MotorCity Horseman

Durell Robinson MotorCity Horsemen

Durell Montgomery of the Motorcity Horsemen, photo courtesy Apiary Projects

Here’s a cool benefit for MotorCity Horsemen at Two James Spirits of Detroit that my friend Andrea Maio of Detroit-based media production company Apiary shared:

Come celebrate the grit, determination and integrity that is #thespiritofdetroit with the premiere of our Johnny Smoking Gun Whiskey video featuring Durell Montgomery of MotorCity Horsemen with an original score by Flint Eastwood. Sponsored by Two James Spirits and Johnny Noodle King and produced by Woodbridge based boutique media production company Apiary, in collaboration with Territory Post Production and Assemble sound, the video highlights the story of Durell Montgomery, the dynamic young founder and owner of Motorcity Horsemen; a self identified cowboy who rides his horses along city streets and aims to start a riding center within the city limits of Detroit.

Pony and horse rides, free food and hot cocoa, drink specials a video screening, a raffle feat. prizes donated from Detroit businesses and, live music by SYBLYNG and Jax Anderson. 100% of raffle ticket purchases and donations and 50% of all bar proceeds at Two James Spirits from the entire business day (1pm – 8pm) will go to aid Motorcity Horsemen in their development of an equine therapy center in the city of Detroit.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Donations accepted at the door will go towards the Motorcity Horsemen.

Looks cool! Click for more about MotorCity Horsemen.

The photo is a screen grab from the opening of the video. Stay tuned, I’ll share in on Michigan in Pictures when the video is released!

Farewell, David West

Flint Eastwood

Flint Eastwood, photo by Joel Williams

The Lansing State Journal reports that Flint native & amp builder David West has passed away:

In the late 1960s, three Flint musicians were on a mission to emulate the power-trio sound of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. They found a piece of it in David West’s 200-watt Fillmore amplifiers.

“Not only did they sound great, but they looked great,” said Don Brewer, the drummer for that Flint band, which eventually took the name Grand Funk Railroad.

West, a longtime resident of the Lansing area and architect of West Amps, died Nov. 10 at age 71. A Flint native, West last operated West Laboratories in Okemos, but started the business in Flint and operated in downtown Lansing for several years.

…”He was like a mad scientist in the shop. He’d get these fender amps and rip them all apart see how they were made and beat them up,” said Rob Grange, who built cabinets for West’s amplifiers. “He should have been a multi-millionaire. He was way ahead of his time.”

Read on for more, including news that West had intended to relaunch West Amps, which his son Aaron intends to continue. They don’t appear to have a website, but there is a Facebook page where more news might be shared.

View Joel’s photo bigger and see more of his concert photos right here.

In a wild coincidence that may be cool only to me, the band Flint Eastwood has a role in the post I’m hoping to feature tomorrow. So it goes…

More music on Michigan in Pictures.


Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, photo by Rick Corriveau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
~Henry David Thoreau

I hope you have much to be thankful for, today and every day, within and without. I am thankful for all of you who give me reason to keep doing something that I dearly love – sharing photos of this beautiful and diverse place. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Also sorry folks – had this scheduled for first thing this morning I thought!!

Rick says he’ll take one drumstick please! View his photo bigger and see more in his Birds slideshow.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Over the (Pine) River

HDRtist Pro Rendering -

Pine River Bridge Wellston, Michigan, photo by John Mickevich

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers, and one of these is the Pine River. The Pine River Management Plan says (in part):

Visitors to the Pine River Corridor continue to enjoy a variety of recreation experiences in natural appearing settings. Visitors may encounter both non-motorized and motorized recreation on land within the Pine River corridor (such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and auto touring) while only non-motorized recreation is encountered in the river channel. High quality commercial services are available for recreation activities, particularly for boating and fishing.

Watercraft use, particularly canoeing, is an important recreation activity on the Pine River. The river character provides watercraft users with a moderate challenge in practicing boating and water safety skills and a high degree of interaction with the natural environment.

…Fishing on the Pine River is another popular recreation activity. The Pine River is considered a “blue ribbon” trout fishery and many anglers take advantage of the early morning and evening hours and weekdays to fish with some degree of solitude.

Click to view it on a map!

View John’s photo background big and see more in his Manistee County slideshow.

More Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures – safe travels everyone!

PS: Marilyn Wilkie shared that this is the Mortimer E Cooley Bridge on M-55. It’s a Metal Cantilever 12 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss bridge built in 1935.

Make Mine a Michigan Thanksgiving: High Bush Cranberry Edition

Highbush Cranberries by Blondieyooper

Cranberries, photo by Blondieyooper

One thing that I love is Thanksgiving dinner, and another is Michigan grown food. Dianna at Promote Michigan brings those together with 15 things that make Thanksgiving Pure Michigan. From starters like Koeze nuts, McClure’s Pickles, Koegel Meats, and Leelanau Cheese to sides like Michigan potatoes & squash to Michigan-raised turkeys and (of course) pumpkin & apple pie and ice cream!

