Sunrise #1,117 at Marquette’s Orehenge

Sunrise 1117 by Bugsy Sailor

Sunrise 1117 by Bugsy Sailor

On his Twitter, Michigan’s Sunrise King Bugsy Sailor shared a phenomenon that I’d never heard of – Orehenge! He writes: 

Twice a year, for a few days stretch, the sun rises down the center of the historic Marquette ore dock.

And oh boy, does the community loves it! Just as they should. But my introverted self, loving my mornings of solitude and meditation, has to overcome a lot of anxious energy to walk into a crowd during my most cherished time of the day.

Orehenge, as it’s affectionately called, falls in November and January, where the sun is really seen at sunrise. From my January data over three years, there is less than a 20% chance of seeing the sun at sunrise.

There’s more observations & photos of this very cool seasonal happening and the crowd that showed up @BugsySailor on Twitter. For sure check out his Twitter for more & if you’re low on Upper Peninsula swag, his UP Supply Co is a great source!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Holland gets high marks for quality of life

The Big Red by Ayman Haykal

The Big Red by Ayman Haykal

The Great Lakes Echo shares that Holland ranks first in quality of life for Michigan small cities:

This small city nestled off Lake Michigan ranks number one in the state for quality of life in “Best Small Cities in America,” a study published by WalletHub, a personal finance website that tracks financial and other trends. It is one of five measures the study used to rank the desirability of small cities. (The other measures are affordability, economic health, education and health, and safety.)

Quality of life was assessed by measures like average commute time, city walkability and number of bars, restaurants and cultural centers per capita.

Holland, Kalamazoo, Flint, Muskegon and Saginaw ranked in the top five of 39 small Michigan cities for the quality-of-life measure. The state’s lowest were Holt, Eastpointe, St. Clair Shores, Lincoln Park and Garden City.

You can read more in the Echo & see all the cities in the study at WalletHub. Also, Traverse City, Marquette, Petoskey – you weren’t in the study so continue thinking whatever you think about yourselves.

In all seriousness, “studies” like this are basically nonsense, but I’ll take any excuse for a banger photo of Big Red like this one! Ayman took this pic back in 2019. See more in their Lighthouses gallery on Flickr.

Lots more about Holland Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

It’s not going great for Michigan drivers

Downtown Detroit Driver by marsha morningstar

Downtown Detroit Driver by marsha morningstar

WXYZ-ABC Detroit reports that Michigan ranks as the 8th worst state to drive in:

The study looked at all states to see which were the most driver-friendly, and compared them across 31 key metrics, ranging from rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality and average gas prices.

Michigan came in 43rd, just behind Missouri and ahead of Colorado.

The state ranked 20th in share of rush-hour congestion, 19th in traffic fatality rates and car theft rate, 26th in road quality and 39th in auto maintenance costs.

Marsha took this back in 2014 in downtown Detroit and would like you to help explain how this happens at a 25 mph speed limit. Head over to her Flickr for the latest!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Winter’s smile

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Grand Haven Lighthouse & Pier by Chris Ahern Photography

Chris’s photo of the Grand Haven Lighthouse from last weekend really shows the power of winds off the Great Lakes. You can click the pic to follow him on Facebook, and also see his pics on Instagram and view & purchase prints & calendars on his website.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

MLK and the Garment of Destiny

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail, April 16, 1963

Today is the day America remembers civil rights giant Dr. Martin Luther King, and for me these words engraved on the north wall of the MLK Memorial in DC encapsulate both his work and the still incomplete journey to justice for every American, and for every person.

Are the conditions for justice for all better today than when Dr. King wrote those words? Unquestionably.

Are they as good as they can be? Of course not. As Flint, Benton Harbor, and other communities have shown, the drinkability of your water in Michigan depends in large part of the color of your skin. Three times as many Black Michiganders live in poverty and they face 7 years less lifespan on average, clearly demonstrating that a lot of the work that Dr. King championed still needs to be done.

For sure check out the Detroit March to Freedom of June 23, 1963 on Michigan in Pictures if you haven’t already. It was at the time the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history, with 125,000 marching down Woodward Avenue culminating in a speech by Dr. King at Cobo Hall that is recognized as his first delivery of the “I have a Dream” speech.

Rudy took this photo of graffiti in downtown Grand Rapids way back in 2009. See his latest on Flickr & Instagram.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Leland Blue

via Leelanau.com

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

Leland Blue Stone by Cortney Brenner

In last week’s post about an unidentified blue mineral discovered at the Adventure Mine on the Keweenaw Peninsula, I offered my personal theory that the color is due to the same reaction that created “Leland bluestones”. A couple people asked what the heck a Leland blue is, so here you go:

In the Glen Arbor Sun, Sandra Serra Bradshaw shares that Leland Bluestones were born over 100 years ago in the fires of the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company:

Between the years of 1870 to 1884, the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company operated an iron smelter north of the mouth of the river. They supplied the voracious furnace with ore from the Upper Peninsula. The charcoal they needed was made from local maple and beech timber that was produced in 14 beehive kilns that were kept near the smelting furnace. It produced up to an amazing 40 tons of iron per day. In 1884, the plant was sold to the Leland Lumber Co., which operated a sawmill on the site. Other sawmills and shingle mills operated in Leland during the years between 1885 through 1900.

