“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.”
~ Kristen Butler
Thomas captured an absolutely glorious sunset the other day. Keep up with his latest in his April 21 gallery on Flickr.
The Traverse City Ticker reports that with less than 2% ice coverage so far, the Great Lakes are experiencing record low ice cover this winter:
According to Dr. Jia Wang, a research ice climatologist and physical oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Great Lakes region is experiencing “warmer-than-usual weather” this season due to a combination of weather patterns including strong La Niña conditions. As a result, the maximum ice cover on the Great Lakes is only projected to reach 30 percent this year, Wang says – “way below” the average of 53 percent. Lake Michigan is expected to reach a maximum ice cover of just 23 percent, compared to an average 40 percent.
The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay has records for nearly two centuries on the freeze rate of West Grand Traverse Bay, including when it reaches the freeze point each year (if at all) and how many days it stays frozen over. While the Great Lakes often follow cyclical patterns, data shows that trends appear to be intensifying in recent years – a result many scientists attribute to climate change and include categories like water levels and ice cover. That trend can also be seen in Grand Traverse Bay freeze records, according to Watershed Center Executive Director Christine Crissman.
“If you look at the last 170 years overall, the bay definitely freezes over a majority of the time,” she says. “But if you start looking more closely at recent years, we are seeing a trend of less ice cover. From 1980 to present, the bay has only frozen over 38 percent of the time. Before 1980, it was 84 percent of the time. And even when it does freeze now, it doesn’t tend to freeze as long as it used to. It might be 20 to 40 days, where it used to be 70 days, 116 days.”
Charles took this photo back in 2015 off Gills Pier on the Leelanau Peninsula. Head over to his Flickr for more!
If you live in Michigan, you probably enjoyed a pretty nice weekend! WOOD-TV Grand Rapids reports that record highs fell in Kalamazoo (75°), Grand Rapids (74°), Lansing (75°) and Muskegon (74°). The other locations on the map don’t have record data. Click on Detroit adds that Detroit toppled the previous November 7th record of 70 from 2016 with a high of 71. Daily records were also set at Traverse City (76°), Pellston (73°) and Gaylord (71°).
Gary took this photo at Grand Haven. No word as to whether or not their high of 76 was a record, but guessing it was close! Head over to Gary’s Flickr for more!
Our friends at EarthSky explain that lunar earthshine happens:
When you look at a crescent moon shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you can sometimes see not only the bright crescent of the moon, but also the rest of the moon as a dark disk. That pale glow on the unlit part of a crescent moon is light reflected from Earth. It’s called earthshine.
To understand earthshine, remember that the moon is globe, just as Earth is, and that the globe of the moon is always half-illuminated by sunlight. When we see a crescent moon in the west after sunset, or in the east before dawn, we’re seeing just a sliver of the moon’s lighted half.
Now think about seeing a full moon from Earth’s surface. Bright moonlight can illuminate an earthly landscape on nights when the moon is full.
Likewise, whenever we see a crescent moon, a nearly full Earth appears in the moon’s night sky. The full Earth illuminates the lunar landscape. And that is earthshine. It’s light from the nearly full Earth shining on the moon.
Kevin captured the crescent moon hanging in the western sky over the “Big Red” Lighthouse at Holland State Park. See more in his gallery The Moon on Flickr.
More of and about the moon on Michigan in Pictures!
The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the autumnal equinox arrives tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22 at 9:31 AM:
The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length. (See more about this below.)
During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line. When the Sun crosses the equator from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox.
Scott took this photo on the final day of the summer of 2016 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse. See more in his massive Lighthouses gallery on Flickr.
“Find a calm lake and wait for the twilight in silence! There, existence will visit you with all its magnificence! The existence of the Existence can best be felt in the presence of dimness and in the absence of crowds and noises!”
– Mehmet Murat ildan
I simply love Beth’s artfully edited photos paired with great thoughts. See more in her Waterscapes album & I hope you find a calm lake or place!
Few things in our normal lives have been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and public fireworks displays are no exception. Instead of the normal pages & pages of options, MichiganFireworks.com lists just a couple dozen 2020 shows still happening.
Tom took this photo at the Bay City Fireworks Festival back in 2018. He writes that “Focus Pulling is a technique of adjusting focus from out of focus to tack sharp during a firework explosion over 1 to 3 seconds. similar physical operation as zooming during exposure only you use the manual focus ring instead of the zoom ring.”
Pretty sweet effect! See more at www.tom-clark.net/fireworks!