A Tree in the Fog

A Tree in the Fog

A Tree in the Fog, photo by Joel Dinda

Joel took this photo on April 4, 2014 in Eaton County’s Roxand Township. View it background bigilicious and see more in his The Showcase slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Know your Michigan Counties: Kalkaska County

The Mountains of Kalkaska

The Mountains of Kalkaska, photo by Dale DeVries

The State of Michigan has 83 counties, and since I got a number of comments asking for more about our communities, I’ll try and profile them all … sooner or later. Here’s some information via Wikipedia about Kalkaska County, Michigan:

The first settler in Kalkaska County was an Englishman named William Copeland, who purchased land in the northwest corner of the county in 1855. The county was set off in 1840 and called Wabasee until 1843. The name Kalkaska is thought to be a Chippewa word meaning flat or burned-over country. An alternative theory is that this is a neologism or neonym created by Henry Schoolcraft, originally spelled Calcasca. Some theorists suggest this is word play. Schoolcraft’s family name had been Calcraft, and the Ks may have been added to make the name appear more like a Native American word.

Logging was the first important industry. The discovery of substantial deposits of oil and natural gas resulted in the construction of a processing plant by Shell Oil Company in 1973 and a major economic boom in the community.

Kalkaska Sand, the state soil of Michigan, was named after the county because of the large amounts deposited in the area from the glaciers in the Ice Age. Kalkaska County has over 80 lakes and 275 miles of streams and rivers. Much of the county is marshland. County elevation ranges from 595 feet (181 m) to about 1,246 feet. This makes it one of the more uneven counties in the Lower Peninsula.

The Pere Marquette State Forest covers much of the county. Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

The population was population 17,153 in the 2010 census and you can click to Wikipedia for more, visit the official Kalkaska County website, read about their big, annual event, the National Trout Festival (April) on Michigan in Pictures, and click to see Kalkaska County on a map!

Dale writes:

“With abundant snow cover yet and temperatures around 65 F, fog forms in almost white out conditions near large snow fields! This can lead to near zero visibility in a matter of seconds and makes for some amazing photographs!”

View his March 9th photo background bigilicious and see more in his massive Fern Ridge Pictures slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Another Day, Another Mass Shooting

Something in the Air

Something in the Air, photo by Brian Wolfe

Another day, another mass shooting – this time in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Beyond right and left, can we all agree that we need to figure out why we’re the only nation in the world who has this tragic problem and work on actually addressing this problem?

I’m guessing bolstering our gutted mental health system is a great place to start.

View Brian’s photo from Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park background big and see more in his Black & White slideshow.

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the mist, photo by Bill VanderMolen

Perhaps they’re waiting for the gorillas?

Here’s a shot from earlier in December, but Michigan is still just as misty and non-snowy as then.

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

More birds and more about sandhill cranes on Michigan in Pictures.

Badger in the Mist

Badger Heading Out

Ludingtons SP_0103, photo by Ron DeHaan

Here’s the S.S. Badger heading out for Wisconsin. I rode the Badger many times in my Junior & Senior year of high school (Go Wausau East Lumberjacks!) to get from Michigan to Wisconsin. It was such a pleasant way to cross Lake Michigan, and at the prices they charged there were a number of people who would do a round trip crossing, playing cribbage, drinking beer from a cooler and laughing as they enjoyed the ride.

View Ron’s photo bigger and see more cool shots from the Ludington area in his slideshow.

More ships & boats, more Ludington and more of the Badger (and badgers) on Michigan in Pictures.

Above the Fog at the Mackinac Bridge

Mighty Mac in Fog

Mighty Mac in the Fog, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Shawn writes that she crossed a very mysterious looking Mackinac Bridge on Sunday – no shortage of fog lately!

View the photo bigger on Facebook and see more & purchase prints in Lake Superior Photo’s Mackinac Bridge Gallery.

More fog & mist on Michigan in Pictures.

