Textures of Sleeping Bear Dunes

Textures, photo by JamesEyeViewPhotography

View the photo from the Sleeping Bear Dunes background bigtacular, see more in James’ The Great Lakes slideshow, and follow James Eye View Photography on Facebook.

First Kiss

Let Me Have My First Kiss, photo by Julia Thomas

View this gorgeous July sunrise bigger and see more in Julia’s slideshow.

Ludington Harbor

Ludington Harbor, photo by Daniel L

View Daniel’s shot of the Ludington Marina (with the SS Badger at the back) bigger and see more in his Ludington slideshow.

Fat Cats & Big Dogs: Michigan’s Pet Obesity Problem

Walk this way, photo by Alissa Hankinson

Here’s an article from a couple of weeks ago about Michigan’s fat cats & dogs:

When it comes to paunchy pooches, Michigan ranks No. 3 nationwide behind only Minnesota and Nebraska, according to a newly released study.

Michigan felines fared better — but only slightly, with the state ranking No. 6 for overweight cats, behind Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Idaho, and Delaware.

…The Vancouver, Washington-based Banfield Pet Hospital, a nationwide chain, on Tuesday released its 2017 State of Pet Health report. It found that one in three pets that visited a Banfield hospital in 2016 was diagnosed as overweight or obese. In the past 10 years, Banfield, which operates many clinics inside of PetSmart stores, witnessed a 169% increase in overweight cats and a 158% increase in overweight dogs, the news release stated.

Michigan pets tipped the scale in comparison to their counterparts nationwide. Dr. Kirk Breuninger, the lead researcher on the study, said 38% of dogs in Michigan were overweight, compared to 30% nationally. Thirty-nine percent of Michigan cats were overweight, compared to a 33% national average.

View Alissa’s photo bigger and see more in her Dogs slideshow.

2017 Chicago to Mackinac Sailing Race

Absolute Chicago-Mackinac, photo by Jim Sorbie

When I wandered down to Fishtown in Leland yesterday afternoon, the number one topic of conversation was the annual Chicago to Mackinac sailing race. The 333-mile race from Chicago’s Navy Pier to Mackinac Island is kind of a big deal in communities along Michigan’s western coast like mine. I almost always know a couple of people who are racing, and after the race gets underway, you’ll hear a lot of speculation about the time that the boats will enter the Manitou Passage and then what time they’ll finish at Mackinac Island.

One of the things that’s particularly cool to me is that the Chicago to Mac is one of the few events that ties the whole community to the weather and condition of Lake Michigan. People will take boats out to watch them, or climb Pyramid Point or Whaleback for a view of the boats if they stream past when it’s light out. If you’re within distance of a community like Leland, Frankfort, Ludington, Elk Rapids or up near the Mackinac Bridge, consider checking out likely times boats will pass, grab the binoculars and see if you can get a glimpse of the racers.

Jim writes: Summer Flashback – We’re trying desperately to pass an old friend on the run in to the Island – no luck!

View his photo from near the end of the 2013 race photo background bigtacular and see more in his Mac Races (Chicago & Port Huron) slideshow.

PS: Definitely check out their 2016 Race Photo Contest winning photo!

Michpics Monday Message

Cliff Jumpers, photo by Julie

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
~William G. T. Shedd

Hi folks, this is Andy McFarlane, curator of Michigan in Pictures with a message so we’re all clear on what this blog is, and what it isn’t.

A little background: On Saturday I was not going to be a computer so I pre-scheduled a photo on Thursday, something I do fairly often. The photo was of some people jumping off the South Haven Pier, and coincidentally, someone fell (or jumped) off the pier late Friday night. They weren’t found, and the search has been called off as there’s no report of a missing person and it appears they may have gotten out of the water undetected.

While I did Saturday things not involving a computer, quite a large discussion unfolded on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page, centering on the illegality of jumping off that pier (something I didn’t know about) and the irresponsibility of sharing photos of people doing dangerous things. After a quick scan of the comments and messages I’d received, I decided to delete the entire post from Facebook and Michigan in Pictures because I was told that people were still processing grief and that I was being insensitive. That appears to not be the case, and I’m sorry that I didn’t have more time to figure out the whole story.

I guess we can have some of the discussion here (and on the Facebook post). You may recall a couple of years ago when there was a minor uproar over a photo my girlfriend took on the ice. I think that what I wrote then is still applicable, and I hope that all my readers can accept my policy for this blog because at the end of the day, it’s how it’s going to be:

I post pictures all the time where the photographers have taken calculated risks to see, photograph and experience things that you cannot see and photograph without an element of risk. I allow my son to surf in conditions that can be very dangerous, let my daughter climb trees high enough to probably kill her if she fell, and have hiked on trails where one slip meant death.

I suppose I should post disclaimers of “don’t be an idiot” with all photos of risky environments, but I think I will continue to assume that my readers will assess risks on their own, and I will continue to experience and share Michigan as I choose.

…Please understand that Michigan in Pictures is a place where I share amazing pictures that are shared with me. I’m not doing this as a public service to educate people on how to stay alive and safe. I do it for love of Michigan and to share the cool experiences it offers. I trust that my readers will exercise appropriate caution as they enjoy Michigan, and I’m 1000% sure that if folks get out and wisely play a little closer to the edge, they’ll have a happier and longer life.

Caveat emptor!

Caveat emptor will remain the policy of Michigan in Pictures, which I will again remind readers is my personal blog, not paid for by anyone and offered with the sole hope that you can find pictures and places that help you enjoy and appreciate Michigan more.

View Julie’s photo of a maniac kid jumping off the 15-foot high Black Rocks in Marquette bigger and see more in her UP of Michigan slideshow.

Note: Lake Superior is SUPER COLD. You might die from cold water drowning. Also note that 15′ is pretty high. That could hurt or even kill you if you dive off the wrong rock somewhere else. Also note that if it’s wavy you could be hurt by the waves.

The Pink Sands of Sand Point

Pink Sand at Sand Point, photo courtesy Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shared this photo yesterday saying:

Is this sand pink? Yes it Is! The pink sand on the beach can be found on the northeast corner of Sand Point at the very end of Sand Point Rd. The pink sand is actually garnet that has eroded from one of the sandstone layers of the Pictured Rock cliffs. The garnet then washed up at Sand Point and makes a unique pink sand beach.

View it bigger on Facebook, and visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for much more information on Sand Point and other amazing places in one of Michigan’s most amazing parks.

PS: Better follow PicturedRocksNL on Facebook too if you want to know about things like being able to watch a sunset from a lighthouse.