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January 28, 2014

Ken Scott vs. the Polar Vortex

Filed under: hiking,Leelanau,michigan,northport,outdoors,video,weather,winter — Andrew McFarlane @ 8:46 am

At the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, superhero photographer Ken Scott battles the Polar Vortex... Stay warm boys & girls!!

May 13, 2013

Snow in Leelanau's orchards

Filed under: cherries,Leelanau,michigan,news,photo,spring,weather — Andrew McFarlane @ 7:26 am

via Michigan in Pictures...

Cherry Orchard ... spring snow

Cherry Orchard ... spring snow, photo by Ken Scott

The National Weather Service noted that the high temperature yesterday at the Otsego County Airport in Gaylord only reached 35 degrees - a new record for the coldest high temperature for the date that crushed the previous record of 44 degrees from 2003. It was also the coldest high temperature ever recorded in the month of May for Gaylord. They notched a record snowfall of 2 inches as well.

At at balmy 42 degrees, we weren't quite as cold as the center of the state. We did record a low of 27 degrees overnight, just 4 degrees off the 1976 record so stay tuned for a report on the effects. Tart cherries were just getting ready to pop - here's hoping that still happens!

View Ken's photo on black and see more in his massive Leelanau slideshow.

December 3, 2012

Lake Michigan Levels: Then & Now Edition

Filed under: boats,environment,history,Leelanau,photo,suttons bay,weather — Andrew McFarlane @ 3:27 pm

The Suttons Bay Chamber of Commerce shared this photo by Tom Kelly of the Inland Seas Education Association.

The photo shows record high water from 1986. Almost 30 years later we're looking at record low water levels on Lake Michigan that are just 2" above the all-time low from December 1948. Traverse City based AP writer John Flesher writes that As Great Lakes plummet, towns try to save harbors:

The Great Lakes, the world's biggest freshwater system, are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures, a trend that accelerated with this year's almost snowless winter and scorching summer. Water levels have fallen to near-record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron, while Erie, Ontario and Superior are below their historical averages.

The decline is causing heavy economic losses, with cargo freighters forced to lighten their loads, marinas too shallow for pleasure boats and weeds sprouting on exposed bottomlands, chasing away swimmers and sunbathers.

Some of the greatest suffering is in small tourist towns that lack the economic diversity of bigger port cities. Yet they are last in line for federal money to deepen channels and repair infrastructure to support the boating traffic that keeps them afloat.

Read on for more including how a federal budget crunch is making matters worse.

November 20, 2012

A Northern Michigan Thanksgiving will probably taste better…

Filed under: food,Leelanau,michigan,news,Shopping,webdesign,wine — Andrew McFarlane @ 7:31 am

Here's a few ideas to help make your Thanksgiving holiday a little more local ... and a lot tastier!

It all starts with the turkey. I'm not sure if the folks at Hubbell's Farm or Haymaker Poultry Co. have any left, but I do know that one great place to get a tasty turkey is Biehl's Circle B Turkey Ranch. You can order them at the Merc in Leland and Oryana in Traverse City (and probably elsewhere as well). Don't forget to check the local produce and products at your favorite store - the Merc, Anderson's in Glen Arbor, Cedar City Market, Hanson's in Suttons Bay and Oryana and Burritt's Market in Traverse City all feature a lot of great food that hasn't traveled too far. There's a indoor farmers market at the Grand Traverse Commons every Saturday from 10 AM - 2 PM. If last week is any guide, there will be PLENTY of potatoes, squash and also lots of greens! If anyone has other ideas to localize your table, post them in the comments!

Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Once you have your bird and some ingredients, you need to think about how you're going to put it all together. Elizabeth Edwards at MyNorth/Traverse Magazine put together a collection of some of their best Thanksgiving recipes.

We asked Lee Lutes, winemaker at Black Star Farms to share some of his thoughts on wine pairings with the items below.

Two tasty appetizers are a Wild Game Sausage on Apple Slices with Cranberry Butter, with which Lee recommends a lighter red like Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir, and with the Wedge of Raclette Served With Spiced Walnuts and Pear Chips, he calls for something delicate maybe a bubbly (may we recommend Black Star Farms' really excellent Bubbly Nouveau when it's bottled) or a Pinot Grigio or a Pinot Blanc. Two tasty side dishes that really in season are Honey Roasted Root Vegetables and Buttermilk Biscuits with Pumpkin Butter. You'll be in great shape with Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Blanc or Auxerrois. For dessert, how about a Plum Almond Tart, with which Lee would pair any of their Sirius dessert wines and also Ice wines.

