Warren Dunes, Michigan’s Most Popular State Park

Warren Dunes State Park Sawyer Michigan

Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer Michigan, photo by Charles Edward Miller

Beautiful scene earlier in November at Warren Dunes State Park in southwest Michigan, just north of the state line. The History of Sawyer from HarborCountry.org explains:

Edward K. Warren, of Three Oaks, was a pioneering conservationist. Long before he acquired his enormous wealth, Warren bought 300 acres of woodland in an effort to preserve a forest primeval. Wildlife abounds around the trails, which meander through Warren Woods that remains undisturbed and a natural treasure. Not surprisingly, Warren Woods can be found Warren Woods Road between Three Oaks and Lakeside. Warren Dunes State Park is a 1500-acre preserve located on Red Arrow Highway between Sawyer and Bridgman. Warren bought this land at the turn of the century again with conservation as his goal. Although most in the area saw the land as worthless, Warren wanted to preserve the majestic dunes that soar to more than 240 feet. The Park has a pristine two-mile beach as well as wildflowers and mature forests. Over a million people visit Warren Dunes annually [the state’s most popular park].

View Charles’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his massive Warren Dunes State Park Sawyer Michigan slideshow.

More about Warren Dunes and more dunes on Michigan in Pictures.

Simplicity – Sand and Stones

Simplicity - Sand and Stones Grand Mere Beach

Simplicity – Sand and Stones, photo by PhotoJacko

Michigan comes from the Chippewa language where “Michi-gama” means “great water” or “big lake”. With 3,126 miles of PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE Great Lakes shoreline and countless public beaches, there’s no excuse not to get out to beaches like the fabulous one at Grand Mere State Park near Stevensville in southwest Michigan this weekend!

View Jackie’s photo bigger, see more in her Long Exposures slideshow and be sure to follow her on Facebook.

More great beaches & beach photos on Michigan in Pictures.

Golden Dunes at Grand Mere State Park

_MG_8420 Golden Dunes Grand Mere State Park

_MG_8420 Golden Dunes Grand Mere State Park, photo by cemillerphotography.photoshelter.com.

Sleeping Bear Dunes have been soaking up all the love in the media lately courtesy Good Morning America naming them the most beautiful place in America.

When I saw these photos I thought they were from Sleeping Bear, then I realized they were from Grand Mere State Park near St. Joseph, which the state of Michigan says is characterized by magnificent sand dunes, deep blowouts and one mile of Lake Michigan shoreline. Another page adds:

The magnificent high-relief dunes in Grand Mere were formed approximately 10,000 years ago during the recession of glacial lakes. They are a natural phenomenon not found anywhere else in the world. Located between Lake Michigan and several inland lakes and unique wetlands, the dunes afford an excellent perspective of the surrounding region. The lakes and wetlands provide a unique ecological area that encompasses the full range of open water aquatic to closed forest terrestrial communities. The wetlands and lakes are significant waterfowl and songbirds migrating areas.

More about Lake Michigan coastal dune structures in this really great Sand Dune Inventory.

Check this out background bigtacular and in Charles’ Grand Mere State Park slideshow.

More dunes on Michigan in Pictures.

Greeny Goodness from Michigan’s Vineyards

Greeny Goodness

Greeny Goodness, photo by sgs_1019.

The sun, with all those plants revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
~Galileo Galilei

The sun is working away on the 2011 vintage in Michigan’s vineyards, and today I’m working away on the lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City on the 3rd annual Traverse City Wine & Art Festival. It’s a celebration of the culture & cuisine of northwest Michigan that brings together 24 wineries from Leelanau, Old Mission, Traverse City & Benzie with over 100 wines from 2010 and other years along with a slew of artists with work for show and sale, great food & music and some incredible performance art!

If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by as I think it’s going to be amazing! If not, definitely pick up a bottle of Michigan wine – you will be happy to learn what the sun has been up to! If you’re looking for some suggestions, check out the medal winners from the 2011 Michigan Wine Competition!

Check this out bigger and in Sarah’s slideshow.

Michigan Courthouses: Van Buren County Courthouse

Van Buren County Courthouse (Paw Paw, Michigan)

Van Buren County Courthouse (Paw Paw, Michigan), photo by courthouselover.

Jordan writes:

The Van Buren County Courthouse was erected in 1901 with the designs of Claire Allen of Jackson, Michigan. It is similar is appearance to the Classical Revival courthouse in Hillsdale, Michigan.

Wikipedia’s entry for Claire Allen says that he was was a prominent architect in southern Michigan in the early twentieth century. He was head of the firm of Claire Allen & Sons and his resume includes the Chelsea Clock Tower.

Be sure to check this out bigger and in his Michigan County Courthouses set (slideshow)

More Michigan courthouse shots on Michigan in Pictures.

Silver Lake Sunset


DSC_0387, photo by Jennifer Kleinheksel.

Like many lakes along the Lake Michigan shore, Silver Lake is a bay of the prehistoric Lake Nipissing that was closed in by coastal sand dunes. The Silver Lake Dunes Area’s fishing page says that Silver Lake is great fishing hole for Walleye, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegill, and Black Crappie, while you enjoy the scenic beauty of the Sand Dunes. It’s part of Silver Lake State Park and you can see the view looking back at the lake from the air on Wikipedia.

Be sure to check this out bigger and also Jennifer’s Silver Lake set (slideshow).

Your photo contest begins at Michigan.org

Holland, Michigan Lighthouse

Holland, Michigan Lighthouse, photo by Tony Tanoury.

The Pure Michigan Photo Contest is open until June 29, 2009 and offers you a chance to win prizes including a stay at the Gran Hotel on Mackinac Island!

You can get all the details at the link above and check out submitted photos on their map.

Tony took this photo of the “Big Red” lighthouse in Holland last May. Be sure to check it out bigger and also in his Michigan set (slideshow).

Strawberry Season, 1940

Migrant girl, strawberry picker, Berrien County, Mich.
Migrant girl, strawberry picker, Berrien County, Mich., photo by John Vachon

Today’s photo from summer of 1940 is courtesy the Library of Congress. Be sure to check it out bigger and try a search for Michigan Strawberries to see more shots from Berrien County’s strawberry farms.

Ann Arbor blogger (and certified Michiganhead) Edward Vielmetti notes that strawberry season in underway in southern Michigan. He’ll post a field report when he goes! You can get all kinds of information and recipes about these tasty treats at Michigan Strawberries Are Ready to Pick on Absolute Michigan.

Swan Origami

Swan Oragamy

Swan Oragamy, photo by MudPhish.

…it’s apparently all the rage these days.

Be sure to check it out bigger.

Jumping into summertime

Camping - P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

Camping – P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, photo by plounsbury.

Summer is here – jump off!

Memorial Day, Michigan Style on Absolute Michigan has lots of Memorial weekend fun.

Check it out bigger and on the P. J. Hoffmaster State Park entry on the Absolute Michigan map.