“When things change inside you, things change around you”
Space.com reminds us that summer will officially arrive today (Saturday, June 20) with the summer solstice at 5:43:32 PM:
At the moment of the solstice, the sun will appear to be shining directly overhead for a point on the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north) in the central Pacific Ocean, 817 miles (1,314 kilometers) east-northeast from Honolulu. With the prime exception of Hawaii, we can never see the sun directly overhead from the other 49 U.S. states, but on Saturday, at around 1 p.m. local daylight time, the sun will attain its highest point in the sky for this entire year.
Since the sun will appear to describe such a high arc across the sky, the duration of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere is now at its most extreme, in most cases lasting over 15 hours. However, contrary to popular belief, the earliest sunrise and latest sunset do not coincide with the summer solstice. The earliest sunrise actually occurred back on June 14, while the latest sunset is not due until June 27. Dawn breaks early; dusk lingers late.
Jamie took this near Eaton Rapids three years ago on the summer solstice. See more shots of this great old barn in his The Barn album on Flickr.
The Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society tells us:
Round Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1895 at a cost of $15,000 by Frank Rounds, a carpenter from Detroit. Rounds had previously worked on Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, which was completed in 1887. The lighthouse was first lit on May 15th, 1896. It was commissioned under the U.S. Lighthouse Board, which became the United States Lighthouse Service in 1910. When it was first completed, the lighthouse was brick red. This would remain so until it was painted red and white in 1924. The fog signal at the lighthouse was installed in the fall of 1896. William Marshall was the first keeper of the lighthouse and served until 1906.
The beacon was automated in 1924 and became the responsibility of the United States Coast Guard in 1939, when the Coast Guard took over all of the nation’s lighthouses. To support World War II efforts, most of the original machinery on the first floor was removed for scrap. The structure was whitewashed in 1939.
When an automated light was constructed off the shore of Mackinac Island in 1947, the Coast Guard abandoned and decommissioned Round Island Lighthouse. A few years later, becoming tired of maintenance on the unused structure, the Coast Guard recommended that the lighthouse be demolished. Luckily the lighthouse was transferred to Hiawatha National Forest in 1958 and saved from its fate of destruction. For more information on the Hiawatha National Forest, visit the United States Forest Service website.
Since the lighthouse was abandoned, the lighthouse was a target for vandals. Also, without upkeep, the outside was feeling the effects of the Great Lakes and was starting to deteriorate away. On October 20th, 1972, a fierce storm knocked down part of the southwestern corner of the lighthouse. If it wasn’t for local preservationists, the lighthouse would have met its end.
You can read more of the history and preservation efforts right here.
Windy took this back in 2015. See more in her Other gallery on Flickr.
Since we have a lot of time to think, how about thinking about wind energy? Our average wind speed of 17.23 mph is 23rd in the nation, but the US Energy Information Administration says Michigan ranks in the bottom third of wind energy production – 36th to be precise. The Wind Energy Technologies Office reports Michigan’s installed capacity as 2,190 MW with 215 MW under construction.
If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for this historical treasure, I urge you to check out the Fishtown Preservation Association’s Campaign for Fishtown to raise the funds to resolve critical infrastructure and drainage issues & rehabilitate three shanties: The Village Cheese Shanty, Carlson’s Fishery and the Morris Shanty as well as to replace all docks, address accessibility, and other site issues. The high water has exacerbated an already desperate situation – click through to see how you can help!
You can follow Gary on his Instagram for more great shots!
“I don’t cry because we’ve been separated by distance, and for a matter of years. Why? Because for as long as we share the same sky and breathe the same air, we’re still together.”
― Donna Lynn Hope
Thom got this sweet photo of the James L. Oberstar leaving Marquette Harbor last night, downbound with a load of iron ore pellets. Stay strong everyone, and look to those you share a sky with who may be struggling right now.
Here’s a stunning shot of the Frankfort Light by my friend Noah. With news that Covid-19 is hitting police and other emergency services very hard in Michigan & around the nation, I hope that everyone will do EVERYTHING they can to minimize the strain on these hard-working women & men:
More than a fifth of Detroit’s police force is quarantined; two officers have died from coronavirus and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police. For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work.
An increasing number of police departments around the country are watching their ranks get sick as the number of coronavirus cases explodes across the U.S. The growing tally raises questions about how laws can and should be enforced during the pandemic, and about how departments will hold up as the virus spreads among those whose work puts them at increased risk of infection.
…officers are used to risk. It’s part of the job. But at a time when Americans are being advised to stay six feet from each other to combat an insidious virus that can live on surfaces for days, the perils and anxieties are new. This crisis is unlike any American police forces have dealt with before, said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
“We’re in unprecedented territory here,” said Davis, who led the police department when the Boston Marathon bombing happened in 2013.
…While the pandemic has so far hit American cities hardest, rural law enforcement agencies with few staff are in some ways most vulnerable.
In the tiny West Texas community of Marfa, Police Chief Estevan Marquez instructed his four officers not to pull over cars for minor traffic infractions, especially if they’re passing through from areas already hit by the virus.
He can’t afford for anyone to get sick.
You can read the history of Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse by Terry Pepper on Michigan in Pictures & should definitely view Noah’s photo & many more on his Instagram!
Happy Solstice everyone!
Scott took this photo just after sunset on the winter solstice in 2016 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse!