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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Sunset, Solstice & the St. Joseph Lighthouse

Winter Solstice by Scott Glenn

Happy Solstice everyone!

Scott took this photo just after sunset on the winter solstice in 2016 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse​!

See the photo bigger and see many more in Scott’s Lighthouses gallery on Flickr!

Also check out more winter solstice & St Joseph Lighthouse pics on Michigan in Pictures!

Blue Hour at the St Joseph Pier

Blue Hour at the St Joseph Pier

Untitled, photo by Spencer D Hughes

If you want to take a look at the Pier from the beach, check out the St Joseph webcam. Have a great weekend everyone!!

View Spencer’s photo bigger and see more of his awesome St Joseph photos. Some seriously cool ice shots in there.

PS: Here’s a link to more information and a photo of the St. Joseph North Pier Outer & Inner Lights from almost exactly a year ago – lots more ice.

PPS: I’d love it if you’d become a patron of Michigan in Pictures. Thanks to all who have so far – I really appreciate it!

Michigan Photo Calendars

St Joseph Lighthouse by Michigan Nut

St. Joseph Lighthouse, photo by John McCormick

Time to get your 2016 Calendars! In addition to being a great way to share a daily dose of Michigan with the people on your gift list, most photographers ship them directly for you making gift-giving easier. If you are a Michigan photographer who has a calendar for sale or know of one who does, please post link to any you know of in the comments below or on this post at the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!

The photo above is for January 2016 from one of my favorites is one that a reader recently asked about: The Michigan Wild & Scenic Wall Calendar by John McCormick of Michigan Nut Photography.  You can see them all and purchase the calendar at Michigan Nut Photography. Be sure to follow Michigan Nut on Facebook too!

More about the St. Joseph Pier light on Michigan in Pictures.

St Joseph Outer & Inner Pier Lighthouses

St Joseph Sunset

St Joseph Sunset, photo by PhotoJacko

We’ve all been seeing a bunch of photos from the frozen St. Joseph Pier, so I thought it would be good to give you a little primer about which is which. It took a little digging, but Dave Wobster at Boatnerd.com has the best info on St. Joseph North Pier Outer & Inner Lights:

The present range lights were built in 1907 when the north pier was extended 1000-feet necessitating two lights which serve as range lights. Previously, there had been lights erected as early as 1832 at this location. A round stone tower, built in 1859, was replaced by the present lights.

Outer – (Front Range) is a round, cast-iron plate 35-foot tall tower topped by a round watch room and 10-sided lantern room. The tower is painted white, and the lantern room is black. The fixed light is exhibited via a Fifth-Order Fresnel lens and two brass reflecting panels manufactured by Barbier & Benard of Paris. The light is visible for 180 degrees. (above)

Inner – (Rear Range) was built in 1898 and rebuilt 1907. A 26-foot square steel-framed fog signal building encased in 3/8″ cast iron plates with an octagonal light tower on a hip roof. The helical bar lantern room contains a Fourth-Order fixed Fresnel lens with a brass reflector manufactured by Sautter & Company of Paris. The building is white with a red roof, and the lantern room is painted black. The light is visible over a range of 270 degrees. (below)

The lights are connected by an elevated catwalk that extends from the shore to the outer light. The walkway was constructed to permit the light keepers access to the light during rough weather.

Yesterday I featured a photo by Jackie as the cover of the Absolute Michigan Facebook page. Click the photos to view them bigger on Flickr, see more in her Winter slideshow and follow her  at Jackie Novak Photography on Facebook.

St Joseph Lighthouse

St Joseph Lighthouse, photo by PhotoJacko

 

Above St. Joseph Pier

St Joseph Pier Light from Above

Above the ice encrusted St. Joseph pier, photo by Christopher Kierkus

As previously referenced, the fantastic ice on St. Joseph Pier has become a Michigan winter icon. Christopher took this shot with his drone SPIKE, a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter and a GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition camera. I found it shared on Michpics regular Craig Sterken’s page – he’s the one bending down to get a lens out of the case.

Christopher shares that getting these photos can be more than a little harrowing:

We photogs are a little nuts … especially scary is walking the little “ice path” around the inner light to get to the outer part. One slip up there and you’re in the soup.

View the photo bigger on his Facebook and see more of his work including some more really cool aerials at PhotoDocGVSU on Flickr … or head straight for SPIKE’s pictures!

More aerials on Michigan in Pictures.

Encased … and Encammed at St. Joseph Lighthouse

Encased

Encased, photo by John Burzynski

While the St. Joseph Lighthouse just made an appearance in my 2014 roundup, sometimes you can’t have too much of a good thing. Speaking of good things, there’s a webcam at the St. Joseph lighthouse that allows you to look in on this incredible scene whenever you want!

