keep your eyes on the skies!!

More Northern Lights on Michigan in Pictures.

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Superior’s Wink

Superiors Wink by James Woolcock

Superior’s Wink by James Woolcock

Back in May, James took this photo & shared: “Superior, for our 8 days along your shores, your waters have been so calm, belying your reputation as the angry instrument of so many shipwrecks. I get the wink, o’ great one. I won’t tell a soul.”

See more from James on his Flickr.

PS: Don’t trust the wink, James – Superior is wily!!! More from Michigan’s mighty Lake Superior (including another pic from James) on Michigan in Pictures.

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Get all the stars at Wilderness State Park

The Milky Way over Lake Michigan at Wilderness State Park by Diana Robinson

The Milky Way over Lake Michigan at Wilderness State Park by Diana Robinson

The Michigan DNR explains that Wilderness State Park is one of Michigan’s Dark Sky Preserves:

Michigan is lucky to play host to both dark sky preserves and parks that offer stellar celestial landscapes. These locations are specially designated because they have qualities that complement nighttime viewing, such as the ability to limit the amount of artificial light. There are also plenty of excellent night-sky viewing opportunities across more than 15,000 square miles in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Diana took this photo earlier in May & you can see more in her Night Photography gallery on Flickr.

More great night photography on Michigan in Pictures!

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The Age of Wooden Boats at Presque Isle Harbor

Presque Isle Harbor by John Hart

Presque Isle Harbor by John Hart

There’s some names that you see again & again in Michigan. One of these is “Presque Isle”. It means “almost island” in French so you can see why Michigan’s peninsula right coastline brought that to the minds of early French traders.

The US 23 Heritage Route shares that Presque Isle Harbor offers the only natural harbor on Lake Huron with a new marina offering water, restrooms, showers, diesel, electricity, pump-out, gasoline, launch, fishing pier, dog run, grills, and the Portage Restaurant. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is a short walk up the path.

Check out the US-23 Heritage Route for more great summer touring options along this northeast Michigan highway!

John shared this cool photo of Presque Isle Harbor during the age of wooden boats. Check out his mix of old & new pics on his Flickr.

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