Make Isle Royale your office in 2022!

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

Tobin Harbor Sunrise by Carl TerHaar

How would you like to wake up to this view?? Well, if you are a college student, the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Research Project is seeking volunteers to assist with data collection for the 2022 summer field season. Students studying natural resources, conservation, ecology, or related fields will gain valuable field work experience working with distinguished researchers in Isle Royale National Park in the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. 

The opportunity is for 4-5 weeks between early-May and mid-June, and requires students to have documented experience backpacking & camping for extended periods of time in remote settings, proficiency with orienteering, and  the ability to get along with others in backcountry settings for 10-day periods of time are all critical. Get the full rundown of qualifications, activities & more on their website at IsleRoyaleWolf.org.

Carl is definitely Michigan in Pictures’s Isle Royale Bureau Chief! His photos feature prominently in our posts about Isle Royale & his photo of a Bull Moose Faceoff is one of the most popular photos of all time on Michigan in Pictures. He  took this way back in the summer of 2009, and you can see hundreds more in his Isle Royale National Park gallery on Flickr. For sure head over to his Mackinaw Scenics website to view & purchase his work!

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Welcome 2022!

Cloud Climb by John Allen

Cloud Climb by John Allen

While this year doesn’t seem to be opening with as much hopefulness as 2021, here’s hoping that 2022 has all of us feeling like we’re walking on clouds!

John took this photo yesterday at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. See more in his Michigan 2021 gallery on Flickr.

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Waterfall Wednesday: Kakabika Falls

Kakabika Falls by Neil Weaver

Kakabika Falls by Neil Weaver

Travel the Mitten has a great entry on Kakabika Falls that says (in part):

The Ottawa National Forest covers more than 990,000 acres of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is a popular spot for outdoor recreation, camping, and wildlife viewing. The forest is also home to many waterfalls including Kakabika Falls, a set of cascades on the Cisco Branch of the Ontonagon River. These falls can be reached by a short drive north of the Watersmeet/Marenisco area, and a short, easy hike into the woods. The setting here is peaceful and there is a good chance you won’t encounter other travelers when you visit.

The tallest drop of Kakabika Falls is maybe 8 to 10 feet (most of the drops range from 1 to 5 feet), but this waterfall is more about the sum of its multiple drops than one large drop. The river makes a series of S turns here, and the trail closely parallels the river providing many great vantage points of each drop. As is the case with most waterfalls of this size, it is always best to visit in the spring or after decent rainfall. In dry summer months, we have found that there was barely any water flow here.

Click through for more including photos, map & directions from a really excellent website for Michigan travel ideas!

Neil shared that this is one of the many magical places in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, something that one look at his Instagram is all you need to see the truth in that! You can also follow Neil Weaver Photography on Facebook and view & purchase prints (including this one) on his website.

Many (many) more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

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Over the Edge

Feeling A Little On Edge Today by David Hoffman

I’m Feeling A Little On Edge Today by David Hoffman

David took this shot of the incredible edge at the Silver Lake Dunes overlooking Lake Michigan. See more in his Silver Lake Dunes gallery on Flickr! 

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore turns 51 today!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by Thomas DB

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by Thomas DB

(via leelanau.com) On October 21st, 1970 the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore became the third US National Lakeshore. The online book A Nationalized Lakeshore: The Creation & Administration of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has a good overview of what was a remarkably contentious issue back in the day:

A Nationalized Lakeshore: The Creation & Administration of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Beginning in 1919 a small portion of what is now the national lakeshore was set aside as a state park. The idea of a national park in northwestern Michigan did not surface until the National Park Service’s Great Lakes Shoreline Survey visited the area in 1958. Between 1959 and 1970 there was a continuous and controversial effort in Congress to create a park unit around the Sleeping Bear Dune. The legislative leader of the Sleeping Bear park proposal was United States Senator Philip A. Hart. The senator’s persistence and patience in the end led to the creation of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on October 21, 1970.

Opposition to the creation of the lakeshore was very strong among local summer homeowners. More than 1,400 tracts of private land had to be acquired to create the lakeshore. A heavy-handed, poorly planned land acquisition program reinforced the bitterness that surfaced during the decade of struggle that preceded authorization. The legacy of those actions has been twofold. On one hand the National Park Service has been vilified by many local property owners and the park staff have had to work in an environment that is unnecessarily confrontational. On the other hand, the presence of an organized local populace wary of National Park Service policy has influenced for the better the development of the national lakeshore. Local sentiments played an important role toning-down the agency’s initial plans to intensively develop the area’s recreational assets. More recently local sentiment has influenced the agency’s approach to the lakeshore’s rural cultural landscapes. Unfortunately, resistance to the National Park Service in the region has also hindered opportunities to bring more land under protection and to develop scenic drives for park visitors.

The National Park Service conceived the Sleeping Bear Dunes lakeshore at a time when the shores of Lake Michigan were rapidly undergoing privatization. Subdivisions of vacation and year round homes threatened to keep ordinary citizens from enjoying Michigan’s broad, sandy shoreline. A nationalized lakeshore along the beaches and bluffs of the Sleeping Bear made available for all what might have been enjoyed only by a select few. The cost was millions of dollars of federal funds and the hopes and dreams of hundreds of small property owners. Sleeping Bear Dunes was a tragedy for the latter and a wise investment of the former.

Indeed. You can read lots more in A Nationalized Lakeshore.

