Category: Project: State Parks (Page 2 of 6)
On our way back from Port Crescent, we made a stop at the Sanilac Petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are rock carvings attributed to Native Americans and are estimated to be between 300 and 1000 years old. They were discovered in 1881 when a fire swept through the area, burning all the ground coverings. In the top left corner, you can see a chunk is missing from the rock. It is believed that the glyph was actually stolen sometime between the fire and when the first survey was done in 1920. The pictured glyph is known as the “bow man” and is believed to represent a hunter. (Michigan.gov)
While this is an interesting historic location, I would not visit with photography in mind. Its hard to get a good angle to photograph the glyphs and with the pavilion overhead, the lighting is tricky. While I encourage you to check it out and learn about the ancient history of the mitten state, its not the best photo spot in the area.
To plan your visit to the Petroglyphs, visit Michigan.gov. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
This past weekend we ventured to Port Crescent State Park, at the tip of the thumb. I had never been to that part of the state before and I was excited to check it out. Luckily, we were able to catch a stunning sunset the first night because it rained the rest of the weekend. I was really hoping to kayak to Turnip Rock, but I wasn’t about to do that in a thunderstorm.
We decided to not let the rain get us down and we drove around and explored the area. The lake was gorgeous like all of the Great Lakes, but honestly, there wasn’t much else to see. It’s a very flat part of the state and is mostly filled with farms and windmills. Maybe it was the weather, but The Thumb didn’t win my heart like the Ludington area did. I’m sure we will be back because I still want to check out Turnip Rock, so maybe my second impression will change my mind.
To learn more about the Thumb Region, visit ThumbTourism.org. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
This past weekend, we ventured out to our first camping trip of the season. We’ve been wanting to check out the Jack Pine campground at Ludington State Park since we discovered it on our first visit to the park several years ago. What really intrigued us about this campground is that it is a hike-in campground a mile from the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We were really looking forward to this because it would allow us to stay at the lighthouse later and photograph it during blue hour without worrying about our car getting locked in the day use area parking lot. The light didn’t end up being as phenomenal as we were hoping, but it was nice to spend sunset on Lake Michigan. We absolutely loved our campsite (site F). It was secluded and quiet but also close to the road to the lighthouse. One night wasn’t enough. We will have to make plans to stay at this campground again sometime soon!
If any of you are heading to the Jack Pine campground, one tip to know is that the path to the campground is actually a gravel road used to service the lighthouse. They say everything must be backpacked or biked in, but we brought a foldable wagon and it worked great and held more than a backpack would. While Chris’ arm got tired pulling it, I have to think it was easier than carrying everything on his back.
We recently decided to become members of the Belle Isle Conservancy. This was an interesting choice of membership because with a recreation passport, there is no fee to enter the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle. The reason we decided to join is because the Belle Isle Conservancy is part of the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal admissions program. What does this mean? It means that we get free admission and free parking at botanical gardens all around the country including Windmill Island Gardens in Holland and Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. I’m hoping to find a garden to visit on our road trip this summer. Not to mention we are supporting Belle Isle and the restoration projects going on in the park. I strongly suggest photographers check out becoming a member of a local botanical garden to get the reciprocal access to gardens around the country!
This banana photo was taken in the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle. When I walked by the banana plant, I thought the one partially eaten banana was interesting. And, I wondered, what inside the greenhouse would have eaten it?
Hartwick Pines State Park is one of the largest state parks in Michigan and is interesting because it is home to 49 acres of old growth pine forest with trees that are estimated to be between 350 and 375 years old. Somehow, these pines that was spared from northern Michigan’s booming logging industry in the 1800s. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built two buildings to house the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum, which focuses on the history of logging in Michigan, back when Michigan was the largest producer of lumber in the United States.
The above photo shows the Hartwick Pines Chapel, also known as “Chapel in the Woods” which is a popular location for weddings in a natural environment. It is also a great spot for quiet meditation during your exploration of the park.
During our recent time in Traverse City, we decided to head to Leelanau State Park for sunset. We were a little early for sunset, so we headed out to the Lighthouse at the tip of the Peninsula. The clouds were really interesting at this point in time, but looking at this photo, you can see movement in the clouds. A little closer to sunset, we headed up to an overlook that looks over the dunes and the bay below. This would be an amazing spot for sunset if the sun was in a different spot in the sky. According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the middle of June would be a great time to photograph the sunset at this spot. So, we continued on towards the beach and by this point, clouds have rolled in and the sun could only be seen in the opposite corner of the beach, so this shoot was kind of a bust but I was able to get this kind of interesting, reflective shot from the beach near the lighthouse. The moral of my story, not every shoot results in breathtaking images. Sometimes, you have to just relax and enjoy being outside and try another time.
Above I mentioned The Photographer’s Ephemeris. I recommend TPE to every photographer! You are able to put your pin at a photos spot on a map and it shows you where the sun and moon will be in the sky at any given day. Obviously it can’t tell you what the cloud cover will be like, you’ll need your favorite weather app for that, but the web app is free and there is mobile app for when you are on the go. It was integral to planning our Chateau Grand Traverse shoot from a few weeks ago.
For more information about Leelanau State Park, visit the Michigan DNR. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.