The Night Before Christmas at the Ludington Light

Watch the Skies on Christmas Eve by Fire Fighter's Wife

Watch the Skies on Christmas Eve by Fire Fighter’s Wife

Beth shares a great sentiment for the holidays or any season: May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.

About this photo (which I’m still pretty sure is totally authentic) she writes: I wanted to do something I’ve never done and I couldn’t help myself. This year I was so inspired and thought it’d be great to bring out my Christmas album with a bang! This lead me to thinking, with a suggestion from a friend, to add a flying Santa sleigh to the moon. I debated back and forth but decided, it’s Christmas. Step out of the box and do something magical!

Indeed!! See more in her 25 Days of Christmas Gallery on Flickr & never grow up!!

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Father Christmas

Father Christmas by Marsha Morningstar

Father Christmas by Marsha Morningstar

I’d like to wish all of you a very happy holiday season, which includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Yule, Twelfth Night, St. Stephen’s Day, Festivus, New Year, and of course general good will and fortune.

If an inclusive wish of holiday cheer is in any way offensive to you, please remember the giving and loving that is the spirit of the holiday season. And also it never hurts to recall that Father Christmas himself has deep roots in the pagan midwinter feast with echos of the wild Hunt still seen in his famous sleigh ride across the sky.

Marsha took this photo back in 2014 at the Holly Dickens Festival. Head over to her Flickr for the latest!

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Waterfallish Wednesday: Seasons Greetings from Fishtown

via Leelanau.com…

Flowing All Night Long by Mark Smith

Flowing all night long by Mark Smith

While this dam isn’t an actual waterfall, I’m going to overlook it due to seasonal appropriateness. In their excellent overview of the history of Fishtown in Leland, the Glen Arbor Sun shares:

Fishtown is located where there once was a natural fish ladder on these traditional Native American fishing grounds. It is one of only few commercial fishing villages still operating today in Michigan. The Native Americans called this spot Mishi-me-go-bing, or alternatively Che-ma-go-bing or Chi-mak-a-ping, meaning “the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor.”

French Canadian millwright, Antoine Manseau, along with his family, are thought to be among some of the first whites to settle here. They came from North Manitou Island in 1853. The following year Manseau and his family, along with John Miller, built the dam at Fishtown. It raised the water level in the river and in Lake Leelanau by as much as an astonishing 12 feet. Since the dam prevented boat traffic from going back and forth in their daily business, launches were, and still are provided on both sides of the dam.

Lots more in the Sun. You can learn more about the history of the dam from Fishtown Preservation.

Mark took this photo a week ago. See more in his Leland gallery & view and purchase his work at Leelanau Landscapes.

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Seeing Santa in Michigan

Do we have time for a selfie? by Tom Clark

Do we have time for a selfie? by Tom Clark

If your holiday plans include a visit with Santa, you can see where to catch his courtesy the West Michigan Tourist Association, the Metro Detroit Little Guide, and of course if you’re near the UP, a visit to Christmas, Michigan is an option. Have a favorite Santa spot? Let us know in the comments.

Tom took this back in 2015 at Bay City’s 2nd annual “Santa Claus for the Cause” event. No word on if the event will return post-pandemic, but here’s hoping because it seemed like a really cool idea! See more in Tom’s Whimsical Things gallery on Flickr & view and purchase prints on his website.

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Approaching Storm: the 1225 Polar Express

Approaching Storm by Charles Bonham

Charles caught this shot of another photographer shooting the famous 1225 Polar Express, The 1225 is housed at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso where every year it takes folks on North Pole Express rides during the holiday season. Wikipedia has the story of how the Pere Marquette 1225 locomotive became the Polar Express:

Retired from service in 1951, 1225 was sent to scrap, in New Buffalo, Michigan. In 1955, Michigan State University Trustee, Forest Akers was asked by C&O Chairman Cyrus Eaton if the University would be interested in having a steam locomotive (Eaton did not want to scrap the engines but was having a hard time finding places that would accept them) so that engineering students would have a piece of real equipment to study. Forest Akers thought it a good idea and proposed the idea to University President John Hannah. John Hannah accepted the gift of the locomotive.

