Winter Tannins - Tahquamenon Falls (Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Upper Michigan)

Winter Tannins – Tahquamenon Falls, photo by Aaron C. Jors

Wikipedia’s entry on the Tahquamenon River explains that because the headwaters of the river are located in a boreal wetland that is rich in cedar, spruce and hemlock trees, the river’s waters carry a significant amount of tannin in solution  and are often brown or golden-brown in color. The Tahquamenon Falls are thus the largest naturally dyed or colored waterfall in the United States

View Aaron’s photo from January 1st bigger and see more in his Michigan slideshow.

Lots more about the Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Get out there and see something amazing this weekend!!

Root Beer Falls

December 27, 2014

Tahquamenon Falls Root beer falls

Tahquamenon Falls, photo by Courtney Cochran

The Tahquamenon Falls are Michigan’s biggest waterfall and quite a sight to see in any season. It draws its name from the distinctive root beer color of the water which is created by the leaching of tannins from the cedar swamps that feed the river.

At its peak flow, the river drains as much as 50,000 gallons of water per second, making it the second most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River after only Niagara Falls.

View Courtney’s photo bigger and see more in her Landscapes slideshow.

Lots more Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Piping Plover

Untitled, photo by Anna Lysa

Sorry to mess up your holiday week with a bit of advocacy on the behalf of Michigan’s natural environment, but yesterday via Michigan Radio I learned of the very disturbing Senate Bill 78 that’s headed to Governor Snyder for signature or veto. The bill would forbid DNR from preserving biodiversity in forests and parks:

More than 130 scientists and the state’s environmental groups are calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to veto a bill they call anti-science. The bill would forbid the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from protecting native wildlife and plants on the pure merits of protecting nature.

  • The bill would prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing state lands for biodiversity.
  • It would prohibit the agency from managing forests for restoration.
  • It would end work to eliminate invasive species.
  • It would strike from the law the finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.

Read on for more, and here’s the text of Senate Bill 78. If you’re so inclined, feel free to tell Gov. Rick Snyder what you think. I know that messages to our elected officials really do make a difference.

View Anna Lysa’s photo from July of 2012 at Ludington State Park bigger and see more in her Michigan slideshow.

PS: As I read it, piping plover would not be impacted by this as the species with just 8,000 adults is federally protected. I just picked them because they’re a recognizable species that has benefitted from extensive preservation efforts, some of them in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan.

Here’s the piping plover and more of Michigan’s endangered plants and animals on Michigan in Pictures.

Presque-Isle-in-the-Porkies

Quiet water of the Presque Isle River. Porcupine Wilderness State Park, photo by Linda Carter

The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park is the area of Michigan where I haven’t yet visited that I’m most fascinated with. One of the cool things for me about putting Michigan in Pictures together is learning new things about places, and Linda’s photo showed me something new about the Park! She writes:

The Presque Isle River (French explorers named it for the little island at the mouth of the river) is the largest and most dangerous flow through the Porcupine Mountains. The 3 waterfalls near its mouth are some of the most scenic in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The river forks at the end as it flows to Lake Superior. This picture is the right side, which is quiet and peaceful.

View her photo bigger and see more (including some of those waterfalls) in her Porkies slideshow.

Space Weather and Starbreeze

December 10, 2014

Isle Royale Star Breeze

Isle Royale starbreeze, photo by Shawn Malone/Lake Superior Photo

If you’re a watcher of the northern lights or want to be, NOAA’s Space Weather Projection Center at spaceweather.gov is a resource you should be aware of. It’s packed full of all kinds of data on what’s happening on the sun and how that impacts us here on earth.

Yesterday they updated to an all-new site that I encourage you to check out. The coolest things I found so far are the Space Weather Enthusiast Dashboard and the 30 minute aurora forecast, a seriously awesome visualization of aurora potential. Be sure to subscribe to their space weather alerts for tips on when the aurora borealis might be visible!

Shawn says that the stars were screaming that night at Isle Royale National Park. View her photo bigger on the Lake Superior Photo Facebook, and if you like you can purchase the photo right here. And speaking of northern lights, be sure to click for a time-lapse of the aurora over Isle Royale with a very cool soundtrack she recorded of loons on the island.

More northern lights and more Isle Royale on Michigan in Pictures.

Sunny skies at Pine Bend

December 8, 2014

Pine Bend Natural Area

Winding River, photo by paisleyrainboots

Sarah took this last week at Pine Bend County Park and says that it was a beautiful day despite the 30 degree temperatures.

View her photo bigger and follow her on Instagram. You can also tune into her blog.

Laughing Whitefish Falls

Laughing Whitefish Falls, photo by James Marvin Phelps

GoWaterfalling’s page on the Laughing Whitefish Falls says (in part):

Laughing Whitefish Falls is in the Laughing Whitefish State Park. This is one of the most impressive of Michigan’s waterfalls. I believe it is the highest waterfall in Michigan that is readily visitable.

The falls can be found off of M-94, about 30 miles from Munising or Marquette, and just outside of Chatham…

The waterfall is named for the river. The river is so named because the mouth of the river resembled a laughing fish when viewed by the Ojibwe from Lake Superior.

Get detailed directions at GoWaterfalling.com. They add that later in the year the water flow can get thin enough to be hardly visible!

To answer the question of the height, I found a very cool list of Michigan waterfalls by height at the World Waterfall Database. At 100 feet tall, Laughing Whitefish Falls check in fourth behind:

  • Spray Falls – 140′ (towering and incredible – view by Pictured Rocks boat tour or long hike)
  • Jasper Falls (125′, midway between Miners Beach & Sand Point along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shoreline – they say it’s basically a trickle most of the time)
  • Houghton Falls (110′, private property/no trespassing! You can click that link for a Michigan in Pictures photo from someone who got permission from the landowner to visit)

View James’ photo on Flickr and see more in his massive Michigan Waterfalls slideshow including a few nice shots of Spray Falls and some waterfall videos!

PS: Just realized that this photo was from way back in 2005! Amazing that I’ve been doing Michigan in Pictures for so long, and that people like James have been supporting me with their photography for so long!

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures.

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