Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I ended up going up to my cousin's for both a Memorial Day cook out and a celebration of his wife to be graduating from college.  As I was heading out, I thought the angle of the sun would be good for catching one of the statues in Ypsilanti.
 This statue is located in Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti.  It is dedicated to the people that served in defense of the country during the Civil War.  The cemetery itself was designed by Colonel James Lewis Glen of Niles, Michigan and built in 1863-1864.  It's design reflects the garden type cemetery that was popular in the 1840's.  He also designed Forest Hill in Ann Arbor (which has appeared on this blog before).
 The idea of the statue came from the Women's Relief Corps under the leadership of Florence Babbitt.  They were told that if they could raise $1,000 that money would be matched by Mary Starkweather of Ypsilanti (she features fairly prominently in Eastern Michigan history too).  They were able to raise that money and more in order to pay the $3,500 to build the statue.  It is cut from solid gray granite and was unveiled on May 30, 1895 which was Memorial Day that year.  It is a pretty detailed statue.
 The statue is surrounded by gravestones of various veterans.
 Some of the people buried here are unidentified. 
 A detail shots of the statue's face.  I like the detail that went into this statue.  It's kind of a shame that it is in an out of the way spot but it is also in a quiet place and gives you moment to think about things.
 Some of the other stones.
 Another angle of the face.  It's kind of amazing that whoever sculpted this was able to catch the 1000 yard stare. 
 One of the most dangerous jobs in the Civil War was that of the flag bearer.  Because the regimental colors were used as a rallying and focus point, the opposing side would tend to take those soldiers out.
In fact, Arthur MacArthur Jr. (the father of Douglas MacArthur) was awarded the Medal of Honor after retrieving the regimental colors and planting them on Missionary Ridge during the Chattanooga Campaign.  He rallied the men by shouting "On Wisconsin".  Because of this, he was brevetted to Colonel and at the age of 19 was nicknamed the "Boy Colonel".  He would later get severely wounded during the Battle of Franklin.
He was mustered out of the service in June of 1965 and started to study law.  He didn't like that, so he went back in the Army and started to fight in the Indian Wars.  He would then go on to fight in the Spanish-American War and the Phillippines Wars.  In 1902, he was named the Military Governor of the Phillippines.  He would retire from the service in 1909 at the age of 64 and was one of the last members of the military to have served in the Civil War.
His son Douglas MacArthur would get awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II, making them the first father-son combination to receive the Medal.
This is one of the more standard military grave stones.

Anyway, while you are enjoying your barbecues or whatever else you do on Memorial Day, remember the folks the day is dedicated to.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Watching my Cousin Leave

I went to the airport on Sunday to catch my cousin's wife's plane as she headed off to Germany.  Her family is from there and she was going back to visit him with her kids.  I  figured that gave me a good excuse to go plane watching.
 It was a nice enough day which is good considering that it had rained most of the day to this point.  I ended up going to the Cell Phone lot to get my pictures.  I didn't realize that some planes would taxi by.  I think this may be the first time that I got two 757's in one picture.
 A shot of the taking off 757 as it starts to pass by.
 The cell phone lot is not bad for planewatching but I'm not a huge fan of belly shots so its not a great place for pictures.  But I guess they aren't too bad.  This is a 737 taking off.
 An Airbus A330 taking off.  I'm not sure where it was heading but my guess is Amsterdam.  I like it when I can get a headshot though.
 My favorite plane, the 757.
 I think this is another A330.
 An American Embrear 175.
 An A319.
 An American Airlines MD-90.
 An American A319.
 I think this is an A320.
 The Boeing version of the DC-9.
 The Delta 767.  If I remember correctly, this one was heading off to Atlanta.
 An American 737.
 I think this is an Airbus A321.  For some reason, it kind of reminds me of the 757 but not quite as nice looking.
 An Airbus A319 belonging to Spirit. I like the yellow planes in a sea of white planes.
My cousin's wife would be taking a Delta A330 to Frankfurt.  

