Life is like a mirror

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it by Fire Fighters Wife

Life is like a mirror by Fire Fighters Wife

“Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.”

As usual, Beth shares a beautiful thought to go with her equally beautiful photo. See more in her Hello Fall! gallery on Flickr.

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Farlane Friday: Fall Color from Sugar Loaf

Fall Color from Sugar Loaf

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!

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Make your heart as a lake

Make your heart as a lake by Fire Fighter's Wife

Make your heart as a lake by Fire Fighter’s Wife

“Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.”
-Lao Tzu

Beth took this shot at beautiful little Lake Antoine near Iron Mountain. See more in her 100x 2021 gallery on Flickr!

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The Weather & Fall Color

Mirror Lake in Autumn by Julie Chapa

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!

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Boating Back in the Day

from a 4x5 glass negative by Bill Dolak

from a 4×5 glass negative by Bill Dolak

Bill shares:

The VanBuren County Historical Museum (a great afternoon visit, btw) is sitting on dozens, if not hundreds, of 4×5 glass negatives. Some of them were on display on a light table. I snapped a few with my iPhone and did a quick conversion of one using Snapseed (an iPhone image editor), which was perhaps the first time a “print” had been made from the negative in possibly a hundred years (these types of negatives were popular between the 1880s and the 1920s). Here are a few I “processed” in Lightroom. Sadly, I am sure that these images cannot reproduce the detail that is likely stored on those plates.

You can see more of his scans in the Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook & in his massive Michigan: Van Buren County gallery on Flickr!

Bear Lake Sunrise

Sunrise Reflection Bear Lake Michigan by Mike Carey

Sunrise Reflection Bear Lake Michigan by Mike Carey

Good morning Michigan! Here’s a gorgeous shot Mike took a week ago at Bear Lake! See more in his Bear Lake 2021 gallery & have an awesome weekend!

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Sunset on the Summer

Labor Day Sunset by Dan Gaken

Labor Day Sunset by Dan Gaken

Well we’ve reached the end of summer 2021. I hope you had a good one & that you get a chance to get out to grab one last bite of Michigan summer goodness!

Dan took this photo back on Labor Day 2019 in West Branch. See more in his massive Life in Michigan gallery.

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Weird Wednesday: The Lake Leelanau Monster

Boathouse on Leelanau by Francois

Boathouse on Leelanau by Francois

Back in the day, I used to feature excerpts by Linda S. Godfrey from the definitive book of Michigan mysteries: Weird Michigan.  One of my favorites (and a good story for when you’re floating around this weekend) is the tale of the Lake Leelanau Monster:

The story of an early 20th Century sea monster sighting was sent to The Shadowlands Web site by a reader whose great-grandfather was the witness. The boy was fishing for perch one day in 1910 in the shallows of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County. The lake had been dammed in the late 1800’s to provide water power for the local mill and to enable logging. The dam also flooded much surrounding area, turning it into swamps and bogs punctuated by dead, standing trees.

On that particular day, the young great-grandfather, William Gauthier, rowed out to a new fishing spot near the town of Lake Leelanau. Looking for good perch habitat, he paddled up close to a tree that he estimated to stand about five feet tall above the water, with a six-inch trunk. He was in about seven feet of water, and after deciding this would be a good place to stop and cast a line, began tying the boat to the tree.

That’s when young William discovered the tree had eyes. They were staring him dead in the face at about four feet above water level. The boy and serpent exchanged a long gaze, then the creature went, “Bloop” into the water. Gauthier said later that the creature’s head passed one end of the boat while the tail was still at the other end, though it was undulating very quickly through the water. The writer noted that Gauthier always admitted to having been thoroughly frightened by his encounter, and that the event caused him to stay off that lake for many years.

The writer added that his great-grandfather came from a prominent area family and was very well-educated, and that he knew others who would admit privately but not publicly that they, too, had seen the creature. No sightings have been reported in recent times, but who knows how many people have believed they were passing by a rotting old cedar when in fact they had just grazed the Leelanau lake monster?

While Linda’s website seems to have disappeared, you can buy the awesome Weird Michigan right here & get more Michigan weirdness on Michigan in Pictures!

Francois took this photo on North Lake Leelanau back in 2017. See more in his Michigan Journeys gallery on Flickr!

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Evening by Emanuel Dragoi

Evening by Emanuel Dragoi

Emanuel captured this idyllic scene back in June. See more in his Michigan album on Flickr.

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Falling Skies: August is Meteor Season!

Falling Skies by Heather Higham

Falling Skies by Heather Higham

Our friends at EarthSky share that August is THE month for meteor watching, with two major showers:

The Delta Aquariid meteor shower is long and rambling. You might catch a Delta Aquariid anytime from about July 12 to August 23 each year. The nominal peak falls on or near July 29. But don’t pay too much attention to that date; the shower typically provides a decent number of meteors for some days after and before it. In 2021, a bright waning gibbous moon will wash out a good number of Delta Aquariids in late July. As we move into early August, a much fainter waning crescent moon will be less intrusive. As always happens, when the Perseid meteor shower is rising to its peak (mornings of August 11, 12 and 13), the Delta Aquariids will still be flying, too.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we rank the August Perseids as our all-time favorite meteor shower … No matter where you live worldwide, the 2021 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. On the peak mornings in 2021 – in the early morning hours, when the most meteors will be flying – there’ll be no moon to ruin on the show.

Click those links for viewing tips & happy sky watching!

Heather took this photo back in 2016 on Loon Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. See more in her Night Skies gallery. For sure follow her on Instagram @SnapHappyMichigan & view and purchase her work on her website.

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