Breaking Free at Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls aerial view

Aerial View, photo by Julie

Julie got this cool shot of the Tahquamenon Falls throwing off winter’s grip at the beginning of the month. Now it looks like winter is going to strike back. Via the Detroit news and Sara Schultz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake, a winter storm is arriving today:

“We’re looking at the heaviest snowfall north of Saginaw, in the Thumb area and then to the north and west of that, and then of course the lower northern Michigan areas, where they could see six-plus inches of snow.”

A winter storm watch will be in effect Wednesday morning through early Thursday evening for areas north of Interstate 69, Schultz said.

“We’re looking at areas south of I-69 as mostly rain,” she said. “Between Flint and Saginaw, we’re looking at accumulation of snow and ice; just some light accumulation.”

Schultz cautioned that the forecast remains flexible as the storm enters the state. “That rain/snow line along I-69, if it shifts just a little it could throw off everything,” she said.

View Julie’s photo bigger and see more in her 366/2016 slideshow.

More Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Tragic Tree Tuesday: Beech Scale & Beech Bark Disease

Twined Trees at Treat Farm

Twined Trees at Treat Farm, photo by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

“A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
~William Shakespeare

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore shared this photo from their Tweddle/Treat Farm property saying:

The two hugging trees on the trail to Treat Farm share a similar fate to the star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The beech scale brings a fungus that is deadly like a poison, and kills off the American beech trees. The Emerald Ash Borers pierce the hearts of the ash trees to take the nutrients.

Invasive species have made their way to the fair Lakeshore of Sleeping Bear Dunes. You can help prevent the spread by purchasing local firewood, and burning it within the local area.

Beech Scale and Beech Bark DiseaseI’ve written about the Emerald Ash Borer on Michigan in Pictures, so here’s a bit about beech scale & beech bark disease from MSU:

Beech bark disease is one of the latest exotic pest problems to plague Michigan forests. Beech bark disease refers to a complex that consists of a sap-feeding scale insect and at least two species of Nectria fungi. Beech bark disease begins when American beech (Fagus grandifolia) becomes infested with beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lind) (=Cryptococcus fagi Baer.). The tiny scale insects, found on the tree trunk and branches, feed on sap in the inner bark. White wax covers the bodies of the scales.

When trees are heavily infested, they appear to be covered by white wool. Minute wounds and injuries caused by the scale insects eventually enable the Nectria fungus to enter the tree. Nectria kills areas of woody tissue, sometimes creating cankers on the tree stem and large branches. If enough tissue is killed, the tree will be girdled and die. Other trees may linger for several years, eventually succumbing to Nectria or other pathogens. Some infected trees will break off in heavy winds — a condition called “beech snap.” Dense thickets of root sprouts are common after trees die or break.

Read on for lots and also see Beech Bark Disease from the National Forest Service where I got these photos.

View the photo bigger on their Facebook page and learn all about the Lakeshore from their website.

A year ago on Grand Island

Ice Pillars on Grand Island

unbelievable colors in the ice pillars, Grand Island, photo by Lake Superior Photo

On March 1st, Shawn shared this shot from last March on Grand Island. We’ve had nowhere near the ice buildup this year – a year can really make a difference.

Also, I’d like to congratulate her on having (as far as I know) the most popular Facebook page for a Michigan photographer – 201,000+ fans for Lake Superior Photo! If you’re not one of those, I urge you to change that right now.

View the photo bigger and view & purchase her photos at LakeSuperiorPhoto.com.

PS: Just in case you missed it, Michigan in Pictures has a good explanation of what gives ice difference colors.

Waterfall Wednesday: Milky Way over Tahquamenon Falls

Milky Way over Tahquamenon Falls

Milky Way over Tahquamenon Falls, photo by John McCormick / Michigan Nut Photography

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park says:

Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses close to 50,000 acres stretching over 13 miles. Most of this is undeveloped woodland without roads, buildings or power lines. The centerpiece of the park, and the very reason for its existence, is the Tahquamenon River with its waterfalls. The Upper Falls is one the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. A maximum flow of more than 50,000 gallons of water per second has been recorded cascading over these falls.

