Winter is beautiful at the Eben Ice Caves

Eben Ice cave in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by Tom Clark

Eben Ice cave in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Tom Clark

One of Michigan’s awesome winter features are the Eben Ice Caves in the Hiawatha National Forest. They explain that the Eben Ice Caves are located within the Rock River Canyon Wilderness (RRCW) which:

…includes approximately 4,700 acre (7.5 sq mile) and was designated in the Michigan Wilderness Act of 1987. During the mid- and late-winter months, many people visit RRCW to see the Eben Ice Caves.

…Although not “true” caves, they are made up of vertical walls of ice formed by water seeping through the sandstone bedrock cliff edge. As the temperature drops, these intermittent leaks create ice stalactites over the entrance to the bedrock undercuts. While ice caves are a phenomenon in the winter, the summer visitor would only see algae-covered rocks and dense foliage. The caves are within RRCW. Wilderness designation is the highest level of protection granted to federal lands.

You can read on for more & also be sure to check out the Eben Ice Caves Facebook page for tips & information on visiting.

Tom took this photo a couple of Januarys ago. Follow Tom on Facebook & at tom-clark.net. See more in his awesome U.P. Roadtrip to find ICE – 1/22/19 gallery on Flickr!

More pics from the Eben Ice Caves on Michigan in Pictures!

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Waterfall Wednesday: AuTrain Falls

AuTrain Falls U.P. Michigan by Linda Carter

AuTrain Falls U.P. Michigan by Linda Carter

Visit Chatham has a truly delightful post about the AuTrain Falls explains that they are located about 8 miles south of AuTrain, 5 miles east of Chatham, and 10 miles southwest of Munising. They say (in part – read it all if you can):

The AuTrain Falls are part of the AuTrain River. A major reason why the falls were created is because of the large power dam located about a mile south of the falls site, in close proximity to highway M-94. The Forest Lake Dam, ran by Renewable Energies Resources, is the main source of water for the falls. When water levels are high on the AuTrain Basin, an increased flow of water is released via the dam and down the river. The AuTrain River actually flows from South to North.

When more water is released via the dam, the more volume of water that flows through the falls. And especially during the spring season, the falls are a fabulous view! Even though the falls may not be as spectacular during the summer months as compared to the spring season, the falls are still wonderful to visit year-round. They are even accessible during the winter season! And you can’t say that about most Upper Peninsula falls.

Read on for more.

Linda took this at the end on September 29, 2020. See more in her Falls gallery on Flickr.

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Snowy Owls are Back!

Snowy Owls are Back by Kevin Povenz

Snowy Owls are Back by Kevin Povenz

While these arctic owls are not found in the summer, the Michigan DNR shares that Snowy Owls & other winter visitors spend time in our state during the winter months:

Just because the leaves have fallen from the trees and there is a chill in the air is no reason to put away your binoculars. Winter offers unique viewing opportunities. Many of our summer resident birds migrate to warmer summer climates. Still, there are several species of birds that migrate from Canada and find Michigan the perfect winter temperature. Winter is the only time several of these species can be found in Michigan.

Two of the largest migrants are the snowy owl and the great gray owl. Snowy owls can be found moving into Michigan during winter when the food supply on the arctic tundra is in short supply. Snowy owls have been recorded as far south as Lansing, Michigan. Because they rarely see humans on their northern homes, they are not timid and can be easily viewed for long periods of time.

Kevin took this photo back in the winter of 2016, but he’s been hearing that they are back in Michigan now. See more in his Birds of Prey album on Flickr & be sure to follow Kevin Povenz Photos on Facebook.

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Canopy of Color

Canopy of Color by Patton Photography

Canopy of Color by Patton Photography

Here’s a cool shot from way up on the Keweenaw Peninsula. See more in Patton Photography’s Michigan gallery on Flickr & have a great week!

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Waterfall Wednesday: Tannery Falls

Olson Tannery Falls by Charles Bonham

Olson Tannery Falls by Charles Bonham

As you probably already know, GoWaterfalling is my go-to site for Michigan waterfalls. Their entry for Tannery Falls includes a map and says:

Tannery Falls is in Munising, off of H-58. It is not as well advertised as the larger Munising Falls, but as a result it is somewhat wilder and less visited. Like other waterfalls in the area, it suffers from a lack of water in the summer.

…I was there on a rainy day in May, and even then there was not a whole lot of water flowing over the falls. One interesting thing about this waterfall is that a relatively recent cave in has blocked the creek just below the falls, forcing the creek back behind the falls along and under the edge of the gorge.

