A Cold Drink

A Cold Drink by Mark Smith

A Cold Drink by Mark Smith

Mark captured this shot of Lake Michigan in the village of Leland looking mighty chill! See his latest at downstreamer on Flickr.

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Happy 50th Birthday, Sleeping Bear Dunes

via leelanau.com…

The Big Sweep by Mark Smith

The Big Sweep by Mark Smith

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was officially authorized on October 21, 1970 making today the 50th birthday of Michigan’s most visited national park. Our Sleeping Bear Dunes History page says in part:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was established by Act of Congress October 21, 1970. Public Law 91-479 states, “…the Congress finds that certain outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena, exist along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan and on certain nearby islands in Benzie and Leelanau Counties, Michigan, and that such features ought to be preserved in their natural setting and protected from developments and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area.” The Congress also directed that “…the Secretary (of the Interior) shall administer and protect Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in a manner which provides for recreational opportunities consistent with the maximum protection of the natural environment within the area.”

…The Lakeshore mission is to preserve outstanding natural features including forests, beaches, dunes and ancient glacial phenomena along 100 km (64 miles) of Lake Michigan shoreline, in order to perpetuate the natural setting for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, and to protect it from developments and inappropriate uses that would destroy its scenic beauty, scientific and recreational value.

I know that there’s few people in Leelanau who would disagree that the park has helped to maximally protect our area’s incredible natural beauty with over 60 miles of shoreline open & accessible to all as well as miles of forest, dune & farmland. Head over to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Facebook page for all kinds of 50th Anniversary fun!

Mark took this photo back in 2018. See lots more in his Sleeping Bear/Glen Arbor gallery on Flickr!

More from the Sleeping Bear on Michigan in Pictures!

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Big Red & Lunar Earthshine

Evening Lunar Earthshine by Kevin

Evening Lunar Earthshine by Kevin

Our friends at EarthSky explain that lunar earthshine happens:

When you look at a crescent moon shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you can sometimes see not only the bright crescent of the moon, but also the rest of the moon as a dark disk. That pale glow on the unlit part of a crescent moon is light reflected from Earth. It’s called earthshine.

To understand earthshine, remember that the moon is globe, just as Earth is, and that the globe of the moon is always half-illuminated by sunlight. When we see a crescent moon in the west after sunset, or in the east before dawn, we’re seeing just a sliver of the moon’s lighted half.

Now think about seeing a full moon from Earth’s surface. Bright moonlight can illuminate an earthly landscape on nights when the moon is full.

Likewise, whenever we see a crescent moon, a nearly full Earth appears in the moon’s night sky. The full Earth illuminates the lunar landscape. And that is earthshine. It’s light from the nearly full Earth shining on the moon.

Read more at EarthSky.

Kevin captured the crescent moon hanging in the western sky over the “Big Red” Lighthouse at Holland State Park. See more in his gallery The Moon on Flickr.

More of and about the moon on Michigan in Pictures!

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Night Sky & Aurora from Empire Beach

Night Sky from Empire Beach by Imagination Works

Night Sky from Empire Beach by Nicholas McCreedy

The NASA/NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G2 (Moderate) Storm Watch for September 28-29th. This means that folks in Michigan, particularly in the northern half, have a solid chance to see the northern lights!

Nicholas shared some tasty photos of the Northern Lights from Empire Beach in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Click to see them in the Northern Lights/Skies of Leelanau County NW Michigan group on Facebook & you can follow him at Imagination Works on Facebook as well!

Dig into our posts about the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) on Michigan in Pictures for all kinds of tips & science behind this beautiful phenomen!

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Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer 2016 by Scott Glenn

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the autumnal equinox arrives tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22 at 9:31 AM:

The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length. (See more about this below.)

During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line. When the Sun crosses the equator from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox.

Scott took this photo on the final day of the summer of 2016 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse. See more in his massive Lighthouses gallery on Flickr.

