Wednesday, February 25, 2009

University of Michigan Bell Tower

Also called the Burton Memorial Tower being named after former University President Marion Leroy Burton who served from 1920-1925. The Tower has a grand carillon which sounds really cool. It is also one of only 23 grand carillons in the country. This carillon contains 55 bells weighing a total of 43 tons. The largest bell is six tons.

The monument was finished in 1936. It also has classrooms for the University's school of music.

After one of the Regents committed suicide in 1987 by jumping to her death, the windows have been modified so that they don't open all the way.

The tower was designed by Albert Kahn who designed a number of other prominent buildings in Michigan.

This is a shot of area around the Tower. The building in the back is the Gerald Ford Building. With the height of most buildings in Ann Arbor, the Tower does stand out pretty well.

The Tower on a foggy day. When I took this picture, I thought it was foggier and the tower would be a little more obscured.

And a sunny day.

The building is 212 feet tall.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Giant Heads of Onaway

As we were wandering around northern Michigan, I saw these giant heads. I don't know how long they've been doing this but they look pretty odd.

This is the first head I ran into. Very odd looking.
The reflections in the eyes make it look like a cat almost. Gives it the creepy soldier look.

The next was the Statue of Liberty head. I felt like saying, "Damn you! Damn you all to hell!"

You blew it up...You maniacs....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lumberman's Monument

The Lumberman's Monument is about 20 miles west of Oscoda, Michigan. It is part of the National Forest in that area. It was built in 1931 as a monument dedicated to the lumbermen of Michigan.

Lumber used to be one of Michigan's main industries until the forests were pretty much depleted. As a result of that, they learned better forest management techniques and lumbering is still a part of Michigan's economy although not as large as it used to be.

This is a shot from behind the monument. The river is the Au Sable River. It used to be a major artery for the lumber industry. Now it is a fairly major river for canoeing.
A shot of the monument framed by a pair of red pines. It is in a very beautiful area. Surrounding it are some exhibits displaying various aspects of lumbering.

A close up of one of men.

A closeup of another.

And the other.

Michigan State Capitol - Michigan 1st Sharpshooters

This is another statue around the capitol building - the Michigan First Sharpshooters. These were men that were highly skilled with their weapons.

This unit served in the following battles: The Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and the campaign for Appomattox. During the war 6 officers and 131 enlisted men were killed.

This is a shot of the statue at night.

A closeup on the face.

A closeup from the side.
A view from the side.

An overall view.

Michigan Capitol - Austin Blair

Austin Blair was Michigan's governor during the Civil War. He was an opponent of slavery and secession. He also led the effort to eliminate capital punishment in the State of Michigan and extend the right to vote to women and blacks.

He was born in New York and then moved to Michigan after getting his law license. His first political post was clerk of Eaton Rapids and then he became a State Representative, at this time he led the effort to eliminate capital punishment in Michigan.

He served as governmor during the Civil War and was a strong supporter of the effort of the North. By war's end, 90,000 Michigan men would volunteer for the war.

After the war, he became a US Congressman. He died in 1894.

His statue is in front of the Capitol Building.

Looking away from the capital building. One of the amazing parts about the capitol building is the amount of growth around it.

A close-up of his face.

The statue itself.

Another shot.
One at night.

A tighter night shot.

The Michigan State Capitol

The Michigan State Capitol Building holds the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Michigan State Government. It is in Lansing Michigan. This is the third capitol building for the state of Michigan. The first one was located in Detroit until 1847.

The second capitol building was a temporary structure until the current one could be built. Many cities were competing for the capitol including Ann Arbor, Jackson and Grand Rapids. One city was so certain that it would be the capitol that it built a Governor's Mansion (Marshall). Then it was decided that Lansing would be the capital as it was almost center between the cities competing for it.

The current building was completed in 1879 and has been the capitol building since.

This is an overall view of the capitol building. The statue in the front is Austin Blair, who was governor during the Civil War.

This is entitled the rise and progress of Michigan. The female figure represents Michigan. She is surrounded by some of the things that represents Michigan's industries.

A shot of the Capitol Dome.

A wider shot of the Capitol.

The Dome at Night.

A shot of the capitol at night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lower Tahquanemon Falls

The Lower Tahquanemon Falls are a little closer to Lake Superior than the Upper Falls. They aren't as big as the Upper Falls but they are still pretty nice. It's little quieter to visit there because they aren't as visited by as many people.

Using the Telephoto.

A Closer Shot.

An overall view of the Falls. This was in the fall.

Sadly, I got there pretty late in the day so I didn't get nearly as many shots as I would have liked.

Tahquamenon Falls

The Tahquamenon Falls are a little more than 50 miles northwest of the Mackinaw Bridge. They are one of many Michigan State Parks. There are two main sets of falls, the Upper Falls which are probably more famous and the Lower Falls which are more picturesque. This set of pictures is from the Upper Falls.

This is a view from the trail as you start the hiking trails. I used the tree to cover the fact that not as much water was flowing as normal.

This view is from an observation platform off to the side of the falls. Normally they have more water flowing but without the normal winters, there isn't as much water in the UP. Maybe they might get back to a normal level with the past couple winters.

This is probably the most famous shot of the upper falls. The brown water color comes from the iron content of the water.

Normally the falls would be going across the drop but the water levels have been lower. This looks better than when I went a couple of years ago though. As you can see, I did this during the fall which makes for an even more beautiful picture. The colors are just fantastic.

I'd like to do some winter shots but winter in the UP can be treacherous.