A Blaze of Green at Pictured Rocks

Untitled, photo by Steve Nowakowski

It’s hard to convey the unique beauty of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in a single photo, but the stunning green of this picture really triggered memories for me of some of my best and brightest days in one of Michigan’s crown jewels.

Steve took this on a boat tour in August of 2016 with nearly perfect conditions, likely with Pictured Rocks Cruises. View the photo background big and see more in his 2016 Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore slideshow.

There’s a whole lot more goodness from the Pictured Rocks on Michigan in Pictures.

Words escape me: Grand Island Ice Caves, 2015

lake-superior-brilliant-ice-curtains

Words escape me, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Words escape ME on the beauty of the video that Shawn of Lake Superior Photo shared. The ice caves on Grand Island near Munising didn’t happen this year, a very unfortunate thing for everyone in Michigan who makes their livelihood from winter recreation. However, thanks to the magic of the video below, we can travel back to 2015.

You can view Shawn’s photo from winter of 2015  bigger on Facebook and purchase the photo right here. I can’t stress enough that you should follow Shawn and Lake Superior Photo on Facebook. Please do it.

Now here’s that video. Be sure to turn your volume up and watch in HD – there’s a “boom” from the ice sheet at 4 seconds that’s incredible!

Hard Luck Lights: Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse

grand-island-east-channel-lighthouse

Grand Island Lighthouse, photo by Steve Nowakowski

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light shares the story of one of Michigan’s hard-luck lighthouses, the Grand Island East Channel LightWork began in 1867 with the the clearing of a sandy peninsula on the southeast shore of the island:

As a result of the chosen site being both on low ground and close to the water’s edge, a considerable amount of cribbing was installed along the shore line to help stave-off erosion and undermining of the station’s foundation. Plans for the station building called-out a typical “schoolhouse” style combination dwelling and tower similar to that used frequently throughout the lakes. However, in order to minimize cost the building was to be of timber frame construction with wood siding, as opposed to the more common brick or stone materials used in such structures elsewhere. Painted white to increase its value as a daymark, the 1 ½ story dwelling incorporated a forty-five foot tower its southern end, and was outfitted with an oil-fired steamer lens with a focal plane of 49 feet.

…The combination of a wooden structure in such an exposed location, and its location on the low sandy area close to the water’s edge created an ongoing maintenance nightmare for the district engineers, with the station listed as one at which considerable repairs were taken every year for the following thirty years.

…Without any care throughout the years, the structure deteriorated rapidly. Without regular scraping and repainting, the once bright white structure had turned a dismal driftwood gray, and the cribs installed a hundred years previously had disintegrated completely, with the waters of Munising Bay lapping directly at the stones of the structure’s foundation.

Read on for much more including efforts that stabilized this structure and the lighthouses that replaced it after decommissioning in 1908.

View Steve’s photo background big and see more in his 2016 Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse slideshow.

More Michigan lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!

See for miles & miles at Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by supernova9

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by supernova9

Maybe if I looked at this view every day for 50 years I would get tired of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Maybe.

View supernova9’s photo bigger and see more in his Michigan’s Upper Peninsula slideshow.

More Pictured Rocks on Michigan in Pictures.

Miner’s Castle, before it fell

Miner's Castle before it fell

Miner’s Castle before it fell, photo by spauldi1

Today is the 10th anniversary of the collapse of one of the turrets on the Miner’s Castle formation in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

On Thursday morning, April 13, 2006, the northeast turret of Miners Castle collapsed. One turret remains on Miners Castle, the best-known feature of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The collapse was reported via cell phone by fisherman in the area, according to chief ranger Larry Hach. Most of the rock fell north and into Lake Superior, and there were no injuries. The lower overlook platform near Miners Castle appears to be unaffected.

While the rockfall at Miners Castle on April 13 was startling, such events are not rare along the Pictured Rocks escarpment.

Click for the full report on Absolute Michigan.

Sue took this back in 2003. View it background big and jump into her slideshow for more pics from “before the fall”at Miner’s Castle.

Chapel Rock in Winter

Chapel Rock in Winter

Live Anywhere, photo by Jay

When you think about it, it’s not only miraculous that the white pine on Chapel Rock in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore survives with barely any soil, but also that it endures winter after winter in the teeth of Lake Superior.

Jay took this shot on February 20th last year. View it background bigtacular and jump into his slideshow for some more spectacular winter photos from the Pictured Rocks.

Winter is Coming … and it might not be all that bad

Munising Ice Caves

munising ice caves/curtains, photo by Paul Wojtkowski

The Freep reports that El Niño in Pacific could mean mild Michigan winter:

Less ice on the Great Lakes would ease the freighter shipping industry’s logistical nightmares of recent winters. Less snow-melt runoff in the spring could forestall flooding that sends nutrients off farms and into Lake Erie, fueling its summer algae blooms. And deer populations that have dropped dramatically in the Upper Peninsula over recent harsh winters could begin to rebound.

…Over a century, comparing Michigan’s normal winter precipitation versus 10 El Niño events between 1915 and 1992, rain and snowfall was about 72% of normal in the Metro Detroit area during the El Niños; 78% of normal in the Thumb area, and in the 80% to 85% range of normal throughout the rest of lower Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula, according to NOAA.

You can read on for more. While that means that we might not have as much ice cave fun in Michigan this winter, I think I’m OK with an El Niño intermission!

Check Paul’s photo of this winter’s incredible ice caves on Grand Island out background bigalicious, see more in his slideshow and follow Paul Wojtkowski Photography on Facebook!

More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures!