The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Artist (and skull collector), Sally Thompson

Sally works in diverse media and many different subjects

I met Sally Thompson while on my 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk.

She helped me to navigate my way around the many inlets along the western edge of Lake Erie. She knows the area because she is an avid kayaker. 

Sally is also a talented artist. I was able to meet up with her this October and look through her artwork. I had purchased a barn drawing from her earlier, but had wanted to see more of her work in person.

These four "negative space" tree drawings by Sally look great in my house!

You can check out her artwork at her website:

Or in person at these galleries:
 Gallery 108
108 Park Place, Dundee, Michigan

The Hudson Gallery
5645 Main Street, Sylvania, OH

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Michigan Rare Book Room's 10th Anniversary

Michigan Library in Lansing, MI

I was delighted to be invited to the 10th Anniversary Celebration for the Martha W. Griffiths Rare Book Room at the Michigan Library in Lansing, Michigan.

Program for the celebration

This is a beautiful library in Michigan's capitol, and the rare book room holds many rare and historic books and maps. 

The evening began with an amazing lecture by Randy Asplund who is an internationally known Book Artist. He creates books and art the way they were made in Medieval times. He gathers natural materials to create his inks using methods from hundreds of years ago. In his presentation, he showed photos of gathering rocks or flowers or even the gall from animals (from the gall bladder) and how he then created vibrant colors from these materials. 

He uses the same types of quills and instruments to do the calligraphy of his books on pages made from handmade paper or animal skins. 

Tools of the Medieval Trade

Randy Asplund's exceptional work

Painstakingly done by hand with colors derived from natural sources

The evening then progressed to the 4th floor of the library where the Martha W. Griffiths Rare Book Room is located. Martha Griffiths was the only woman from Michigan to serve in all three branches of government.

The Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room

A map of the Great Lakes basin from the mid-1700s

Some rare books

Interior of the Michigan Library

 It was a lovely celebration and I will return to this library to research the history of the islands of the Great Lakes for my upcoming book: 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure 
[to be released in 2015].

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Enbridge Pipeline: New pipe installed in Michigan and Indiana

Enbridge is replacing a large portion of the pipeline that spilled ~1 million gallons of oil in Michigan.

 The pipeline will be buried soon. It runs underneath farmland, past homes, near wetlands.

 Here's a bit of video shot near the new pipeline:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Annual Lake Michigan Bottom Survey

That's me on board the SS Grayling

I was thrilled to be invited to come aboard the vessel used for the USGS annual bottom survey of the Great Lakes!

This year, the scientists used an underwater camera

Dr. David "Bo" Bunnell of the Great Lakes Science Center

The boat is outfitted with specialized machinery for the trawl

Yellow perch

USGS logo on the Grayling


Dr. David "Bo" Bunnell assesses the catch

Quagga mussel

A deep water species, the slimy scalpin

Check out the video from this day out on the lake below. This experience will be part of my newest book, 
which will be released in 2015.