Little Sable Point Light
For me, security is a lighthouse. Lighthouses stir feelings in those who take to the open seas; there is an exhilaration of ‘getting underway’ when you pass a harbor light on your way out, and a feeling of, I’m not sure what to call it, a feeling of welcome and security that warms your spirit (and eases shoulder tension) as you pass one on your way into safe harbor. That said, the Little Sable shots were what I had in a file close at hand so I am sharing her, a coastal light, today.
Little Sable sits in the dunes surrounded by the treacherous sand banks of Pt. Petit Sable (Little Sandy Point) in Oceana county. With the advent of GPS, radar, depth sounders, she is no longer needed as a navigational safety measure but she has a rich history of providing security to passing mariners.
Following the loss of the Schooner “Pride” on the sand bars off Little Sable Point in 1866, public outcries for a light were finally answered when Congress approved funding in 1871. Little Sable point was remote and construction was delayed until 1873-74 due to lack of roads to the site. A temporary pier was built on the point and everything, bricks, fresnel lens, tower stairs, 109 wood piles, foundation stone, ALL of it was brought in by sea.
Her foundations run deep and she is remarkably stable sitting there on those shifting sands. I love to sit at the top of the tower during a gale and feel her sway under me but when gales are up all bets for mariner safety are off. Five boats, three were freighters, went down in Lake Michigan with a total loss of 66 hands in the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940. Little Sable looks serene in the photo above but it was different that day in 1940.
The light keepers and others were able to assist the freighter SS Novadoc and secure the hands safely on shore but things were different for the SS William B. Davoc and the SS. Anna C. Minch. Losing mariners on lake Michigan was tragic indeed but there was also wide spread unexpected loss of so many hunters across the upper midwest during the same storm. Men went out with fathers, brothers, sons, family and friends on a beautiful late fall day, many skipping work to go duck hunting, totally unprepared for the killer blizzard.
Ships that went down near Little Sable during the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940:
Edit: This is what this light looks like from the top looking down: https://dunelight.wordpress.com/page/5/
The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface. I cannot think of a better place for that water. I revere, love, honor, sometimes fear, no, deeply respect those waters. Unfortunately, there are many who do not believe as I do.
By volume Lake Michigan is around 1,180 cubic miles / 4,920 cubic km. That sounds like a lot. If you’ve ever crossed it in a boat, say a 30 foot sailboat at night in moderate 5-7 foot seas, you will appreciate it’s enormity. However, and it is a big however, it is a a little cul de sac of a Lake, the water outlets are at the top of the lake in the Straights of Mackinaw where she flows into what is hydrologically considered as one with her, conjoined twin, Lake Huron. It takes 99 years for for the water in Lake Michigan to be replaced. If we pollute her it stays around for our children, our children’s children and their children. We must be ever vigilant.
Lake Michigan is alive with kinetic energy; she has calm glassy days, small lunar tides, occasional seiches*, and horrific killing sprees of 20 foot waves. Her restlessness erodes then builds up only to chew away again at her sandy beaches and dunes.
See the dune in the distance? It is part of a private association of homes in the city of Mona Shores. The last time The Lake was high the EPA laws were quite lax and after watching other summer homes fall into The Lake, someone built a cheap retaining wall of free, spent tires. Last summer those old, spent tires washed up on our city beaches in droves.
My spouse and I picked up several as did the city’s seasonal workers. We were all mystified as to their source. One day I backtracked the winds and waves of a gale until I found the source. That long ago homeowner’s ugly problem was now our problem.
There is a new administration in America that does not care for the Earth or the future of her children, human or otherwise. As a result of slashed funding for the EPA and other beneficial budgetary items there has been a flurry of delighted and money grubbing short sighted activity along The Lake that will do more harm than good. It breaks my heart.
EDIT: I found the photo of the source of the tires. https://dunelight.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/the-garbage-reached-across-the-state/
I seem to always be behind on word challenges. “Dense” was from March 29. Right away I knew I wanted to use this, this is my newest addition to my art collection; Catnado. As you can see it is dense with cats!
I took some supplies to the Heartside Ministries in Grand Rapids last week. I have been following this artist’s work for two years. I don’t always make it into town for First Friday’s, (Co-ordinated city-wide Gallery Openings), and so have missed out on some of her great cat-centric pieces. This time I was the first customer and I snagged it. My heirs may not fight over this tempera piece yet it brings me joy. It makes me smile. Had it been dry, JVD’s ‘Weather Cat’ would also have went home with me.
I love her hair and ‘ears’. She is quite gregarious and we discussed many things cat.
