Beautiful Presque Isle Harbor, or Marquette Bay on a late spring day! You might not be able to notice right off that it was a warm weather day, but the temperatures were actually in the lower 80’s F! The ice from the long winter had been so thick there was still plenty of it around.
Each of these three images are from different vantage points along the long rock jetty or breakwater located in the bay off of Presque Isle in Marquette MI. The Breakwater lighthouse is located at the end of the jetty and on this warm day you can see people enjoying the sun and the amazing ice from the huge rock wall!
Marquette Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. In my personal opinion this Great Lake is stunning at any time of the year, and this location happened to be really beautiful that day with the glistening white ice on the blue waters of the bay!
Have you ever been to Muskegon Michigan? Well, if not you really ought to visit this beautiful city if you are in the area!
I had the pleasure of touring the areas of both Muskegon and Grand Haven MI. recently.
In this first image you’ll find a view of the Muskegon Pier Light, or South Pier Light from the shores of Lake Michigan through some lovely windblown sand grass. When I say windblown I mean it. The winds were pretty wild that day!
The lighthouse itself was first built in 1851. It’s situated on a long pier, and is made out of cast iron. Even though it was built in the 1800’s, it wasn’t lit until 1903. It is also an impressive 48 feet tall. The original lens for the lighthouse was a fourth order Fresnal lens, but currently it uses a 300 mm acryllic lens.
I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the pier and get a closer look this time as I was headed for the USS Silversides Submarine Museum which was right down the road.
This World War II submarine is a fascinating piece of US history. The museum and vessels are wonderful for people of all ages and especially great for a young history buff who is 12 years old!
This sub, the USS Silversides was first commissioned just after the attack on Peal Harbor. The Silversides received the Presidential Unit Citations and 12 Battle Stars for her wartime service. She completed 14 combat patrols in the Pacific during World War II.
After being retired in 1946 she was sent to Chicago where she stayed being utilized by the reserves until 1987. At that time the USS Silversides was then moved to Muskegon Michigan where she is today for all to come and enjoy the experience of being in a WWII sub, and understand the history of her service and more.
I hope you enjoyed this small bit of information and these images that are just a tiny part of Muskegon’s history!
One of my favorite poets of all times is Robert Frost. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might already know that! 😉
Frost wrote so many wonderful poems, my favorite is “The Road Not Taken”.
Most people associate Robert Frost with living in and being from New England only, but what you might not know is that he also spent a bit of time in Ann Arbor Michigan, and loved it!
In 1921 Frost accepted a 5,000 fellowship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He once said to a friend of his “I like Michigan people and I like Michigan”. He stayed in Ann Arbor at the University lecturing, attending receptions and arranging poetry readings with other American poets of the time, and meeting with groups of students.
He used to love to wander the streets of Ann Arbor at night when he couldn’t sleep, which was often because he suffered quite badly from insomnia. On one of those walks he found a Greek Revival House that he thought was “charming”. This house which used to be in Ann Arbor on Pontiac Trail became his residence while here. The house was later moved to preserve it’s history and is now located at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan.
This is the house as it looks today at Greenfield Village:
Frost wrote two poems during his stay in Ann Arbor. The first one is:
These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods—
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.
“Spring Pools” captures the natural rhythm of seasons in transition with flowing water and reflections as well as the transformation of flowering tree buds to the deep dark green foliage of the summer woods.
This poem was written around the time he had a bout with the flu. He took to writing at that time for three full days. He stayed in this house by a roaring fireplace on the couch and wrote, quite enjoyably to his hearts content!
In a conversation with Edward Latham a number of years later, Frost recalled the circumstances of that writing: “I lived out on Pontiac Trail then. One night I sat alone by my open fireplace and wrote Spring Pools. It was a very pleasant experience, and I remember it clearly, although I don’t remember the writing of many of my other poems.”
In the 1920s Frost became quite a well known figure in Southeast Michigan. He lived in this house from about 1924 through 1926.
I mentioned before, that he wrote two poems while in Ann Arbor. The other poem is called “Acquainted with the Night”, which I won’t insert into this post right now. I might bring that at another time with an image that reflects his words.
Robert Frost did also mention that He felt as though he did some of his best and most creative writing while in Ann Arbor!
On my last visit to Minneapolis MN. I spent a day in this beautiful city just wondering around the streets essentially with my eye to the sky.
My original destination was The Foshay Tower, which I went to first. I toured the inside, then went to the observation deck for the spectacular view from the top. I love the historical aspect of the architecture there! You’ll see the Foshay Tower in the last image.
The IDS Tower was the building that called for my attention next! It’s such a lovely building with it’s glass facade, angles, and height. Two of the images below are from one frame and processed differently. The third image is from a slightly different angle of the same building that reveals some of the reflections of other structures in the area.
I really like the sharp edges and deep contrast of the architecture of the IDS Tower itself. When processing I also used high contrast in these two images, whether color or monochrome. Only the last image is done in a softer tone.
The IDS Tower is 57 stories tall, it became the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis when it surpassed the height of the Foshay Tower, which is 32 stories tall. This happened in 1972, which then ended the Foshay Tower’s 43-year reign over the Minneapolis skyline. In addition to being a lot taller, The IDS Tower occupies much more real estate than the Foshay does. The Foshay Tower was desighed to look more like the Washington Monument so it has an obelisk-like look to it.
Enjoy these images from a small part of Minneapolis as you look to the sky. Be careful don’t strain your neck! 😉
On a recent and very quick trip out to Western Michigan I had the opportunity to visit a couple of lighthouses in the area, on Lake Michigan. By the way, I love lighthouses! 🙂
Most of my short time there it was either raining, having thunderstorms, or severe wind. I had hoped for some beautiful blue skies with amazing clouds when I set out, but I had seen the forecast and didn’t have much hope. Well the clouds happened, although not quite so amazing LOL, but blue skies were hard to come by!
