Splash it up this Fourth of July!

Splash by Charles Bonham

Splash by Charles Bonham

The strangest (and hottest) Fourth of July weekend in recent memory is on tap with highs in the 90s forecast to blanket the state. Here’s hoping you can get into one of Michigan’s lovely lakes or rivers and stay cool (and safe) this weekend!

Charles took this on Tuesday at Higgins Lake. See much more on his Flickr!

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Chasing the Sunset

Untitled by Etzel Noble

Untitled by Etzel Noble

Here’s a stunning sunset shot from Saturday. See more in Etzel’s Chasing SunRise/Set gallery on Flickr & have a wonderful week!

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Brilliant Blues at Clear Lake

Clear Lake Montmorency County Michigan by Laurent Fady

Clear Lake by Laurent Fady

How about those blues??!! The Michigan DNR says that Clear Lake State Park in Montmorency County is located within the Mackinaw State Forest and:

…is a quiet, secluded retreat offering a sandy beach and a shallow swimming area that is ideal for children. A metal detecting area is available. The park encompasses two-thirds of the Clear Lake’s shoreline. A trail spur offers Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) riders a direct connection to the Atlanta ORV route and the Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail.

This State Forest is composed of the northern eight counties of the Lower Peninsula. The Atlanta area of this forest contains over 258,000 acres of state-owned public land. Most of the virgin timber was removed from the forest by the 1920s and has been replaced by second-growth forests managed by the DNR. Deer, elk, turkey and small game are plentiful in the Mackinaw State Forest …elk can be seen and heard throughout the area in the early morning and evening, especially during the spring and fall. Native elk disappeared from Michigan nearly 100 years ago, they were reintroduced in 1918 and have multiplied into a large herd.

Head over to the DNR for trail, camping & disc golf course information.

Laurent took this photo above Clear Lake the other day. Lots more pics in his Aerial Photos of Northern Michigan Gallery on Flickr.

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First Day on the Water

First Day on the Waterby John Trapp

First Day on the Water by John Trapp

John took this photo the other day and writes:

After a long, cold winter, that first day on the water is always a special thrill, no matter how many times you’ve experienced it. The maples are just leafing out and there may still be a nip in the air, but it’s time for some fishing!

Indeed! Check out more of John’s photos on his Flickr.

Stay at home order extended … and relaxed

Off Fishing by Julie

Off Fishing by Julie

Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay at home order until May 15th. mLive reports that some controversial restrictions have been removed:

Certain restrictions previously included under the state’s stay-at-home order, including bans on motorized boating, golf, and retail operations like garden centers, are lifted under the new order.

Landscapers, lawn-service companies, nurseries and bike repair shops will be allowed to return to work subject to strict social distancing, and big-box stores will be allowed to reopen closed sections of the store. Other retailers will now be allowed to reopen for curbside pick-up or delivery.

And residents will be allowed to travel between their residences again, although such travel is “strongly discouraged,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Public-facing businesses like gyms salons, bars and in-person dining at restaurants will remain off-limits under the order.

In a statement, Whitmer said social distancing remains the “best weapon” to defeat COVID-19, but said some of the restrictions put in place are being lifted because new COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling off.

More in mLive.

Julie took this photo of a boat out at sunrise last summer. See more in her UP of Michigan gallery on Flickr.

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Hoar frost on the Lake Leelanau Narrows

The Narrows, photo by Mark Smith

“The Narrows” refers to the narrow section between North & South Lake Leelanau between these two joined lakes. The bridge that Mark was standing on yesterday morning to take this stunning photo of the hoarfrost before it burned off was originally constructed in 1864, shortly after the founding of the village of Provemont (now Lake Leelanau) by French Canadian farmers.

We’re looking toward North Lake Leelanau in Mark’s photo. Check it out background bigtacular and follow him on Flickr for more!

PS: This post about hoar frost on Michigan in Pictures has an incredible shot of some willows. The photographer explained:

Hoar Frost (also called radiation frost or hoarfrost or pruina) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat is lost into the open sky causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air. A related effect is flood frost or frost pocket which occurs when air cooled by ground-level radiation losses travels downhill to form pockets of very cold air in depressions, valleys, and hollows. Hoar Frost can form in these areas even when the air temperature a few feet above ground is well above freezing. Nonetheless the frost itself will be at or below the freezing temperature of water.

Hoar Frost may have different names depending on where it forms. For example, air hoar is a deposit of hoar frost on objects above the surface, such as tree branches, plant stems, wires; surface hoar is formed by fern-like ice crystals directly deposited on snow, ice or already frozen surfaces; crevasse hoar consists of crystals that form in glacial crevasses where water vapor can accumulate under calm weather conditions; depth hoar refers to cup shaped, faceted crystals formed within dry snow, beneath the surface.

Michigan’s Loon Boom

Common Loon, photo by Ron DeHaan

So I sez to this loon, I’m seeing more & more loons every year…

At least I imagine something to that effect in the conversation above. I’ve definitely been noticing more loons again this summer. While loons are far from out of the woods, this is a real success story for conservation efforts that you can read about from the Michigan Loon Preservation Association.

The Michigan Nature Guy (Donald Drife) wrote about the rebound of Michigan’s loon population, saying in part:

No other bird signifies the wilds of northern Michigan better than the Common Loon (Gavia immer). When I wake up while camping along the shore of a northern lake and feel its eerie cry, I am connected to a primitive time and the primitive land.

…Common Loons breed in Michigan north of Saginaw. Our current population is 500-775 nesting pairs. While this is up from the estimated 220 pairs in the early 1980s, there are still thousands of suitable lakes without a nesting pair. Loons are diving birds with their legs placed toward their tails. This gives them trouble walking on land. It is rare to see a loon on land except at its nest. Loons return in early spring and it is not uncommon to see them on a lake the day after its ice melts. How they know that the water is open remains a mystery. Nests are built near the waterline and often touch the water. Nests are little more than bare ground when the eggs are laid. Both parents incubate the eggs and add grass, sedges, reeds, and other vegetation to the nest.

View the photo from kayaking in Lake Dubonnet near Interlochen bigger, see more in Ron’s slideshow, and follow Ron DeHaan Photography on Facebook.

Pink sky and Wiggins Lake

Pink sky and Wiggins Lake, photo by Tom Clark

View the photo bigger, see this photo of Wiggins Lake near Gladwin and more in Tom’s slideshow, and view & purchase photos from his website.

Summer Sunrise

Canoe & Dock at Sunrise, photo by bioprof52

Enjoy your weekend and the month of July!

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in bioprof52’s Bear Lake slideshow!

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Everything’s coming up rainbows!

Double Rainbow over the Narrows, photo by Elijah Allen

I guess one of the advantages of getting a lot of rain is that you also get a lot of rainbows! My friend Elijah took this on Monday night. The end of the bow is over the thin channel called “the Narrows” that joins North & South Lake Leelanau.

View Elijah’s photo bigger and follow him on Facebook for lots more cool shots!

Many more rainbows on Michigan in Pictures!