The Nets Are Off: Michigan’s 2016 Grape Harvest a Success!

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The Nets Are Off, photo by Mark Smith

The Detroit News reports that 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Michigan wine grapes:

Frigid winters contributed to dismal harvests the past two falls. In 2014, Michigan winemakers lost a majority of their crops to the extreme cold. And last year, up to 75 percent of the wine crop was decimated because of winter, a late spring and, in northern Michigan, a late-summer hail storm. Many wineries were forced to supplement their vintages with grapes and juice bought from out-of-state growers.

“Winemakers are very excited about the harvest this year,” said Karel Bush, executive director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. “After that second brutal winter, some vineyards had to buy from elsewhere and that made it very difficult for them, especially if their business model is to be an estate winery. You have to be open, you have bills to pay, staff to pay, so you had to buy grapes and juice from elsewhere. This year, they’re delighted to have their own crop to work with.”

…It’s good news for an industry that continues to grow and is winning accolades for both white and red varietals, most notably chardonnay, riesling, cabernet franc and pinot noir. Home to more than 120 wineries, Michigan ranks 10th in the nation in production, producing more than 2.5 million gallons a year — a number expected to be reached again this year. And wineries, with their ever-expanding tasting rooms and activities, have become a big business across the state, attracting more than 2 million visitors a year.

Mark took this photo at Bel Lago Winery on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. The nets he refers to are those snow-looking piles that are white nets that hang over the vines to keep birds away during the final weeks of ripening. View his photo background bigilicious and see more late-fall goodness in his slideshow.

Moonglow at Tahquamenon Falls

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Moonglow, photo by Rudy Malmquist

Gorgeous photo from after dark at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

View Rudy’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

Lots more about Tahquamenon Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Photo-op gone bad

photo-op-gone-bad

Photo-op gone bad, photo by Paul Wojtkowski

Paul got caught by an unexpectedly large wave on Lake Superior – good thing he had already taken his selfie-stick shots!! :D

View his photo big as the biggest lake, see more including Manabezho Falls in his slideshow, and view and purchase photos on the-woj.com.

On a more serious note, as yesterday and today’s posts show, these big lakes have big and sometimes unexpected power, particularly as we head into fall and winter. Take a moment to see what’s going on, watch for a minute so you know what’s going on, be sure of your footing, and take a buddy or two if you can!

Miner’s Castle, before it fell

Miner's Castle before it fell

Miner’s Castle before it fell, photo by spauldi1

Today is the 10th anniversary of the collapse of one of the turrets on the Miner’s Castle formation in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

On Thursday morning, April 13, 2006, the northeast turret of Miners Castle collapsed. One turret remains on Miners Castle, the best-known feature of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The collapse was reported via cell phone by fisherman in the area, according to chief ranger Larry Hach. Most of the rock fell north and into Lake Superior, and there were no injuries. The lower overlook platform near Miners Castle appears to be unaffected.

While the rockfall at Miners Castle on April 13 was startling, such events are not rare along the Pictured Rocks escarpment.

Click for the full report on Absolute Michigan.

Sue took this back in 2003. View it background big and jump into her slideshow for more pics from “before the fall”at Miner’s Castle.

On Down the Road

On Down the Road

On Down the Road, photo by Doug Jonas

Miraculously, there’s still pockets of fall color out there, so how about one more before November closes in?

View Doug’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his amazing slideshow.

More fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Clouds of Michigan: Mackinac Bridge Edition

Mackinac Bridge, Michigan by Zack Schindler

Mackinac Bridge, Michigan by Zack Schindler

Zack says that he shot this in B&W with the red filter turned on in the X-E1.

View it big as the sky and see more in his My Other Stuff slideshow.

More black & white photography on Michigan in Pictures.

Kingfisher Friday: The Belted Kingfisher

Kingfisher HD Friday

Kingfisher Silhouette HD Wallpaper, photo by John Britt

All about Birds says that the Belted Kingfisher is:

A common waterside resident throughout North America, the Belted Kingfisher is often seen hovering before it plunges headfirst into water to catch a fish. It frequently announces its presence by its loud rattling cry.

It breeds along streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries with banks for nest holes. The breeding distribution of the Belted Kingfisher is limited in some areas by the availability of suitable nesting sites. Human activity, such as road building and digging gravel pits, has created banks where kingfishers can nest and allowed the expansion of the breeding range.

View John’s photo background big and see more in his Northern Michigan – Seasons, Sunrises, Beaches, Waterfalls, Mountains slideshow.

More Michigan Birds from Michigan in Pictures.