Taking a break…

Sunrise Greilickville Harbor Park

Sunrise Greilickville Harbor Park by Jeff Hudson

Good morning everyone. Regrettably, I need to take a break which (fingers crossed) won’t be too terribly long to deal with some health issues. In the meantime, I hope all of you are able to enjoy the bounteous offerings of Michigan summertime!

Jeff took this photo two years ago at sunrise on June 29th (my birthday) in Traverse City (where I currently live), so I thought it would be a perfect placeholder while I’m gone. See more from Jeff in his Most Faved (Best of) gallery on Flickr.

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Ghost Bikes

Grand Rapids Ghost Bike by Patrick Goff

Grand Rapids Ghost Bike by Patrick Goff

Summer in Michigan is a time when you’ll see a lot more bikes on the road, and I offer today’s post with the sincere hope that everyone who reads it remembers that 75% of all bicycle fatalities are caused by driver error. It’s your duty as a driver to PAY ATTENTION as you pilot a several thousand pound machine that can become a deadly weapon in an instant. GhostBikes.org shares:

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. (current number is well over 600) For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again — but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.

Patrick took this photo back in 2010. See more in his Hipstamatic gallery on Flickr.

PS: There’s a Michigan Ghostbikes group on Facebook in case you’d like to join.

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Waterfall Wednesday: Black Slate Falls

Black Slate Falls

Black Slate River Falls by Amie Lucas

Go Waterfalling’s page on the Slate River Falls shares that:

Slate River Falls is, unsurprisingly, on the Slate River. This is the largest of many drops over a three mile stretch of the river. This is a wild waterfall, with no fences, and the only trail is one left behind by the curious feet of others.

The falls are located along Skanee Road between L’Anse and Skanee, about 10 miles east of L’Anse. There is a sign marking the Slate River, so the falls are easier to find than some. 

If you continue upstream past the falls a few hundred yards you can find two smaller falls, Slide Falls and Ecstasy Falls (so named by kayakers). About 3 miles upstream you can find Quartzite Falls, Black Slate Falls and more unnamed drops.

Amie took this way back in October of 2015. View the photo background bigilicious and see more in her Michigan Waterfalls gallery on Flickr.

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Shalda Creek Iris

via leelanau.com…Shalda Creek Iris by Michigan Nut Photography

Shalda Creek Iris by Michigan Nut Photography

John got this shot of wild Iris along the banks of Shalda Creek in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

See more on the Michigan Nut Facebook page and at michigannutphotography.com.

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Passage at Dawn

wsykes52722dawn_rb by Rod Burdick

wsykes52722dawn_rb by Rod Burdick

Rod took this photo of the classic laker and steamer Wilfred Sykes in fog on the St. Clair River at dawn last week. Head over to his Flickr for the latest!

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Purple for June: Dwarf Lake Iris

Iris lacustris by Bradford Slaughter

Iris lacustris by Bradford Slaughter

Some of you know that my mother Jill suffered for years from the terrifying effects of Alzheimers disease, ultimately passing last winter. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association encourages us to wear purple (and of course donate) to raise awareness about a disease that afflicts tens of millions of Americans. 

June is also when you can see Michigan’s official State Wildflower, the Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris lacustris), in bloom:

The official wildflower of the Great Lakes State is right at home anywhere it can get its feet wet along the rocky coast of Northern Lake Huron, but those places are getting harder to come by.

This pint-sized perennial is known for its deep blue flowers that emerge mere inches above the ground for a fleeting few weeks in May and June—individual blossoms last just days. The rest of the time, its yellow-green leaves cling close to the ground, hiding in plain sight until springtime comes around again.

It’s a bit of a miracle this fragile flower exists at all: They grow in the thin, nutrient-poor soil that overlays limestone gravel and bedrock. The Northeast Michigan coast, rich with sand dunes and limestone deposits, creates the perfect habitat for the iris, found nowhere else outside the northern Great Lakes.