Back then Leland was a smog-filled industrial town, the main industry of which was anchored by the iron company. The smelting industry failed because of large overhead costs and the lack of a good harbor in Leland. Interestingly, the remains of the industry, including heaps of slag, were dumped into the harbor and today, that has resulted in something as a precious collectible for many. As raw ore was heated, the desired iron ore was separated from various natural impurities. When those impurities cooled, it resulted in a stone-like slag. Hence the Leland Blue Stones were born!

The Leland Blue is a bit of a misleading title to this little man-made gem as it is the mix of blue glass with other chemicals — but this varying chemical medley can also cause the slag to appear in colors of purple, gray, or in shades of green. Today, people relish finding this slag material on the shores of Leland’s beaches. It is not only collectible as a stone, but also sought for as jewelry.

More in the Sun.

This sweet photo was taken by Cortney Brenner on the beach in Leland back in 2017. See more from Cortney on her Flickr!

PS: I promise no posts from Leelanau for at least the rest of the week!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Into the Icebox

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

Broken ice on Lake Michigan shoreline by Tom Clark

mLive shared yesterday that the coldest air of the season is blanketing Michigan right now, bringing icy temps & dangerously cold wind chills, according to the National Weather Service:

“The coldest air of the winter so far is surging into our area this evening,” according to the NWS meteorologists in the Grand Rapids office. “This is (going to) be the big story for the next 36 hours, how cold it will be. Wind chills will mostly be in the 0-degree to -10 degree range into Tuesday morning. Lows Sunday night will be (between) zero and 10 degrees, and tomorrow we have a secondary surge of even colder air coming in during the afternoon. That will limit our high temperature to the mid-teens.”

…Wind chills are expected to be especially brutal in the U.P. They could drop to 30 degrees below zero near the Wisconsin border tonight and into Monday, the NWS said.

This morning’s Michigan temperature map agrees with a toasty 18 degrees in Detroit dropping to 10 in Mt. Pleasant, 8 by the Mackinac Bridge, -9 in Marquette & all the way down to -15 in Ironwood at the western edge of the Upper Peninsula. Bundle up kids!! 

Tom took this back in February of 2018 near Mackinac City. See more in his Michigan Winter gallery on Flickr and view & purchase his work on his website.

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Before the Plows Come By

Before the Plows Come By by Ann Fisher

Before the Plows Come By by Ann Fisher

Ann captured a nice winter mood in this photo from a late December evening in Marquette. See more in her 2021 UP gallery on Flickr & thanks to all the hardworking plow drivers around the state!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

Woodland Studies with Rodney Martin

via Leelanau.com

Gathering Place by Rodney Martin

Gathering Place by Rodney Martin

This Saturday Woodland Studies, a small exhibition of black and white photographs by Grand Rapids photographer Rodney Martin, will be available for viewing at the Glen Arbor Arts Center. Rodney is a photographer who has been featured in the past on Michigan in Pictures, and we’re excited to see his latest work! The GAAA writes:

Martin focuses his lens on the landscape. For the images in Woodland Studies, he zeros in on rivers, woods and orchards in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. His images were created in all four seasons; but they are related by the quiet and solitude he frames. There is little evidence of human habitation in these scenes. Instead, the images are studies of shadow and texture, shades of gray, and the deep and refreshing beauty of places off the beaten path.

Woodland Studies can be viewed in the GAAC Lobby Gallery or on the GAAC website starting this Saturday (January 7th).

Regarding this photo, Rodney shares:

I came across this gathering of roots three years ago when visiting the Teichner Preserve on Lime Lake near Maple City, Michigan. I returned four or five times over the past three years looking for the right angle to get the compelling image I wanted. I finally found it on my second visit this year. I call the image “Gathering Place.” The image speaks to me about community. I have been asked whether I warped this image to make the trees spread out from the middle. I did not. Nature did. The trees on the very left of the image hang out over Lime Lake. I suspect that in a few years the trees on the left will succumb to the waves that eat away at the shoreline and then fall into the lake.

Head over to his website for more pics including a really cool 2021 year in review!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon

A New Blue at Adventure Mine

Blue Mineral at Adventure Mine

Blue Mineral at Adventure Mine

WWJ-Detroit shares that a bright blue mineral has been discovered at a mine on the Keweenaw Peninsula that so far has people perplexed:

The mysterious mineral was found on rock walls in the historic U.P. Adventure copper mine in Greenland Township, south of Lake Superior.

On Sunday, officials from the mine have posted pictures on Facebook of the mystery substance found on rock walls, but the bright blue material has not been positively identified.

Officials said they believe it to be a secondary mineral caused by a reaction with air and water. The mine operated from 1850 until 1920 and 11 million lbs. of native copper has been extracted.

Definitely visit the Adventure Mine website for information on their tours & the history of the mine.  In the Facebook post referenced, Adventure Mine said “This bright blue mineral has not been positively identified as of this post but it is a secondary mineral that is caused by a reaction with air and water. It was found on the 3rd level in a small stope.” A stope is an excavation in a mine working or quarry in the form of a step or notch & the comment thread has some very interesting ideas as to what the mineral could be.

My own personal pet theory based solely on how cool it would be is that this reaction is due to the same mineral that creates the unique iron ore slag known as Leland Blue

PS: After some discussion with Adventure Mine operators, I realize that I took my kids on a tour there 20 years ago. Super cool & a highlight of our visit to the awesome Keweenaw Peninsula – definitely put a trip to the copper-iest of Copper Country on your Michigan bucket list!

Support Michigan in Pictures with Patreon