One Thanksgiving staple that Michigan is producing more of are cranberries, and you can get all kinds of information from the US Cranberry Marketing Committee. While it’s too late to get them this year, we have another cranberry that grows in Michigan you might not be aware of. Green Deane’s Eat the Weeds is a great blog, and his page on the High Bush Cranberry says (in part):

The High Bush Cranberry is actually a Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) and a cousin of the elderberry. Both are in the greater Honeysuckle Family and have a characteristic musky odor. That family by the way straddles the edibility line, with some members edible and others not, some tasty and some not. As one might suspect by the name, the High Bush Cranberry has tart fruit. Bradford Angier, a well-known Canada-based forager along side Euell Gibbons, wrote they require a “conditioned palate” to appreciate.

In North America the High Bush Cranberry is found in Canada and the northern half of the United States plus, oddly, New Mexico. It is not as that friendly to wildlife as one might suspect. The fruit persists into the winter because they are not on the top of birds’ preferred food. Birds like the berries after they soften and ferment. White-Tailed deer also browse on the twigs and leaves. For humans the berries are high in Vitamin C, about 30 milligrams per 100 grams.

Viburnum trilobum has several disputed botanical names and several mistaken common names including Pimbina, Mooseberry, Cranberry Tree, Cranberry Bush, American Cranberry, and Squashberry.

Read on for lots more including identification tips. There’s much more Michigan Thanksgiving to feast on at Michigan in Pictures too!

Blondieyooper says she picked over 8 pounds of these gorgeous highbush cranberries in the UP back in October of 2011. View her photo background bigilicious and see more in her Fall 2011 slideshow.

Beating the Winter Blahs at Elizabeth Park

Winter's Beauty

Untitled, photo by mballen89

Several of my friends shared this very appropriate article today about how Norwegians in the far north of the country deal with the dark and cold of winter:

First, Norwegians celebrate the things one can only do in winter. “People couldn’t wait for the ski season to start,” says Leibowitz. Getting outside is a known mood booster, and so Norwegians keep going outside, whatever is happening out there. Notes Leibowitz: “There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

Norwegians also have a word, koselig, that means a sense of coziness. It’s like the best parts of Christmas, without all the stress. People light candles, light fires, drink warm beverages, and sit under fuzzy blankets. There’s a community aspect to it too; it’s not just an excuse to sit on the couch watching Netflix. Leibowitz reports that Tromsø had plenty of festivals and community activities creating the sense that everyone was in it together.

And finally, people are enamored with the sheer beauty of the season. Leibowitz grew up near the Jersey shore, and “I just took it as a fact that everyone likes summer the best.” But deep in the winter in Norway, when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon, multiple hours a day can still look like sunrise and sunset, and against the snow, “the colors are incredibly beautiful,” she says. “The light is very soft and indirect.”

Most likely you can’t cross-country ski straight out of your house, and while Norwegian sweaters may be catching on, restaurants and coffee shops in more temperate climates don’t all feature the fireplaces and candles common to the far north. Still, there are little things non-Norwegians can do. “One of the things we do a lot of in the States is we bond by complaining about the winter,” says Leibowitz. “It’s hard to have a positive wintertime mindset when we make small talk by being negative about the winter.”

Read on for more good advice on battling the winter blahs – I hope it’s helpful to you!

The photo was taken in Elizabeth Park in Trenton which I just learned is Michigan’s first county park!

This 162-acre family estate was bequeathed to the Wayne County Park Trustees in October of 1919 by the children of Elizabeth Slocum.

The acceptance of this special gift marks the beginning of the Wayne County Park System. Elizabeth Park sits like an emerald jewel along the banks of the Detroit River, and features over 1,300 feet of riverwalk for fishing and river watching. In addition Elizabeth Park also offers activities such as softball, cycling, in-line skating, hiking, cross-country skiing and ice skating.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in mballen89’s slideshow.

More winter wallpaper and more straight-up winter on Michigan in Pictures!

Snowvember in Michigan

Thanksgiving Snow - Pine Cone Edition

Thanksgiving Snow – Pine Cone Edition, photo by Tom Hughes

Much of Michigan, particularly the southern 2/3 of the Lower Peninsula, is bracing for significant snowfall – as much as 6″ by Sunday morning according to mLive’s Mark Torregrossa:

Snow, possibly mixed with rain, will start in the southwest corner of Lower Michigan after 2 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. This includes Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. By 8 a.m. Saturday, wet snow, mixed with rain, will have spread into southeastern Lower Michigan, including Lansing, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland. Snow should make it into northern Lower Michigan, including Traverse City, Houghton Lake and Alpena by early Saturday afternoon.

The morning will have temperatures between 32 degrees and 35 degrees. Snow will probably struggle to accumulate during the morning.

All of the model data is now consistent that the storm center will intensify during the afternoon. Precipitation will be heaviest during the afternoon and early evening Saturday.

That’s when the driving conditions will likely worsen dramatically and possibly quickly.

The colder air, with temperatures of about 31 degrees will move in to southern Lower between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. At the same time there could be a fairly heavy rate of snow.

Read on for more at mLive. If you’re feeling sad, remember that last November was the snowiest since 1897 in much of Michigan!!

View Tom’s photo bigger and see more in his Rochester MI slideshow.

Also tune in to November snow in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr for photos at they are added!