Say you will

Say you will, photo by Brian Wolfe

Brian took this back in April of 2009 and shared some thoughts that I think all photographers (and people) would do well to consider:

This weekend I resolved to wake up for the dawn. With the days growing longer and the sun rising earlier, it will only get more difficult the longer I put it off. I was hoping for some brilliant cloud pattern to reflect amazing colors but like what happens so often, it was just (what I like to call) bland. This kind of killed my energy and I felt like I would rather have slept-in. Instead of turning for home, I expanded my perception of my surroundings, opened my eyes, and came up with some great stuff (I think so anyway).

View the photo background bigilicious, see more in Brian’s The Top Thirty slideshow, and definitely follow Brian on Instagram!

More Spring Wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Meanwhile, in the Frozen North

Fellow Sun Gazer, photo by Footsore Fotography

While lots of people are looking at their gardens and thinking about April showers & May flowers, here’s a reminder from Sunday in Grand Marais that for some in Michigan, winter is still very much in play!

View the photo bigger on Facebook and follow Gary at Footsore Fotography on Facebook for lots more from Grand Marais and the surrounding area.

Ode to Spring … and Michigan Spring Wallpaper!

Ode to Spring, photo by Sue Fraser

Suddenly there’s no more snowing,
Balmy breezes blithely blowing,
Lilacs bloom, the lawn needs mowing–
Oh, what glee!
-Robert G. Shubinski (full poem)

Spring isn’t quite this far advanced, but if you want to add to the amount of spring in your life,take a walk through the spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures – lots of great pics in here!

You can see this photo background bigtacular and see lots more in Sue’s Fantastic Flowers slideshow.

2017 Marche du Nain Rouge is this Sunday!

Marche du Nain Rouge, photo by Joel Williams

My favorite event of the year appears to have snuck up on me! The 2017 Marche du Nain Rouge takes place in Detroit this Sunday (March 26th) at noon at the corner of Cass and Canfield (parade departs at 1 PM). The organizers have some hints about what’s in store for one of Michigan’s quirkiest parades:

The start of the 8th annual Marche du Nain Rouge on Sunday, March 26, 2017, promises to be the most epic parade launch yet. Will the Nain Rouge’s dastardly plan for squelching city pride involve an overly complicated scheme with oversized props and ridiculous costumes? Come find out!

The annual parade through Midtown shows of Detroit pride in the face of the city’s oldest nemesis, the scheming doomsayer, the Nain Rouge. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend this year’s parade, featuring costumes, marching bands, dancers, tricked out cars, and more.

Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions will return with all of its feathers, sparkles and dancers, ready to accompany their Pans of Joy steel drum band. And our friends at Gabriel Brass Band will return to lead the Marche with their authentic New Orleans second-line sound.

In addition to whatever madness the Nain has concocted, the cockroach car from the past couple years will return, bringing with it several other Art Cars, including a new “Bubblemobile” out of Southwest Detroit, and Scrubby Bubble, which has represented Detroit at the Annual Burning Man Festival in Nevada. Also, we’re asking cosplayers to come out for the parade and a costume contest at the afterparty. (at the Detroit Masonic Temple)

If that sounds like fun, get more info about the Marche at marchedunainrouge.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook.  You can read all about the legend of the Red Dwarf of Detroit at Absolute Michigan.

View Joel’s photo from the 2015 March bigger and see more in his Marche du Nain Rouge 2015 slideshow.

Rare “Pure Award” for the Headlands Dark Sky Park

Milky Way, photo by Joseph Snowaert

I’ve been an astronomy nut since I was a little kid, and I’m always happy when the importance of the night sky gets the recognition it deserves. That’s certainly the case as the Headlands Dark Sky Park has won Michigan’s most exclusive tourism award. Absolute Michigan explains:

Emmet County’s International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands won the distinguished recognition of the state’s premier Pure Michigan campaign at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism Tuesday when they won the Pure Award for 2017. The Pure Award, which has only been awarded twice in the 10 years of the Pure Michigan campaign, recognizes best practices in stewarding and preserving Michigan’s natural, cultural, and heritage-based resources.

“This award helps us further realize our goal of safeguarding the community’s natural and direct encounter with Northern Michigan’s unique and exceptional environment, both by day and by night,” said Headlands Program Director Mary Stewart Adams.

…The Headlands International Dark Sky Park is a 600-acre park on the Straits of Mackinac, two miles west of downtown Mackinaw City, at 15675 Headlands Road. The park is free and open to the public every day. While no camping is allowed, visitors are welcome to stay overnight to observe the dark sky overhead. The Headlands became the 6th International Dark Sky Park in the U.S. and the 9th in the world in May 2011, as designated by the International Dark Sky Association (www.darksky.org), and each month free programs are held for the public.

Read on for more.

Joseph took this photo back in May of 2014. View it background big and see more in his Writing Center slideshow.

#TBT Jungle Love in Prehistoric Michigan

Jungle Love, photo by Matt Stangis

The Rapidian has a feature on prehistoric Michigan’s tropical seas, jungles and inhabitants that’s a great read and the ultimate Throwback Thursday! Here’s a small slice:

After about 60 million years, warm, shallow seas came down again from the Arctic and covered Michigan during the Silurian period. At this time the land would have been in a subtropical climate that gave rise to large coral reefs across the state. Fossil findings show that the largest and oldest reef extends through the center of the Upper Peninsula. A species of coral that lived during this time period would eventually become fossilized and become what we refer to as Petoskey Stones.

The seas retreated over time, leaving a desert scattered with fossilized remains that eventually formed the limestone that is located over one hundred and twenty feet below us today. The sections of this exposed limestone is what created the Grand Rapid’s famous rapids. Much of the salt deposits that were left from retreating seas of this period are still mined in Detroit.

The Devonian period around 400 million years ago saw the rise of vertebrates in Michigan. North America was covered with up to 40 percent of water. There were a great number of fish swarming the salt and fresh water seas. The Ganoid species were in a crude state of evolution. Many of them had armor plating with two of their relatives, the Gar Pike and the Sturgeon, still existing in Great Lakes today. Primitive plants, such as the seed fern, developed from marine algae. On land the Tiktaalik, the link between finned fish and early amphibians, started to use its muscular fins to drag itself around land.

…At the end of the Carboniferous Period, known as the Pennsylvanian subperiod, Michigan was a semi-tropical jungle featuring primitive vegetation. Ferns without bark, some of which bloomed scentless unattractive flowers, grew to almost 100 feet. Millions of generations of trees grew and died in the jungle. The trees that fell in the swampy parts of the jungle were covered up by water and soil that became rock over time. The forces of time and pressure on these trees would eventually see this prehistoric jungle become the coal basin that sits underneath a large area of the U.S. including the upper northeast part of Kent county.

In the sky above one foot long dragon flies swarmed in droves on the ground and cockroaches the size of a man’s palm crawled around. Reptiles started to appear, evolving from amphibians, not dependent on water to lay their amniotic eggs. Towards the end of this period the rain forests gave way to deserts which decreased the amphibian populations and caused an evolutionary shift in reptiles.

Definitely click through for more – there are some cool links as well!

I’m pretty sure Matt took this photo at ArtPrize in 2013. View it background bigilicious and see more in his slideshow.

Of winter & spring

Winters, photo by Waseem Akbar

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
-Anne Bradstreet

Am I the only one who feels like Winter really mailed it in this year? Still, I am not going to stand in the way of the cycle of the seasons – bring on the Spring!

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