Legendary Ice Caves on Lake Michigan!

via Leelanau.com

mLive called out this incredible video by Tom Auch and George Meredith of the massive ice caves off the western shore of Leelanau County.

Getting to the formations is no easy task, he (Meredith) warned. Observers need to be careful about jagged terrain and ice alterations that could be dangerous. He suggested that some type of walking cleats are needed.

“You have to go out pretty far. That’s the rub,” he said. “You have ridges that you have to go around.”

Since news stations began reporting on the ice formations a couple of days ago, large numbers of people have come to see them.

“This is a once-in-a-decade natural beauty,” Meredith said. “Some of the caves literally have loft formations in them.”

They are located off Gills Pier about 7 miles north of Leelanau and the article includes a map. I feel compelled to add that Lake Michigan is deep, cold and dangerous so please use some common sense and buddy up!

2014 Michigan Notable Books

20 books celebrating Michigan people, places, and events

The Library of Michigan has announced their list of Michigan Notable Books for 2014. “The Michigan Notable Books Program helps to show what is ‘great’ about the Great Lakes State,” said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. “It is amazing to see the quality of books that are written focusing on Michigan year after year,” added Robertson.

Annually, the Michigan Notable Books Program (MNB) began in 1991 as part of the Michigan Week celebration. The annual list features 20 books published in the previous calendar year that are about Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. Selections include nonfiction and fiction books that appeal to a variety of audiences and cover a range of topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents.

For more information about the MNB program call 517 373-1300, visit www.michigan.gov/notablebooks or email rileyr1@michigan.gov.

Northern Lights predicted for Michigan tonight!

via leelanau.com

Aurora Borealis ... over 'the Narrows'

Aurora Borealis … over ‘the Narrows’ by Ken Scott

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center:

CME on the way…Want to see the Northern Lights?

We have completed initial analysis of the CME associated with today’s X1 (NOAA Scale – R3) solar flare from Region 1944 (center disk) and have developed a forecast for a geoeffective event. Despite the CME not coming directly at Earth, a partial impact to the magnetic field that protects Earth is expected and a resulting geomagnetic storm as high as G3 (strong) levels is forecast to begin early to midday (UTC) on Thursday, 9 January (just after midnight to early morning hours EST).

It looks like we will have clearing late so you might want to set a 5 AM alarm! They also say that Friday night there’s a chance of aurora if we get clouded out! More aurora info at Space Weather.

You can view Ken’s photo bigger on Flickr and also check out an awesome time lapse from the October 2013 Northern Lights below!

Michigan in Pictures 8 Year Anniversary

I remember 8 years ago

I remember 8 years ago… by MightyBoyBrian

Every day except Sunday, the Absolute Michigan homepage features publisher Andrew McFarlane’s personal photo blog, Michigan in Pictures. The daily blog started on December 30, 2005 and has featured 2,494 photos of and from the Great Lakes State.

Here are some ways to share your photos if you’d like to be a part of it all:

Definitely head over to Michigan in Pictures and subscribe or like the Facebook page for a daily dose of Michigan!

2014 Traverse Microbrew & Music Festival

Feature via eatdrinkTC – Traverse City’s Culinary Almanac…

Microbrew Festival TixWhat would winter in northern Michigan be like without the Winter Microbrew & Music Festival? It’s an annual event that plays tribute to some of the things that make Northern Michigan special: real winters, the great outdoors, good spirited people, incredible musicians and of course craft microbrews created by artisans and entrepreneurs!

The Brew ShackThe festival takes place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 4-10 PM in Downtown Traverse City in the Farmers Market lots onthe Parkway. Attendees can enjoy 30-40 Michigan craft breweries & wineries along with a handful of carefully selected national brands pouring 150+ flavors of brews, wines, ciders and meads. There will also be some great live musical acts, marching bands, silent disco and local food vendors. Festivities are scheduled to take place from 4-10 p.m. New in 2014 features will be a curated selection of brews you won’t be able to find elsewhere including a few custom “Microbrew & Music Festival” brews from select brewers.

Tickets and festival details are available at www.microbrewandmusic.com.
Tickets always sell out, and they go on sale on Saturday (Dec 7) at noon. You can get them online or at Oryana and both of High Five Threads locations in Traverse City (downtown and Village at the Commons). Festival announcements, give-aways, and other information can be found on their Facebook.

The Legend of the Michigan Dogman

Michigan has some strange tales, but few are stranger than that of the Dogman. Some say the story began with a 1987 radio prank by Northern Michigan radio personality Steve Cook. Following the broadcast, Cook was surprised when listeners began sharing their stories of the beast. Surprise turned to shock, however, when a cabin near Luther was attacked by some kind of canine.

