Sep 15-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: September: Sep 15-08
Superior night lights    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Andrew Stewart
Big Lake buoy    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Andrew Stewart

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 03:07 am:

Andrew Stewart had the patience and more importantly, the know-how, to bring us a spectacular display of Northern Lights, otherwise known as Aurora Borealis. This nighttime showing was captured over Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor and if you're wanting some proof of the location, I went ahead and enlarged the "blip" you see where the Lake meets the sky in the middle of the photo and there you have it. It's the green buoy (lit up just like the sky above it) that graces the entry to Eagle's a sight many a boater has seen when heading out to fish or off to Isle Royale.

As seen close-up on the Pasty Cam in 2003

Danbury (Danbury) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 03:29 am:

Love that first shot. Only time I ever saw some of these was in NH - reddish bands all over the sky.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 03:52 am:

I live downstate and about (3) or so years ago my boyfriend was standing outside by our carport. He came in and told me I had to come outside, the northern lights were out. They first started in the north then moved. As we continued to stand there a "formation" started to appear right above where we were standing. It created the shape of a dome. The bottom part was big, then the second one was a little smaller and the top one was small. Each one had a ring around it. After it was done all we saw was a small opening at the top where we saw a little bit of clouds and a little patch of the night sky. It reminded me of being under a 'dome'.I could not or did not want to move to get any of my cameras. After about (7) to (10) minutes it was gone. I have seen the northern lights in the u.p. and down here, but NOTHING like that. I called our local science center and he told me that it is possible.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 07:14 am:

We have a bowling tournament in Alexandria, MN the first weekend of November every year. And we seem to always see them on our way home. They're so spectacular! Luckily, we haven't crashed yet. It's hard to turn your eyes away. Great picture!

By Carol Fischer (Carolf) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 08:44 am:

Can anyone tell me the best time of night to see the lights? We visit the UP every year and can never seem to see them.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 09:07 am:

TO: FRNash/PHX AZ(FRnash)

If you look (or read) I gave an indication as to where "here" could possibly be.

By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 09:56 am:

I love the Northern lights, so Beautiful!! The first time I saw them I was 11 and we were in Luther, MI for a family reunion sitting with my huge family on my Grandparents property. I miss those days.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 11:47 am:

mickill mouse (Ram4):
"I gave an indication as to where "here" could possibly be.

So I see: "I live downstate …"

Presumably that means "somewhere in the lower peninsula". Or in other words, somewhere within an area of 81,538 square miles, give or take. Close enuf for "gummint" work, eh?

Close enuf to give almost surgical acuity and relevance to a "local" weather report (e.g.: "It's raining somewhere in the LP!")

Okay, whatever you say.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 12:28 pm:

The very first time I saw the northern lights I was visiting my mom in Hubbell, Mi. and her husband told me that they were out. My mom and I took some blankets out in the yard to watch them. The next thing I knew it was morning and I could not believe she left me out there, (in the yard) but she did.

By Renee in AL (Renee) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 12:52 pm:

Hi Carol and all,
The best time to see the aurora is usually around midnight local time. Although, they can happen at any time. I keep an eye on these following websites to inform me when they might occur:

The above shot is beautiful! I have seen the aurora many times up North and even a couple times here in Alabama. Nothing beats seeing them over Lake Superior though.
Best wishes,
Renee in AL

By Lisa Rowan (Sisugirl) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 01:21 pm:

Mary Drew, what's the story behind the little guy sitting in the buoy in the 2003 pic? Obviously that's not a real person....

Mary says: Lisa ~ Here's what I know about the story behind the buoy sitter: The skeleton is holding a can of beer in this right hand (bones) and there's a sign taped up on his left side, that says something about drinking and driving a boat, this is what you might end up like! (Not the exact wording, but that's the gist of the message!) Sure gave me a chuckle when I saw it!
I'm not sure when this fellow was removed, but he isn't buoy sittin' anymore! :->

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 01:37 pm:

Wow, I have only seen them once and it was in East Jordan over the lake. Would love to see them up here though.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 01:39 pm:

"Downstate" generally is accepted/traditionally the southern part of the LP say from Bay City/Muskegon southward (granted still a big area).
NLP residents and natives are just as proud of their "up north" status as "yoopers" are! And BTW most "downstate" residents are just as envious of the NLP as they are of the UP!

