20 years of Pasty Central and the Pasty Cam

Upper Peninsula Michigan Miners

Let There Be Light, photo courtesy Pasty Central/Pasty.com

Pasty Central is  celebrating their 20th anniversary and vying for USA Today’s Best Pasty in Michigan. Click through to cast a vote for them or your favorite pasty shop.

Back in 2008, Charley of Pasty Central wrote about these UP miners who doubtless relied on the pasties in their bellies to survive:

In researching today’s Pasty Cameo I came across these men who had been entombed in Pewabic Mine at Iron Mountain for over 40 hours before they returned to the light of day. They had been trapped on the fourth level of the mine when a level above them collapsed. One of their co-workers didn’t make it out.

This picture is a good illustration of the “Tommy knocker”, a popular hat-candleholder in the 1800’s before carbide and acetylene lamps came along.

A feature of the site since 1998 has been the Pasty Cam, a daily photo that’s paired with a well-researched “This Day in History”. Today’s looks at how on on May 12, 1781 Mackinac Island (valued at 5000 pounds) passed from native tribes to the British – click to check it out!

The pasty, a savory pastry typically filled with meat & vegetables, was brought to the Upper Peninsula by Cornish miners. Check out Real Michigan Food: The Pasty on Absolute Michigan for lots more about this classic UP dish.

May’s Eta Aquariad Meteor Shower

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse, photo by Michigan Nut

EarthSky shares details on this week’s Eta Aquarid meteor shower:

In 2016, the forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors to light up the predawn darkness on May 5 and 6. It should be a good year for this shower, with the May 6 new moon guaranteeing deliciously dark skies for the 2016 Eta Aquarids. This shower favors the Southern Hemisphere, ranking as one of the finest showers of the year. At mid-northern latitudes, these meteors don’t fall so abundantly, though mid-northern meteor watchers will catch some, too, and might be lucky enough to catch an earthgrazer – a bright, long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky – before dawn.

Halley’s Comet is the source of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Every year, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley’s Comet in late April and May, so bits and pieces from this comet light up the nighttime as Eta Aquarid meteors. This shower is said to be active from April 19 to May 20, although Earth plows most deeply into this stream of comet debris around May 5 or 6.

The comet dust smashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere at nearly 240,000 kilometers (150,000 miles) per hour. Roughly half of these swift-moving meteors leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.

They add that early morning is the best time to see them and that the broad peak of the Eta Aquarids may present a decent showing of meteors during the predawn hours on May 4 and May 7 as well! Read on for more.

View John’s photo bigger, see more in his Starry Nights slideshow and definitely follow Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook!

More about the Au Sable Lighthouse in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan in Pictures!

Know Your Michigan Frogs: Mink Frog (Rana septentrionalis)

Michigan Mink Frog

mink frog-0376, photo by tifranta

Saturday was World Frog Day so let’s add another Michigan frog to the list, the Mink Frog (Rana septentrionalis) about which the DNR says:

A blotchy, spotted, greenish or brownish frog. Similar to Green Frog, but has spots or blotches instead of cross bands on the hind legs. Bright green upper lip and creamy to yellowish belly. Produces a musky, mink like odor when handled. Medium – 2 to 3 inches long.

HABITAT: Bogs, ponds, and lake edges. Remains close to permanent water.

BREEDING: June-July. Eggs laid on vegetation in deep water. Tadpoles may require more than one summer to become frogs.

VOICE: Likened to distant hammering; “Kuk, kuk, kuk, kuk, kuk.”

RANGE AND STATUS: Found throughout Upper Peninsula, but generally uncommon.

Click over to the Wisconsin Sea Grant to hear the Mink frog’s call.

View Tiffany’s photo bigger, see more in her slideshow, and follow her at Tiffany Rantanen Photography on Facebook!

More Michigan frogs on Michigan in Pictures.

Breaking Through at Middle Hungarian Falls

Breaking Through at Middle Hungarian Falls

Breaking Through, photo by Eric Hackney Photography

The Hungarian Falls page from GoWaterfalling says:

Dover Creek tumbles overs a series of falls on its way down to Torch Lake. Two of the falls are around 20 feet high, and the last is a 50 foot drop, which is spectacular when the water is flowing. Unfortunately these falls are often nearly dry in the summer.

