High and Dry in the Leland Harbor

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High and Dry, photo by Mark Smith

Here’s a cool shot by Mark Smith of the Leland, Michigan harbor mouth that has become choked with sand through the actions of Lake Michigan. The spot where he’s standing is normally 10 feet deep, effectively blocking access to the harbor. Despite federal responsibility for the harbor, things were looking dire as no federal funds were forthcoming for a project that usually costs over $150,000.

The story has a happy ending as the harbor is buying their own dredge – click that link to read more on Leelanau.com.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in Mark’s Leland slideshow.

 

Hard Luck Lights: Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse

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Grand Island Lighthouse, photo by Steve Nowakowski

Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light shares the story of one of Michigan’s hard-luck lighthouses, the Grand Island East Channel LightWork began in 1867 with the the clearing of a sandy peninsula on the southeast shore of the island:

As a result of the chosen site being both on low ground and close to the water’s edge, a considerable amount of cribbing was installed along the shore line to help stave-off erosion and undermining of the station’s foundation. Plans for the station building called-out a typical “schoolhouse” style combination dwelling and tower similar to that used frequently throughout the lakes. However, in order to minimize cost the building was to be of timber frame construction with wood siding, as opposed to the more common brick or stone materials used in such structures elsewhere. Painted white to increase its value as a daymark, the 1 ½ story dwelling incorporated a forty-five foot tower its southern end, and was outfitted with an oil-fired steamer lens with a focal plane of 49 feet.

…The combination of a wooden structure in such an exposed location, and its location on the low sandy area close to the water’s edge created an ongoing maintenance nightmare for the district engineers, with the station listed as one at which considerable repairs were taken every year for the following thirty years.

…Without any care throughout the years, the structure deteriorated rapidly. Without regular scraping and repainting, the once bright white structure had turned a dismal driftwood gray, and the cribs installed a hundred years previously had disintegrated completely, with the waters of Munising Bay lapping directly at the stones of the structure’s foundation.

Read on for much more including efforts that stabilized this structure and the lighthouses that replaced it after decommissioning in 1908.

View Steve’s photo background big and see more in his 2016 Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse slideshow.

More Michigan lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!

Winter at Tahquamenon Falls

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Winter at Tahquamenon Falls, photo by Ali Majdfar

Beautiful shot from Michigan’s largest waterfall, Tahquamenon Falls. Click that link for more – the next photo down is the same angle without ice & snow!

View Ali’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow. (warning – there’s a couple of AMAZING bug closeups in there too!)

Saxon Falls on the Montreal River

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Saxon Falls on the Montreal River, photo by Marty Hogan

GoWaterfalling’s page on Saxon Falls says (in part):

Saxon Falls is located on the Montreal River just a few miles upstream of Superior Falls, about 10 miles west of Ironwood. The Montreal River forms part of the border between Michigan and Wisconsin so the falls is technically in both states. It can be visited from either side, but both require a bit of work.

Like Superior Falls there is a dam and power plant here and the water is diverted. Unlike Superior Falls there is no visitor friendly viewing area for the falls. The falls are large and complicated. I visited the Wisconsin side where trees obscure most views of the falls. There are more drops than the one pictured. This is the upper drop. The lower drop is best seen from the Michigan side.

Read on for visiting tips!

View Marty’s photo background bigilicious and see more in his 2016 October Photo Trip slideshow. Seriously, do it – some awesome photos there!

Good morning from Bond Falls

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Good morning from Bond Falls….Burrrrr, photo by Joe Garza

View Joe’s photo bigger and see more at JMG Photography on Facebook.

More Bond Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Lower Silver Falls

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Lower Silver Falls, photo by Tom Mortenson

GoWaterfalling’s page on Lower Silver Falls says:

Lower Silver Falls is located in Michigan’s Baraga county on the Silver River. The Silver River has many drops, and they are lumped together into the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls. The Lower Falls are not particularly impressive but they are very easy to visit.

The falls consists of two chutes where the river is constricted to a narrow channel. The second is the larger of the two, and the river drops about 15 feet in a thirty foot stretch while taking a turn.

Head over to GoWaterfalling to read about their big brother upstream, the Upper Silver River Falls!

View Tom’s photo from early October background big and see more in his Upper Michigan slideshow.

Lions in the Sky: The 2016 Leonid Meteor Shower

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Aurora Fireball, photo by Ross Ellet

Space.com’s page on How to Watch the Leonids says in part:

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year in November, when Earth’s orbit crosses the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The comet makes its way around the sun every 33.3 years, leaving a trail of dust rubble in its wake. When Earth’s orbit crosses this trail of debris, pieces of the comet fall toward the planet’s surface. Drag, or air resistance, in Earth’s atmosphere cause the comet’s crumbs to heat up and ignite into burning balls of fire called meteors.

…The Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night of Thursday, Nov. 17, and early the following morning. Skywatchers might be able to see some meteors as early as Sunday, Nov. 13. However, with a full supermoon slated to rise Monday, Nov. 14, moonlight will likely outshine most meteors, rendering them difficult to see.

But don’t feel bummed if you don’t spot any of the early meteors. The Leonids will continue to graze the night sky until Nov. 21. At this point, the waning moon will be at its third quarter, meaning only half of the moon’s face will illuminate the sky. With less of the moon’s natural light obstructing the view, skywatchers who were unable to see the meteor shower at first will still have a chance to catch the last Leonid meteors.

Ross took this photo in late September of 2014 and writes:

The sky was cloudy most of the night, but at 3:30am there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We made our way to the lakeshore and sure enough the northern lights were dim on the northern horizon. At one point you could hear the howl of a distant wolf pack while the northern lights were out. Then moments later a slow move fireball flashed across the sky. It lasted a couple seconds and the brightness pulsed as it moved through the atmosphere. After that the aurora faded, but several more meteors (some very bright) streaked above us.

View it background bigtacular and see more in his Porcupine Mtns slideshow, and definitely check out his website, Ross Ellet’s Weather & Photography for more!!

PS: Some of the best northern lights on the year happen in November so be sure to keep an eye on the skies!