See more thoughts on how make it a Michigan Thanksgiving on Absolute Michigan.

photo credit: Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash by carianoff

May 24, 2012

This Week in Leelanau for May 24, 2012

Filed under: almanac,calendar,Leelanau,michigan,news,photo,travel — Andrew McFarlane @ 4:04 pm

Aurora Borealis ... with star trails

Aurora Borealis ... with star trails by Ken Scott

The heat is on!! Summer is underway, with the temperature a heartbeat away from 90 degrees at Leelanau Coffee Roasting and much more sun and 80s on the way. The hot times don't end when the sun goes down as Ken Scott's photo from last night shows, so be sure to look up for the aurora borealis!

News from the Week

This week the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore reported that after several years of limited piping plover nesting activity in the Glen Haven area, four pairs of the federally endangered shorebird have made that beach their home for the summer. It's an easily accessible location provides visitors an excellent opportunity to view a rare bird in its natural habitat, as well as have questions answered by National Park Service employees and volunteers who will be on site throughout the nesting season. Click through for all the details and a video!

We also had a cool video on the history of Leland that includes some great old photos.

Jacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun writes that in addition to the most beautiful place in America, second healthiest place nationwide, Leelanau County is on the verge of becoming a prime bicycle destination too! He took a ride down the nearly-completed first phase from the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb to downtown Glen Arbor on the brand new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. The  trail officially opens on June 20, 2012 and could one day stretch 27 miles, from the Leelanau-Benzie County line to Good Harbor! Click here for the video.

The Sun also notes that Leelanau County will collect household hazardous waste and electronics on Saturday June 2.

Come to the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival on Saturday, June 30th

Coming Events

Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest

The Second Annual Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest takes place May 30 - June 3. It's a chance to see more than a hundred different species of nesting birds, including the rare Great Lakes Piping Plover. There's all kinds of field trips and special guests including Jerry Weinrich, "Godfather of the Kirtland’s Warbler" and keynote speaker Greg Butcher, the Director of Conservation for National Audubon.

2012 Leland Wine & Food Festival

The Leland Wine & Food Festival returns to the Leland Harbor on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Come enjoy a day in Leland's historic Fishtown tasting wines from local wineries and food offerings from local restaurants and vendors. There's also live music in the park all day and of course plenty of beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. Admission is $12 and includes an etched wine glass and two tickets for wine tasting. Click the link for participating wineries and food vendors.

Some other events include the Fiber Frenzy at the Old Art Building (May 25), Leland Wine & Food Festival (June 9)Leelanau Artists at the Old Art Building (June 1), "Pots and Paintings" at Center Gallery (June 1),  HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE collection (June 2), Traverse Colantha Walker Dairy Festival (June 10), Glen Arbor BBQ and Brew Festival (June 16) and the Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon & 5k (June 16).

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay has the new Tim Burton film Dark Shadows (PG-13) starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter playing through May 31st.

The Weather

It's a glorious 89 degrees under sunny skies  at Leelanau Coffee Roasting in Glen Arbor. The record high for a May 24th is 93 degrees from 2010. That's just out of reach in contrast with the waaay out of reach 25 from 1956. Expect winds to pick up and temps to remain in the upper 80s for the rest of the day. We might get some rain overnight with gusty SW winds at 15-25. Tomorrow will be a little cooler, but beautiful with sunny skies and a high in the low to mid 70s. The weekend outlook calls for a high around 80 on Saturday and then near 90 on Sunday and Monday with a 30% chance of showers all three days but plenty of sun as well!

Chris Johnson shared his photo from last night of the boat launch in Glen Arbor. Click it for a larger view and visit his Facebook page for more!

More weather resources for Leelanau & Traverse City on the Leelanau Almanac!

May 17, 2012

This Week in Leelanau: May 17, 2012

Filed under: almanac,Leelanau,michigan,news,photo — Andrew McFarlane @ 3:37 pm

Empire Bluffs trail
Empire Bluffs trail by Pettman's Photographic Memories

Empire Bluffs Leek

After a few weeks of crisp temperatures, we've moved quickly through springlike and are headed into summery! Get ready for the 80s because it's going to be an amazing weekend!!

Under the Enough Already with the Mostest Bestest heading comes news that National Geographic has selected Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes as one of their ten best summer trips. Added to the Sleeping Bear Dunes' designation as the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America last summer and it's clear that our region is a white-hot tourist destination. Read on for more...

Everything is popping in the woods and wilds and Sarah has pulled together a great list of forage-able foods that you can find in Leelanau. There's well-known ones like leeks, dandelions, watercress and (of course) morels and also lesser known treats including lamb's quarters, cattails and stinging nettles.

LVR Realty - Your Source for Real Estate in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Coming Events

The Glen Arbor Sun has features on a pair of great upcoming events...