The Heartside is near St. Mary’s Hospital, just south of downtown. It is a place with missions and art galleries. I have artist friends who live in lofts in the area and through visiting them I became aware of Heartside Ministry and their work. I’ve included a link that shows their history and the services they provide the homeless and disenfranchised.
The Heartside area itself is rapidly changing, as with other cities renewal begins when the artists move in. The ‘Arena District’, Van Andel Arena and it’s many attendant parking garages and restaurants, is pressuring the Heartside from the North and like all urban areas it will change with gentrification.
Edit: Goodness but I was having trouble with wordpress formatting today, anyone else? Me write goodly…some day. :p
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go.
~ Disney’s Mary Poppins
Sunset tonight was 8:14, that fact alone made this kite, I had to step over the string at one point, the most glorious, highest flying kite ever known to man. It’s SPRING!
Atmospherics were odd tonight, gale today, increasing winds through the night, the ceiling a bit lower than usual with clouds scudding right along and the blessed sun shooting warm gold through the remains of the day creating so much magic in those fleeting moments. While the trees, the dune grass, the foam on the waves and the children’s hair, were all kissed with gold, the rest of the scene was blue. It was as though I was wearing bottle blue goggles, I kept checking the equipment for white balance but that sets the camera, not the air. I know. The camera merely verified what I saw; blue, lots of blue, shot through with bursts of tangerine, cerise, gold and plum.
This far north, near all this water and moisture-filled air, when the rays are low and day is done sometimes it feels as if the Empress of the North gets out her paint pots and plays with colors on the dunes, sands, and trees but on special evenings she will color the very air around you. It is magical. And it goes by quickly so savor it. This was a rich perfectly ripe Bing cherry on my sundae of the day.
Don’t know the song lyrics? Here’s a blast from your grandmothers past. When I saw those colors, those kids and that kite it made me so very happy and I sang this song.
“Don’t Make Him Mad! This young Hulk was found last Saturday at Muskegon’s first Con. His game face is so compelling and he was perfect for the ‘Easy being green’ challenge but there were so many excellent costumes that I chose to show the rest of the SciFi, Anime and Fantasy characters in black and white. I could not choose just the green. It was all good!
I took around 400 photos so the 30 that really made me smile are less than 10 percent. I had a hard time cutting out happy people as it was. There were many wonderful costumes. I’ll start with Star Wars, the resistance:
Star Wars, the Empire, boy howdy kids LOVE Darth Vader. Go figure.:
I have no clue who this fabulous character is.
Poison Ivy? She was so deliciously green, and who doesn’t love some Mad Max? Uh, is that Mad Max?
I believe the person on the right is one of the manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins from Full Metal Alchemist, one of my favorite Animes. Is that young man Edward?
I love this young Harlequin:
Dig the elf ears:
Frozen, Part II
Ghost Busters shopping:
This is a friend, Michael, who ran a booth with his wife, Liz, seen in an earlier photo with Darth Vader in their booth. I have worked with them both in professional theater. Aside from day jobs as a theater technician and an accompanist/music teacher, they write and perform murder mysteries and construct Steam Punk costumes and accessories.
Not only Muskegon’s first Con, it was my first Con. I have nothing to compare it to but I was pleased by the CoSplay, entire families were out dressed in costumes from home made (quite a few very nice home made ones actually) to store bought, from simple to elaborate. I’m glad something like this is trickling into West Michigan and I hope for a bigger Con next year.
* Note, Con goers, the theme of the challenge was How Easy it Was to Be Green. I loved that Hulk, was going to add Poison Ivy but there were too many great characters so I added them in black and white.
You are looking at what is on the other side of the dune that protects me and mine. One photo could not contain it.
When people ask where I live I reply, “One dune back from Lake Michigan.”
I often speak of how cozy I feel nestled against my wooded dunes, safe from gales that rake the shore. I fall asleep hearing the song of Michigan’s waters.
When I saw the photo challenge ‘Atop’ I HAD to share this part of my world. Yes, I am blessed.
I worked a bit on it last night, set up a new email, new blog, new font, new look, some carefully chosen sailing shots then lost all the work because I forgot to initialize the blog. I’m sure you have been there, done that, wept copiously.
I decided to change the name of it anyway because we sailors cannot be encumbered by the thought process when there are parts to be repaired, brass to polish, bottoms that need sealed and sailing expenditures that need to be hidden from spouses. I chose the most simplistic name I could think of and get away with for free and so kims sailing photos toddles into being. (No apostrophe for kims as those are too hard to type into the URL space…amirite?)
Visit if you like, let me know what works, what dead-ends, so far only one post as my eyes are now tired. I set it up because all the other sailors wanted to see the photos of their boats and crews. It may be of limited interest to others.
I wish for a great sailing season, and I hope the photos website works well. Thanks!