#TBT: Beating the Winter Blues

Winter Blues by simply, Diann.

If you’ve followed Michigan in Pictures for a long time, you’ll recognize this photo of the Ludington North Breakwater Light from 10 years ago. I love the photo so much that I thought I’d bring it back for an encore.

If you click the link above, you can read about the lighthouse, and if you head over to The Atlantic, you can learn about how Scandinavian countries are combatting seasonal affective disorder (SAD):

First described in the 1980s, the syndrome is characterized by recurrent depressions that occur annually at the same time each year. Most psychiatrists regard SAD as being a subclass of generalized depression or, in a smaller proportion of cases, bipolar disorder.

Seasonality is reported by approximately 10 to 20 percent of people with depression and 15 to 22 percent of those with bipolar disorder. “People often don’t realize that there is a continuum between the winter blues—which is a milder form of feeling down, [sleepier and less energetic]—and when this is combined with a major depression,” says Anna Wirz-Justice, an emeritus professor of psychiatric neurobiology at the Center for Chronobiology in Basel, Switzerland. Even healthy people who have no seasonal problems seem to experience this low-amplitude change over the year, with worse mood and energy during autumn and winter and an improvement in spring and summer, she says.

Why should darker months trigger this tiredness and low mood in so many people? There are several theories, none of them definitive, but most relate to the circadian clock—the roughly 24-hour oscillation in our behavior and biology that influences when we feel hungry, sleepy or active. This is no surprise given that the symptoms of the winter blues seem to be associated with shortening days and longer nights, and that bright light seems to have an anti-depressive effect. One idea is that some people’s eyes are less sensitive to light, so once light levels fall below a certain threshold, they struggle to synchronize their circadian clock with the outside world. Another is that some people produce more of a hormone called melatonin during winter than in summer—just like certain other mammals that show strong seasonal patterns in their behavior.

Read on for some of their solutions – maybe you’ll find some ideas if you suffer from SAD. I will say that I’ve found regular hikes and walks during the daylight hours in wintertime are key!!

Diann writes What I’m really wondering is whether or not its a good idea to edit out the blue shadows that often show up in winter shots when the sun is behind the camera. She offers this shot for comparison and discussion. She also has a bunch more photos of Ludington’s lighthouse.

Waterfall Wednesday: Fall at Interstate Falls

Interstate Falls, photo by Tom Mortenson

GoWaterfalling’s entry for Interstate Falls/Peterson Falls says (in part):

This waterfall is located on the Montreal River just a few miles upstream of Saxon Falls. The Montreal River forms part of the border between Michigan and Wisconsin so the falls is technically in both states, and can be visited from either state, but it is most easily visited from the Wisconsin side.

There seems to be some confusion about what this waterfall is named, or at least I am confused. Some sources refer to this as Peterson Falls, and the sign on the highway says “Peterson Falls”. However others say that this falls is Interstate Falls and that Peterson Falls is a smaller waterfall upstream of Interstate Falls. I have decided to go with Peterson Falls until I learn otherwise.

Read on for directions & more info.

View the photo background big and see more in Tom’s Upper Michigan slideshow.

More waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures and more Fall Wallpaper!

Waterfall Wednesday: Spray Falls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Spray Falls, photo by James Eye View Photography

The excellent GoWaterfalling website has an entry for Spray Falls that says in part:

Spray Falls is the remotest, and perhaps the most impressive of the several waterfalls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The 70′ waterfall plunges over the cliffs at Pictured Rocks and lands directly in Lake Superior.

The falls is right on the edge of the cliffs, and the creek has not cut back into the cliffs at all, so it is impossible to view the falls from the front unless you are on the water. The cliffs are sheer for miles in both directions, so there is no way to get near the base of the falls without a watercraft. Lake Superior is too cold for swimming. :)

The Lakeshore Trail passes right over the top of the falls, and you can get right to the brink of the falls. Be careful because the cliffs are undercut and unsafe in many places. About 1/4 mile east of the falls there is a safe lookout point from which you can get a nice, but distant, side view of the falls. There is a sign marking the lookout.

Read on for more including tips on hiking there and other nearby waterfalls. The easiest way to visit is to take the Pictured Rocks Cruise from Munising.