A Followup of Sorts

I ended up taking a convoluted route home from South Haven.  First I passed through Kalamazoo and when I got to I-69, I decided to head south in order to take US-12 home.  Since Coldwater was nearby I decided to stop there first.
As I looked at this building, I was pretty certain that I saw it before.  And then I remembered that I took a picture of it when I did my blog series about traveling on US-12 from Detroit to Chicago.  At that time, the building looked like it was in pretty sorry shape but it also looked like there was some effort to restore it.

Tibbits Opera House was built in 1882.  Because Coldwater was on the main rail route, it was considered a vacation spot for people from both Detroit and Chicago.  In the 1920s, live entertainment gave way to movies.  As the main routes shifted from Coldwater, the Opera House fell on bad times.  Restoration efforts began in 2002 and it was decided to restore it to its original glory.  The effort was complete in 2013.

The South Haven Lighthouse

So I stopped in Grand Haven but it was raining pretty hard and I couldn't see any signs of the kite festival (apparently they ended up doing it on Sunday).  The pier on the lighthouse was still under construction and I didn't feel like braving the rain to get pictures of it.
 So I decided to head down to South Haven.  It's been a while since I've been there and by the time I arrived, the rain had cleared and that gave me a good chance to get some pictures as it was still cloudy.
 I like the lights that have the catwalks leading to them.  It gives them a nice unique look.
 Looking from the front.  You can see one of the puddles remaining from the rain.
I was trying to get the reflection of the lighthouse in the puddle.  It kind of worked.
 A mallard taking a break.
 The long view of the pier.
 And the longer view of the pier.
The lighthouse with part of the beach.  I think that there are some pretty nice beaches on the west side of the state.

A Brief Stop at Fallasburg

After catching the ships, I decided to head up to Grand Haven.  They were having their annual kite festival.  It looked like it might give me some decent picture taking opportunities.
 This meant a stop at the Fallasburg Bridge.  It was a pretty nice day to this point, so I wasn't sure if there would be many people there.
 As luck would have it, there weren't too many people, so I had a chance to get some clean pictures of the bridge.  That doesn't happen very often.
 I kind of like the leading line in this picture.
One more shot before moving on.  I kind of wish the picnic table wasn't in the picture though.

Catching the Federal Ruhr

The next ship is a new visitor to the Great Lakes.
 In fact, she is probably one of the newest visitors to visit to the Great Lakes as her construction was completed in Jingjiang, China this year.
 I'm not sure if she was heading down from Duluth or Thunder Bay, but she is on her way to Kristiansand in Norway.  I'm also not sure what she is carrying but I would guess that it is either grain or something.
 She is 655 feet long and 77 feet wide.  Both of these dimensions allow her to travel through the Welland Canal and the Soo Locks.
 She is capable of carrying a little over 22,000 tons of cargo.
 It's amazing that it doesn't take too long for a ship to get dock rash though.
Anyway, she has a long trip ahead of her.

Things that Fly

I couldn't put these in another post, but they are both related, so I'll post them here.
 I knew that there was an airport in Windsor.  Occasionally I hear planes taking off from there but I don't think I've ever had a good vantage point of one.  On Saturday, I got one.
This is the DeHavilland (now Bombardier) Dash 8.  The Dash 8 was born out of the Dash 7 project in the 1970's.  DeHavilland was developing a short field capable aircraft for use from smaller airports.  It was powered by four engines.  The only problem was that only a handful of airlines were interested in it as they were trying to reduce operating costs.
In 1980, the DeHavilland Company responded with the Dash 8.  Instead of using four engines, it would use two more powerful PW120 engines.  It would a t-tail to limit the effects of prop wash.  I'm not sure why it would use a high aspect wing, but it gave it a very distinctive appearance.  The first flight was in 1983.  Since then, a little over 1200 planes have been delivered.
I like the time I spend near the water.  It is a peaceful and mostly happy place for me.  In between boats, the sound of the waves and other things have a generally calming effect.  Seagulls are sometimes my happy place birds, but I think the cormorant is more so.  I think they are cool looking birds and when they are standing on something in the water, they sometimes look like they are saluting the ships.  Anyway, it always makes me happy to see one.