May 22-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: May: May 22-07
Jumping for joy!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Chris Koskiniemi
Is that an agate?    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Chris Koskiniemi
Picnic time    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Chris Koskiniemi

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 05:33 am:

Chris Koskiniemi's brood is at it again, jumping for the sheer fun of it! This time they're leaping off the sandy banks of Lake Superior, at McLain Park. I think that's what I miss about childhood the most...embracing something so simple as taking a plunge into the beach sand with utter abandon. Of course if I did try that now, I'd probably twist an ankle and suffer for it, so I'll just stick to the tamer rock hunting of the Koskiniemi Klan's second photo. I bet they found a couple agates to remember their adventure with. Lastly, a trip to the park for the day would not be complete without some tummy pleasing picnic food. This little beauty sure seems to be enjoying that piece of pizza. Looks like a perfect way to spend a day!

By jefflarae (Jefflarae) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 06:11 am:

Looks like the most beach we have seen at the park in years, due to the low water levels. Good morning!

By Chuck K (Chuckclarkston) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 06:15 am:

The little one in the bottom picture is doing quite well with that pizza. I don't see any grass, sand or other dirt on the food. I remember my Father would always say "You will eat a bushel of dirt before you grow up."

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 06:51 am:

That looks like a lot of fun for the younger set, jumping & playing in the sand! And, the little girl eating her pizza slice is darling.

I'm with you, Mary: if I tried jumping like that now, I'd probably hurt an ankle or a knee, or something. Walking on the beach, looking for agates or taking pictures would be a lot of fun now, though!

Thanks for the pictures of McClain Park! I'll have to add visiting there to our list of things that I want to do UP there this summer! We've never been to that park before. It could provide some good angles to take photos of the lighthouse, too. :-)

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 06:52 am:

What fun they're having! I bet the water's just a bit chilly though. I was watching a guy inch his way out into our little lake in town here yesterday and I was thinking that Lake Superior's probably that cold in July and August when we're in it.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 08:28 am:

Marianne: The cool thing about McLain is that everyone gathers around in the evening and applauds when the sun sets!

By Sunrise Side MI (Ilovelucy2) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 08:45 am:

good Morning all!! Those pics want me to be a kid again Such Fun!!! By the way, I would like to post this picture of a Cross Phlox that I took this Spring. I didn't know it was a Cross until I put it on the computer... Enjoy!
Cross Phlox

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 09:20 am:

Here's a thought to ponder for the day....

It is said that Lake Superior is down approximately 18 inches from normal (Miss Byykkonen's fox pic from last week shows this clearly). Doing some calculations, another way to say how far the Lake is down is that Lake Superior is short about 10 trillion gallons of water from normal!! That's a lot of milk or other beverage of your liking.

By the way, nice soil profile in the first pic today. McLain is actually not a great place to find agates; there are much better places to find the elusive "laker" on the Keweenaw....

By Shirley Milford (Grannymim) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 09:23 am:

What a nice way to wake up this morning - seeing the kids having such fun at the park, then laughing at Chuck's father's "You will eat a bushel of dirt before you grow up.", and ending with Sunrise's picture of the beautiful cross phlox.... I love this site!

By Anna Roehrich (Updreamer) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 09:38 am:

We were at McLain 2 years ago, and my boys, ages 9, 7 & 2 then, did the exact same thing in the exact same spot. Guess kids all think alike! Of course, I HAD to follow them...! :)

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 09:40 am:

That's a good point, Capt Paul, on the sheer volume of water lost from Lake Superior, and it is something that has apparently not been noticed UP there much in the past. Until now, Lake Superior seemed to be more of a constant level lake, than its counterparts below. My question, is where is the water going? I'm not hearing cries about Lakes Michigan's or Huron's being down that much this year - maybe a little bit, but not 18 or however many inches.

I did read a couple of weeks ago in the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette that some UP there, including the Baraga community, are blaming the loss of water in Lake Superior on the Soo Locks & the St Mary's River falls letting out too much water? Something's fishy, when you hear about those kind of discrepancies.

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 10:42 am:

Maybe the bugs are drinking to much. You say "How can that be? A bug doesn't drink hardly anything at all!" BUT, think of all the bugs there are! Each one of them has to drink. Then think, there are just as many bugs at your neighbors as your place. His neighbor has a lot of bugs too. They maybe even having baby bugs over there! All around the lake the bugs are drinking! Even if you go out on the Lake the BUGS are there, drinking, day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year, drinking,drinking. It's a wonder there's as much water as there is. I think the bugs definately have something to do with it!!!

