Michigan in Petoskey stones in the Final 20 for ArtPrize 7

michigan petoskey stone

michigan petoskey stone, photo by Jacob Vanderheyden

The ArtPrize Seven Final 20 has been announced with 3 of the top entries from 2013 once again in the running. Click the link to see them all, incuding this one: michigan petoskey stone by Randall Libby from Manistee. It’s on display at the DeVos Center – here’s the scoop:

WORLDS LARGEST PETOSKEY STONE DISPLAY Using petoskey stone and fossil, a framed two-dimensional display with a square shape that measures approximately nine feet (9ft.) tall by nine feet (9ft.) wide / a depth of approximately 4 inches and a weight near 700lbs. Subject matter- State of Michigan map with all 83 counties. One of a kind Hundreds of hours of labor with hundreds of individual slices of semi-precious stone- this item is sure to compete for top placement in art prize. To see examples of earlier work go to petoskeystoneart.com

View Jacob’s photo background bigtacular and see lots more in his ArtPrize 2015 slideshow.

More of ArtPrize through the years on Michigan in Pictures.

Waterfall Wednesday: Gabbro Falls

Gabbro Falls from Above

Gabbro Falls, photo by Eric Hackney Photography

In addition to stalking the Petit Portal, it appears I am stalking Eric Hackney as well.

GoWaterfalling’s page on Gabbro Falls begins:

Gabbro Falls is on the Black River and is as impressive, if not more impressive, than its more celebrated neighbors downstream along the Black River Scenic Byway. This is a largely wild waterfall with no fences or barriers of any kind. It consists of three separate drops. When the water is high there is a fourth drop that is the height of the other three combined. The main drop falls into a narrow crevice between two large rock formations.

Gabbro Falls is relatively easy to find but there is some confusing information out there. The waterfall is also known as Baker’s Falls, and it is often mistakenly called Garbo Falls (gabbro is a type of rock). There is also a Neepikon Falls upstream, but it is just an unremarkable rapid.

Read on for tips on visiting and pages about nearby waterfalls on the Black River and also be sure to check it out on GoWaterfalling’s awesome waterfall map!

View Eric’s photo background bigtacular on Facebook, see more in his 6-27-15: Gogebic County Adventures I set featuring photos of Gabbro Falls, Rainbow Falls, Potawatomi Falls, Gorge Falls and more! Definitely follow him at Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook.

More Michigan waterfalls and more summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Tuesday Tweet: Great Lakes Ice at 85%

NOAA Ice Coverage

Great Lakes Ice Coverage on Feb 23, 2015, photo by NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

In Great Lakes Total Ice Cover Nears 85% NOAA reports:

The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is showing total ice cover of 84.4% as of February 22, 2015, well above the long term average and closing in on last year’s mark of 92.5% coverage on March 6, 2014. In this image, Lake Erie is a vast white plain, joining Lake Huron and Lake Superior with coverages above 90% and only small areas of open water. This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite’s VIIRS instrument around 1803Z on February 23, 2015.

Click through to see it big as the Great Lakes and see more photos of the Great Lakes from high above if you click the “Great Lakes” keyword.

PS: Follow @NOAA@NOAA_GLERL & @NOAASatellites on Twitter for lots more great images!

The Ruins of the Cheboygan Point Lighthouse

Cheyboygan Lighthouse

The Cheboygan Point Lighthouse Ruin, photo by joeldinda

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light has information about the ruins of the Cheboygan Main Light Station, explaining:

Located directly across the three mile width of the Straits from the southernmost point of Bois Blanc Island, the eastern prominence of Duncan Bay marked a natural turning point for vessels entering the Straits, and the growing bounty of Lake Michigan beyond.

On December 21, 1850, Congress appropriated the sum of $4,000 for the purchase of a 41.13 acre reservation on what would become known as “Lighthouse Point” at the western end of Duncan Bay for the construction of the first Cheboygan light station … The tower was evidently poorly located, as high water was found to be undermining the stone foundation soon after construction. Fearing collapse was imminent, in 1859 the newly-formed Lighthouse Board decided to build a new station and demolish the original tower, only eight years after its construction.

