August 1, 2015
July 11, 2015
These amazing sunsets we’ve been seeing lately are the result of smoke from Canadian & Alaskan wildfires – perhaps that’s what the mayor of Marquette trying to signal Seagull Man about!
May 23, 2015
I’ve featured a photo of a rainbow and one of Marquette’s harbor in the last couple of days, but I haven’t featured a photo of both! Have a great weekend folks.
Shawn writes: prismatic is on the mind right now, recalling one of the most brilliant rainbows I’ve ever witnessed. View the photo background bigtacular and head over to Lake Superior Photo to view and purchase photos (including a stunning double rainbow) in her Lake Superior Landscapes gallery.
More rainbows & rainbow science on Michigan in Pictures.
May 20, 2015
January 28, 2015
Today’s photo is one of the most incredible pictures I’ve seen. In addition to the Marquette Harbor Light and the frozen Superior shore, there’s a cornucopia of solar optics that fairly defies imagination.
Atmospheric Optics is a wonderful website, certainly the best I’ve found for describing solar phenomena in a clear and inspiring manner. Here’s a bit of decoding of what’s happening in the skies of Marquette yesterday, but definitely follow the links to explore. There’s so much information and some great photos too!
First, above the lighthouse, there’s a 22º radius halo:
…visible all over the world and throughout the year. Look out for them (eye care!) whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climes.
The halo is large. Stretch out the fingers of your hand at arms length. The tips of the thumb and little finger then subtend roughly 20°. Place your thumb over the the sun and the halo will be near the little finger tip.
The halo is always the same diameter regardless of its position in the sky. Sometimes only parts of the complete circle are visible.
There’s also a sundog, known also as parhelia or mock sun. These appear in the 22º halo, even when you can’t see the halo. You can see one at the visible base of the halo on the right:
They are most easily seen when the sun is low. Look about 22° (outstretched hand at arm’s length) to its left and right and at the same height. When the sun is higher they are further away. Each ‘dog’ is red coloured towards the sun and sometimes has greens and blues beyond. Sundogs can be blindingly bright, at other times they are a mere coloured smudge on the sky.
They advise you’ll see one or two a week if you look and if you click over you can learn about how they form & moon dogs.
Finally, we come to the circumzenithal arc (CZA), the upside down rainbow at the top:
…the most beautiful of all the halos. The first sighting is always a surprise, an ethereal rainbow fled from its watery origins and wrapped improbably about the zenith. It is often described as an “upside down rainbow” by first timers. Someone also charmingly likened it to “a grin in the sky”.
The CZA is never a complete circle around the zenith, that is the exceptionally rare and only recently photographed Kern arc.
PS: Check out Dominic B. Davis’s photo of the solar halo in the morning too!
January 10, 2015
Through the magic of Twitter, I came across the website Shalee Wanders the other day. Created by Shalee Blackmer, it’s a really engaging site she created to inspire people (especially young people) to get out and enjoy traveling on a budget.
The post that drew me in was her Michigan Bucket List, a compilation with some photos of a lot of very fun things to do from to hiking the Porcupine Mountains to exploring the Detroit Packard Plant. Even better, there’s 250+ comments from people with more ideas for getting the most out of Michigan.
PS: I do feel that I need to point out that last summer Lake Superior was ice cold, making this leap especially impressive!
November 18, 2014
The Great Lakes Echo has a great WKAR Current State feature produced by April Van Buren that I encourage you to check out to get a real feel for Michigan surfing. It’s titled Can’t get to California? Surf the Great Lakes and features Bob Beaton, president of the Great Lakes Surfing Association and Joe Matulis, owner of East Lansing-based paddleboard and surfboard company Matuli.
The story of surfing the 25 foot waves at Grand Haven the night the Fitz went down is reason alone to check it out, and this 15 minute feature takes you from the birth of Michigan surfing in the 70s when they tore the masts off of sailboats and made their own boards, to the recent past when they … well … still made their own boards while learning to surf to be more employable as ocean lifeguards, and all the way up to the present day with heated wetsuits that let you surf two hours in the dead of winter without a break. Except for the winter waves because this is Michigan, so of course the best waves are found in winter!
If you’re talking about cold weather surfing, it doesn’t get much colder than Lake Superior in April! Check out Shawn’s photo bigger and get many more from this April surfing session on Lake Superior in Marquette in her Marquette MI Surf 04-12-2013 album on Facebook. Shawn also has a gallery of some long period Superior winter waves at lakesuperiorphoto.com that was featured in Surfer’s Journal.
Lots more surfing on Michigan in Pictures.