When he told the Dean of the College of Engineering about the gift, the Dean said that Engineering was not interested in an obsolete locomotive. John Hannah then called up Dr. Rollin Baker, director of the MSU Museum and told him that he was getting a locomotive. The C&O then instructed the yardmaster at New Buffalo to send an engine to the Wyoming Shops for a cosmetic restoration and repainting with the name Chesapeake and Ohio on the side. The 1225 was the last engine in the line, i.e. easiest to get out. It had nothing to do with the number representing Christmas Day. Baker received the gift of the locomotive in 1957 when it was brought to campus. The locomotive remained on static display near Spartan Stadium on the Michigan State campus in East Lansing, Michigan for a decade.

 

While on display, a child by the name of Chris Van Allsburg used to stop by the locomotive on football weekends, on his way to the game with his father. He later stated that the engine was the inspiration for the story, Polar Express.

Lots more  information about riding the train and the rest of their collection at the Steam Railroading Institute and more about the book right here!

View Charles’ photo bigger on Flickr and see more in his Steam Engine, Railroad Photos album.

The Odd Couple

the-odd-couple

The Odd Couple, photo by Matt Burrows

I hope that you have the day off today. If not, I hope you’re doing better than the reindeer who’s missing his horn.

About the photo Matt writes:

Taken with an iPhone 3GS (ShakeItPhoto app). This was just as it appears in the basement of a Christmas party my wife and I attended. This very well could be the photo Santa points to whenever one of the reindeer refuses to oblige with his commands. Tis the season?

View it background big and see more in his Most Interesting slideshow.

Bay City Santa Attack!

Santa Attack

Santa Attack!, photo by Tom Clark

The annual Santa Claus for the Cause in Bay City takes place next Thursday (December 15) from 5-10 PM. It’s a pub crawl and just $10 gets you a Santa Suit and supports local charities.

View Tom’s photo bigger, see more in his whimsical things slideshow, and follow him at TAC Photography on Facebook.

Christmas Memories

Christmas Memories

Christmas Memories, photo by Richard Deming Photography

Here’s hoping that whatever holiday you are celebrating this season is wonderful. Thanks everyone for being a part of Michigan in Pictures!

View Richard’s photo bigger and see more in his Christmas Time 2010 slideshow.

Santa Claus for the Cause in Bay City

Bay City Santa Claus for the Cause

Santas invade Midland Street 2015, photo by Tom Clark

Tom took this shot of the assembled mob of Santas at the 2nd annual “Santa Claus for the Cause” event last Thursday (Dec 17) in Bay City. They raised over $15,000 for a bunch of worthy charities in Bay City with sales of Santa suits. More about the event from mLive – I’ll try and give you an early heads up for this next year too!

You can view the photo bigger and see more in the gallery from the Santa Parade on his website – follow him on Facebook for more!

Michigan White Christmas Watch

Christmas Day Snowfall

“Winter Blues” Rural Michigan Countryside, photo by John McCormick

Editor’s Note: I inadvertently re-blogged a barn photo by John that I posted last year. This one’s a beauty too though!!

After a promising start, the Great Lakes snow machine has shut down leaving us to wonder if a white Christmas is on the horizon. mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa seeks to answer that as he looks at three storms headed our way:

The first storm is mostly a rain maker for most of Michigan. As the colder air moves in this Tuesday and Wednesday, some accumulating snow will occur in the U.P. and far northern Lower Michigan. It looks like points north of Gaylord, and into the U.P. will pick up a few inches of snow… Storm number two will be a stronger, moisture laden storm. Right now and for several days in the past, the track has been projected to be to our south.

…The third storm I can see is still quite uncertain since it is about 10 days out into the future. Both of the most widely accepted weather computer models show a storm system dropping southeast out of Canada toward Christmas. This storm could bring a swath of light snow across Michigan around Christmas Day. There is still a lot of uncertainty on the exact track and amount of moisture. Definitely watch this storm with me, as it looks like it is Lower Michigan’s only chance of a white Christmas.

Here’s hoping!

John took this photo in Montcalm County last year on Christmas Day after an 8″ snowfall. View it bigger on Flickr, see more in his Winter slideshow and definitely join 30,000 other fans by tuning into Michigan Nut Photography – it’s one of the best follows on Facebook!

More snow on Michigan in Pictures.