Empire Asparagus Festival

The Empire Asparagus Festival turns a nifty nine this weekend. MSN dubbed it one of the world’s weirdest festivals. It kicks off Friday night eith a screening of the History of the Sleeping Bear Dune Rides at 6:30 PM followed by a dance and pig roast from 7-10 PM with music by the Benzie Playboys, pork by Art's & beer by Right Brain. Saturday features at 5K Kick Ass-paragus Fun Run/Walk (10 AM), Asparagus recipe cook-off (11 AM), the Ode to Asparagus poetry contest at 12:20 (check out last year’s winners) parade at 3 PM and the Asparagus Eats, Wine and Beer Tasting under the tent downtown from 11 AM - 4 PM.

Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest

The Second Annual Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest takes place May 30 - June 3. It's a chance to see more than a hundred different species of nesting birds, including the rare Great Lakes Piping Plover. There's all kinds of field trips and special guests including Jerry Weinrich, "Godfather of the Kirtland’s Warbler" and keynote speaker Greg Butcher, the Director of Conservation for National Audubon.

Some other events include Artist in Residence Presentation at Glen Arbor Art Association (May 17), The Pinafore Pirates at The HAP (through May 20), Spring Dance - Lake Leelanau VFW (May 18), Tweed Ride TC (May 20), the Fiber Frenzy at the Old Art Building (May 25) and the Leland Wine & Food Festival (June 9).

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay has the new Tim Burton film Dark Shadows (PG-13) starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter now playing.

The Bluebird in Leland invites you to their Ethnic Dinners every Wednesday and Thursday through the winter & spring. Their season is winding down, but you can head out tonight and next Wednesday & Thursday for the "Best on Ethnic Night" dinners to close out the season!

The Weather

It's a glorious 73 degrees under sunny skies at Leelanau Coffee Roasting in Glen Arbor. The record high for a May 17th was 91 in 1903 with the the low of 25 set in 1983 (we got down to 32 this morning so it's quite a range!).  There's a chance of rain overnight but our weekend outlook calls for sunny skies and mid to upper 70s on Friday, sunny & 80 on Saturday and Sunny and low to mid 80s on Sunday. Like it? Get used to it as there's 70s in the forecast all the way though Memorial Day!

More weather resources for Leelanau & Traverse City on the Leelanau Almanac!

Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes are a top 10 National Geographic summer trip

Empire Bluffs trailNational Geographic has selected Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes as one of their ten best summer trips saying:

Traverse City is the biggest little beach town on the "Third Coast" - the U.S. shores of the eight-state Great Lakes coastline. The region's 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline basically trace the upper left edge of Michigan's "mitten." Add another 149 inland lakes that are 10 acres or larger and you get a rambling Cape Cod-on-freshwater summer playground: quaint port villages, sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, rolling orchards, family-friendly festivals (including the National Cherry Festival, July 7-14), and summer-only Traverse City Beach Bums pro baseball games (team members bunk with local families).

Head northwest from Cherry Capital Airport to the Leelanau Peninsula and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Michigan's monumental sandbox is best known for its 150-foot Dune Climb (or roll), but there’s also 35 miles of pristine Lake Michigan beach. Take the 7.4-mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive loop in time to watch the sunset from Lake Michigan Overlook observation deck, perched 450 feet above the water.

Added to the Sleeping Bear Dunes' designation as the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America last summer and it's clear that our region is a white-hot tourist destination. As you can see from the video below from Pure Michigan and the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Leelanau & Traverse City are definitely being marketed nationwide as a package destination.

Photo credit: Empire Bluffs trail by Pettman's Photographic Memories

May 3, 2012

This Week in Leelanau: May 3, 2012

Filed under: almanac,calendar,Leelanau,michigan,news,photo,spring — Andrew McFarlane @ 1:34 pm


Sand & Shadows. by John Levanen

It's been a very busy time at Leelanau.com. More precisely, at Leelanau Communications, Inc., the company that produces Leelanau.com. In addition to a lot of work for the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, including the forthcoming Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, we've been working to redo Leelanau.com to take advantage of social media including Facebook, our Leelanau.com Flickr group and our This Week in Leelanau email.

Last week the northern lights made an appearance over Leelanau, and Ken Scott got out and took some great shots! There's one below and you can see more in his Northern Lights slideshow or on his Facebook.

Northern Lights are usually a rare treat but lately we've been seeing them more often. A little over a year ago astronomer Dick Cookman - who owns Enerdyne in Suttons Bay - noted that we are right in the middle of the best aurora borealis viewing in a decade, so hopefully there's more on the way.

Good Harbor Bay ... aurora borealis reflected

Ken also has a short aurora time lapse and you there are also see two short time lapses by Guy Strong that you can watch here and here.

Real Bikes with Bear Power!

In addition to signs in the sky, we've also seen signs of spring in the form of morel mushrooms and cherry blossoms. Both are out there now, though the morels are fairly elusive and the cherry blossoms sparser than normal. Another sign of spring, pair of Sandhill Cranes, were caught at Glen Lake by Mark Miller.

