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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Make Isle Royale your office in 2022!

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

How would you like to wake up to this view?? Well, if you are a college student, the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Research Project is seeking volunteers to assist with data collection for the 2022 summer field season. Students studying natural resources, conservation, ecology, or related fields will gain valuable field work experience working with distinguished researchers in Isle Royale National Park in the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. 

The opportunity is for 4-5 weeks between early-May and mid-June, and requires students to have documented experience backpacking & camping for extended periods of time in remote settings, proficiency with orienteering, and  the ability to get along with others in backcountry settings for 10-day periods of time are all critical. Get the full rundown of qualifications, activities & more on their website at IsleRoyaleWolf.org.

Carl is definitely Michigan in Pictures’s Isle Royale Bureau Chief! His photos feature prominently in our posts about Isle Royale & his photo of a Bull Moose Faceoff is one of the most popular photos of all time on Michigan in Pictures. He  took this way back in the summer of 2009, and you can see hundreds more in his Isle Royale National Park gallery on Flickr. For sure head over to his Mackinaw Scenics website to view & purchase his work!

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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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2021 Geminid Meteor Shower on the way!

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse by Michigan Nut Photography

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse by Michigan Nut Photography

EarthSky says that the annual Geminid Meteor Shower that will peak next week is one of the year’s best:

The Geminids are a reliable shower for those who watch around 2 a.m. local time from a dark-sky location. We also often hear from those who see Geminid meteors in the late evening hours. This year, a waxing gibbous moon will be above the horizon during peak time for viewing. But it’ll set shortly afterwards, leaving the sky dark for watching meteors. Thus the best time to watch for Geminid meteors in 2021 is likely before dawn – say, from around 3 a.m. to dawn – on the morning of December 14.

It’s a somewhat narrow window for meteor-watching. But still worth a look!

On a dark night, near the peak of the shower, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour. On an optimum night for the Geminids, it’s possible to see 150 meteors per hour. A new moon on December 4 means that the peak of the shower coincides with a moon just a few days past first-quarter phase.

Click through for all the details but remember the key to success is finding dark skies!!

John took this back in May 2014 at the Au Sable Lighthouse in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See more in his Starry Nights gallery on Flickr & view and purchase prints & calendars on his website.

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Slip & Splash at Black Rocks

Slip & Splash by Rudy Malmquist

Slip & Splash by Rudy Malmquist

“Black Rocks is one of Marquette’s coolest attractions, in my opinion. There are many, to be sure, but cliff diving into a frigid Lake Superior is a rush. And if you wait until the middle of August, the water isn’t too cold by most people’s standards. Which is to say not too cold. Not warm, but not cold.”
~ Jesse Land, Awesome Mitten’s Resident Yooper

Awesome Mitten shares tips & directions to Black Rocks in Marquette’s Presque Isle Park:

As one of the coolest attractions in Marquette, the Black Rocks are an ancient rock formation that stands 20-30 feet above Lake Superior. Aside from the height, the dark color of the cliffs adds a dramatic landscape to the shoreline along the tip of Presque Isle Park.

Rudy took this photo last summer. See his latest on his Flickr!

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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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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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Daybreak at Little Presque Isle

Daybreak at Presque Isle by Michigan Nut Photography

Daybreak at Little Presque Isle by Michigan Nut Photography

The Michigan Department of Natural resources says that the Little Presque Isle tract is often called the crown jewel of Lake Superior, with its beautiful sand beaches, rugged shoreline cliffs, heavily timbered forests, and unmatched public views:

The rock comprising the area represents some of the oldest exposed formations of its kind. More than a mile of bedrock lakeshore and cliffs adorns Little Presque Isle, including sandstone cliffs that reach nearly 60 feet high toward the base of Sugar Loaf Mountain. One kind of bedrock, granitic, that occurs here is the least common bedrock type along the Great Lakes shoreline, with less than eight miles occurring in total. This is one of three areas where the public can see these 2.3 billion year old formations in Michigan.

The proposed wilderness area is a local landmark, which has significant historical value. The island was reportedly connected to the mainland sometime prior to the 1930s and was a landing place for early explorers and native inhabitants.

John took this photo last week. See the latest at Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook. View & purchase more of his work at MichiganNutPhotography.com.

More Michigan islands on Michigan in Pictures!

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Fog Rainbows

Fog Rainbows by Noah Sorenson

Fog Rainbows by Noah Sorenson

Noah caught some awesome shots on a recent visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula. For sure follow him @noahsorensenphoto on Instagram!

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The Beacon

The Beacon by James Woolcock

The Beacon by James Woolcock

James caught an awesome sunset at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Head over to his Flickr for more!

You can read about Eagle Harbor Lighthouse & see another angle on Michigan in Pictures.

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