Green Blue Ice, photo by Charles Bonham
Apparently Charles is my go-to photographer for ice colors as his picture was used for my post about what makes ice blue or green a couple years ago on Michigan in Pictures. Then as now, I went to The Causes of Color to answer the question: What causes the blue color that sometimes appears in snow and ice?
As with water, this color is caused by the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum). The absorption spectrum of ice is similar to that of water, except that hydrogen bonding causes all peaks to shift to lower energy – making the color greener. This effect is augmented by scattering within snow, which causes the light to travel an indirect path, providing more opportunity for absorption. From the surface, snow and ice present a uniformly white face. This is because almost all of the visible light striking the snow or ice surface is reflected back, without any preference for a single color within the visible spectrum.
The situation is different for light that is not reflected, but penetrates or is transmitted into the snow. As this light travels into the snow or ice, the ice grains scatter a large amount of light. If the light is to travel over any distance it must survive many such scattering events. In other words, it must keep scattering and not be absorbed. We usually see the light coming back from the near surface layers (less than 1 cm) after it has been scattered or bounced off other snow grains only a few times, and it still appears white.
In simplest of terms, think of the ice or snow layer as a filter. If it is only a centimeter thick, all the light makes it through; if it is a meter thick, mostly blue light makes it through. This is similar to the way coffee often appears light when poured, but much darker when it is in a cup.
Click through for lots more about light & color!
Charles took this photo last week on Sand Point near Munising. Check it out bigger and head over to his Flickr page for a bunch more great shots of winter in the Upper Peninsula!
More winter wallpaper and more amazing ice on Michigan in Pictures.
Interstate Falls, photo by Tom Mortenson
GoWaterfalling’s entry for Interstate Falls/Peterson Falls says (in part):
This waterfall is located on the Montreal River just a few miles upstream of Saxon Falls. The Montreal River forms part of the border between Michigan and Wisconsin so the falls is technically in both states, and can be visited from either state, but it is most easily visited from the Wisconsin side.
There seems to be some confusion about what this waterfall is named, or at least I am confused. Some sources refer to this as Peterson Falls, and the sign on the highway says “Peterson Falls”. However others say that this falls is Interstate Falls and that Peterson Falls is a smaller waterfall upstream of Interstate Falls. I have decided to go with Peterson Falls until I learn otherwise.
Read on for directions & more info.
View the photo background big and see more in Tom’s Upper Michigan slideshow.
More waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures and more Fall Wallpaper!
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, photo by Peter Tinetti
What a September. Even without the daily political chaos, we’ve got the West in flames, our fourth largest city devastated by flooding from the current most costly storm in US history, and what could very well be the new most costly storm barreling towards Florida.
Hopefully, we’ll get a breather soon.
View the photo of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse background big and see more in Peter’s slideshow. He’s originally from the UP but lives in California, so many of the pics are from there … and gorgeous!
More about the Eagle Harbor Light on Michigan in Pictures.
Another World Below, photo by Neil Weaver Photography
Yesterday we were above the surface of Lake Superior, so let’s take a look beneath the surface today. Neil writes:
Sandstone formations make an intriguing landscape beneath Superior’s surface – Pictured Rocks NL. I had a lot of fun doing a little underwater photography this past week.
View the photo bigger on Facebook, follow Neil on Facebook for lots more cool photos, and view & purchase more work at NeilWeaverPhotography.com.
Rainbow Falls [Summer 2015], photo by Eric Hackney
I’ve profiled Rainbow Falls and the other waterfalls of the Black River Scenic Byway on Michigan in Pictures, but my friend Gary shared a super-cool video that I want to share with all of you! GoWaterfalling’s says that Rainbow Falls is:
…the last of the main falls on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior. This is an interesting waterfall. Unfortunately the best views are from the east side of the river and the observation deck is on the west side of the river. The hike from the west side trailhead is 1/2 mile. In my opinion the smarter thing to do is to drive down to end of the Black River Scenic Byway, cross the river and hike back up to the falls. A supsension bridge takes you across the river and a mile long, scenic, and mostly level trail, takes you back to the falls. The views are far superior. In low water you can wade across the river above the falls.
The waterfall has carved out a large pothole. Most of the river falls into the pothole, but some of the water, depending on how high the river is, goes around or jumps clear over this hole.
View the photo bigger, see many more in Eric’s 6-27-15: Black River Scenic Byway IV slideshow, and definitely follow Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook.
OK, now here’s that video from the Bluffs Inn of Bessemer – definitely no wading today!!!
Saginaw at Mission Point, photo by Krystal Kauffman
Capistrano has their swallows, but a sure sign of Spring in Michigan is when the freighters return to the Great Lakes. One of the best places for shipwatching is right where Krystal took this photo: Mission Point at the mouth of the North Channel near the Soo Locks.
View the photo bigger and follow My Michigan by Krystal on Facebook for more.