Sandhills at Glen Lake

Coming Events

Artist in Residence Presentation ~ Thursday, May 3rd

Linda Walker from Mattawan, MI, is a muralist and decorative painter while pursuing a Graduate Teaching Certificate in Art Education at Grand Valley State University. She will use her residency to focus on plein air painting with the goal of expanding her professional portfolio. Attend her presentation Thursday night at the Glen Arbor Art Association Office.

Spring Sip & Savor Wine Tour ~ Friday, May 5th & Saturday May 6th

Join the 19 wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association the weekend of May 5-6, 2012 for the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association’s annual Spring Sip & Savor wine trail event. In addition to food & wine pairings at each winery, participants are encouraged to participate in the Sip o’ de Mayo Hat Contest try to win one of the prizes that many of the wineries will be offering and the fabulous Grand Prize.

A few other items of interest from our Leelanau Calendar at the Suttons Bay Powwow this Friday from 1:30 - 9 PM, the Traverse City Chocolate Festival this Sunday from 1-4 PM and a pair of Leelanau Chamber events, the Business Expo from 11-6 on Wednesday at the Strongheart Center and the Chamber's Business After Hours next Thursday at 5:30 at Sugarfoot Saloon.

Many more on the Leelanau Calendar!

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay has Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (PG-13) starring Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas ending tonight. Starting Friday is 21 Jump Street (R) starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube.

The Bluebird in Leland invites you to their Ethnic Dinners every Wednesday and Thursday through the winter & spring. Their season is winding down, but you can head out tonight for Italian and next week for Southwestern featuring Camarones Cozumel, Tortilla Crusted Snapper, Manchengo Chicken Chili Satays and Black Bean, Corn, and Portugese Sausage Nacho w/fire roasted bell peppers & Jalapenos!

The Weather

It's 60 degrees and raining hard at Leelanau Coffee Roasting in Glen Arbor as severe thunderstorms rake the area. They've dumped buckets of (hopefully) morel-bringing rain with more to come. The record high for a May 3rd is 88 from 1955 with the low of 22 set in 1967. Highs are expected in the low 70s today. Rain and thunderstorms will continue overnight, bringing up to an inch of rain by tomorrow. Expect rain to move out tomorrow by noon, bringing mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 60s. The weekend outlook calls for sunny skies and low 70s on Saturday and mostly cloudy skies and low 70s on Sunday.

April 13, 2012

The Leelanau Almanac

Filed under: almanac,backgrounds,calendar,Leelanau,weather — Andrew McFarlane @ 2:00 pm

For the latest Leelanau & Traverse City weather you can use the resources on this page.

Coming Events

Check the Leelanau Calendar for events.  You can click that link to add your Leelanau & Traverse City events to the calendar for FREE! Not only will they be distributed with our weekly newsletter, but they may be a featured story on Leelanau.com!

More Weather Resources

Please also check the less pessimistic Weather.com forecast)

Glen Arbor, Michigan Forecast from Ann Arbor based wunderground

Weather Underground is just about as old as the internet (the first net weather service) and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sometimes the above banner will show personal weather system data from Leelanau Coffee in Glen Arbor, sometimes from Leland and sometimes it comes from a vineyard on Old Mission (it tells you which in the top left of the page it links to).

Buoy 45002 in Lake Michigan is located halfway between North Manitou Island and Washington Island in Lake Michigan. It provides wind and wave data. Also check out Michigan Sea Grant Coastwatch for water temps (the "early evening" images in their archive will give you a better idea of actual temps during peaks swimming hours ... in seasons where you might actually want to swim!).

April 7, 2012

Blossoms are out, but tarts are in trouble

Filed under: cherries,Leelanau,michigan,news,photo,spring,weather — Andrew McFarlane @ 9:19 am

We featured this on Michigan in Pictures this morning...

Beautiful Blossoms 5320-11
Beautiful Blossoms 5320-11 by StacyN - MichiganMoments

Cherry blossoms are out a full month early on the Leelanau Peninsula, and "Summer in March" appears to have claimed much of Northern Michigan's 2012 tart cherry crop. Interlochen Public Radio reports:

A spring freeze last week across Northwest Michigan killed more than half of the buds on tart cherry trees. Industry officials estimate the loss for the region in the 50 to 70 percent range. Trees can produce a decent crop if a third of the buds survive. But several factors, including another freeze this spring, could still damage more of the crop before harvest.

Leelanau County saw the heaviest loss, estimated at as high as 90 percent of sour cherries killed in many orchards. But other fruit trees, like apple and sweet cherries, are in decent shape.

Other county crops like apples and sweet cherries appear to be in better shape, but with a hard frost out there this morning, it's probably not over yet.

Check this out bigger and in Stacy's Spring slideshow.

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