View the photo big as a waterfall, see more in his The Great Lakes slideshow, and follow James Eye View Photography on Facebook!


Root Beer Thunder

Upper Tahquamenon Falls, photo by Erin Bartels

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park page says that the Upper Tahquamenon Falls are one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. At more than 200 feet across with a drop of nearly 50 feet, the falls have a flow rate that can exceed 50,000 gallons per second!

View the photo background bigtacular, see more in Erin’s slideshow and check out Tahquamenon Falls: Take 4 on her blog for some details about her latest visit.

Return to Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls [Summer 2015], photo by Eric Hackney

I’ve profiled Rainbow Falls and the other waterfalls of the Black River Scenic Byway on Michigan in Pictures, but my friend Gary shared a super-cool video that I want to share with all of you! GoWaterfalling’s says that Rainbow Falls is:

…the last of the main falls on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior. This is an interesting waterfall. Unfortunately the best views are from the east side of the river and the observation deck is on the west side of the river. The hike from the west side trailhead is 1/2 mile. In my opinion the smarter thing to do is to drive down to end of the Black River Scenic Byway, cross the river and hike back up to the falls. A supsension bridge takes you across the river and a mile long, scenic, and mostly level trail, takes you back to the falls. The views are far superior. In low water you can wade across the river above the falls.

The waterfall has carved out a large pothole. Most of the river falls into the pothole, but some of the water, depending on how high the river is, goes around or jumps clear over this hole.

View the photo bigger, see many more in Eric’s 6-27-15: Black River Scenic Byway IV slideshow, and definitely follow Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook.

OK, now here’s that video from the Bluffs Inn of Bessemer – definitely no wading today!!!

Waterfall Wednesday: Paul’s Falls on the Sante River

Sante River, April 2017-19, photo by Invinci_bull

Paul’s Falls on the Sante River at Waterfalls of the Keweenaw begins:

Finding a sizeable river that flows east from Toivola/Twin Lakes is tough – finding a waterfall along one is even harder. Paul’s Falls on Sante River fulfills both of those criteria with an impressive drop down into a sandstone bowl. While much of the river is a meandering flow along a gentle rocky bed, here the water plunges over a lip of sandstone and pours down onto a steep slope of mossy rock. The river banks steepen to dangerous levels below the falls and create a descent cave on the north side.

Read on for directions, map, and more!

Nathan took this photo in April and writes “I decided to check out the remote and topographically intriguing Sante River gorge, deep in the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula. I wasn’t expecting to find Paul’s Falls at the end of it!”

View it bigger and see more inNathan’s Sante River Exploration – April 2017 slideshow.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Include Carp River Falls in Your Waterfall Weekend

Carp River, photo by Blondieyooper

How about we all pretend that Mother Nature is not dumping a bunch of wind & winter on us and instead plan a UP adventure??

Only in Your State shared a waterfall weekend itinerary for the Upper Peninsula that includes a super cool 3D Google Earth tour. The waterfalls include Tahquamenon Falls, Sable Falls & Miners Falls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Black River Falls & Laughing Whitefish Falls.

This waterfall is Carp River Falls about which Go Waterfalling says:

The Carp River makes a noisy, tumultuous journey through Marquette county on its way to Lake Superior. The final 5 miles of the river from Carp Lake to Lake Superior drops over 600 feet and there are long stretches of rapids, white water, and many small falls. At Carp River Falls the river drops over 30 feet while taking a sharp curve.

Reaching this waterfall is not easy, and getting a good view of it requires a precarious climb into and out of the gorge. From Morgan Falls you can cross Morgan Creek above the falls (there is a crude bridge) and follow a rough trail upstream along the banks of the Carp River for about 1/2 mile. You will see and hear lots of white water. The trail goes high above the river when you reach the falls, and there are no good views from the rim, so if you really want to see it, you need to climb down, and then back up.

There are many rapids and smaller falls both above and below the main falls. You could spend a lot of time here trying to see all of them.

Blondieyooper took this photo back in May of 2009, and you can see her daughter to the left. View the photo on Flickr and see more in her very seasonally appropriate Green slideshow.