Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

My Easter greeting come to you from the Cross in the Woods in Indian River, MI. It is a pretty neat Marshall Frederick sculpture.

I will post more pictures when I get home, but until then Happy Easter.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Indian River, MI

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Wyandotte Power Plant

So I leave you with one more shot from the evening.
Sitting next to Bishop Park is the Wyandotte Power Plant which is owned by Wyandotte Municipal Services.  It is one of 41 public power systems in Michigan and 2,000 in the United States.  It was originally formed in 1889 as a for profit company but after a vote by the people it became a municipal company.

The power plant above generates 70 Megawatts and can use either coal, natural gas or tire derived fuel.  Tire derived fuel is more efficient than coal and is cheaper.  It also sends less waste to our landfills.  In 2001, the plant burned the equivalent of 2.1 million tires.

I kind of liked the light on this building.

Michigan Exposures Welcomes Back an Old Friend

Like I said in my first post tonight, I saw that the Roger Blough would be passing by this way tonight.  I missed her as she passed by yesterday morning (it would have been too early anyway to get pictures).  But sadly, the light was waning as I was waiting around Belanger, so I decided to head over to Bishop Park in Wyandotte.
 Bishop Park is a pretty nice park but not really for ship watching.  On one side, you have the end of Grosse Ile and on the other you have another island, so there is a very small window for watching the ships.  But I didn't care because I'd get to see my favorite ship again.  It was pretty cool.
 The other problem with Bishop is that the channel is not as close as other places in the area.  Since the light was waning and I didn't have a tripod, I couldn't really use my big lens, so my pictures seem like I'm taking them from Mackinaw.  She appears more fully from the behind the island.
 Still my favorite ship angle, but I am starting to like some of the oblique angles that I can get in other places.
 It was still cloudy, so I wasn't getting the golden light that I was hoping for.  But it was still a pretty calm day.
 She inches her way in front of me.
 And slowly the sun started the appear.
 I kind of wish I would have this amount of light when she was more in front of me but oh well.  Like I said, I was happy to see her again.
And just like that, she's gone.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll get the opportunity to see her again.

Like I said, I'm gonna try to take less ship pictures but I will make an exception for the Blough.  I would love to catch her in Ohio sometime, but I'm not sure how the harbor is laid out there.  I know Gary isn't really suited for a picture of her though.

A Pleasant Surprise

As I was waiting for the Blough, I heard a rather distinctive sound.  Of course I turned in the direction it was coming from.
 Much to my surprise it was a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter.  I don't normally see those in this neck of the woods, so I was pretty happy.
 The Chinook Helicopter came about because the Army needed a heavy lift helicopter.  In 1958, after a competition, the Army awarded the contract for this helicopter to Boeing Vertol.  It's first flight was in 1961 and it was introduced to the service in 1962 (compare that to how long it took to introduce the F-22 sometime).
 Over the years, it has seen a number of upgrades and have been used by a number of US Allies.
The current model is the F model, but I'm not sure what this one is.  It is a pretty cool looking helicopter though.

A Stop at Belanger Park

I saw that the Roger Blough would be passing by Detroit this evening, so I decided to head to Belanger Park because I wasn't sure if I would have enough light as she reached Detroit.  It is actually a pretty nice park for shipwatching.
 Normally the park charges an admission but they don't start that until after April 1st.  I guess that's good because it keeps some of the riff raff out.  This is a fake lighthouse set up for the park.  It looks pretty nice.
 Looking up at the tower.  The sky looked pretty interesting tonight.
 Looking up the tower.  I'm wondering if this lighthouse is based on another one somewhere else.
 One more shot of the Lighthouse.
 The River Rouge Power Plant.  It is a coal fired plant run by DTE Energy (formerly Detroit Edison).  I'm not sure how old it is though.
 The Isa which is owned by Polsteam.  I believe she has been on this blog before.  She is a Polish owned freighter.  One of many ocean going vessles that find their way to the Lakes.
 I caught a glimpse of the switcher car at the Great Lakes Steelworks.  Unfortunately, my light was waning too much.
 The Stormont, which is a Canadian tug.  If my memory serves me correctly, she's been on this blog before because I think she pushes the Truck Ferry.
 Another angle of the Isa.  I'm hoping to get my passport soon because I would like some different angles of Detroit.
 A pair of Canada Geese.
 And a single Canada Goose.
 The other grain elevator across the river.
Belanger also gives a pretty nice angle of Detroit.

As I was looking at Marine Traffic, I was coming to the realization that if I wanted to catch the Blough and still get pictures of her, I would have to head to another park.  So I went to Bishop Park in Wyandotte.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wandering Around Saline, MI

I'm kicking around another idea with this blog.  I may try to feature different cities, towns and villages around the State of Michigan.  It's amazing how much diversity there is in this one state but then again, I think that might have something to do with it being somewhat of a crossroads and stopping place for many different groups of people.