One of the many encounters listed on Steve Cook’s great website took place in the summer of 1938. 17-year-old Robert Fortney was fishing on the banks of the Muskegon River near Paris, Michigan when a pack of what appeared to be large feral dogs emerged from the woods:

Fortney remained silent, but the sensitive noses of the dogs quickly picked up his scent. Since he had been small game hunting earlier in the day, Fortney had his loaded rifle nearby. As the dogs approached, they assumed the group posture of a pack on a hunt. Fortney picked up the gun and fired a shot into the air.

Harvesting Michigan Beechnuts

Absolute Michigan is excited to share this article about a tasty treat you can find in the woods right now courtesy of the new eatdrinkTC website from Traverse City, Michigan. The site is dedicated to Traverse City’s exploding culinary scene and has a lot of great features including business listings, cooking classes, specials and great features like this one!

by Laura Herd, eatdrinkTC

Beechnut-in-shellI’ve been eating beechnuts off of the forest floor for as long as I can remember. I like to roast them and eat them on their own as a treat, so this season I collected a few extra beechnuts to bring back to my kitchen. Read on for lots of beech nut facts, videos and a photo gallery and how to prepare a tasty snack!

From the Hiker’s Notebook:

Beechnuts are encased in a woody husk that is covered with spines, each containing  two irregularly triangular shiny brown edible nuts. They are only produced after the beech has reached the age of about 40 years; annual beechnut production ramps up at this point to reach maximum yields after at about the 60 year point. 

Sunset on Mackinac

Stephanie of Stephanie Stevens Photography recently added a few timelapses from Mackinac Island to the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr. About her incredible timelapse of Mackinac Island harbor at sunset, she writes:

Hour & a halfish time lapse of Mackinac Island as the sun goes down, with ferries coming & going, horse carriages & bicycles on the streets, people in the park, & even some glowing Frisbees. :)

Watch it in HD and definitely check out Stephanie’s Flickr, her photography site and also a timelapse of stars at Arch Rock. More from Mackinac on Absolute Michigan.

Absolute Michigan Background Photos

Here are the photos we’ve used as Absolute Michigan backgrounds. If you’d like to share yours, add them to the Michigan Cover Photos Group on Flickr … and while you’re at it, share it in the Absolute Michigan pool.

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors by AcrylicArtist

To Be In Green

To Be In Green by MightyBoyBrian

Grand Sable Banks Evening Light
Grand Sable Banks Evening Light by Gary of the North(Footsore Fotography)

We’ll add the rest soon.

Seeking Michigan: The Dickens of Detroit

This article originally appeared on Absolute Michigan October 11, 2011.

Seeking MichiganBy Randy Riley, Library of Michigan and courtesy Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan. The goal of Seeking Michigan is simple: to connect you to the stories of this great state. Visit them regularly for a dynamic & evolving look at Michigan’s cultural heritage and read more from Seeking Michigan on Absolute Michigan!
Elmore Leonard, The Dickens of Detroit

Elmore Leonard, The Dickens of Detroit

Detroit author Elmore Leonard is celebrating his eighty-sixth birthday today (October 11, 2011). Leonard was born in New Orleans in 1925. He has made the Detroit area his home since 1934, when his family moved there. The city of Detroit often serves as the main character in his novels. As a result, fans often refer to Elmore Leonard as the ‘Dickens of Detroit.”

Leonard graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943. He then immediately joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees. After his service, he enrolled at the University of Detroit and graduated in 1950 with a degree in English and Philosophy. Leonard started his writing career as a copywriter at the Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency. Writing on the side, he was able to publish his first novel, The Bounty Hunters in 1953. In his early career, he focused on writing pulp Westerns, because that was what was selling at the time. Leonard eventually moved on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers. A large number of his books have been turned into movies or television programs.

Critics praise Leonard for his effective use of dialogue and the gritty realism in his books. His unique ear for dialogue and the ability to capture it on the page is rarely matched. Concise and plot driven, his stories are stuffed with colorful characters and tricky, often humorous plot twists. “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it,” serves as Leonard’s writing mantra. He explains his success when advising aspiring writers by stating, “Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” Stephen King has called him “the great American writer.”

Among Leonard’s best known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Mr. Majestyk, LaBrava, Rum Punch, Freaky Deaky and Killshot. In 2010, his short story “Fire In the Hole’ was the basis for the television series Justified. The Library of Michigan owns all of Leonard’s works in their Michigan Collection. Search ANSWER, the Library’s online catalog to locate works by Elmore Leonard.

Sources for this article include the WMRA Public Radio Blog and you can learn more about Elmore Leonard at his web site.

You can check out a video where Elmore Leonard’s shares his tips for writers, but we’ll start you off with part 1 of a 4 part feature on Elmore Leonard from Emery King’s World Class Detroiters. Here’s part 2, part 3 and part 4!