Shipwreck Saturday: The Wreck of the Minnehaha

Taking on Water

Taking on Water, photo by Aaron Springer

“She was built in 1880 [by Linn & Craig in Gibralter, Michigan] and has been unfortunate from the start. Two years ago [in 1891] she was wrecked near Detour [at the north end of Lake Huron], and remained on the rocks all winter, being abandoned to the underwriters, who finally rescued the wreck and sold it.”
~ Buffalo Evening News Monday, October 16, 1893

Historic Arcadia Michigan tells the tale of The Wreck of the Minnehaha:

In October of 1893, the steam barge Henry J. Johnson was towing the Minnehaha from Chicago bound for Point Edward at the south end of Lake Huron with 58,000 bushels of corn. At 7:30 PM on October 13, the two ships found themselves off Point Betsie facing 90 mile per hour gale force winds. They tried to find shelter behind the Manitou Islands, but at dawn the next day, they were still south of Sleeping Bear Point fighting high winds and waves to stay out of shallow water.

Captain Benniteau of the Johnson decided to turn the ships south and head to Frankfort, the nearest refuge. However, somewhere near Frankfort high waves crashed over the Minnehaha’s deck, smashed two hatch covers, and began filling the hold with water. William Parker, captain of the Minnehaha, realizing his ship was in serious trouble, sent up distress signals, released the tow lines, and headed for the beach. There was nothing the crew of the Johnson could do but avoid the same shallow water.

The Minnehaha ran aground about a quarter of a mile offshore between Burnham and Arcadia. To avoid the waves sweeping the decks, all but one member of the crew, who drowned trying to swim to shore, climbed into the ship’s rigging. As the ship was breaking up, the captain called to the crew to grab whatever would float and go over the side anyway. But only the captain made it to shore safely. One crew member made it to a pier, but was too tired to hold onto a pole used to try to pull him to safety.

Read on for much more including photos of the Minnehaha.

Check out Aaron’s photo bigger where he also has a pic of the wreck in calm water and see many more of his great photos of Lake Michigan.

More Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures!

Out of the fog

Walking the breakwater in the fog

Walking the breakwater in the fog, photo by Ann Fisher

View Ann’s photo of the Marquette breakwater background bigtacular and see more in her 2015 UP slideshow.

There’s more spring wallpaperfog & mist & Marquette on Michigan in Pictures.

Foggy Morning on Portage Lake and the Tyndall Effect

Foggy morning, photo by Jiqing Fan

Wikipedia says that Portage Lake is part of the Keweenaw Waterway, a partly natural, partly artificial waterway that cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula to provide access for shipping from Lake Superior. If you click the link you can get an aerial view.

View Jiqing Fan’s photo bigger and see more in his massive Houghton & UP MI slideshow. He writes:

Saw the fog on Lake Portage from my apartment window after I woke up today. I knew the potential this fog can bring so I darted down to the lake shore. But the fog was so heavy that the foliage on the other bank were completely blocked. Just when I was about to give up and head back for school, the fog started to break as the sun rises. And then the magic started to unfold before my eyes. Soon the fog lifted and fill the campus uphill, the entire campus was bathed in soft morning light and there were Tyndall effect everywhere! I can not think of a better way to start a day of work.

What’s the Tyndall effect you ask? The UC Davis ChemWiki explains that the Tyndall effect was identified by 19th Century Irish scientist John Tyndall.

Because a colloidal solution or substance (like fog) is made up of scattered particles (like dust and water in air), light cannot travel straight through. Rather, it collides with these micro-particles and scatters causing the effect of a visible light beam. This effect was observed and described by John Tyndall as the Tyndall Effect.

The Tyndall effect is an easy way of determining whether a mixture is colloidal or not. When light is shined through a true solution, the light passes cleanly through the solution, however when light is passed through a colloidal solution, the substance in the dispersed phases scatters the light in all directions, making it readily seen.

For example, light is not reflected when passing through water because it is not a colloid. It is however reflected in all directions when it passes through milk, which is colloidal. A second example is shining a flashlight into fog or smog; the beam of light can be easily seen because the fog is a colloid.

Yay science!

Amongst Lovely Things

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things. – Plato

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.
~Plato (photo by Jess Clifton)

Here’s hoping you have a chance this weekend to spend a little time amongst lovely things.

View Jess’s photo background big and see more in her Fabulous Fog slideshow.