Saturday, June 25, 2011

Touring Michigan - Whitefish Point

Whitefish Point is located at the extreme southeastern end of Lake Superior. The Whitefish Point Light Station was established by Congress in 1849; today, the Whitefish Point Light is the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior. The present light tower was constructed in 1861 during the Civil War.

Whitefish Point marks the eastern end of a notorious 80-mile stretch of shoreline from here west to Munising, Michigan, known ominously as Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast. Of the 550 known major shipwrecks lying on the bottom of the lake, at least 200 of them are in the vicinity of Whitefish Point. The primary causes of shipwreck here are stress of weather and collision; the 1975 loss of the steamer Edmund Fitzgerald with her entire crew of 29 has become a world-wide legend. The wreck of the Fitzgerald lies just 15 miles northwest of Whitefish Point.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is well worth a visit, but today, we just wanted to walk the beach.

We could feel the temperature dropping as we made the drive from Paradise out to the Point and found ourselves enveloped in fog when we arrived.

We love walking this particular beach, with it's mix of soft sand and rocks and the water and waves as far as you can see.

At least a few "interesting" rocks always seem to find their way home with us.

Whitefish Point provides a phenomenal concentration spot for migrant birds with land and water features creating a natural migration corridor. Tens of thousands of birds are funneled to the Point every Spring and Fall while migrating through the Great Lakes region. For over 30 years, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory has been monitoring and documenting these annual migrations.

I'm not sure what this little shorebird is, but there were a number of them monitoring us as we walked.

The tracks left by the gulls have a wonderful graphic design to them, a mixture of random and directed.

This winged creature was willing to pose for me too - isn't he gorgeous?

By the time we turned to return to the parking lot, the fog was clearing and we had a clear few of the lighthouse.

Fog and sunshine, wind and waves - there's not much better than a walk on the beach in northern Michigan!

1 comment:

  1. Your shots of the Lake are magnificent. Wish I were there to rummage through the rocks!