Five Things you need to know about Michigan: March Meltdown Edition

Grove

Grove, photo by Liz Glass

On my Absolute Michigan website, I have a favorite feature called Five Things you need to know about Michigan.  

1Please go out and vote in the Michigan primaries today. I am going to vote for Bernie Sanders because I feel that in Michigan and elsewhere working folks, retirees, students, and many more who have ended up on the short end of a globalizing, transforming world are hurting. It seems to me that many of those we have elected to represent us have forgotten that government can be a powerful force for the betterment of society and that when profits come at the expense of others, we all suffer. Please vote for whoever you want to, and I’d love it if you took some time today to remember that you are a part of your government.

2Wow. I had the chance to drive across Michigan yesterday, windows down, basking in near 60 degree temperatures and knowing that spring is on the way. Here’s hoping that the mercury stays moderate and our farmers, orchardists & vintners have a great growing season.

 

3Liz Glass took today’s photo. You can visit her at the Lake Street Market in Boyne City.  She shared today’s photo back in 2012 in the Absolute Michigan pool (where I get most of the photos for Michigan in Pictures). Liz wrote:

I’ve been saving some ice shots to sprinkle in during the warmer months. This is from March 15, when the ice on Lake Charlevoix had melted into a pack of splinters that could then be pushed into piles by the moving water. The color here is real. The low sun is bouncing the golden brown of the sandy lake bottom up through the ice mound, and the looser shards on top are picking up the shimmering silvers and blues of the water and sky.

View her photo bigger and see more in her crazy-awesome Ice slideshow.

4If you have a problem with me being myself, please consider not telling me to “stick to the photos” and instead follow another blog/person/path that doesn’t bother you. I love Michigan, I love Michigan in Pictures, but I am an actual person who believes as I believe and does what I do. I will continue to do this, and telling me not to will just upset us both.

5Congratulations! By making it to here, you can send me an idea for something about Michigan to feature. I can’t promise that I will be able to, but I can promise you that I will try and reply in any case. Just email me or post a comment below.

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Help Keep Michigan in Pictures Rockin’

Frankfort Rock Gallery 2008

Rain Comes (Frankfort Rock Gallery), photo by Andrew McFarlane

As you may know, 2016 is my 11th year of making Michigan in Pictures. I really love doing it and am certainly going to keep it up as long as I am able. It does take a bunch of my time that might otherwise be spent working or getting out to see some of Michigan’s beauty, so I’ve been looking for a way to subsidize it that doesn’t involve ads, paywalls, or other annoyances.

Yesterday, I was reading a blog and saw they had a button to support them using a web service called Patreon. I checked it out, and it basically allows readers to become patrons of blogs they enjoy. Seemed like a great idea to me so I have set it up. If you’d like to donate a buck or more a month, I would very much appreciate it! Click here for my Patreon donations.

OK, on to today’s photo. Back in August of 2007, I was out walking with my friend Ken Lake on Frankfort beach. About a mile north of town we rounded a point and came upon a wondrous site – hundreds of balanced rock sculptures comprised of thousands of rocks. It remains one of the coolest works of art I’ve ever seen, and also a total mystery. I’ve still never heard who built these or why.

You can view this photo background bigtacular and see more in my Rock Gallery slideshow.

PS: Here’s a video I shot of these scene. The audio on this is kind of loud and crappy – sorry. ;)

Celebratory Sunset … and 10,000 Fans for Michigan in Pictures

Celebratory Sunset

Celebratory Sunset, photo by Heather Higham

For the tenth anniversary of Michigan in Pictures last week, I asked for the 200+ fans needed to take the Michigan in Pictures Facebook past the 10,000 fan milestone. With your help, it’s blown way past that mark – thank you all so much for your support!!!

View Heather’s photo from Empire Beach in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore bigger, see more in her Winter slideshow, and definitely follow her at Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook for much more.

More Michigan in Pictures milestones in the archives.

Michigan in Pictures Top 5 for 2015

It’s that time of year when I look back and try to remember what happened, a task that is made a lot easier by the nifty analytics provided by the good folks at WordPress.com (and the questionable folks at Facebook).

One thing that happened was the re-design of Michigan in Pictures to feature bigger photos, something that pretty much everyone seems to appreciate.

Honorable Mention is the consistently popular post Know Your Michigan Turtles. It was originally published in 2013 and continued to be the most consistently visited post on Michigan in Pictures in 2015. This year I featured the Spiny Soft-shell Turtle on World Tortoise Day and was even re-tweeted by American Tortoise Rescue, the amazing organization behind the day and worldwide turtle preservation. As a turtle fan, I find this awesome.

#5

Pere Marquette 1255

December 7th ~ How Pere Marquette 1225 inspired the Polar Express by Bob Gudas

Subtitle the story of how this iconic engine provided inspiration for the iconic children’s book by Michigan Author Chris Van Allsburg “Why it’s important to preserve our history.”

#4

SS Edmund Fitzgerald Underway

November 10th ~  The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald via Wikimedia Commons

If there’s a Michigan folk song that everyone knows, it’s Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Read about how he wrote it, watch the best darn video on the internet featuring this song, and marvel at the fact I can’t tell the difference between Walter Cronkite and Harry Reasoner.

