Sailor’s Delight on Crispell Lake

Sailors Delight

Sailor’s Delight, photo by Maury Page

Maury shares:

This photo was taken at Crispell Lake in Clarklake, MI on a calm, summer evening. I couldn’t capture the sun rays from where I was standing, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get out my new drone. There were only a couple boats on the lake and it was a nice quiet night. When I was capturing this scene it just so happened that a bird flew into the frame at the perfect moment.

Regarding Crispell Lake, Lake Link says:

Crispell Lake is located in Jackson County, Michigan. This lake is 82 acres in size. It is approximately 25 feet deep at its deepest point. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Black Crappie, Bluegill, Brown Trout, Grass Pickerel, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Walleye and Yellow Perch.

View Maury’s photo bigger,  check out more on his Instagram at mopage19 and also on his website.

More lakes on Michigan in Pictures.

Make your own rainbow

Otherside of the Tail

Otherside of the Tail, photo by John Rothwell

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life.
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.
-Lord Byron

View John’s photo background bigilicious and see more in his slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Frog Friday: You Looking at Me? Edition

Frog Friday You Looking at Me Edition

You Looking at Me?…, photo by Kevin Povenz

I had so much fun with Blackcaps: Blackberry or Black Raspberry last week that I had to try it again (spoiler alert: they were black raspberries).

What do you think, internets: is this a Northern green frog or a Michigan bullfrog? The only difference I know of between the two is that the green frog has a fold of skin from the eardrum down each side of the back.

View Kevin’s photo bigger and see more in his Animals slideshow.

More frogs on Michigan in Pictures.

Ephraim Shay, the Shay Locomotive & Shay Days

Mancelona Logging and a Shay Locomotive

Mancelona MI Logging and possible Shay Steam Engine, photo by Don, the Up North Memories Guy

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society holds their annual Shay Days celebration this Friday & Saturday (July 15-16, 2016). They share that inventor Ephraim Shay was likely retiring when he moved to town in 1888, but during his “retirement” he created over twelve miles of water mains to bring running water to the city, designed and constructed his unique Hexagon House, and started a railway known locally as the Hemlock Central.

They will celebrate his life and work with all kinds of engaging history including live steam model trains with the Michigan Small Scale Live Steamers group, games, historical photograph displays, and self-guided tours at the Shay Hexagon House. Shay himself will even be on hand Saturday so you can wish him a happy 177th birthday – click for all the details.

Shay Locomotives is an online book about the most widely used geared steam locomotives invented in Michigan lumber camps by Ephraim Shay. They share that Shay was born July 17, 1839 in Huron County, Ohio and received a better than average education for the day. After serving in the Union Army in the Civil War, Shay married his lifelong companion, Jane Henderson:

Shortly after their marriage, the Shays moved up to a farm in Ionia County, Michigan. Here Ephraim was known to have served as a clerk in the Township of Sebewa, 1867-1868. In 1869 the Shays were in the Township of Sunfield, Michigan and Ephraim was now operating a steam sawmill until 1873. Their son Lette was born here in January of 1870.

In 1873, with the tract of timber in Sunfield exhausted, the Shay family moved north to the Manistee river basin of Michigan and set up his sawmill and a general store near a lumber camp called Haring, newly settled only the year before.

Logging in the 1870’s was far different than today. Essentially once all the trees along the rivers were harvested and floated down river to a mill, logging operations were done in the winter month as loggers depended on snow cover to more easily move the cut timber on sleds drawn by horse or oxen. This method naturally depended on the weather systems and if there were a mild winter there would be a low yield of lumber from the mills.

…What Ephraim Shay had invented was a locomotive capable of delivering equal torque directly to wheels on both sides of the engine at the same time. This over came the dynamic force of his common rod engine whose normal pistons strokes jerked the engine side to side on each stroke, delivering excessive force to the wood rails, especially on the curves.

Read on for much more about one of the pioneers of modern transportation – includes some great old photos!

View Don’s postcard background big and click for more of his Shay Locomotive photos.

More trains on Michigan in Pictures.

Taking the plunge at Shining Cloud Falls

Shining Cloud Falls

Shining Cloud Falls, photo by Paul Wojtkowski

GoWaterfalling shares that Shining Cloud Falls is the largest and one of the wildest backcountry waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains State Park:

You will have to hike at least 5 miles in to see the falls, and another 5 miles to get back. If you are looking for a good long day hike this is a winner. In addition to the main falls there are also a number of smaller cascades, and whatever route you take there is lots of wilderness scenery.

The total drop of the falls is about 20′. The falls consists of two parts, a slide on the left, and a plunge on the right. In higher water the two parts merge, but in lower water the two parts are distinct, as can be seen in the photos on this page. Plunge falls are rare around Lake Superior.

…Downstream of Shining Cloud Falls are a number of unnamed falls and rapids. Several of these are larger than some of the named falls on the Little Carp River. The last drop near the Lake is known as Bathtub Falls. If you are hiking upstream to the falls, do not be fooled by the smaller drops. The trail follows the river closely, but it climbs away from the river before reaching Shining Cloud Falls. There is no sign marking Shining Cloud Falls, but it is very distinctive.

You can read on for more including directions. FYI, “plunge falls” are those where the water descends vertically without contact with the surface.

View Paul’s photo background bigtacular, see more in his slideshow, and view & purchase his photos in his Especially in Michigan gallery at

Lots more waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

The Last Stand at Kensington Metropark

The Last Stand

The Last Stand, photo by Jacqueline Verdun

Huron-Clinton Metroparks explains that Kensington Metropark – a place I used to visit with my grandmother a lot – is one of the most popular parks in Michigan:

Kensington’s 4,481 sprawling acres of wooded, hilly terrain surrounds beautiful Kent Lake, and is home to an abundance of wildlife and waterfowl. Kensington Metropark offers a multitude of recreational activities throughout the year, from biking and boating to cross-country skiing and tobogganing. In addition to striking sunrises and sunsets, 1,200-acre Kent Lake offers plenty of fun activities: swim at Martindale or Maple beaches, get soaked at the Splash ‘n’ Blast, or just spend the day fishing, boating or picnicking along the water. Take a tour of the lake aboard the Island Queen II in the summer and fall. Or, enjoy a winter day ice-fishing or skating on frozen lake waters.

This first-class recreational area also features an 18-hole regulation golf course, 27-hole disc course, nature center, farm center, beautiful picnic areas and scenic hiking and biking trails for hours of enjoyment. With two and a half million visitors every year Kensington Metropark is a favorite place to enjoy Michigan’s natural treasures.

More info, activities, and a map on their website.

View Jacqueline’s photo bigger, see more in her My Best Landscapes slideshow, and also check out her website for more photos.

More Michigan parks and more sunsets on Michigan in Pictures.

Northern Lights Rewind: July 11th Edition

Aurora Appears on Great Sand Bay

The Aurora Appears, photo by Eric Hackney

NOAA and the National Weather Service provide forecasts for the Northern Lights through the Space Weather Prediction Center. They have a Minor Watch in effect for this evening due to a “disturbance in the solar wind due to a recurrent positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) is likely to cause minor geomagnetic storming.”

Pretty sure that Obi-wan Kenobi or Yoda is monitoring the situation as well. If you’d like to up your chances of seeing the northern lights, definitely try stepping outside around 10:30 PM (or later) and taking a look up. Their Aurora Alert email is a great resource as well, delivering timely emails that let you know when conditions are right for the aurora

Eric took this photo one year ago today on Great Sand Bay way up on the northern shore of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula – could we get a repeat tonight?? View it bigger, see more from this night in his 7-11-15 Northern Lights III slideshow, and definitely follow Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook!

Much more about the northern lights on Michigan in Pictures!