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173316390006, photo by Steve Swartz

Just love this shot. It’s always good to remember that we get to go back to this before too long…

View Steve’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Vivitar slideshow.

More summer wallpaper and more camera fun on Michigan in Pictures.

Bad Ideas in Action

February 21, 2015

I need to provide a retraction of sorts for this post. While Enbridge Line 5 could carry the same corrosive tar sands of Keystone XL, it’s not a part of the XL network. It still most certainly could all the terrible impacts and remains a really bad idea.  More about Line 5 right here.

enbridge-pipeline-under-straits-of-mackinac

Broken Supports on the Straits Pipeline, photo courtesy National Wildlife Federation video

Here’s what we’re talking about when we talk about piping crude oil sludge under the Straits of Mackinac. It’s absolutely unfathomable to me how a politician could ever use “jobs” and “Keystone XL” in the same sentence except to say “Keystone XL could cost us tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Great Lakes if anything goes wrong.”

Eco Watch writes (in part):

This past July, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) conducted a diving expedition to obtain footage of aging oil pipelines strung across one of the most sensitive locations in the Great Lakes, and possibly the world: the Straits of Mackinac. Footage of these pipelines has never been released to the public until now.

The Straits of Mackinac pipelines, owned by Enbridge Energy, are 60-years-old and considered one of the greatest threats to the Great Lakes because of their age, location and the hazardous products they transport—including tar sands derived oil.

Click above to read more and watch the video or click here to watch it on YouTube. The dive footage starts at about 3 minutes, and at about 4 minutes in you can see drop camera footage from 200′ deep that shows unsupported pipeline hanging over the lake bed.

I know that some folks get upset when I wander into “politics” but I don’t even think this falls under politics. This falls under “companies using lobbying money & influence to do things that are really dangerous without proper safety controls.” You can clearly see from the video that this pipeline is an outdated and unsafe piece of junk, and the Great Lakes don’t belong to any company. In my opinion (which may be different from yours) it is incumbent on our elected officials to safeguard the Great Lakes for the economic benefit and enjoyment of us ALL.

PS: If the name Enbridge Energy sounds familiar, they’re the company that brought Michigan the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010.

PPS: (edit) The Jobs, Economy and the Great Lakes report by Michigan Sea Grant found that in 2009, more than 1.5 million Great Lakes-related jobs generated $62 billion in wages for the Great Lakes region. (report is linked at the right)

A Cold Calm

February 20, 2015

A Cold Calm

A Cold Calm, photo by Mark Miller

A scan of the Michigan mercury this morning shows a lot of record and near record low temps ranging from a balmy -10 in Grand Rapids to -24 in the Soo, -26 in Ann Arbor, -28 in Alpena, -29 in Port Huron and an eye-popping -34 in the “Icebox of the North” Pellston. I hope all of you find a way to stay warm this weekend!

View Mark’s photo from last Sunday in Empire bigger and see more in his slideshow.

PS: You can check out the view from Empire Bluff (upper left corner) right here on Michigan in Pictures.

This is me in my imagination

February 19, 2015

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Summertime 2, photo by Charles Bonham

This is me in my imagination this morning.

This is the reality. -2 in Detroit, -10 in Flint and an eye-freezing -23 in Iron Mountain. In fact, the only places I can see that are above zero are Manistee & Benton Harbor!

I’ll take “My Imagination” for $500 Alex…

Charles took this shot in Leland’s Fishtown. Check it out background big and see more in his Leland MI / Fishtown slideshow.

There’s more SUMMER (and more summer wallpaper) on Michigan in Pictures.

Big Red & Blue Ice

Reflections of a cold sunset, photo by Tony Reidsma

Here’s an incredible shot of Big Red aka the Holland Harbor Lighthouse. In his extensive article on the history of the Holland Harbor Light, Terry Pepper explains how the nickname came to be:

A Coast Guard crew arrived in Holland in 1956, and gave the combined fog signal building and lighthouse a fresh coat of bright red paint in order to conform to its “Red Right Return” standard, which called for all aids to navigation located on the right side of a harbor entrance to be red in coloration. Local residents thus began referring to the fifty year old structure as “Big Red,” a name which has stuck through the years. The Fourth Order lens was subsequently removed from the fog signal lantern in the late 1960’s, and replaced with a 250 mm Tidelands Signal acrylic optic.

With the fading of the Great Lakes passenger fleet, Holland Harbor had ceased to serve any real commercial traffic. With the station now serving only as a beacon to guide pleasure boats in and out of Lake Macatawa, the Coast Guard announced plans to abandon the old fog signal building to eliminate ongoing maintenance costs in 1972. Over the years, “Big Red” had become as much of an iconic symbol of tourist-centered Holland as tulips and windmills, and fearing the loss of their beloved landmark, the citizenry of Holland gathered together and circulated petitions in an attempt to save the historic structure. To this end, the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Commission was formed in 1974 to coordinate preservation and restoration efforts, and continues to manage the structure to this day.

View Tony’s photo big as Big Red on Facebook and see and purchase some of his work at imagesforyourwalls.com.  If you’re in an icy mood, consider attending the opening of his Frozen In Time exhibition at the Holland Arts Council from March 5 – April 18, 2015. The opening reception is March 5th, starting at 6pm.

More winter wallpaper and more lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures!

Frankfort Ice Cave

February 17, 2015

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Frankfort Ice Cave, photo by Sarah Hunt (oni_one_)

“Love lingers when the heart remembers to touch the light leaking from the soul.”
~R.M. Drake

Here’s a pretty incredible shot from Sunday in Frankfort Harbor.

Lots more great shots from outdoors in Michigan on Sarah’s Instagram. I’ll post this one and another shot bigger on the michpics Facebook.

In addition to being a pretty great photographer with a penchant for adventure, Sarah is an ambassador for Outdoor Bella, a community of strong women who are building strong relationships and lasting friendships and love to embrace the outdoors. She’s hosting a snowshoe hike meetup at 9:30am on Sunday, March 1st at the Sleeping Bear Point Trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, followed by lunch at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor following the hike. Get all the details right here.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, photo by Frank Wulfers

What can you say about last weekend’s weather? The Elkhart Truth reports:

An Arctic cold front gripped Michigan on Sunday, sending temperatures plunging to minus 27 in the Upper Peninsula and minus 22 in the northern Lower Peninsula and shattering at least five record lows for the date.

The deep freeze came with an easing of the snow and windy conditions that forced a number of Upper Peninsula roads to close Saturday. At 6 a.m., state police announced the reopening of U.S. 2 between Manistique and Rapid River and Michigan 35 between Lathrop and Perkins.

“Both of the roadways closed yesterday and throughout the night due to inclement weather where snow and high winds were causing whiteout conditions,” the state police Negaunee post said in a statement.

…Overnight low temperatures Sunday fell to minus 27 at Newberry in central upper Michigan, the National Weather Service said. It said the low reached minus 22 at Pellston in the northern Lower Peninsula, while Detroit’s low fell to minus 7.

Authorities report record lows were set for the date in Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids and Monroe and at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County’s Tittabawassee Township.

View Frank’s photo from Cross Village background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: Thanks to Moshe Kasher who appeared at the Winter Comedy Festival in Traverse City for the Hoth joke!

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