Frozen Tahquamenon Falls

Frozen Falls in February, photo by Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park shares:

If you ever wanted to see the Upper Falls frozen, here is your chance! The water is flowing beneath the ice, but we have never seen the left side frozen over before. Pretty cool!

Cool indeed … downright COLD in fact!

Click to see the photo bigger and to view other photos people took recently, check out several more shots of the falls as they’ve frozen on the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Facebook, and visit the Park’s page at Michigan.gov.

Lots more about the Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Round Goby

Round Goby, photo by Dave Brenner, Michigan Sea Grant

The Great Lakes Echo reports that although a study has found that invasive round goby are “one of the most successful aquatic invaders” ever in the Great Lakes, smallmouth bass appear to be feasting on gobies:

25 years after their discovery in the Great Lakes, “we’re not documenting specific harms from gobies,” Popoff said, referring to feared environmental, economic and human health concerns.

In fact, there are indications of possible benefits from their presence, he said. For example, “we are seeing amazing smallmouth bass,” as well as some “amazing walleye,” while lake trout have modified their diets from sculpin to round gobies.

One possible exception, according to Popoff, is a decline in sculpin population as documented in Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay because they compete with round gobies for space and food. However, scientists haven’t determined whether the lake’s overall sculpin population is down or whether they’ve merely moved to deeper areas with fewer round gobies.

…However, the study found the round goby is now a widely available food source for many native fish because of its “extreme abundance, tolerance to a variety of habitat conditions and relatively small size.”

In lakes Erie and Ontario, round gobies accounted for 75 percent of the smallmouth bass diet, Crane said. If all other species have maintained stable populations, that means the bass are putting less pressure on other food sources.

Nice to see the Great Lakes winning a battle – read on for lots more.

View the photo background big and see more in Michigan Sea Grant’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) slideshow.

NOAA Ice Coverage

Great Lakes Ice Coverage on Feb 23, 2015, photo by NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

In Great Lakes Total Ice Cover Nears 85% NOAA reports:

The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is showing total ice cover of 84.4% as of February 22, 2015, well above the long term average and closing in on last year’s mark of 92.5% coverage on March 6, 2014. In this image, Lake Erie is a vast white plain, joining Lake Huron and Lake Superior with coverages above 90% and only small areas of open water. This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite’s VIIRS instrument around 1803Z on February 23, 2015.

Click through to see it big as the Great Lakes and see more photos of the Great Lakes from high above if you click the “Great Lakes” keyword.

PS: Follow @NOAA@NOAA_GLERL & @NOAASatellites on Twitter for lots more great images!

173316390006

173316390006, photo by Steve Swartz

Just love this shot. It’s always good to remember that we get to go back to this before too long…

View Steve’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Vivitar slideshow.

More summer wallpaper and more camera fun on Michigan in Pictures.

A Cold Calm

February 20, 2015

A Cold Calm

A Cold Calm, photo by Mark Miller

A scan of the Michigan mercury this morning shows a lot of record and near record low temps ranging from a balmy -10 in Grand Rapids to -24 in the Soo, -26 in Ann Arbor, -28 in Alpena, -29 in Port Huron and an eye-popping -34 in the “Icebox of the North” Pellston. I hope all of you find a way to stay warm this weekend!

View Mark’s photo from last Sunday in Empire bigger and see more in his slideshow.

PS: You can check out the view from Empire Bluff (upper left corner) right here on Michigan in Pictures.

This is me in my imagination

February 19, 2015

P7060265 Summertime 2

Summertime 2, photo by Charles Bonham

This is me in my imagination this morning.

This is the reality. -2 in Detroit, -10 in Flint and an eye-freezing -23 in Iron Mountain. In fact, the only places I can see that are above zero are Manistee & Benton Harbor!

I’ll take “My Imagination” for $500 Alex…

Charles took this shot in Leland’s Fishtown. Check it out background big and see more in his Leland MI / Fishtown slideshow.

There’s more SUMMER (and more summer wallpaper) on Michigan in Pictures.

Big Red & Blue Ice

Reflections of a cold sunset, photo by Tony Reidsma

Here’s an incredible shot of Big Red aka the Holland Harbor Lighthouse. In his extensive article on the history of the Holland Harbor Light, Terry Pepper explains how the nickname came to be:

A Coast Guard crew arrived in Holland in 1956, and gave the combined fog signal building and lighthouse a fresh coat of bright red paint in order to conform to its “Red Right Return” standard, which called for all aids to navigation located on the right side of a harbor entrance to be red in coloration. Local residents thus began referring to the fifty year old structure as “Big Red,” a name which has stuck through the years. The Fourth Order lens was subsequently removed from the fog signal lantern in the late 1960’s, and replaced with a 250 mm Tidelands Signal acrylic optic.

With the fading of the Great Lakes passenger fleet, Holland Harbor had ceased to serve any real commercial traffic. With the station now serving only as a beacon to guide pleasure boats in and out of Lake Macatawa, the Coast Guard announced plans to abandon the old fog signal building to eliminate ongoing maintenance costs in 1972. Over the years, “Big Red” had become as much of an iconic symbol of tourist-centered Holland as tulips and windmills, and fearing the loss of their beloved landmark, the citizenry of Holland gathered together and circulated petitions in an attempt to save the historic structure. To this end, the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Commission was formed in 1974 to coordinate preservation and restoration efforts, and continues to manage the structure to this day.

View Tony’s photo big as Big Red on Facebook and see and purchase some of his work at imagesforyourwalls.com.  If you’re in an icy mood, consider attending the opening of his Frozen In Time exhibition at the Holland Arts Council from March 5 – April 18, 2015. The opening reception is March 5th, starting at 6pm.

More winter wallpaper and more lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!

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