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 02:35 pm:

I think of "downstate" as anything below the Bridge. I do laugh, though, when folks tell me they are going "Up North" and they aren't even going as far as the Bridge.... To me, Up North involved Bridge fare.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 02:53 pm:

I have always heard Michigan was divided by three sections, The U.P., northern lower, and lower or downstate.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 03:49 pm:

For what it's worth, this map of the "Mitt" shows yet another variation:

The Mitt

from Wikipeda: Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

(I wonder, is that where Willard "Mitt" Romney … the son of former Michigan Governor and 1968 presidential candidate George W. Romney … got that name?

Actually "Mitt" is his middle name, which was the nickname of his father's cousin Milton Romney.)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 03:50 pm:

If you are from Calumet and said you were going downstate it usually meant to Detroit for work or to visit someone who went to Detroit for work, that is what I grew up with.
If you are from "downstate" and said you were going "up north" it meant below the bridge unless you said you were going to the U.P. that is what I grew up with and I am 53 yrs. old.
What I find kind of interesting is that the U.P. is only refered to as the "U.P." and below the bridge is defined by the, northern lower, and lower and downstate and S.E.. Why is that? I can understand what Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) is saying, but the U.P. is just the U.P.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 04:40 pm:

Greetings everyone:

Well, as Mary stated, we are ok. We have no power right now but Nat's Parents do which is where I'm writing this from. We suffered a fair bit of damage, but nothing like your seeing on the news about Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula. Our house developed a small leak during the storm, some of our fences were knocked over, quite a few twigs and branches in our yard, and some shingles off our roof. We actually lucked out because the room that leaked was our library where we house all of our historic books and mining maps of the Keweenaw, but the leak missed everything and only soaked a little patch of carpet.

But, I figured I better post something to let everone know that we're ok, just no power. Obviously, we won't be posting much until get power, but we will be checking PastyCam once in a while and also checking our email ( often so if anyone want's to write, we'd love to hear from you :-)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 04:52 pm:

It is so good to hear that Capt.Paul is fine:-). Just has to get his power back.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 05:22 pm:

Speaking of Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), we used to see some spectacular brilliant displays on summer evenings in the early to mid 1950s just a few miles north of 'Ruces 'Rossing, appearing as huge, tall rainbow hued (greens, reds, and purples predominating) theatrcal draperies, with enormous, deep folds, slowly rippling and waving across the sky and persisting for easily an hour or more.

I've never seen anything quite like it since, anywhere.

That and a great swams of fireflies as well. (Where have the fireflies gone?)

P.S.: Glad to hear that Cap'n Paul & Dr. Nat are alive and well, if temporarily powerless!

By Walter P McNew (Waltermcnew) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 08:56 pm:


By Lisa Rowan (Sisugirl) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 08:57 pm:

Thanks for the explanation of the fella on the buoy, Mary! Sounds like he served a good purpose, although I daresay a boater would have to get pretty darn close to him to read his sign! :)

The aurora borealis picture is amazing, by the way. Definitely worth saving for my desktop. Thank you, Andrew!

By Catherine Ristola--Holland MI (Catherine) on Monday, September 15, 2008 - 10:04 pm:

I read some article that said our views of the Northern Lights will
diminish as the magnetic north pole migrates over to Russia.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 01:27 am:

I always thought this. If someone told me they was going up North, it might just be to Houghton Lake or so. But if they said they was going up nort eh I knew it was across da bridge eh.

Look at the bright side Capt.Paul.. No electric bill either.

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 09:29 pm:

C'mon, everybody knows that "the north" begins at Pinconning. Paradise starts at the bridge.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 02:47 am:

Right on Greg! I would say to be sure more like Standish but Pinconning close enough!
There is a real reason where the "north" starts not just someones decision for commercial or tourist reasons. As soon as one gets beyond about Standish the great Northern Boreal Forest begins, the terrain changes, the altitude changes, it becomes hilly, the soil is different, the habitat, tree, and plant life changes, the climate and air is different! You can see this change somewhere in Clare county between Clare and Harrison. Doing the bird research I do, we call this area between about Bay City over to Muskegon "The transition zone" as birds unique only to the NLP and the SLP both can be found there! Perhaps Capt. Paul can explain the geologic features of this soil and rocky change.
Farming people note the SLP has mostly lots of rich deep topsoil, the NLP has some and the UP has very little.

Down here in St. Clair county, the north central part about 2 whole townships (including the Port Huron State Game Area) we have a small freak geological area that is exactly like the UP! Rocky, hilly, red sandy soil, bluffs,ravines and canyons, fast flowing rocky creeks, Hemlocks, Tamaracks, White Birch, White Pines, Ferns, even a few Thimbleberrys!. Several bird species breed here that are only otherwise found in the UP or NLP! The area really feels and smells "upnorthy"

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions