Chasing the 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Milky Way over Bond Falls with a dash of Perseids by Sathya

“I am beginning to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
~Sathya R.

EarthSky explains that the annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most beloved meteor showers of the year, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, where the shower peaks on warm summer nights:

No matter where you live worldwide, the 2020 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. On the peak mornings in 2020, the moon will be at or slightly past its last quarter phase, so moonlight will somewhat mar this year’s production. Still, there are some ways you can minimize the moon and optimize your chances for a good display of Perseids this year. Here are some thoughts:

The Perseids tend to be bright, and a good percentage of them should be able to overcome the moonlight. Who knows? You still might see up to 40 to 50 meteors per hour at the shower’s peak, even in the light of a bright moon. Will you see over 100 per hour, as in some years? Not likely. Still …

Try to watch after midnight but before moonrise. If fortune smiles upon you, the evening hours might offer you an earthgrazer – a looooong, slow, colorful meteor traveling horizontally across the evening sky. Earthgrazer meteors are rare but memorable. Perseid earthgrazers appear before midnight, when the radiant point of the shower is close to the horizon.

Watch in moonlight, but place yourself in the moon’s shadow.

Consider watching after the peak. People tend to focus on the peak mornings of meteor showers, and that’s entirely appropriate. But meteors in annual showers – which come from streams of debris left behind in space by comets – typically last weeks, not days. Perseid meteors have been streaking across our skies since around July 17. We’ll see Perseids for 10 days or so after the peak mornings on August 11, 12 and 13, though at considerably reduced numbers. Yet, each day as the moon wanes in the morning sky, less moonlight will obtrude on the show. Starting on or around August 17, moon-free skies reign all night long.

You can read about the taking of this photo & purchase a print from Sathya in Chasing the Perseids at his blog Like the Ocean & see more in his awesome Showcase album on Flickr.

There’s more Bond Falls & more Perseids at Michigan in Pictures.

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Weird Wednesday: Return to the Big Boy Graveyard

Big Boy Graveyard by Charles Peace

One of the weirdest & most popular posts on Michigan in Pictures is the Big Boy Graveyard. The UP Supply Co. went to the mysterious Big Boy Graveyard & shares:

Many of you have read my previous post of the old post regarding the “Legend of the Big Boy Graveyard”. Since, it has been one of our most popular journal entries, resulting in a lot of search traffic and people trying to find the statues. But we won’t be giving out any locations here.

…I feel that what used to be called the “Big Boy Graveyard” can no longer be dubbed as such. As the previous photos showed there was a third Big Boy lying on the ground with a hamburger alongside it. It was more of a dump site.

Now however, it is less of a graveyard and more of an entrance to a chained off driveway to the dump site. Rather than lion guardians to the driveway, they’re old, deteriorating Big Boy statues. They don’t quite fend you off as much as the lions. But I think most people would agree there’s still a bit of creepiness (and delight?) when seeing this great Michigan icon out of context.

Head over to the UP Supply Co for photos & more!

Charles received his BFA in Photography from Northern Michigan University but I haven’t been able to find his current work.

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Michigan, Ohio, and the Best Worst Deal Ever

Lake of the Clouds by Tom Mortenson

Lake of the Clouds by Tom Mortenson

CMU’s Clarke Historical Library reminds us that on June 15, 1836 Congress passed the Northern Ohio Boundary Bill to resolve the ongoing boundary dispute between the state of Ohio and the Michigan Territory. Both claimed the mouth of the Maumee River (present-day Toledo) and offered surveys supporting their positions. The congressional compromise awarded Toledo to Ohio and granted Michigan the western Upper Peninsula and immediate statehood. Ohio was elated, but Michigan struggled, and eventually accepted a solution they believed was unfair.

Michigan State University’s Geography Department takes a deeper dive into the Toledo War and its aftermath, explaining that:

Sentiment against the proposed compromise was almost universal at first. A resolution adopted in March had dismissed the area that Michigan was to receive as a “sterile region on the shores of Lake Superior, destined by soil and climate to remain forever a wilderness.” The Detroit Free Press called it “a region of perpetual snows—the Ultima Thule of our national domain in the north.”

Senator Lyon said the region could furnish the people of Michigan with Indians for all time and now and then a little bear meat for a delicacy, but he was nevertheless one of the few who thought that Michigan might eventually find it got the better of the bargain. There was resentment of the fact that Arkansas had been granted statehood unconditionally the same day that Michigan had been offered admission only on conditions that most Michiganians regarded as disadvantageous to the state.

If Michigan did not want the huge area in the northland that Congress offered, it is equally true that some of the residents of the Upper Peninsula did not want to be part of Michigan either. Congress had received a number of petitions from persons in this region asking that the area south of Lake Superior be organized as the territory of Huron. Michigan Territory, as originally established in 1805, had included the eastern Upper Peninsula, including the settlements at the Straits of Mackinac and at Sault Ste. Marie. These areas had been represented in the 1835 convention that drafted Michigan’s constitution and had defined the new state’s boundaries so as to include these parts of the Upper Peninsula within that state. Thus the statement that Michigan received the entire Upper Peninsula in return for surrendering the Toledo strip is not correct, but nevertheless the error continues to be perpetuated. It was approximately the western three-quarters of the Upper Peninsula that was involved in the compromise. Some people in the eastern section preferred to become part of the proposed Huron Territory, pointing out that Sault Ste. Marie was cut off from Detroit for six months each year and claiming that the region was treated by the rest of Michigan as a remote and neglected colony. Congress, however, paid no attention. Politics was more important than geography, and Michigan was saddled with the problem–never satisfactorily resolved–of uniting two areas which nature, for many thousands of years, has set asunder.

…Sure, Michigan did “lose” to Ohio in a way. At the time, we didn’t get what we wanted, the Toledo Strip, and they did. However, as a state we never really lost anything. While Toledo was conveniently located on the water, we still had Detroit, which was and continues to be the center of industry here in Michigan. We lost a little bit, but gained tremendously. At the time of statehood, surely the acquiring of the Upper Peninsula was thought to be a disadvantage. Time proved to tell that it was nothing like that at all. We really lost nothing, and gained immense mineral wealth, fortune from logging, and vast natural beauty.

I’ll definitely take that trade! Tom took this photo back in October of 2013. See more in his Upper Michigan gallery on Flickr.

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The other side of O Kun de Kun Falls

O-Kun-de-Kun Falls by Michigan Nut Photography

O-Kun-de-Kun Falls by Michigan Nut Photography

GoWaterfalling is simply the best website for Upper Peninsula waterfalls. In addition to detailed directions, they share that O Kun de Kun Falls:

…is one of the largest of the waterfalls in Ontanagon county. It is not as large as Bond Falls or Agate Falls, but it is just as scenic and far wilder. It is a mile plus hike to O Kun de Kun Falls and there are no fences or signs. The waterfall is also unusual in that it is an actual plunge falls. Only a handful of the many waterfalls around Lake Superior are plunge falls. You can go behind the falls if you want, but you need to be careful and sure footed.

…The width of the falls varies wildly depending on water levels. The Baltimore River can get pretty thin in summer months.

The waterfall is named after an Ojibway chief.

John took this from behind the falls last week and notes that the Baltimore River is a warm, slow moving river. Click to view it on Facebook and definitely follow him on Facebook & Instagram and order prints & more at michigannutphotography.com!

See many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

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Eagle River, Keweenaw County

Eagle River-Keweenaw County by Kirt E. Carter

Eagle River-Keweenaw County by Kirt E. Carter

Kirt took this photo of the Eagle River with an ONDU 6×9 Pinhole with Ilford Pan F developed in Rodinal 1:50. You can see lots more through his Flickr & check out kirtecarterfineartphotography.com for other photos along with his writings about how he shoots these stunning pics & a link to his book on Northwest UP rivers!!

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Facebook Friday: Dive into the UP with PhotoYoop

Shredder Schettin by photoyoop

Shredder Schettin’ by PhotoYoop

One of my favorite Facebook follows is Cory Genovese aka PhotoYoop. He took this photo a couple days ago in some wild Lake Superior surf and writes:

Wait, that’s not right…I mean Schetter Shreddin’! ;)

A few rounds in Superior yesterday. The Zoo was close to as heavy as I’ve been in. Thankfully, our little South break was not. 4′ – 6′ 8/10ft 7secs air -1c sea 1c

Definitely follow him on Facebook and view & purchase photos at photoyoop.com!

Lots more surfing pics on Michigan in Pictures!

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Loooking at yourself in the mirror: Portage Lake Lift Bridge edition

Reflections by Eric Hackney Photography

Here’s a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) pic from 3 years ago of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton & Hancock on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Wikipedia’s Portage Lake Lift Bridge entry says:

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Hancock and Houghton, Michigan, USA, across Portage Lake, a portion of the waterway which cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula with a canal linking the final several miles to Lake Superior to the northwest. US 41 and M-26 are both routed across the bridge.

The original bridge on this site was a wooden swing-bridge built in 1875. This was replaced by a steel swing-bridge built by the King Bridge Company in 1901. This bridge was damaged when a ship collided with it in 1905. The center swinging section of the bridge was replaced and a similar incident almost occurred again in 1920, but the ship was able to stop by dropping its anchor, which snagged on the bottom of the lake. In 1959, this bridge was replaced, at a cost of about 11-13 million US dollars (sources vary), by the current bridge which was built by the American Bridge Company.

As its name states, the bridge is a lift bridge with the middle section capable of being lifted from its low point of four feet clearance over the water to a clearance of 100 feet (30 m) to allow boats to pass underneath. The Bridge is the world’s heaviest and widest double-decked vertical lift bridge.Its center span “lifts” to provide 100 feet (30 m) of clearance for ships. The bridge is a crucial lifeline, since it is the only land based link between the north (so-called Copper Island) and south sections of the Keweenaw peninsula.

You can view the photo & more on Eric’s Facebook page and see a stunning shot of a rainbow over the bridge & more from Eric on Michigan in Pictures.

More bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

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Into the Distance

James L Oberstar leaving Marquette by Thom Skelding

James L Oberstar leaving Marquette by Thom Skelding

“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.

Check his photo & more out on Flickr & dive into almost 100 more photos of this Michigan freighter in the Absolute Michigan pool!

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A Peaceful Moment on Lake Superior

Peaceful Moment at Lake Superior near Munising by Michigan Nut Photography

Peaceful Moment at Lake Superior by Michigan Nut Photography

One of my favorite photographers on Michigan in Pictures is John McCormick aka Michigan Nut. He caught this peaceful moment at Lake Superior near Munising the other day, remarking that “you don’t often see the big lake this calm.

Prints of this photo and a whole lot more Michigan beauty are available at michigannutphotography.com.

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The Corgi & the Cataract

The Corgi & the Cataract by Taylor Nicole Featherstone

This photo from one of the many waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula was sent in by a fan last March. I’m hoping that those of you with furry friends are finding ways to keep them (and yourself!) happy & fit.

You can check out more at Featherstone Fotography on Facebook & keep up with the Adventures of Darwin + Charles on Facebook. And definitely follow her on Instagram @oureveolvingadventure!