North Country Dreamland



North Country Dreamland at Miners Castle, photo by Shawn Malone /

Last night I got an alert of a moderately strong solar flare with the possibility of generating northern lights. When I went looking to see if anyone had photographed them, I discovered that Michigan in Pictures regular Shawn Malone has just released a truly stunning video featuring a series of time-lapses of the night skies of northern Michigan! She writes:

Rare pairings caught on camera include ribbons of aurora above a full moon fogbow on the horizon of Lake Superior, the aurora and an isolated singular lightning storm cloud over Lake Superior, and the aurora and Milky Way in several scenes including Copper Harbor, Marquette, Isle Royale, Pictured Rocks, and Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

…All scenes are within 200 miles or so of my home in Marquette, Mi. and I feel very blessed to live where I do and to share the beauty that I see ‘in my own backyard’ with you. I hope it inspires others to take time to find the beauty that is everywhere around us and also to raise an awareness about the importance of preserving our night wondrous starlit skies.

You can read about it and see it on Absolute Michigan or head over to Vimeo to watch it.

The shot above is one of 33 different scenes in the video and shows Miners Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See it bigger in the video and see a lot more on the Lake Superior Photo Facebook.

Much more from Shawn 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.



city, photo by buckshot.jones

Check Scott’s photo out background big and see more in his slideshow.

More Detroit on Michigan in Pictures

Pairs Skating, Swan Edition


pairskating, photo by mozy54

Lynn writes that she didn’t see this pair in the national ice skating finals. Check it out on black and see a couple more shots of these swans in her slideshow.

More birds on Michigan in Pictures!

Snow covers the Loon Song Covered Bridge

"Loon Song Covered Bridge" ~ Joshua's Crossing

“Loon Song Covered Bridge” ~ Joshua’s Crossing, photo by Michigan Nut

A couple of years ago, this bridge was for sale. An old listing has a map and summertime photo, and another I found says that this 90 foot private, covered bridge leads across a deep ravine to a heavily wooded parcel on Herendeen Lake near Lake Ann.

John adds that it’s not far from his son’s new home! See it bigger and see more in John’s awesome Bridges/Covered Bridges slideshow.

More bridges on Michigan in Pictures (and also more of John’s photography).

Ice Kingdom


DSC08043RP, photo by Scott Glenn

Incredible what wind, water and way too cold can do! More about the St. Joseph lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures.

Check this out on black and see more icy goodness in Scott’s lighthouse slideshow.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Manistee River

Manistee River, near Sharon, Michigan

Manistee River, near Sharon, Michigan, photo by gregorydseman

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers. The stretch of the Manistee River from the DNR boat ramp below Tippy Dam to the Michigan State Highway 55 Bridge is the designated stretch (click for map and river management plan). They explain:

The Manistee Wild and Scenic River is well known for beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and a variety of recreational activities. In the spring and fall, high numbers of anglers are attracted to the superb salmon and steelhead runs. During the summer, walleye and pike fishing become the primary recreational activity. The river supports a variety of other recreational uses including wildlife viewing, hiking, canoeing and hunting.

Private businesses and government agencies have developed a variety of facilities and services to meet the expanding recreation demands of the public. Commercial guided fishing is one of the most popular activities on the Manistee River. The amount of recreational use fluctuates from year to year, mostly based on the fishing runs and local economic factors. There are eight developed river access sites within the wild and scenic river corridor. The Forest Service maintains sites at High Bridge, Bear Creek, Rainbow Bend and Blacksmith Bayou. The state of Michigan operates a river access site at Tippy Dam. Private recreation sites include Big Manistee Riverview Campground and Coho Bend Campground. The U.S. Forest Service developed recreation sites along the Manistee River require a vehicle parking pass under the Recreation Enhancement Act.

Greg says he took this photo back in 1998 when the river had more water – check it out bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures!

Northern Lights likely this week!

Northern Lights

Northern Lights, photo by BeaverTripp

The Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that minor to moderate auroral activity is likely through January 20th. Translation? Northern Lights are likely this week!

You can click to register for space weather alerts and also view the current space weather.

Stephen captured this photo in July of 2012 on Moss Lake in the U.P. Check his photo out as big as the sky and in his Northern Lights slideshow.

Much (much) more Aurora Borealis information & photos on Michigan in Pictures!

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve!


086>, photo by mark5032001

Here’s hoping everyone has a safe & fun New Year’s Eve as we all bid farewell to 2012 and enjoy the first moments of 2013!

View this photo from Bay City’s 4th of July celebration on black and see more in Mark’s photos from Bay City.

Michigan in Pictures turns seven


seven, photo by Hilarywho

On December 30, 2005 I posted A Pond in Bald Mountain, the first photo on Michigan in Pictures. Seven years and 2,187 photos later it’s still going strong.

Thanks to all of you for giving me a reason to do this every day!

Check Hilary’s photo out on black and count it out in her numbers slideshow.

More posts about michpics!