…This is the land of Longfellow’s Hiawatha – “by the rushing Tahquamenaw” Hiawatha built his canoe. Long before the white man set eyes on the river, the abundance of fish in its waters and animals along its shores attracted the Ojibwa Indians, who camped, farmed, fished and trapped along its banks. In the late 1800’s came the lumber barons and the river carried their logs by the millions to the mills. Lumberjacks, who harvested the tall timber, were among the first permanent white settlers in the area.

Rising from springs north of McMillan, the Tahquamenon River drains the watershed of an area of more than 790 square miles. From its source, it meanders 94 miles before emptying into Whitefish Bay. The amber color of the water is caused by tannins leached from the Cedar, Spruce and Hemlock in the swamps drained by the river. The extremely soft water churned by the action of the falls causes the large amounts of foam, which has been the trademark of the Tahquamenon since the days of the voyager.

Click through for maps and more.

View John’s photo bigger, follow him at Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook, and settle back for his Michigan Waterfalls slideshow.

Lots more Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Making the Leap

Leaping off Pyramid Point

Untitled, photo by Todd Richter

Happy Leap Day everyone and here’s hoping that this quadrennial occurrence adds a little fun to your life! Borgna Brunner lays down Leap Year 101:

Leap years are added to the calendar to keep it working properly. The 365 days of the annual calendar are meant to match up with the solar year. A solar year is the time it takes the Earth to complete its orbit around the Sun — about one year. But the actual time it takes for the Earth to travel around the Sun is in fact a little longer than that—about 365 ¼ days (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be precise). So the calendar and the solar year don’t completely match—the calendar year is a touch shorter than the solar year.

It may not seem like much of a difference, but after a few years those extra quarter days in the solar year begin to add up. After four years, for example, the four extra quarter days would make the calendar fall behind the solar year by about a day. Over the course of a century, the difference between the solar year and the calendar year would become 25 days! Instead of summer beginning in June, for example, it wouldn’t start until nearly a month later, in July. As every kid looking forward to summer vacation knows—calendar or no calendar—that’s way too late! So every four years a leap day is added to the calendar to allow it to catch up to the solar year.

Read on for more and enjoy your day.

Todd took this shot back in August of 2009 at one of my favorite spots for hiking (and jumping) – the Pyramid Point overlook in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Lake Michigan is hundreds of feet down a steep bluff from the point where she’s jumping, and many is the person who wished they didn’t run down that bluff after toiling up it!

View Todd’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his digital slideshow.

More dunes on Michigan in Pictures!

Waterfall Wednesday: Manido Falls in the Porcupine Mountains

Manido Falls Porcupine Mountains Wilderness

Manido Falls, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness, photo by Kirt E. Carter

The Waterfall Record’s page on Manido Falls has directions and some more photos and says:

Manido Falls did not impress me at first, at least not as much as the downstream Manabezho Falls. After seeing the pictures I had taken, though, I discovered what an amazingly beautiful waterfall Manido Falls is. It’s beauty comes from its complexity. The waterfall itself is not very tall at all. It is wide, though. As the Presque Isle River tumbles down toward Lake Superior, it comes to this set of rocks that create a beautifully cascading waterfall. I think what makes me like Manido Falls so much is that the water has taken such an interesting course here, erosion taking its effect in an oddly unique way.

Add to it that the just as spectacular Manabezho Falls is only hundreds of yards away, and Lake Superior not much more distant, this makes for one of the most beautiful waterfall stretches in the Upper Peninsula.

View Kirt’s photo bigger and check out his website for more.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Another Day, Another Mass Shooting

Something in the Air

Something in the Air, photo by Brian Wolfe

Another day, another mass shooting – this time in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Beyond right and left, can we all agree that we need to figure out why we’re the only nation in the world who has this tragic problem and work on actually addressing this problem?

I’m guessing bolstering our gutted mental health system is a great place to start.

View Brian’s photo from Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park background big and see more in his Black & White slideshow.