Since it's not too far from work and with it staying light a little longer, I decided to head over to Saline.  Saline is a little bedroom community to the south of Ann Arbor and the southwest of Ypsilanti.  If you head west from Ypsilanti on US-12, you will pass right through it.  If you do, make sure that you don't blink because you will likely miss it.
 Before it was discovered by Europeans, Native Americans would use the land around Saline for hunting and gathering salt from the nearby salt springs.  In the 18th Century, French explorers came up from the Raisin River and would also harvest the salt.  They named the local river Saline which means salt or salty in French.

As I've said before, there must a set of blueprints somewhere that says, "Quaint Midwestern Town" because I would swear all of the towns around here have this template.
 Early in the 19th Century, German and English settlers started to take roots in the area.  The Brecon Grill above is named after one of Saline's sister cities, Brecon, Wales.
 In 1832, Saline was officially established as a village.  It's actually not too surprising given it's placement on the Great Sauk Trail/US-12/Chicago Road.
 Saline has had its own newspaper since 1874 and is currently serviced weekly by the Saline Reporter.
 So I walked a little west of town and got a couple pictures of St. Paul's United Church of Christ. 
 I'm not sure how old this church is but it looks fairly old.
 And it was back to the main part of Saline.  I kind of like the looks of these old buildings.
 Then I went down one of the sidestreets.
 This barber pole caught my eye.  If I remember correctly, the legend behind the barber pole dates back to when the town barber also functioned as the town doctor/surgeon.  They would wrap bloody rags around a pole outside of their shop.  This morphed to the barber pole that we are all familiar with.
 This building also caught my eye.  It looks like may have been a general store or something to that effect.  Currently it is occupied by a lawyer.
 Next up was the old Saline Episcopal Church.  It was designed by Dark and Munger of Bay City, MI.  It was completed in 1899 and is currently on the National Register of Historic places.
 It is now called the Stone Arch Event Center.  This came about because the Episcopals outgrew this church and left in 1990.  The city bought the building then and later sold it to another group.  Out of this, the event center was built.
 This is the First Presbyterian Church of Saline.  This was established by Presbyterian Families that moved from Newark to this area.  The first services were held in 1831.  In 1842, a wooden church was built on this site.  The current Church was built in 1898.
 Next up is the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  It was founded in 1865 after its membered had been served by the Reverend Friedrich Smith who traveled from Ann Arbor to Monroe and back to Detroit.
 The first church was built in 1871 and the church was known for retaining its Pastors.  From 1878 until 1986, there were only four Pastors at this church.  This is pretty much the original church with several additions.
 Next up is the Davenport House.  This building was constructed in 1875 and served as the residence of William H. Davenport who was a prominent citizen of Saline (duh...with a house like this).  In 1851, he entered into a partnership with H.J. Miller to run a general store.  In 1853, he bought out Miller's interest and became quite wealthy.
 In 1885, he started a private bank which later became known as Citizen's Bank of Saline.  This particular style is known as Second Empire Style and was designed by William Scott of Detroit (someone I'll have to look up it seems).
 This is a bell that is standing in front of the Saline Fire Station.  It used to stand above the original fire station and would sound warnings for things.  It was also rung in celebration of Armistice Day.
 Looking up at the spire of the Lutheran Church.  As I've said a number of times, I'm not a particularly religious person but I do enjoy churches.  I think some of the best architecture can be found in them.
 Another angle of the spire.  I'm not sure what the plaque says, but it's in German.
 One of the stained glass windows.  This is another thing that always amazes me.
 Looking up at the tower of the Presbyterian Church.
 And one of the stained glass windows of that church.
 And the Saline River.  It is a 45 mile long river and originates somewhere in Washtenaw County.  It flows through and is named after Saline.  It also passes through Milan and merges with the Raisin River.  While Saline had salt springs, this river is not salty.
 I believe this is a dam on the River.  It is used for recreational purposes and was constructed in 1967 and is owned by the City of Saline.  Speaking of which, Saline became a city in 1931.
 A straight on shot of the dam.
 I kind of liked this but it looks like another man-made waterfall.  It was still pretty nice.
 I'm not sure if this is an original building or not.
 This is the original Saline Depot though.  The railroad first reached Saline in 1870 (you may recall my post about the rail trail from Eastern's campus to the stadiums).  It was the Detroit-Hillsdale & Indiana Railroad.  This caused the city to prosper.
 A caboose.
Looking down the track side of the depot.  The railroad does not pass by this point anymore but this building does serve as a museum (which means another stop at some point).

So do you like this idea?  Let me know in the comments.

Thank you.