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.

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    The Daily Michigan: A private tour of the Sleeping Bear Dunes with SBD Tours

The Daily Michigan: A private tour of the Sleeping Bear Dunes with SBD Tours

Today on The Daily Michigan we have guided private explorer tour for up to six people through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with SBD Tours!

The emphasis is on the exploring as you check out sites like Pierce Stocking Drive & Glen Haven, take a hike, visit a ghost town or old farm visit and even enjoy a wine tasting!

Through hikes and tours, SBD Tours helps visitors connect with the natural beauty of northern Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes area as they learn about our links to the past and help preserve this wonderful resource! Your tour guide is a Certified Interpretive Guide, a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. She has been in this area for nearly twenty years and has a great appreciation for this scenic part of northern Michigan. Visit their website for more information about the tours!

Click here to sign up (and to learn how you can win)

March Michigan Event Calendar

Our monthly calendar contains a selection of what’s cool to do in Michigan. If you have an event to share, please POST IT IN THE COMMENTS. We read them all and might add yours, but if you email us, we simply can’t add the event!

If your event is ticketed and you would like to give tickets away to promote it, please go to this page!

Approaching Spring by mayerdavid1978

Our Michigan event calendar for the month of March features all kinds of signs that spring is just around the corner with some cautious reminders that objects around the corner may be further off than they appear.


“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes
and a laugh in her voice.” – Hal Borland

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” – Lewis Grizzard

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” – Doug Larson

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!” – Robin Williams

Fast Facts

March’s birthstone is Aquamarine and Bloodstone. They symbolize courage.

Its birth flower is the Narcissus.

March in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of September in the Northern Hemisphere.

Daylight-Savings time occurs on March 13, 2010, at 2:00 AM – time to spring ahead!

Think spring! The vernal equinox occurs on March 20, 2011, at 11:21  PM EDT.

Fly High at the Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament

pine-mountain-ski-jumpEvery year the Kiwanis Ski Club in Iron Mountain holds the Pine Mountain Continental Cup Ski Jumping Competition, one of the best tournaments in the United world. The first competition was held in 1939, making 2012 is the 73rd annual. The event takes place the weekend of February 11-12, 2012 and will draw top US & international jumpers from a dozen countries along with over 20,000 spectators .

The Pine Mountain ski slide was at one time was the highest artificial ski jump in the world and is still known throughout the world as one of the best jumping hills. At the first Pine Mountain Tournament, Bob Roecker, riding for the Duluth Ski Club, shattered the American jumping record with a leap of 257 feet.

For questions regarding tickets, please contact the Kiwanis Ski Club (906) 779-1110 or (800) 236-2447.  This video from Pine Mountain 2008 is a little bright, but it gives you a good sense of this exciting event. Here’s another video with lots more jumps from the Continental Cup, but we have to give you this great newsreel from the 1950s voiced by Mel Allen. It was shot in Iron Mountain, and features several local jumpers including then 9-year-old Willie Erickson, a two-time Olympian and FIS World Championship competitor. Also don’t miss the jumping videos from the Kiwanis club!

February is National Cherry Month!

Michigan Cherries by jdurchen

Did you know that Michigan is the largest producer of Montmorency tart cherries, growing 70-75% of the crop? February is National Cherry Month, and the Cherry Marketing Institute (link below) has bushels of info about the history and present state of the cherry industry including growing research showing that antioxidants in tart cherries may relieve the pain of arthritis and gout & help fight cancer and heart disease.

February Michigan Event Calendar

Iron Works #2 - Cranbrook by MikeRyu
Iron Works #2 – Cranbrook by MikeRyu

Our Michigan February Event Calendar shows that the more the weather tries to keep us holed up, the more ways we find to get out and have fun!! Of course, there’s still many, many more and we invite you to fill us in on other February events in the comments.

February Fast FactsWikipedia

  • Having only 28 days in common years, it is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon. 2012 is a Leap Year!
  • It has 29 days in leap years, when the year number is divisible by four (except for years that are divisible by 100 and not by 400 in the Gregorian calendar)
  • It is the only month of the calendar that once every six years and twice every 11 years, will have only four full 7-day weeks.
  • Its birth flower is the Viola (plant) and the Primrose.
  • Its birthstone is the amethyst.

Invasive Species in the National Parks

Goby by swatzo
Goby by swatzo

Last year the National Park Service produced a series of short documentaries exploring invasive species in the Great Lakes. The series was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative showing how invaders are changing the ecosystems in national parks and what’s being done to stop them.

All four of them are available through the Great Lakes Echo. Part 1: Aquatic Invasives is below and it explores how zebra mussel, quagga mussel, round goby and other invasive species are creating havoc in Lake Michigan, causing the food web to tilt out of balance. People can help, clean drain and dry all boating and fishing gear to stop aquatic hitch hikers. here’s Part 2: Invasive Plants in our Parks, Part 3: Spotted Knapweed, and Part 4: Emerald Ash Borer!

January Michigan Event Calendar

Frankfort, Michigan Lighthouse and Beach by forestlady
Frankfort, Michigan Lighthouse and Beach by forestlady

Here’s a few highlights of the many events being held around Michigan for the month of January (be sure to click Read More to see them!). A lot of them are out in the snow for snowmobiles, skates, skis and sled dogs, but there’s also a chance to heat up with the Ann Arbor Folk Fest, Ferndale Blues and the Detroit Auto Show. The weatherman says there’s a 100% chance we didn’t get them all so please add links and information for those we missed along with reviews of ones we list in the comments below!

Fast FactsWikipedia

  • January is named after Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua) – January is the door to the year.
  • January’s birthstone is the garnet which represents constancy.
  • Its birth flower is the Dianthus caryophyllus or Galanthus.


“New Year’s Day is everyman’s birthday.” – Charles Lamb

“January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.” – Sara Coleridge

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

DNR Uncut: Michigan State Parks Capture Top National Award

Here’s a “guest” post from the Michigan DNR. We say “guest” in that we copied and pasted it from their website. Great parks, great news. 

Collectively Falling - Bond Falls by Aaron C. Jors
Collectively Falling – Bond Falls by Aaron C. Jors

The Department of Natural Resources announced today that Michigan state parks and recreation areas have won the 2011 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Gold Medal for the top state park system in the nation. The DNR was notified today by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and NRPA.

Michigan was named one of four finalists in May, and beat North Carolina, Florida and Missouri for the top honor.

“This award is a credit to the people of Michigan,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who recently appointed a blue-ribbon panel to guide the parks system into the future. “For more than 90 years, Michiganders have realized that these unique areas are an integral part of the cultural enhancement, economic enrichment and overall quality of life that we value. Our parks are what we make of them and the people of this state clearly prize these treasures. I commend the DNR for its outstanding stewardship of these resources and look forward to working with all stakeholders so that we have a parks system that serves our state and its visitors for generations to come.”

The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, and agency recognition. Each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collective energies of citizens, staff, and elected officials.

“We are very proud to receive this award, and I want to recognize the employees of the Parks and Recreation Division who have worked hard to make sure our 99 state parks and recreation areas remain excellent places for our citizens and visitors to experience Michigan’s abundant and amazing natural resources,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “This is the result of teamwork, talent and vision that is aimed at protecting our special places, and also making sure that visitors have an enjoyable, high quality experience.”

In its winning application, the DNR focused on innovation, such as the Recreation Passport, which is the new funding model for state parks and outdoor recreation in Michigan. The $10 optional fee that Michigan residents can pay when renewing their vehicle registration at the Secretary of State gives them annual access to all Michigan state parks and boating access sites and also supports state forest recreation programs. A portion of the funding also supports a grant program for local parks.

“This achievement is indicative of the tremendous staff who works in the Parks and Recreation Division, who strive for excellent customer service every day to provide a positive experience for our customers,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson.

Michigan is home to 99 state parks and recreation areas, offering visitors more than 13,000 campsites, trails, access to inland lakes, rivers and the Great Lakes.

For more information on state parks in Michigan, go to

And for even more, check out the Absolute Michigan Parks section!

There’s no better place for Michigan for the Colors of Fall

Via Michigan in Pictures… We’ll lead it off with a polished video from Pure Michigan. You can also do some virtual color touring with this Motorcycle ride through the “tunnel of trees” north of Harbor Springs..

Untitled by DavidGuthrie
Untitled by DavidGuthrie

As I took a little drive yesterday in Leelanau & Benzie counties in Northern Michigan I realized that almost overnight, Autumn and fall color had arrived.

A good place to start your fall color touring is with the Fall Color section at In addition to color updates, you can get some really nice ideas for Fall Color tours all across the state along with an idea of when color is at its best in each location.

A few more good sites for fall color are the All Things Autumn for West Michigan, the M-22 Color Tour, Exploring the North UP Fall Color and Up North Color Tours for northern Lower Michigan and the UP.

Upper Tahquamenon Falls by James Marvin Phelps
Upper Tahquamenon Falls by James Marvin Phelps

A great place to go for pics of current fall color is the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr. Just dive right in, click for the latest fall color shots or check out the all-time most popular fall color shots.

You also don’t want to miss fall from Michigan in Pictures, which includes The Science of Fall Color and our popular Michigan fall wallpaper series!

Check the photo above out bigger and in David’s Fallscapes slideshow.

Have a link or a Michigan fall photo to share? Post the link below or on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!