If you have visited Inspiration Point on Big Glen Lake, you have undoubtedly seen the old log cabin. I set out yesterday to take some photos and learn about its history. The cabin was built for Mary and George Faust, of Chicago, in 1929, on land purchased from D.H. Day. The architect was Frank Sohm, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Mary lived there nine months each year until her death in 1977. Her children continued to use the cabin for some years before selling it to the National Park Service in order to preserve it.
A lily nicely framed by a basement window of the Faust cabin
The basement door.
Just steps away from the cabin is this stone bench overlooking Big Glen Lake.
I spent yesterday morning photographing in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We’ve had so many clear blue skies lately, it was exciting to have some clouds to bring some interest to the sky. As I drove up from Grand Rapids, I wasn’t sure where I was going to start photographing, but once I saw the clouds passing by the moon in the western sky, I knew exactly the shot I wanted to start with.
The granary on the Pete and Jennie Burfiend farm in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District has a special charm and simplicity. This photo was taken 45 forty-five minutes before sunrise, and the clouds quickly moved by the waning moon.
I found my next composition in the field behind the house and farm buildings on the Thoreson farm. Here, the rising sun reaches the remnants of the “new orchard.”
While waiting for the light to strike the tree at the center of the photo, I noticed the setting moon over the pasture and the birches that line the road.
I have had my eye on an old McCormick-Deering hand-crank tractor in the barn of the John and May Burfiend farm on Port Oneida Road. It always seems to be in the shadows as I go by. But, yesterday the sun was just right to light up the grill of this beauty.
Also along the Port Oneida Road is the farm of Carsten and Elizabeth Burfiend. The farm includes two houses and a number of outbuildings. Here’ the shop and the granary.
The barn on the Burfiend farm is gone but the foundation remains.
A roller is among the old farm equipment left of the farm.
Here’s the entrance to the brooder coop and a few detail shots.
(Click on an image to see it larger.)
This house was built for Pete and Jennie Burfiend in 1893. Pete took over the farm when Carsten became too old to work it. Eventually, Pete’s son Howard operated the farm.
Howard and Orpha Burfiend built this house in 1928.
The Point Oneida district of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was home to many farms begun in the second half of the 19th century. The farms passed down through generations until, in the 1970s, the federal government acquired them as part of the Lakeshore. Many of the farm buildings still stand, but there are also other artifacts hidden among the grasses and woods. I went looking for this Buick Eight in the hills above the Martin Basch farm. I haven’t been able to precisely identify the model or year, but have narrowed it to around 1952-53.
The National Park Service conducted the first ever controlled burn in the park in May. The Service burned about 917 acres west of M-22 between Trail’s End Road on the north and Peterson Road on the South. I visited the area on Saturday.
The morning started at Bass Lake at the end of Trail’s End Road. The sky was covered with clouds, but a hint of reflected sunlight peaked through the clouds about twenty minutes before sunrise.
The shore of Bass Lake is lined with cedar trees. The roots of this upturned cedar are a work of nature’s art.
As I hiked the trail from Bass Lake to the burn area, I at first did not recognize it. I had imagined that the large trees would be burned more than they were. The leaves covering the ground had not burned. And ferns had spouted.
The area south of Deer Lake was in the burn area, but this small area was spared the flames.
After exploring the burn area and grabbing breakfast in Glen Arbor, I went to the dune overlook on the Pierce Stocking Drive, hoping to get photos of a storm coming. The storm, however, passed far to the south.
The roots of these trees at the dune overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive have a precarious hold on the shifting sand.
The struggle of plants to stabilize the dunes is ongoing.
These trees give a large hint to the direction of the prevailing winds at the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes.
I traveled north and spent the weekend camped at the D.H. Day Campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This gave me an opportunity to both in the early morning and around sunset. I started my day on the Grasshopper Loop of the Brown Bridge Quiet Area trail south of Traverse City. I spent some time waiting in a meadow for the sun to rise to get this shot. As I anticipated, the rising set this amazing larch tree on fire!
From the meadow I walked along the board walk.
I seem to be intrigued by roots these days. This next set of roots appears to be reaching out to me.
Dutchman’s breeches along the Kettles trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The U.S. Forest Service site reports that the flower has many different common names around the country. One is ” Little Blue Staggers,” so called because the plant is known to induce a drunken stagger when cattle graze on it because of narcotic and toxic substances in the poppy-related genus.