#3

Ice Caves Return

January 13th ~  Ice Caves Return to Lake Michigan by Heather Higham

Two years ago, Lake Michigan’s ice caves blew up, drawing tens of thousands of people to the shores of Lake Michigan, and when they formed this year, Heather was there!

#2

Old Mission Storm Cloud

August 3rd ~  Jellyfish Stormfront by Tom Parrent

The crazy storm of early August 2015 devastated areas of Northern Lower Michigan including leveling acres and acres of trees in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and rendering the village of Glen Arbor inaccessible for days.

#1

Wreckage of the Rising Sun

April 20th ~  Coast Guard shares Manitou Passage shipwrecks from above by the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

The top post of the year is this aerial photo of the 1917 wreck of the Rising Sun by a Traverse City based Coast Guard aircrew. Several more photos available at the link.

Thanks everyone for being a part of Michigan in Pictures in 2015!

Frozen in Time, 2014 edition

Frozen in Time

Frozen in Time, photo by photofrenzy2000

2014 will never come this way again, so for better or worse, here are some 2014 highlights from Michigan in Pictures…

Cougar CamThe most popular post was Cougar Cam Confirmation, which was published on November 7th. Since I’ve been sounding the “cougars live in Michigan” horn for several years now, it’s gratifying that the DNR is now on board.

Isle Royale Star BreezeWith 77,000 views on Facebook, the cougar cam was the most popular post there too, followed very closely by Space Weather and Starbreeze that benefited from the Lake Superior Photo bump!

Paradise is the nickname of this placeShawn of Lake Superior Photo checked in with the second most popular pic, Paradise is the nickname of this place, a photo that features one of the amazing & out-of-the-way Michigan gems that I learned about in 2014.

Ice Caves Leelanau Peninsula by Ken ScottThe third most popular picture & story was one from close to my home, the astonishing The Ice Caves of Leelanau that drew tens of thousands of people to the Leelanau Peninsula last winter to see them. You can click that link to see Ken’s photos or save yourself the time and head over to his site to purchase his book, The Ice Caves of Leelanau.

Winter at Tahquamenon Falls John McCormickWeighing in at number four was Winter at Tahquamenon Falls by John McCormick aka MichiganNut. While this photo didn’t make his 2015 wall calendar, a dozen other great ones did!

Shadow Moon by Michael SeabrookClosing out the top five was the Blood Moon and the Lunar Eclipse Tetrad by Michael Seabrook. The first two of these four total lunar eclipses are in the books, but April 4 & September 28, 2015 are still to be seen.

Polar Vortex Cabin FeverThe top commented post was Michigan in Pictures is a blog, folks, which I posted after getting a bunch of negative comments after sharing a photo from a group working against the Keystone XL Pipeline coming through Michigan. It made me very happy to get support for protecting the beautiful natural heritage features on Michigan in Pictures from so many readers … and also to share the awesome photo of our cats!

View this photo from December of 2010 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse bigger and jump into photofrenzy2000’s slideshow for more awesome shots!

Rolling past 5,000!

5 Spot by Matt burrowsPoint of OriginFull Moon JanuaryVostok Snow Circle

Yesterday the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page blasted past 5000 fans, an occasion that just one photo didn’t seem enough to mark. I am so grateful to everyone who’s become a fan of Michigan in Pictures on Facebook or here at the blog. It means a lot to me that people share my love of the great state of Michigan. Thank you!

The photos left to right are…

5 Spot by Matt Burrows – Matt has been featured several times on Michigan in Pictures and is the first person that I know who really embraced iPhone photography. He says that it’s part of an “Enter” sign at 5/3 Bank in Grand Rapids and taken with an iPhone 3GS (CrossProcess app).

The Heart of Detroit by Maia C – Maia was one of the first 100 people to join the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr. With 3400 members and nearly 200,000 photos, it’s still going strong! And yes, she has a couple of photos on Michigan in Pictures too! About this photo of the Point of Origin she writes: This compass in Campus Martius Park marks the base point for the survey that began the rebuilding of Detroit after a devastating fire in 1805. The glass center covers a granite pillar that was buried at this spot around 1820 to mark the “point of origin” for the new street grid. The Point of Origin is a few minutes’ walk north of Detroit’s riverfront.

Howl at the Full Moon by Kevin’s Stuff – Kevin is our Man of the Moon (and a little Northern Lights). Fittingly, the photo above is of the January full moon. He writes: The Full Moon of January is called the Full Wolf Moon. Amid the zero cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. It was also known as the Old Moon or the moon after Yule. In some tribes this was the Full Snow Moon; most applied that name to the next moon.

Circles in the snow by vostok71 – In January of 2008 Sergei wrote: Leaf got trapped during the last night ice storm. He has a few photos on Michigan in Pictures including the biggest apple grown in Michigan!

Click them all to see them bigger!!

Today is Michigan in Pictures 8th Birthday!

eight

eight, photo by caterpillars

I started Michigan in Pictures on December 30, 2005. In the 8 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve posted 2,494 photos of and from the Great Lakes State.

This is far and away my favorite web project of all time, because every week I learn new things about the people, places, history and natural world of the state that is my home. I’m so grateful to the photographers who have shared and continue to share their photos with me and an audience who keeps showing up for more of Michigan.

Thank you!

View Laura’s photo on Flickr and in her slideshow. You can also click for more photos from her along with some actual caterpillars!