Big Red, White Snow & Blue Ice

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!

Earth Wind … and Snow

Earth Wind and Snow

Earth Wind and Snow, photo by Beth

One of the lesser known bands of the 70s…

View Beth’s photo from the beach at Holland background bigtacular and see more in her Winter slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Tulip Time in Holland

Yellow Tulips
Yellow Tulips, photo by srab44_2000

Holland’s annual celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, the Tulip Time Festival, starts Friday May 4th and runs through May 11th. While last year’s crazy March heatwave had tulips blooming in mid-April, tulips have been in the slow lane in 2013 due to a cool spring. The good news according to meteorologist Bill Steffen is that a well-timed warmup should have tulips in near perfect bloom this year.

Check this photo out background bigtacular and see more in E. Benson’s Tulip Time Festival 05/2009 slideshow.

More tulips and more Holland on Michigan in Pictures.

Locally Known as “the Bowl”

Locally Known as "the Bowl"

Locally Known as “the Bowl”, photo by karstenphoto

EDIT: Wow I really messed this one up, sleepily citing an article that gave the dune’s age in the millions of years. Thanks to Tom Burrows for the catch. Let’s see if this information on coastal dunes from the DNR makes more sense:

Michigan’s glacial history provides an explanation for the formation of dunes. The Great Lakes dune complex is relatively young, in terms of geological time. As recently as 16,000 years ago, Michigan was covered with glacial ice thousands of feet thick. This glacial ice contained a mix of boulders, cobbles, sand, and clay. During glacial melting, this deposit was left and is known as glacial drift.

This glacial drift is the source of sand in most of Michigan’s dunes. The sands were either eroded from glacial drift along the coast by wave activity or eroded from inland deposits and carried by rivers and streams. Only the hardest, smallest, and least soluble sand grains were moved. Waves and currents eventually moved these tiny rocks inland, creating beaches along the Great Lakes shoreline.

…Blowouts are saddle shaped or U shaped (parabolic) depressions in a stabilized sand dune, caused by the local destabilization of the dune sands. Blowouts, which originate on the summit or windward face of a dune, are often rapidly formed by the wind, creating narrow channels and exposing plant roots. Blowouts can create interruptions in the shape of parallel dunes that may result in deeply carved indentions called parabolic dunes. It is the combination of interwoven parallel dune ridges and U shaped depressions, including parabolic dunes, that characterizes the classic dunes from Indiana, northward to Ludington, in Michigan.

Awesome Michigan wrote a little about The Bowl at Holland saying:

The Bowl is an gigantic sand bowl, resembling a sort of concave desert. Along with the other dunes and Lake Michigan itself, The Bowl was carved out of the earth by glaciers millions of years ago and was likely a small lake before drying up. Standing at the center of The Bowl and being surrounded on all sides by enormous walls of sand is quite breathtaking. The landscape is truly like no other. This awesome sight alone makes a trip to Laketown a summer necessity and a great, relaxing place to bring friends and family.

You can also check in there on Foursquare. Here’s another shot from the bowl from all the way back in 2007. Amazing to me how long Michigan in Pictures has endured – thank you all for staying with me!

Check Stephen’s photo out big as the Bowl and see this and many more in his FILM! slideshow.

More dunes on Michigan in Pictures.