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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Spray Falls in the Pictured Rocks

Spray Falls by Michigan Nut Photography

Just can’t get enough of John’s photos from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Pictured Rocks’ Waterfall page says:

Located about 1.75 miles northeast of Chapel Beach.

Spray Falls plunges about 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior. This remote waterfall is best viewed from the water as there is limited viewing access from the North Country Scenic Trail (from the Chapel trailhead it’s a 9.6 mile round trip hike; from the Little Beaver trailhead, it’s just under 8 miles round trip.) The 1856 shipwreck “Superior” lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.

The waterfall varies in flow & it’s flowing pretty strongly right now. A great way to get there IRL is the Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises, but you can get the next best thing including an awesome video of Spray Falls on the Michigan Nut Photography Facebook page!

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Cool down at Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls by Greg Jarman

Horseshoe Falls by Greg Jarman

The premier resource for Michigan waterfalls is GoWaterfalling, and their entry for Horseshoe Falls in Munising says (in part):

Horseshoe Falls is a scenic, privately owned waterfall in Munising. There is an admission fee to visit the falls. It is spring fed, so it may be flowing when the other five falls in the area are not.

Horseshoe Falls is located in the middle of Munising, just a few blocks away from M-28 … It plunges about 20 feet, and then tumbles down a long series of cascades for another 20 feet or more. The waterfall is spring fed, so it may be running when the other nearby falls thin out in the summer months.

In addition to the falls there is a trout pond, where you can feed the fish.

You can read on for more info including other nearby waterfalls & see dozens more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Greg took this in mid-June. See lots more in his 2020 Upper Peninsula Road Trip album on Flickr & have a great week!

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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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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!

#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!!!