I happened to see an old photograph on a wall from the days of film, taken in 1950. It was of this lighthouse in Grand Haven, with large rocks in the foreground. I decided since the weather was dreary, and slightly foggy, I’d go out and try to get the vantage point that I had seen in that photo from 1950.
Obviously things have changed a bit in the landscape over these past 64 years, but I came as close as I could to it, in both position and choice of processing it in black and white.
Although not quite what I had hoped for in terms of weather, I’m still really happy I made it out there to the western side of Michigan, and hope to go back again for the tulips in Holland MI., which should be coming up pretty soon. That is, if we can get rid of this cold rainy weather! 😉
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on some images from this past fall, a visit to Minneapolis MN. One of the buildings I really wanted to see during that stay was the Foshay Tower. Originally built in 1929, it was modeled after the Washington Monument. The Foshay Tower was the lifelong dream of of Wilbur Foshay, an art student who later became a business man.
This building has a rich history and quite a story behind it. Sadly not a very happy one for Wilbur, who never even got to live in the lavish apartment he had created for himself. The crash of the stock market and the completion of the building came quite close together. Fifty some odd years later in 1978 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Foshay was the tallest building in Minneapolis from 1929 until 1972 when the IDS Tower was built, and surpassed it in height. The architectural style is that of Art Deco.
When I was processing this and some other images of skyscrapers in the city, I decided to go with a really bold, high contrast black and white. I like the effect it gives. Maybe that of power. I also feel like it represents the time period.
The Foshay has been a beautiful hotel for many years now, but it still has an open observation deck, and a small museum to learn about the fascinating history behind this Mid-Western echo of the Washington Monument, and Wilbur Foshay, the man behind the dream!!
I would like to say that here at the start of 2014 I am all caught up with my image processing from 2013. Well…sorry to say. I am not.
I have been busy working on other things, consequently I have just now gotten around to some images from late last spring. These were taken in the Traverse City area of Michigan. Specifically Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
The drive from Traverse City proper up to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula is a lovely one, passing through quaint areas, and streets filled with many artsy shops.
On any other day I would have wanted to stop and enjoy what these areas have to offer, but on this morning I was trying to escape a constant light rain and heavy skies in hopes of getting to the lighthouse quickly.
I had so hoped for beautiful skies, and lovely weather, but my complete trip had been one of heavy fog, large downpours, and black flies!
If you aren’t familiar with black flies, all I can say is that for a few days each year around Lake Michigan, and I’m sure other places, they infest everything, and can easily ruin many images, as they swarm in the thousands.
So to make a long story short. I arrived at this beautiful piece of Michigan Lighthouse history (originally built in 1858) in the rain.
Not to be deterred, I headed straight for the office to get a self-guided tour of the interior of the building. Well, the sign read “closed”, my heart sank!
It wasn’t due to open for another couple of hours. I then proceeded to walk around every angle of the building and out to the shore also to get as many photos as I could.
I knew the light mist, and flat white sky would not play well with these images, but I wasn’t going to have another chance at it, at least not this trip.
As I headed back out to the car, a friendly young woman came out of nowhere and offered to open the lighthouse early just for me! I was thrilled!
I was able to tour the beautiful inside, and talk at length about its history! I didn’t end up getting almost any images from the interior. I just enjoyed chatting instead.
I did get one image of the shoreline that day, as I looked through some sand grass into the foggy abyss.
I’m very glad that I was able to see Grand Traverse Lighthouse, no matter the rain and dreary weather. Maybe some day I’ll be able to make it there in beautiful weather, but if not, I’m alright with that!
I hope you enjoyed this little visit to a piece of Michigan history. Thanks so much for stopping by!
In keeping with my eclectic presentation of images these days, I present to you this photo of a beautiful Lighthouse in Charlevoix Michigan during sunset.
I recently finished processing one batch in a long line of autumn images, and instead of moving on to do more, I decided to get at this wonderful lighthouse and process these images instead.
On this particular evening, I had headed out, not knowing exactly where I was going. I started roaming up and down streets in Charlevoix till I reached a charming piece of beach. I was quite happy when I noticed there was also a pier and lighthouse on one side of the beach.
The winds had picked up pretty high during the day, and had only increased as the afternoon wore on. I knew that I needed a good strong tripod for this location.
I set up about 20 feet away from the water at first. The position seemed great, but what I couldn’t foresee was the intensity of the waves and how much water would be sprayed on my camera lens. With a lot of effort in the crazy high winds, I changed positions, cleaned off the lens and filters, and tried again.
I started a bit before sunset, and continued to way after. This was one of the earlier frames. The water was crashing against the pier and jetty, the waves were rolling in hard and fast. Clouds of every color moved quickly across the sky.
I have quite a few images from this location that evening. Some with more emphasis on the sunset, some close-ups of the lighthouse, and others showing more of the Lake Michigan water intensity.
The town of Charlevoix itself, if you haven’t been there is really quite delightful. There is a lovely marina from where you can take a sunset dinner cruise which goes out of the marina, under a lovely drawbridge, and out into the open waters.
There are a myriad of quaint shops and boutiques, and of course many streets full of lovely homes. It’s a beautiful place to visit, and a quiet one also, especially off season.
If you’re ever in Michigan, driving on highway 31 which in places hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline. Make sure and check out this gem of a town. You won’t be disappointed.
While your there make sure and head down to this or one of the other beaches in town and take in a beautiful Michigan sunset!!