The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore reports 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. This 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.
The entire shoreline will be open for walking; however, certain areas of the beach will be temporarily closed to all entry. Visitors are asked to respect these closed areas, quietly observe birds from a distance, and not disturb birds sitting on nests. National Lakeshore Superintendent Dusty Shultz noted “for the survival of the piping plover, it is critical that dogs be kept on a leash under the control of their owner. Otherwise, the dog’s natural chase instinct could result in harm to these rare birds.” Adults that are frightened off a nest will stop incubating eggs and often completely abandon the nest. Unleashed dogs may catch and kill piping plover chicks.
In the Glen Haven area, pets are prohibited on the beach from the Maritime Museum (including the grounds of the Maritime Museum) all the way around Sleeping Bear Point to the stream outlet of North Bar Lake. Pets on leashes are allowed on the beach east of the Maritime Museum to D. H. Day Campground.
The Great Lakes Echo has been asking photographers to send them their toughest Great Lakes shots for their Flash Point series. They recently featured Ken Scott of Ken Scott Photography...
South Manitou Lighthouse
Lit by a full moon, this is a stack of 350, 30-second exposures.
The hard part was getting the timing to work out so I could travel out to the island when there would be a full enough moon to light the landscape and no clouds to interfere with the shoot. It was a crap shoot and took a few trips out to get the timing the way I wanted it.
The easy part was hanging out on the beach under a full moon!
The interesting part (for me) is how technology has changed and with it, so have techniques. I used to do long exposures on film to get star trails, but if there was any man-made lighting, like street lamps, it would over-expose that part of the image and many times make the whole image unusable. Now with digital, you can take shorter exposures keeping lights better exposed and stack many photos to get the star trail effect without blowing out highlights. The time lapse of all the images to make this photo are here.
Ken shot this on Saturday night in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He says that the brightness of the night sky is a reflection of iso and shutter speed (5 photos @ iso 1600 and 30 second exposures). Click to view larger on black!
Sleeping Bear Dunes historians believe the schooner fragment, estimated to be about 40-feet long and peppered with twisted metals spikes, is part of the ship’s bilge keelsons, which the Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archeology says were long timbers running most of the ship’s length, strengthening the keel.
It’s one of several fragments of the wreck to wash ashore over the years, said Laura Quackenbush, museum technician with park service. In fact, wreck fragments from the Jennie and Annie, as well as other ships which foundered off the dunes coastline, wash ashore once or twice a year.
“It’s a very dynamic shoreline,” she said. “It’s a common occurrence around there.”
Michigan author Jerry Dennis shared this except from his new book The Windward Shore from University of Michigan Press with us on Absolute Michigan. It features Leelanau's Lake Michigan shore, so in case you missed it, here is is!
The Lake in Winter
by Jerry Dennis
(January, Cathead Point, near the tip of Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula)
It changes every day, every hour. It is a thousand lakes, changing faces with every shift in wind and light - flurried by offshore wind, whitecapped in squalls, colored flannel gray or pearl-white or stormy black beneath the winter clouds, a dozen blues when the sky is blue. (more...)
Jackson Atwater Thomson took this photo one year ago at Peterson Park, on the Lake Michigan shore near Northport. I don't have a photo from today, but let me assure you that snow is not something we have much of right now.
The Leelanau Enterprise reports that plans are in the works for the Bay Area Transit Authority (BATA) to provide a "beach bus" that would provide express service between points of interest along the Lake Michigan shore.
One route would start in Suttons Bay and end at Sleeping Bear Point with intermediate stops at Leland, Good Harbor, The Homestead and Glen Arbor...
Initial reaction to the beach bus proposal was favorable from Tom Ulrich, deputy superintendent of SBDNL.
“It fits right within our goals of providing an opportunity to visit the park without people having to drive from place to place … using gas and filling parking spaces,” Ulrich said. “If it’s simply a bus route to get people to the beach without cars, it sounds like a good idea to me.”
They note that another proposal in the works is a wine country shuttle that will be tested on the Old Mission Peninsula. Don Coe of Black Star Farms commented: “I know that public transportation has been used to promote tourism in other wine regions, such as the Napa Valley. It makes a lot of sense.”