View John’s photo bigger on Flickr and see more in his Great Lakes Lighthouses slideshow.

PS: Also a shout-out to Michigan in Pictures regular John McCormick whose 2013 pic of the St. Joseph Light has (according to USA Today) “gone viral” as the face of the Polar Vortex!

Lots more lighthouses on Michigan in Pictures.

Frozen in Time, 2014 edition

Frozen in Time

Frozen in Time, photo by photofrenzy2000

2014 will never come this way again, so for better or worse, here are some 2014 highlights from Michigan in Pictures…

Cougar CamThe most popular post was Cougar Cam Confirmation, which was published on November 7th. Since I’ve been sounding the “cougars live in Michigan” horn for several years now, it’s gratifying that the DNR is now on board.

Isle Royale Star BreezeWith 77,000 views on Facebook, the cougar cam was the most popular post there too, followed very closely by Space Weather and Starbreeze that benefited from the Lake Superior Photo bump!

Paradise is the nickname of this placeShawn of Lake Superior Photo checked in with the second most popular pic, Paradise is the nickname of this place, a photo that features one of the amazing & out-of-the-way Michigan gems that I learned about in 2014.

Ice Caves Leelanau Peninsula by Ken ScottThe third most popular picture & story was one from close to my home, the astonishing The Ice Caves of Leelanau that drew tens of thousands of people to the Leelanau Peninsula last winter to see them. You can click that link to see Ken’s photos or save yourself the time and head over to his site to purchase his book, The Ice Caves of Leelanau.

Winter at Tahquamenon Falls John McCormickWeighing in at number four was Winter at Tahquamenon Falls by John McCormick aka MichiganNut. While this photo didn’t make his 2015 wall calendar, a dozen other great ones did!

Shadow Moon by Michael SeabrookClosing out the top five was the Blood Moon and the Lunar Eclipse Tetrad by Michael Seabrook. The first two of these four total lunar eclipses are in the books, but April 4 & September 28, 2015 are still to be seen.

Polar Vortex Cabin FeverThe top commented post was Michigan in Pictures is a blog, folks, which I posted after getting a bunch of negative comments after sharing a photo from a group working against the Keystone XL Pipeline coming through Michigan. It made me very happy to get support for protecting the beautiful natural heritage features on Michigan in Pictures from so many readers … and also to share the awesome photo of our cats!

View this photo from December of 2010 at the St. Joseph Lighthouse bigger and jump into photofrenzy2000’s slideshow for more awesome shots!

Lighthouse Punk

DSC07439P

Untitled, photo by Scott Glenn

Kids these days and their crazy hair.

Check Scott’s photo out bigger and see lots more in his Lighthouses slideshow. Also check out a previous photo by Scott on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan Aviation Pioneer Augustus Herring: First in Flight?

Augustus_Moore_Herring_flight

Augustus Moore Herring, (1867 — 1926) with his early glider (1894), via Wikimedia Commons

110 years ago on December 17, 1903, Orville & Wilbur Wright made aviation history with four flights of the Wright Flyer.

Seeking Michigan has a feature by Roger Rosentreter from Michigan History Magazine titled First in Flight? It tells the story of Augustus Herring, who followed his dream in St. Joseph and became one of this country’s aviation pioneers perhaps even pre-dating the Wright Brothers in powered flight:

Herring worked with other aviation pioneers, especially in experimenting with gliders. Finally, he put a gasoline-powered engine on a two-winged glider that had a wingspan of nineteen feet. The 2.5-horsepower engine (smaller than most of today’s lawnmower engines) gave the “pilot” power for about fifteen seconds In October 1898, Herring “flew” this contraption on the Lake Michigan beach at St. Joseph, Michigan. On a second flight, according to one eyewitness, the airplane stayed in the air for ten seconds and went seventy-three feet.

Herring had problems. His airplane was difficult to control, and he needed a lighter-weight engine to keep the plane flying longer, but none existed. Finally, the photographer who had been on the beach that day failed to capture Herring’s plane in the air. There was no visual proof that he had flown.

…Historians have mixed reviews for Herring. One labeled his work as “insignificant,” while another said, “one cannot deny that Herring flew or was very close to having flown.” As for Augustus Herring, he never claimed to be the first to fly. He knew his engine-powered glider was not a practical airplane. But he argued that his work proved that powered flight was “solvable.” That claim is undisputed.

You can read on and also learn more about Herring via Wikipedia and get the above pic background bigtacular right here.