There are three falls 15 feet or higher on a half mile stretch of Dover Creek, plus a couple of smaller drops. In the spring time, or after some good rains, these waterfalls are very impressive. Unfortunately the creek has a very small watershed, and the falls are often reduced to trickles.

The three main drops are usually referred to as the upper, middle and lower falls. The upper falls is around 20 feet high. The water spills over an irreguarly shaped cliff into a small gorge.

Downstream of the upper falls is a dam and artificial lake. Below the dam are a couple of smaller drops, and the middle falls. The middle falls is also about 20 feet high, and is perhaps the most scenic in lower water. The cliff face here is smoother, and the water is not segmented the way it is at the upper falls. The middle falls is also the easiest to reach and there are plenty of good viewing spots.

Head over to GoWaterfalling.com for directions and info about the other falls!

Eric says that this photo shows that that Spring is at least trying to show up. Check it out bigger and definitely follow Eric Hackney Photography on Facebook!

More waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Celebrate Dark Sky Week in Michigan’s Parks

Milky Way & Meteor at Fayette

Milky Way and Meteor above Fayette, photo by Lake Superior Photo

This week (April 4-10) is International Dark Sky Week. The State of Michigan has a list of 20 state parks that will be open late all week. One of the parks that will be open late is Fayette State Historic Park, located on the Garden Peninsula of Lake Michigan’s north shore:

Fayette Historic State Park blends nature and history with a Historic Townsite, a representation of a once-bustling industrial community. Visitors can learn about the town through guided tours and information from the Visitor Center, or simply by walking through the townsite and exploring on their own. Walk through restored buildings like the town hotel and a cabin, built to replicate the homes in which residents of Fayette used to live. Interpretive panels provide information to transport visitors back in time and tell the story of the town.

On the second Saturday of August, the park is transformed back to its glory days with period displays, food and music at the annual Heritage Day.

Shawn took this at Fayette a couple of years ago. See it bigger, view & purchase more dark sky pics in her Milky Way & Miscellaneous Night Sky gallery, and definitely follow Lake Superior Photo on Facebook!

More Michigan parks on Michigan in Pictures.

Waterfall Wednesday: Behind Scott Falls

Behind Scott Falls

What I See-3176, photo by Mike Hainstock

Here’s a nice feature on Scott Falls from Live the UP:

Scott Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to access in the Upper Peninsula. It is just east of the Au Train river and right on highway M28. Just across the highway is a roadside park complete with vaulted toilets, water, charcoal grills, picnic tables, and beach access. Scott Falls couldn’t’ be in a more convenient location.

I believe that many of us in the Upper Peninsula have found childhood memories of Scott Falls. Personally, I remember those warm summer days when my mother would take us for a swim at the roadside park. Of course we would be covered in sand from walking up the beach afterward, so mom would take us across the road and make us rinse off in Scott Falls. We would play in the water and have an adventure in the cave behind the falls. As a kid, sitting in that cave when the train comes through is amazing! I’m sure that many of us have shared similar experiences.

Click through for more! Regarding the photo, Mike writes:

This is how I prefer to see my world. A magical place, begging to be explored and enjoyed. I’m so lucky to have a partner that not only lets me, but comes along and enjoys it as I do.

View his photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and view and purchase his work at mikehainstock.com.

Many more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

Take a look around at Wagner Falls

So embarassing! I didn’t hit “Publish” this morning!!

Wagner Falls with Marsh Marigolds

Wagner Falls (n2c_112-2256), photo by Gowtham

I am totally ignoring the Snowy Unpleasantness outside my window this morning.

The State of Michigan’s page on Wagner Falls Scenic Site near Munising has a map and also lets you take a 360-degree look around with Google Trekker.

This scenic waterfall is nestled amongst virgin pine and hemlock trees. There is a small parking area and a half-mile trail with an observation deck overlooking the falls.

Gowtham adds:

Yet another can’t miss it thing in an area that’s filled with can’t miss it things, Wagner Falls lends itself to a very easy and short hike through the woods. While the picturesque falls take the cake, plethora of wild flowers along and off the trails (through Spring, Summer and may be even Fall; e.g., Gay Wings, Trout Lily) are an added bonus!

View his photo background big and see more in his slideshow.

PS: I’m pretty sure the flowers in the foreground of this May 2012 shot are marsh marigolds.