The replacement station, was similar in design to that built at Port Washington the following year, consisting of a combined keeper’s dwelling and tower, with the tower located at the north apex of the hipped roof. The tower stood thirty-one feet above the foundation, and was capped with an octagonal iron lantern into which the Fresnel from the old tower was carefully relocated. The lights’ thirty-seven foot focal plane provided a twelve mile range of visibility, thereby providing coverage throughout the Straits.

Read on the story of how the second lighthouse ultimately met its end and some great old photos of the lighthouse. It’s located in Cheboygan State Park.

Joel writes that they walked the park’s Yellow Trail to the long (2 miles in the park) beach and walked along Lake Huron’s Mackinac Strait. View his photo background bigtacular, see it on his map and check out more great shots in his Cheboygan slideshow.

Many more Michigan lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures.

Sunset over Copper Harbor

Sunset over Copper Harbor

Sunset over Copper Harbor, photo by Xavist on the colorful way

You may remember Xavist from his sweet northern lights shots in April. (he shot some at Yellowstone last week)

Check this out big as the sky or on his map.

Spring Break 2012

Michigan in Pictures is taking a Spring Break. See you at the beginning of April!

Dollar Lake Foggy Sunrise

Dollar Lake Foggy Sunrise, photo by Boydsview

Since Florida came to me last week, I don’t feel the need to get away to someplace warm. I do feel the need to have a break, so I and the staff of Absolute Michigan are going to take one (of sorts) for the last week of March. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, here’s hoping you’re getting out there and enjoying what Michigan or the place you are* has to offer.

Andrew took this at Dollar Lake. Check it out on black. He also shot a couple of very respectable morels that you can see in his slideshow.

* but really Michigan. If you’re “stuck” at home for spring break, don’t forget that we have this amazingly incredible state that where unmatched natural beauty and world-class cultural resources are just hours away,

Power House Falls on the Fall River


n2c_111-8241, photo by sgowtham.

GoWaterfalling.com says that Power House Falls is located on the Falls River:

It is the largest of many falls to be found on the aptly named river. The river is about 40 wide here and drops 15 feet. The falls is named for the old power house that stands next to it.

Reaching this waterfall is easy. From US-41 about 1 mile south of L’Anse head west on Power Dam Road. There is a sign for the falls. Follow the road for about a mile. When it crosses the train tracks it branches. There is another sign for the falls. There is a small park at the falls.

There are a number of small drops just above the falls, and there are supposed to be a dozen or so more between Power House Falls and the Middle Falls in L’Anse.

Check this out bigger and also see this photo on Gowtham’s map!

Many more Michigan waterfalls can be found on Michigan in Pictures!

Mittengate in the Mitten State

Michigan at the Archive of Michigan

Michigan at the Archive of Michigan, photo by farlane

“Sometimes you got to put your foot down, or your mitten, so to speak.”
~Dave Lorenz, Travel Michigan

Last week the state of Wisconsin touched off a firestorm – snowstorm? – by suggesting that they might in fact qualify as a mitten state, prompting Pure Michigan to ask Who is the Real Mitten State? that for some reason we are only winning 83% – 17%. mLive has a look at the controversy that includes a the Badger’s case for Mittenhood (which appears to be no more than Mitten envy) and a really cool Vernor’s commercial with former Red Wing Petr Klima demonstrating “where it is on the hand.”

My good friend Jacob Wheeler has an excellent rundown on the Mitten Wars in which he notes that:

…the Badger state did have reason to be peeved at the Wolverine state. In 1835-36, Michigan and Ohio “fought” the Toledo War, a completely bloodless boundary dispute that resulted in Ohio getting the narrow stretch of land where the Mud Hens now play baseball, and Michigan getting three-quarters of what’s now the Upper Peninsula from Congress (it was previously considered “Indian territory”). Michigan’s gain was Wisconsin’s loss, as the western part of the U.P. would yield untold mineral wealth — and the historic Calumet Theater — over the next century and a half.

Wisconsin became a U.S. state in 1848, and contented itself with the cheese curd as its gourmet food favorite, and not the meat and potato-filled pasty, which the Finnish immigrants to the U.P. carried with them into the mines. Wisconsin’s bitterness simmered, for 175 years, like Golum clutching the ring deep in the caves of Middle Earth.

