Here’s a photo of mine from yesterday afternoon of cherry blossoms on the Leelanau Peninsula. You can follow my @mileelanau Instagram for more shots from northwest lower Michigan!
CMU’s Clarke Historical Library says that on Nov 30, 1885, the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane opened in Traverse City. It’s now known as the The Village at Grand Traverse Commons and 10 years ago I worked there and was able to lead and was able to lead a group of photographers including Carolyn on a tour of the then un-renovated parts of what was known as Building 50. FYI, the section we toured is now the luxurious Cordia senior residential club.
The facility was a Kirkbride Institution, designed by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride. Kirkbride was a Pennsylvania Quaker and founding member of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane who developed a concept of treatment known as the Kirkbride Plan. This plan proposed a particular way of housing patients that included segregating by severity of mental illness and fresh air and natural light where possible:
It was believed crucial to place patients in a more natural environment away from the pollutants and hectic energy of urban centers. Abundant fresh air and natural light not only contributed to a healthy environment, but also served to promote a more cheerful atmosphere. Extensive grounds with cultivated parks and farmland were also beneficial to the success of an asylum. Landscaped parks served to both stimulate and calm patients’ minds with natural beauty (enhanced by rational order) while improving the overall aspect of the asylum. Farmland served to make the asylum more self-sufficient by providing readily available food and other farm products at a minimal cost to the state.
Patients were encouraged to help work the farms and keep the grounds, as well as participate in other chores. Such structured occupation was meant to provide a sense of purpose and responsibility which, it was believed, would help regulate the mind as well as improve physical fitness. Patients were also encouraged to take part in recreations, games, and entertainments which would also engage their minds, make their stay more pleasant, and perhaps help foster and maintain social skills.
There’s lots more from Kirkbride Buildings where the author has done some spectacular scholarship and created an excellent resource for these amazing structures. The Kirkbride System produced a photographic environment of uncommon richness that is evident in the photos from the group A little trip up north… It’s also reflected in the grounds and the shops, restaurants & businesses that are part of the Commons today.
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
Lisa captured this beautiful canvas of fall color near Maple City on the Leelanau Peninsula. Follow Lisa at supqueen on Instagram for lots more including some more gorgeous autumn 2020 photos!!
Communities across Michigan have been celebrating Pride Month during the month of June, and I thought I would share one of my favorite photos ever. It was taken by my friend Michael at the annual Traverse City Pride Parade sponsored by Up North Pride. I’ll be joining thousands of others to march this Sunday (June 25) at noon – you can click that link for all the details.
I have no doubt that some may find this post controversial and ask me to “stick to pictures and not politics.” To any with that viewpoint, I would like to point out that this picture is NOT politics, this is personal. In addition to honoring the many photographers I feature on Michigan in Pictures who are lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, questioning or otherwise, I have many dear friends who are happily married to the love of their lives, and I believe at the very core of my being that they deserve every benefit of marriage & society that anyone else has.
Please feel free to enjoy my personal blog as I see fit to share it. If it offends you, suffer whatever slight this is for you in silence or simply stop following me. Whatever you do, don’t post anything hateful because I will ban you so fast and probably say mean things to you on the way out just to make it perfectly clear that I support the civil rights of every American.
OK, that’s more than enough justifying myself for posting whatever I feel like on my blog. Let’s hear what the Library of Congress has to say about Pride Month:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events.
You can view the photo bigger on the Up North Pride Facebook page, follow Michael on Instagram, and if you’re looking for one of the finest portrait photographers I know, definitely consider Michael Poehlman Photography!
PS: His Personal Work gallery is really cool!
Cherry blossoms, along with apple & other fruit tree blooms are out across Michigan. If you’re near a fruit growing region, take a drive and see what’s to be seen!
PS: Here’s a little Facebook Live video I did this week with Nikki Rothwell, head of MSU’s Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station about cherries, blossoms, and the work of the Station. I can’t seem to size the video here so you might want to click to view it on the Leelanau.com Facebook.
Here’s a ridiculous sunset that my friend John captured on Wednesday night over West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. The Rays & Shadows page from our friends at Atmospheric Optics identifies these as “cloud shadows” and says that they are basically the reverse of crepuscular rays, the beams of light that stream through gaps in clouds.
“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is the earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
One of Thoreau’s most beautiful thoughts in my mind, and we are certainly blessed in Michigan to have the eyes of the earth upon us here as they are in few other places.
Sandy says that at the top of the photo are West & East Grand Traverse Bay and then Elk Lake and Lake Skegemog. You can get your bearings and have a little fun exploring the lakes from above in this 3d view from Google Earth.
More aerial photography on Michigan in Pictures.