This falls is remarkably close to the MNA Memorial Falls, and can be easily reached from that waterfall.

Charles took this earlier in October. You can view the latest on his Flickr & he’s also got a view of the falls from the front!

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Fall at Miners Castle

Miners Castle by Charles Bonham

Miners Castle by Charles Bonham

I always wondered about the whole “miner” thing with Miners River/Falls/Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  The Miners Falls Trail Guide explains that:

Visited by passing English geologists in 1771-1772, the nearby Miners River was named by employees of Alexander Henry during one of his exploratory trips on Lake Superior. At that time, indicators or “leaders” were used to locate mineral deposits. Discolored water oozing from bedrock was one such leader found in the Miners Basin, although no minerals were ever extracted from this area.

Charles took took this pic last week. See lots more on his Flickr

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Waterfall Wednesday: Potawatomi Falls on the Black River

Potawatomi Falls on the Black river in Gogebic County Michigan by Tom Clark

Potawatomi Falls on the Black River by Tom Clark

Waterfalls of the Keweenaw entry for Potawatomi Falls says in part:

A short distance below Great Conglomerate Falls is an awkward duplicate: Potawatomi Falls. Like its twin, Potawatomi is a split drop over a dome of conglomerate rock that creates two tall, curving waterfalls. However, this one is not split evenly. Much of the water is pushed to the eastern bank by an uneven riverbed to create a wide and multi-tiered drop. A few small streams converge for the other side and make for a smaller, but more direct, plunge.

As a bonus, it’s walkable to another beautiful waterfall, Gorge Falls.

Tom took this last month and you can see lots more in his excellent Waterfalls, Rivers & Streams gallery on Flickr & definitely follow Tom Clark Photography on Facebook for more great pics from his travels!

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Waterfall Wednesday: Manebezho Falls

Manabezho Falls by malderink

Manabezho Falls by malderink

GoWaterfalling’s page on Manebezho Falls says:

The Manabezho Falls are part of the Presque Isle River’s spectacular final dash to Lake Superior. The entire 1 mile stretch is very beautiful, with lots of bare rock and rapids. It is easily accessible from the Presque Isle entrance off of CR-519 on the western end of the park…

Manido Falls are just short distance upstream. Nawadaha Falls is a bit farther upstream. Downstream of Manabezho the river plunges into a narrow gorge. The “falls” there have no name, but they are quite interesting.

The falls are located in the Porcupine Mountains State Park. More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

This photo is from a couple of weeks ago. Head over to malderink’s Flickr for more!

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Lake Michigamme Sunrise

Lake Michigamme Sunrise by Gary

Lake Michigamme Sunrise by Gary

Here’s sort of a Throwback Thursday … to a month and a half ago at least. Wikipedia’s entry for Lake Michigamme says that it is:

…one of Michigan’s largest lakes and reaches a depth of over 70 feet. It covers 4,292 acres in Marquette and Baraga counties, Michigan. Van Riper State Park provides public access. The vast majority of the lake lies in Marquette County, with only its westernmost part extending into Baraga County.

The lake runs about six miles east to west, with a southern arm extending about another four miles. A dam separates the Michigamme River from the main body of the lake at the end of the southern arm. The Spurr River flows into the lake’s west end and the Peshekee River flows into the lake in the northeast. Van Riper State Park and Van Riper beach are located at the eastern shoreline of the main arm. The lake is speckled with many islands and rock beds that often creep over the waterline in late summer and fall.

Gary took this toward the end of August. See more in his 2020 gallery on Flickr.

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Michigan’s Fall Color is Just Down the Road!

US-41 by Wu Lan

US-41 by Wu Lan

mLive shared an update on Michigan’s fall color progression that says in part:

The frost and freezing temperatures for two or three days in a row last week have sparked the fall colors. A leaf’s nutrition supply is cut off from the main tree with a freeze. The underlying color pigments in the leaf then emerge for our fall splendor.

The western half of the Upper Peninsula has about 50 percent of total fall color. The eastern U.P. is around 25 percent changed now. The northern third of Lower Michigan has 25 percent to 50 percent fall color. The southern half of Lower Michigan runs from 10 percent to just spotty color from north to south.

You can also check out Pure Michigan’s Interactive Fall Foliage Map & definitely check out past fall color on Michigan in Pictures from more cool photos including the science behind fall color!

Wu took this photo back in 2015 on US-41 US-41 near Copper Harbor on the UP’s Keweenaw Peninsula. See more on their Flickr!

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