It was hard to pick a photo for this post, but I ended up going with Thomas’s beautiful shot from June of 2016 of my favorite view in the Lakeshore atop the Empire Bluffs where you can see South Bar Lake, the southern end of the main dune complex, and the Manitou Islands in the distance. See more in Thomas’s 6/1-6/3/16 Grand Traverse & Leelanau gallery on Flickr.

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Thanks for the wilderness, Congressman Dale Kildee!

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

Sturgeon River Gorge I by David Mayer

This week longtime Congressman Dale Kildee passed away. Kildee, uncle of current Flint Representative Dan Kildee, represented Flint for over 30 years earning the nickname “the Cal Ripken of Congress.” He was involved in many efforts including some vital early childhood bills and (of course) auto industry support, but one interesting thing that I learned from writer David Dempsey is that Dale was the sponsor of the 1987 Michigan Wilderness Act which created 10 State Wilderness Areas protecting nearly 100,000 acres of old growth forest, dunes, lakes, and rivers including Sturgeon River Gorge.

Thank you Dale for your work on the behalf of Michigan’s wild places! Click for a map of all 18 of Michigan’s Wilderness Areas.

David took this back in October of 2012 in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. See more in his Porcupine Mountains gallery on Flickr.

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Good to the last drop

Good to the Last drop by Rudy Malmquist

Good to the Last Drop by Rudy Malmquist

Rudy got a stunning shot of the view from the Pierce Stocking Overlook in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Head over to his Flickr for more!

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Falling Skies: August is Meteor Season!

Falling Skies by Heather Higham

Falling Skies by Heather Higham

Our friends at EarthSky share that August is THE month for meteor watching, with two major showers:

The Delta Aquariid meteor shower is long and rambling. You might catch a Delta Aquariid anytime from about July 12 to August 23 each year. The nominal peak falls on or near July 29. But don’t pay too much attention to that date; the shower typically provides a decent number of meteors for some days after and before it. In 2021, a bright waning gibbous moon will wash out a good number of Delta Aquariids in late July. As we move into early August, a much fainter waning crescent moon will be less intrusive. As always happens, when the Perseid meteor shower is rising to its peak (mornings of August 11, 12 and 13), the Delta Aquariids will still be flying, too.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we rank the August Perseids as our all-time favorite meteor shower … No matter where you live worldwide, the 2021 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. On the peak mornings in 2021 – in the early morning hours, when the most meteors will be flying – there’ll be no moon to ruin on the show.

Click those links for viewing tips & happy sky watching!

Heather took this photo back in 2016 on Loon Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. See more in her Night Skies gallery. For sure follow her on Instagram @SnapHappyMichigan & view and purchase her work on her website.

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Michigan Lake Appreciation: Glen Lake edition

via Leelanau.com
Sunglow over Glen Lake by Owen Weber

Sunglow over Glen Lake by Owen Weber

While Minnesota gets a lot of mileage out of their “Land of 10,000 Lakes” slogan, Michigan has over 10,000 lakes larger than 5 acres. Clean Water Action of Michigan has been working to draw attention to our incredible good fortune with an incredible Twitter thread of Michigan’s largest lakes.  

Big & Little Glen Lake check in at #18 on the list of Michigan’s largest inland lakes or 23 if you include the 4 Great Lakes & Lake St. Clair. Glen Lake is 6265 acres (9.8 square miles) with 17 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 130 feet. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore page on Glen Lake says:

Glen Lake, with its remarkably blue waters, is famous for its beauty. The lake appears divided into two parts by the constriction at the “narrows” bridge. The two parts are Little Glen Lake in the foreground, only 12 feet deep, and Big Glen Lake, beyond the M-22 bridge, about 130 feet deep. Glen Lake used to be connected to ancestral Lake Michigan. Glacial erosion carved out both lakes during the Ice Age. In post-glacial times, a sand bar developed, separating Glen Lake from Lake Michigan. Both the D.H. Day Campground and the village of Glen Arbor are located on that sandbar. The flat terrain and proximity to Lake Michigan made it a desirable site for these developments.

Check the lakes out at #LakesAppreciation on Twitter! & learn more about Clean Water Action Michigan on their website.

Owen took this photo a few years ago from atop the Sleeping Bear Dunes. See more in his Michigan gallery on Flickr & view and purchase prints at OwenWeberPhotography.com

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Roseate Spoonbill in Michigan

Roseate Spoonbill in Michigan by Bill VanderMolen

Roseate Spoonbill in Michigan by Bill VanderMolen

The Detroit Free Press reports that bird-watchers are flocking to Saline in hopes of seeing this rare roseate spoonbill:

This is the first record of a roseate spoonbill in Michigan, said Molly Keenan, communications and marketing coordinator at Michigan Audubon in an email to the Free Press.

Michigan DNR biologists believe the bird either escaped from a local zoo or is very confused, according to a Facebook post from Saline police.

Roseate spoonbills are typically found on the Gulf Coast, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, but they have been spotted in neighboring states, said Benjamin Winger, curator of birds at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

“It was really only a matter of time before one was documented in Michigan,” he said.

In the late summer, it’s normal for young water birds such as spoonbills, herons and storks to wander, Winger said.

“Sometimes, they wander a bit too far,” Winger said.

I’m not gonna definitively tell you to believe the zoologist over the DNR, but I am gonna look hard at the DNR & ask if they remember their decades of denial around cougars in Michigan.

Bill took this photo at Washtenaw County Wilderness Park. You can see another angle (with an egret) right here & see 211 more feathered finds in his Bird Life List gallery on Flickr.

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