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 11:16 am:

The kids are having fun out there. Too bad the lake levels are down it will make it tough for the boats. I think Rowdy's theory may have some credibility if you think about it.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 11:35 am:

Sounds like the bugs aren't the only ones drinking, Rowdy!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 12:36 pm:

If the bugs are drinking that much water, eventually they also have to get rid of that water back into the Lake, if you know what I mean :P

The story about too much water being released by the Soo Locks just doesn't hold water!! (sorry, I couldn't resist ;-) The two biggest culprits for water loss appear to be lake effect snow and evaporation during the winter, which go hand-in-hand with each other. I have read, though can't remember where right offhand, that for a short time several hundred years ago when only Native Americans roamed the Great Lakes region, the Sainte Mary's River falls was but a trickle and people crossed the river on foot without the need of a canoe. I believe it is just a natural cycle the lake goes through of falling and rising levels. It's been happening since the Ice Age, and it will continue. Is climate change the cause? I'm sure it has an influence, but I'm not going to get into a huge climate discussion here; better to have that over at What'sUP and not clog this board.

It's lunchtime here. I think I'll follow that cute little girls lead and get me a slice of pepperoni pizza.....

By P.Weed (Pweed) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 12:40 pm:

We may never get to "see" the UP again!! Gas is 3.65 a gallon here this morning! :o(

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 12:48 pm:

Re loss of water in Lake Superior-- According to an article by Konnie LeMay, in the Lake Superior Magazine, April-May, 2002, "Not quite half the water lost from Lake Superior each year leaves via evaporation. The remainder flows out through the St. Mary's River." It makes sense that as The Lake warms, and as the ice cover decreases the evaporation rate will increase.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 02:56 pm:

"By the way, nice soil profile in the first pic today."
C'mon, Captain, how about a little more information? What is this anyway? Podsol?
(I'm guessing, but also curious.)

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 03:46 pm:

Check this out for info on Lake Superior.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 06:50 pm:

Well, if you want the general name of the soil in that region, they are spodosols. They are characterized by highly leached, low fertility soils with a well formed E horizon and are found in cool, humid forests. I could leave it at that, however, being the geologist that I am, I can't just stop there ;-)

This particular soil is locally known as the Rubicon soil series. It is characterized by 3, sometimes 4, distinct horizons. The actual horizons are from top to bottom: O, E, B, and C. The O horizon is made up of very decomposed organic matter, usually dark in color, and forms the very top layer. The E horizon is usually lighter in color and more sandy. The B horizon is usually darker again, also sandy in composition. The bottom horizon is the C. It is comprised of the parent material (in this case, glacial outwash material) and is again lighter in color. The C horizon is very rare in spodosols however.

The other interesting fact is that McLain sits on a glacial moraine, which is why there is a lot of sand as well as pine and birch trees in the area.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 07:02 pm:

Pweed: My sentiments exactly! We've been trying the past 3 years several times. Made it once to Paradise/Whitefish Point in May,05 but still couldn't make it to the Copper Country. Been 20 years since there, my boyhood home!

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 07:32 pm:

Capt, is a glacial moraine related to a sand dune? I guess I was thinking that a glacial moraine dumped more rocks of various sizes? (Now I'm really showing my ignorance. Sorry for the dumb question, but to some of us without much geological education, your description of McLain sounds similar to the sand dunes down here on the western part (Lake Michigan shore) of the Lower Peninsula, like Sleeping Bear Dunes.) :-)

By Cotton (Cotton) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 08:15 pm:

My kids had fun jumping from the top of the sand dunes at Great Sand Bay when they were younger. We had alot of good times in the Keweenaw area.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 08:23 pm:

The only dumb question is the one not asked!! :-)

In the most strictest sense, a sand dune is wind deposited sediment. A moraine is sediment (till)deposited directly from melting ice. There are many different types of moraines out there, which can have different characteristics. As I said earlier, McLain sits on top of a glacial moraine, but I didnt say it was composed of one. Lake level fluctuations, sand weathered from the Freda Sandstone, and changing climate at the end of the last ice age all played a role in the sand being deposited at McLain. And with time, the sand does move around; I have photos in our gallery from Grand Sable Dunes of the "ghost forest" where the shifting sands had killed an entire forest about 4,000 years ago.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - 03:50 am:

Thanks, Captain. I'd rather you did not leave it at that :) because the rest whas what I wanted to know.

By Toivo from Toivola (Toivo) on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - 05:08 am:

Them are some pretty old photos, Capt. -- I know the Gallery has been on hold for quite a while, but I didn't know they even had cameras 4,000 years ago.

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