Cedars along the shore of Tucker Lake.
A view of Glen Lake from the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Some shots atop Sleeping Bear Dune at sunset.
The weekend was the weekend of the new moon. The sky was perfectly clear, offering the perfect opportunity for my first attempt at astrophotography, a photo of the Milky Way.
I made one more visit the the Leelanau Peninsula near the end of March to have one more shot at winter photography. I headed straight to Good Harbor Bay to get some shots of Shalda Creek before sunrise. I had great light for about 15 minutes and made the most of it. Then the clouds rolled in.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
After the clouds rolled in I wandered around the park taking random shots.
I drove up to Sleeping Bear in the snow early Saturday morning. The sky was a dull gray and the light was uninspiring. Then all of the sudden the sun broke through for about a half hour. I made the most of it, climbing an 8-foot pile of snow to capture this photo.
I have shot this building several times and always like returning to it. I don’t know what the building was used for. It is adjacent to an old farmhouse, which was equally stunning in the bright sunshine against the dark sky. The red barn was an added accent.
On the 26th and 27th of January, I set out to shoot photos on what was the start of a polar vortex. The temperature was 20 below zero Fahrenheit (actual temperature) when I stopped for gas in Cadillac, Michigan, at 5:30 a.m. When I finally made it to Point Betsie, north of Frankfort, the temperature had risen to 4 above, but with a steady wind at 20 mph gusting into the high 30s, the windchill was well below zero.
The Point Betsie lighthouse is a favorite of photographers in the winter because the area around it becomes covered in ice creating a magical scene. I shot there last January for the first time and found it stunning. Click here to see those photos. I wanted to give it another go this year.
The waters along the coast at Point Betsie always are stunningly vibrant. Here, the waves crash against a breakwater.
I would return to Point Betsie early on Sunday morning, but on Saturday, I made my way up the Leelanau Peninsula to Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, starting at the beach at the end of Esch Road. The shore ice building up on the beach made a great contrast with the dark clouds and light snow over Empire Bluff in the distance.
Otter Creek enters Lake Michigan at the Esch Road beach. Here the creek fights its way through the shore ice.
The fading paint on this old shed on Norconk Road caught my eye.
This tree along the Platte River also caught my eye as a study in tones of gray and white.
Even in winter, the world is not black and white. I made this shot along the Platte, thinking it was not going to amount to much. But when I opened it on the computer, I quite liked the orange and yellow colors with the hint of blue sky peeking through the clouds.
This time of year, the Crystal River is just a sliver of water.
I returned to Point Betsie on Sunday morning. The wind and cold were intolerable. I lost the feeling in my fingers within two minutes. I wanted to catch the waves crashing against the breakwater. With so little light, I pushed the ISO to 400 and shot with a wide open aperture in order to get a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the wave action. I didn’t expect much success but was surprised how well this came out. The red sky to the north was an added bonus.
I wandered north on Saturday, December 22, to do some photography on the first full day of winter. Unlike my usual trips that begin long before dawn, this trip started at 10 a.m. I was at Point Betsie by 1:00 p.m. On such a gloomy day, it didn’t matter that I was shooting at mid day. There is still so much beauty on a cloudy day. And I found lots of it on the Platte River as it prepares to flow into Lake Michigan. But, my intention in starting out late was to shoot at dusk and after sunset to capture a photo of Art’s Tavern, festively lit for the holidays, and Fishtown in Leland, which is also sporting festive, though less garish, lights.
You may remember from my photos of the Point Betsie lighthouse last year how it gets consumed by ice. Well, winter is being very slow in coming and there is just a little bit of ice beginning to form. You have to start somewhere.
The Platte River
The Platte River flows into Lake Michigan at the south end of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As it approaches the lake, it passes some low sand dunes. The ice forming on the grasses on the river’s edge intrigued me — like diamonds forming on the shore.
The reflection of the dunes in the slow moving river caught my eye.
Art’s Tavern, Glen Arbor, Michigan
It’s always worth the drive to Art’s Tavern. But Art’s gets bonus points this time of year for its festive decorations.
Fishtown, Leland, Michigan
In the latter part of the 1800s, Leland became a fishing town for white settlers on the Leelanau Peninsula. They joined native people who had fished Lake Michigan for hundreds of years. The shanties in Fishtown began to be constructed at the turn of the 20th century. The Janice Sue and the Joy are two fishing tugs that still conduct commercial fishing operations out of the Leland harbor.