That angst finally boiled over this week when the Travel Wisconsin website posted a knit mitten shaped like the state of Wisconsin on its website as part of a winter tourism promotion campaign. Michiganders who identify themselves in the world beyond with an open-faced right hand, took the news as a humorous, yet serious, challenge.

“People in Michigan, we do identify ourselves so closely with the Mitten State,” Alex Beaton of the Awesome Mitten website told the Washington Post (seriously, the Washington Post?). We’re America’s high five!”

Jacob adds that  Wisconsin PR pro Tom Lyons suggested that “Wisconsin is the left mitten. Michigan is the right mitten. Even children know that one mitten doesn’t cut it when it comes to Midwestern winters.” Lorenz (who seems to be on fire right now) shot back “We’re not going to take this lying down. Wisconsin already took the Rose Bowl from us this year. They’re not going to take the Mitten State status from us.” Amen. Definitely read on at the Sun for more including a Michigan vs. Wisconsin matchup.

I took this photo of the 4-story map showing Michigan’s topography at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing several years ago. I was never able to find out who designed it, but you can see another view and check out the online tour of the museum. View this photo background big and see more from the museum in the Michigan Historical Center group slideshow.

People meet Bear, Detroit Zoo meet Google

People meet Bear

People meet Bear, photo by FHGVZEhyde.

The Freep had a feature this week on Google adding the Detroit Zoo to their Street View this week. Street View is feature of Google Maps that presents 360-degree views of locations, allowing you to explore through your computer. Normally, they use a car for the photos – sometimes with humorous results – but that leaves a lot of interesting sights off the map. To that end, they developed the Street View trike.

In July, Royal Oak Patch posted a video of the Google Trike in action at the Detroit Zoo. They explained that this summer:

Google asked its users to submit nominations for pedestrian-only locations they’d most like to see on its popular map feature in several categories, including theme parks and zoos. More than 15,000 voters said they wanted a virtual tour of the Detroit Zoo, beating out the San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios in Florida, among others.

The Google Street Trike is a three-wheeled pedi-cab equipped with digital cameras. Google technicians spent two days collecting digital images of the zoo’s award-winning habitats and attractions, both indoors and out.

Here’s the the Detroit Zoo on Street View. TIP: Turn RIGHT to start your exploration of the Detroit Zoo!

Check this photo out bigger and in her Animals and Nature slideshow. She explains:

There is a little tunnel underneath the polar bear exhibit where you can see the seals swimming around, but today the bear decided to chill right on top of the tunnel. That has never happened before. People were freaking out left and right but it was so cool.

PS: The Street View technology also powers a previous Michigan in Pictures feature, What Was There.

What Was There, Michigan Edition

Princess Theatre, Detroit photo courtesy WhatWasThere

The other day I came across a new website called WhatWasThere. This innovative project ties historical photos to Google Maps and Google street views so you can see what was there. You can browse around a map, zooming in and out and then click on photos. The site lays them over the Google street view and lets you fade the old photo to reveal what’s there now!

Unsurprisingly, Detroit has the best coverage so far, and it’s pretty cool to see how sites like Woodward Ave looking north at Jefferson (location of the Spirit of Detroit) or Griswold Street have changed. Water Winter Wonderland (a cool site in its own right) has a sweet shot of the interior of the Princess and says that the Princess Theatre was shuttered in 1922 and located at 520 Woodward. That’s the present site of the old Comerica Bank HQ. At another of my favorite sites for old photos, Shorpy, you can get this photo bigger and even buy a print!

Here’s the link to WhatWasThere for Michigan.  There’s not a whole lot of photos to be found (yet) outside Detroit, but one of the coolest things is that you can add your own historical photos, so the site is only going to get better. There are some definite gems though – be sure to check out Grand Rapids City Hall, the seriously cool looking Lansing Masonic Temple at the site of Cooley Law School and the not very much changed Front St in Marquette. A surprising hot spot is Port Huron – check out Sperry’s Department Store to get going.