Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Springtime in Ann Arbor

Well it is almost safe to say that spring has arrived in Michigan.  Not that I've said that, we'll get six inches of snow tomorrow or something to that effect.  It was a nice enough night tonight that
 The lighting was just about right for Angell Hall.  I just wish the trees were showing a little more green.
 But the flowering trees were blossoming.
 A more head on shot of Angell Hall.
 There were some other flowers in bloom.  Not sure what kind this is though.
 Or this one, but I do like it.

 A group of daisies.
 I tried to get a shot of the Union through the magnolias.  I may have to try again some day although it will have to be very soon.
 Looking up at the Union.
 The statue on the south side of the Union represents athletics and faces towards the athletic portion of the campus.
 The statue on the north side represents academics and faces towards that end of campus.
About the only shot I could get of the full Michigan Union where the sun was cooperating.
 If I remember correctly, Angell Hall is the largest classroom building in the country.  Judging by this shot, I can believe it.
 The University of Michigan Art Museum.
 The Law Quad is under construction, so I couldn't get my favorite shots from it but this one will do.
 A magnolia flower.
 A group of magnolias.
 The University President's House.  If I remember correctly, this is the oldest continuous building on campus.
 Clements Library.  This is another of my favorites.
 The Martha Cook Building.
 One of the seals on Clements Library.
I've been seeing quite a bit about banning books lately.  Apparently, there is someone in Michigan that wants a school to pull The Unedited Anne Frank Diary.  From what I understand, some of the racier passages were put back into the book.  Given that Anne Frank was 13 when she started writing and 14 when she ended it, I can't imagine the passages being that racy or any racier than any girl at that age.  So I thought the above quote was appropriate.
If you get a chance, check out the books on this list.  Some of them I can understand to some extent but some of them baffle my mind. 
 But as long as we have books...all is good, right?
 The spires of the West Engineering Building.
 Looking up at some other blossoms.
 I really like this shot.
 But I like this one a little more.
I just wish these were in front of one of the better looking buildings.
 Another magnolia.
 Looking towards the Rackham Building.  Given that Albert Kahn designed many of these buildings, I am guessing that this was deliberate.
 Looking up at the flag.
 One of Michigan's attack squirrels.  They are almost as vicious as a wolverine...almost.
 The Burton Memorial Tower.
 Looking at the Rackham Building.
 Looking at the other end of the diag and stuff.  I think I really like this shot.
 Looking up at the tower.
 Standing on the steps of the Rackham Building.
 A detail of the Rackham Building.
 I really liked the lighting on this shot.
 One more shot of the Burton Memorial Tower.
 You can never have enough pictures of this structure.
 Okay, maybe you can.
And I leave you with a shot of State Street.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Stand of Trees

As I was heading back to Bay City from Frankfort, this stand of trees caught my eyes.  I liked the way the setting sun was hitting them.  So I stopped.
 It's hard to believe that Michigan was covered with trees like this at one time.  Lumbering started in Michigan in the 1840's as it was becoming apparent that the tree stands in New York and Maine wouldn't support the growing demand for lumber.
 At first, this was supported using Eastern labor, capital and lumbering techniques but that was slowly replaced by local sources of each.  The timber industry in Michigan exploded and was mainly centered around the Saginaw Valley.  From 1840 to 1860, the number of mills doubled and product value went from $1 million to $6 million.
 By 1869, Michigan was the leading producer of lumber in the country.  By the 1890's, as the land became more and more deforested, the lumber industry pulled out enabling Michigan agriculture to start to grow.  Some of them just left leaving the land to the state (hence the number of state parks in parts of Michigan).
Through some reforestation efforts, the trees are back but not quite the way they were.

The Frankfort Lighthouse Redux

Since the Frankfort Lighthouse is so close to the Point Betsie Lighthouse, I decided to stop there as well.  It's not one of my favorites but it's not a bad lighthouse either.
 Sadly, this was about as far in this direction that I could get a picture because the sun would have been right in the camera.
 Not sure what kind of ducks these are but they weren't very easy to photograph.  They would dive under water.  Thanks to an alert reader, I've found out that these are in fact horned grebes.
 Merganser perhaps?  Nope.
 Since I couldn't quite get shots like this last time, I started to walk over towards the pier.  It also helped with the sun angle.
 And slowly I worked my way over.
 It was alot better than the last time I walked on a pier.  I kind of like this shot with the lines leading towards the lighthouse.
 And closer I got.
 I didn't have the right lens to get a closer shot of the tower.
 But I tried.
 And then I started to head back.
 Taking shots as I moved along.
 I kind of liked the two guys fishing in this shot.
 I'm not sure what dune this is.
 And a fishing boat.
 I really liked the way the fence shadow looked but I had the wrong lens on my camera.
 I wanted to catch a shot of this sign as I was heading into town but the sun was right behind it.  So instead I get a shot as I'm leaving.  This is probably my favorite welcoming sign in the state.
Mainly because there's a ship on the top.  Evidently, this is a model of the rail ferry that was named Viking.  It was used by the original Ann Arbor Railroad.  It was launched in 1924 and built in Manitiwoc, WI.  She was originally named the Ann Arbor Number 7.  In 1996, she sailed to Port Stanley, Ontario where there were plans to start a ferry service between Cleveland and Port Stanley.  The costs to renovate her were underestimated and she was sold to K&K Warehousing in 2002.  Currently she awaits her fate in Menominee, MI (probably scrapping).