January 20, 1985: The Michigan Moose Lift

Upper Peninsula of Michigan moose

Upper Peninsula of Michigan moose, photo by Greg Kretovic

Every so often, something I have featured on Michigan in Pictures will vanish from the internet, leaving whatever I shared as the only remaining source. Such is the case with one of my favorite modern Michigan stories, The Michigan Moose Lift of January 20, 1985. Click that link to read about this historic operation that relocated 59 moose from the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and led to the re-establishment of moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – somewhere north of 400 at last estimate*.

Here’s a very cool video from the DNR that does a great job of telling the story. Enjoy!

Greg took this photo of a large bull moose exploring the shoreline of an inland lake in Baraga County in October of 2012. View his photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and definitely follow him at Michigan Nature Photos on Facebook.

* From the Detroit Free Press article on the latest biennial survey of Michigan’s moose population:

The latest biennial survey by the Department of Natural Resources produced an estimate of 323 moose in their primary Michigan range, which includes Baraga, Iron and Marquette counties. If correct, that would be a decline there of about 28 percent from 2013, when the estimate was 451.

Chad Stewart, a deer, elk and moose management specialist with the DNR, said the population could have held steady since the 2013 count but that the findings, including a decrease in the number of calves spotted with adult females, suggest a decline is the likelier scenario.

It is “quite possible that we’re looking at a considerable drop in numbers,” Stewart said Monday.

A smaller moose herd wanders the eastern U.P. Biologists have long estimated their number at around 100.

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the mist, photo by Bill VanderMolen

Perhaps they’re waiting for the gorillas?

Here’s a shot from earlier in December, but Michigan is still just as misty and non-snowy as then.

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

More birds and more about sandhill cranes on Michigan in Pictures.

When did summer end?

When Did Summer End

When did summer end?, photo by Cameron

Cameron took this 30 second exposure in heavy snowfall last week at Upland Hills Farm, which looks like a pretty cool place.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in his Upland Hills Farm slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

December 1st … Back into the Woods Day

Sit for a Spell

sit for a spell, photo by Doug Jonas

Longtime readers may know that I celebrate December 1st as “Back into the Woods Day” because for my money, the hardest 15 days for the year for the non-hunting lover of the outdoors in Michigan are November 15-30th. Enjoy as you will – orange clothing not required!

The photo was taken in Michigan State University’s W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest in Augusta, midway between Kalamazoo & Battle Creek:

Established on abandoned agricultural land, the 716-acre Kellogg Experimental Forest is known worldwide for research on tree breeding and genetics, planting techniques, and plantation establishment and management. Much of the research that developed the Spartan spruce, a hybrid that combines the color and drought resistance of a blue spruce and the softer needles and rapid growth rate of the white spruce, was done at the Kellogg Forest. The forest is open to the public for biking, hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing, and has several interpretive trails.

Click for visitor information and there’s also some videos of what researchers are up to that show some of this beautiful spot.

Doug says this was an enchanted afternoon in the woods, with sun, shadow, snow and reflected sky. View his photo background bigilicious and click for more of his great Michigan photos.

More winter wallpaper and lots more parks & trails on Michigan in Pictures!

Red Jack Lake Sunrise

Red Jack Lake Sunrise

Red Jack Lake Sunrise, photo by John Dykstra

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

Here’s a map to Red Jack Lake near Munising and here’s more Michigan lakes and more fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: Trying out Facebook’s new photo carousel on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook

 

Eyes on the November Skies: North Taurid & Leonid Meteor Showers

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, photo by Snap Happy Gal Photography

I woke up early this morning, and after seeing 5 meteors in just ten minutes, realized that the Taurid meteors were still kicking, how about an upcoming meteor shower update courtesy EarthSky’s 2015 meteor shower page:

Late night November 12 until dawn November 13, 2015, the North Taurids

Like the South Taurids, the North Taurids meteor shower is long-lasting (October 12 – December 2) but modest, and the peak number is forecast at about 7 meteors per hour. The North and South Taurids combine, however, to provide a nice sprinkling of meteors throughout October and November. Typically, you see the maximum numbers at around midnight, when Taurus the Bull is highest in the sky. Taurid meteors tend to be slow-moving, but sometimes very bright. In 2015, the new moon comes only one day before the predicted peak, providing a dark sky for the 2015 North Taurid shower.

Late night November 17 until dawn November 18, 2015, the Leonids

Radiating from the constellation Leo the Lion, the famous Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history – at least one in living memory, 1966 – with rates as high as thousands of meteors per minute during a span of 15 minutes on the morning of November 17, 1966. Indeed, on that beautiful night in 1966, the meteors did, briefly, fall like rain. Some who witnessed the 1966 Leonid meteor storm said they felt as if they needed to grip the ground, so strong was the impression of Earth plowing along through space, fording the meteoroid stream. The meteors, after all, were all streaming from a single point in the sky – the radiant point – in this case in the constellation Leo the Lion.

Leonid meteor storms sometimes recur in cycles of 33 to 34 years, but the Leonids around the turn of the century – while wonderful for many observers – did not match the shower of 1966. And, in most years, the Lion whimpers rather than roars, producing a maximum of perhaps 10-15 meteors per hour on a dark night. Like many meteor showers, the Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. In 2015, the rather wide waxing crescent moon sets in the evening and won’t interfere with this year’s Leonid meteor shower. The peak morning will probably be November 18 – but try November 17, too.

Read on for viewing tips and definitely try and take a look up at night when you can as the northern lights have also been very strong lately!

Heather writes that this image is a stitch of four 11mm frames with only minor adjustments to contrast – with no color saturation or vibrancy changes. It underscores what an incredible time for skywatching it is right now with low humidity making for extra-clear skies. View her photo background big and see more of her work at Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook!

More meteors & meteor showers & more northern lights on Michigan in Pictures.

Healy Lake Reflections

Healy Lake Fall Color

Healy Lake Reflections, photo by Dorn Gallatin

Hope everyone has a great weekend and gets out there to take a big bite out of autumn before winter eats it all!

Here’s a map to Healy Lake, located not far from Onekama. Lake Link’s entry for Healy Lake says:

Healy Lake is located in Manistee County, Michigan. This lake is 39 acres in size. It is 50.00 feet deep at its deepest point. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Sunfish and Yellow Perch.

Click to view it bigger and see more in Dorn’s Fall slideshow.

More Michigan lakes on Michigan in Pictures.