Along with a limited range that’s shrinking due to lakeshore development, the plant has been sought out by collectors who replant or sell it elsewhere. For these reasons, the dwarf lake iris was added in 1988 to the list of federally threatened species.

Read on for more at Huron Pines & for sure check out their Dwarf Lake Iris Best Practice Guide for tips on how to protect this flower!

Coincidentally, Bradford took this photo at Beavertail Point Nature Sanctuary on the northern coast of Lake Huron eight years ago on June 2nd, 2014 so I guess it’s a #TBT to boot! See more in his Iridaceae (Iris Family) gallery on Flickr 

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Waterfall Wednesday at Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls and Marsh Marigolds by Footsore Photography

Wagner Falls and Marsh Marigolds by Footsore Photography

Pure Michigan shares that the Wagner Falls Scenic Site near Munising:

…is nestled amongst virgin pine and hemlock trees. There is a small parking area and a half-mile trail with an observation deck overlooking the falls. Wagner Creek falls over a stratum of erosion-resistant dolomite into order to flow into a shallow gorge containing the Anna River. The Anna, soon afterwards, flows northward into Lake Superior.

Gary shared this last week in the Michigan in Pictures Facebook group where you can see photos from Michpics readers & share your own!!

You can follow Gary at Footsore Fotography on Facebook and view & purchase his work on his website

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Badger car ferry looking to leave coal behind

Steaming into Sunset by Diann

Steaming into Sunset by Diann

mLive shares that the last coal fired passenger ferry on the Great Lakes, the SS Badger car ferry, is exploring plans to transition from burning coal:

Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc. is in the early phases of looking for ways to ditch the coal that currently propels the 410-foot historic ship across Lake Michigan.

“We are just in the early phases at looking at what other options could be viable for the Badger,” said Sara Spore, general manager of Lake Michigan Carferry. “There are not any definite plans, but we know that coal isn’t the long-term solution. We really are starting from scratch and looking at all of our options.”

More at mLive & check out the SS Badger website.

Diann took this shot of the Badger leaving port in Ludington way back in 2008. See more in her Third Coast gallery on Flickr.

More about the SS Badger on Michigan in Pictures.

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The Mighty Mac

Mighty Mackinac by Greg Jarman

Mighty Mackinac by Greg Jarman

UP TV-6 shares that the Mackinac Bridge Authority is expecting about 20,000 crossings of the bridge this weekend, about the same as 2021. Whether you’re traveling or staying put this weekend, I hope you have a good one & remember those who have put their lives on the line for this country.

Greg took this photo back in 2016. See more in his Print gallery on Flickr.

Lots more about the Mighty Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

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Round Island Ripples

Round Island Light 2022 by S.Hughes Photos

Round Island Light 2022 by S.Hughes Photos

“We are here but for a second, but our impact ripples through time.”
― Neetal Parekh

The Wilderness Connect entry for Round Island says in part:

The United States Congress designated the Round Island Wilderness in 1987 and it now has a total of 375 acres.

All of Round Island has been designated wilderness except one acre on the northern tip, a sand and cobblestone spit where the lighthouse stands. There has been no logging on the island since the turn-of-the-century. There are no docks, roads, or developed hiking trails on the island. Access is by boat in the summer and over ice in the winter. Several historic and prehistoric sites exist on the island.

…The “Michigan rattler”, massausauga has been rumored to reside on the island. You may see whitetail deer, raccoon, red squirrel, fox, rabbit, and an occasional black bear on the island; as well as a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. Trout, pike, salmon, and other freshwater fish are found in the lake waters around the island. While the island is removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is close enough that you can see busy Mackinac Island and the mainland lights.

More information about the Round Island Wilderness Area from the US Forest Service.

While I’ve shared a number of photos of the Round Island Lighthouse taken from the Mackinac Island Ferry over the years, I’ve never seen a shot from taken from on Round Island! Follow S. Hughes Photos on Facebook for lots more.

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