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Remembering Greg Reisig, a champion of the Great Lakes

A Changeable Day on the Lake by Mark Smith

A Changeable Day on the Lake by Mark Smith

This week I lost a friend & mentor, Greg Reisig. Greg was my publisher back in the 90s when I wrote for his Lake Country Gazette out of Elk Rapids. He was a man with an amazingly gentle soul who could nonetheless be fierce & determined in defense of Michigan’s environment. Bill Latka of Oil & Water Don’t Mix penned a great tribute to Greg, who was a  board member of that organization & the co-chair of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC):

Since his early days as an environmental journalist and then for decades as a key protector of trees, water, and air for all of northern Michigan with NMEAC, Greg was a fearless yet gentle champion for the environment.

NMEAC has set up an endowment fund to create The Greg Reisig Prize for Environmental Journalism to celebrate his accomplishments. If you value the work that Oil & Water Don’t Mix is doing, you should know that Greg was a key part of it. I invite you to contribute to fund the award so that future generations will know how much he made a difference every day.

His support of the campaign to shut down Line 5 brought a kind focus and keen sense of optimism for the work that kept us all going. He will be dearly missed.

Amen.

Mark took this photo last October at the the Wilcox-Palmer-Shah Preserve just north of Elk Rapids. More from Mark at downstreamer on Flickr.

Island Dreams … North Manitou

via leelanau.com…

Clouds over North Manitou Island by Mary Westbrook

Here’s a simply stunning shot of North Manitou Island off the Leelanau Peninsula at the beginning of August.  Leelanau.com says that North Manitou Island:

…is managed as wilderness with the exception of a 27 acre area around the Village. Visiting the island is a primitive experience emphasizing solitude, a feeling of self-reliance and a sense of exploration. The primary visitor activities are backpacking and camping. Travel in the wilderness area is by foot only. Power on the island is provided by a photovoltaic array located in the Village.

North Manitou Island is 7-3/4 miles long by 4-1/4 miles wide and has 20 miles of shoreline. The topography varies considerably on the island from low, sandy, open dune country on the southeast side grades to the high sand hills and blowout dunes on the southwest side of the island.

I’ll add that it’s a super cool place to visit!

Head over to the Traverse Area Camera Club on Facebook for more photos by Mary from an amazing day on Lake Michigan! More Michigan islands on Michigan in Pictures.

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Beautiful Day at Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Saugatuck Dunes State Park by Terry Zweering

Saugatuck Dunes State Park by Terry Zweering

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers:

…2.5 miles of secluded Lake Michigan shoreline and 1,000 acres of steep slopes, rolling hills and fresh water coastal dunes more than 200 feet tall. The beach is a two-thirds mile hike from the picnic parking area.

The park’s major attraction are the long sandy beach and the 300-acre natural area, which contains a coastal dune system containing three endangered plant species. Nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers and hikers are the predominant day users.

The park, located in Allegan County, is relatively undeveloped. The land was acquired in 1971 from the Augustinian Order, who used the buildings as a seminary. When the state took ownership, the structures were used as a prison and state police offices.

More from the DNR & also check out the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance for more on the natural & human history as well as species found here.

Terry says that this is one of her favorite places to hike and hang out. See lots more pics in her Saugatuck Dunes album on Flickr.

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Ride the Wave

Ride the Wave by Julie

Julie writes:

Sunday evening the winds picked up and we rode down to the pier and I watched this boat come from the harbor out the channel and head towards Petoskey north. He hit some huge waves coming in and I don’t know how he ever made it.

Here’s hoping he did and that you’re able to overcome the waves of 2020 as well!! See more in Julie’s Coronavirus Times 2020 album on Flickr.

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Dune Days at Sleeping Bear

Dune Days by Mark Smith

Mark took this beautiful photo a couple of summers ago on the Treat Farm Trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Guessing it looks much the same today, but you should check it out just to be sure! 😉

Head over to Mark’s Flickr for more & here’s the Park’s writeup on the trail:

The trail that leads from the corner of Norconk Road into the woods is about ½ mile long through the maple-beech forest and will take you to the Treat Farm. As you reach the top of the hill, the canopy of trees opens up to a view of the farmstead. A portion of the original barn has been rebuilt on the original foundation.

Visitors are drawn to this intriguing farmstead for several reasons. The trail leading up the slight incline from Norconk Road holds an allure of its own… it seems to beckon passers-by. It piques the curiosity by conjuring visions of what might be at its terminus. It is also one of the most beautiful areas for spring wildflowers in all of Michigan!

Click for trail map & check out more great Michigan trails on Michigan in Pictures.

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