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History’s Gem of the Month - Summer 2008

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: A Proposal (Part 2)

Pictured Rocks Proposal

(continued from the June 2008 update)

Plant Life

Forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are a transition between northern hardwoods and northern conifers. In some locations the primary stands are deciduous trees with an occasional mixture of pine and hemlock; elsewhere the steeple-topped spruce and fir predominate.

In the northern hardwood-conifer type forests, extensive stands may be almost pure maple but usually some beech, ash, basswood, paper or yellow birch are intermixed. The conifers, when present are generally white pine and hemlock although red pine, white and black spruce, balsam fir, and northern white cedar occur in some locations.

The conifer, or boreal type forest is not extensive in the Pictured Rocks region. Where the dominant conifers do stand, with their associated white birch, quaking aspen and mountain ash, the visitor can savor the essence of the north woods.

Other interesting types of tree communities include the coniferous swamps (containing the black spruce, fir, tamarack and white cedar) and, on drier sandy soils, stands of red or jack pines with an under story of bracken ferns.

Along with the trees are many interesting smaller plants. In the spring the yellow violets, squirrel corn, Dutchman’s-breeches, orchids, trilliums and pitcher plants add their beauty. When fall arrives the blueberries join the maple, beech, aspen, and other trees in an array of color.

Animal Life

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is well known for its variety of animal life. The large number of whitetail deer present is indicated by a definite browse line within the area. Bear range throughout the area and wolf may occur. Otter, coyote, fox, bobcat, porcupine, beaver, and snowshoe hare are typical large mammals.

Northwood birds are well represented. The goshawk, bald eagle, ruffed grouse, three-towed woodpecker, gray jay, raven, hermit thrush, golden crowned kinglet, the northern warblers and the crossbills inhabit the proposed lakeshore. Loons and black ducks are seen on the larger inland lakes.

A combination of cool climate and pure water of the streams and lakes provide an excellent habitat for fish. Brook trout are in the streams. In the spring, steelhead trout from Lake Superior enter the streams to spawn. Larger lakes contain spiny-rayed fish and members of the pike family.


The climate of Pictured Rocks region is common to the northern Great Lakes -- severe winters and warm summers. Marine influence of Lake Superior, however, has a moderating effect on temperatures: winters are milder and summers cooler than locations farther inland from the lake. The average daily high in the Pictured Rocks region during July is 78 degrees, the low is 53 degrees; in January the average daily high is 27 degrees; the low is 12 degrees.

Precipitation is rather evenly distributed throughout the year, with a slight increase during the warmer months. The area averages about 31 inches of precipitation annually, including nearly 100 inches of snowfall. In Michigan this amount of snowfall is exceeded only the 160 inches in the mountain range along the northwestern edge of the Upper Peninsula.


History's Gems Archives

May 2007
(The Telescope Story)

June 2007
(The Story of the Grand Marais "Meteor")

July 2007
(Hints on Hunting Glacial Agate Article)

August 2007
(Lake Superior Origin from 1957)

Fall 2007
(Tourist Information from the 1920s)

December 2007
(Lake Superior Editorial)

January 2008
(Grand Marais Tourist Signpost)

February 2008
(Unusual Wedding Invitation)

March 2008
(1915 Rules for Teachers)

April 2008
(Cedar Stump article from 1962)

May 2008
(Old Postcards)

June 2008
(Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Proposal-Part 1)

Summer 2008
(Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal-Part 2)

Summer 2008
(Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal-Part 3)

October 2008
(Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal-Part 4)

November 2008
(Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal-Part 5)

December 2008
(Agate Leaflet from 1927)

January 2009
(Old Postcards)

February 2009
(Snowstorm Article from 1988)

March 2009
(Lake Superior Agate Poem)

Spring 2009
(History of M77)

July 2009
(Axel Niemi Photo)

August 2009
(Ship Travel on Lake Superior)

September 2009
(Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates)

Fall 2009
(Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates Part 2)

February 2010
(The Story of Grand Marais Part 1)

February 2010
(The Story of Grand Marais Part 2)

April/May 2010
(The Story of Grand Marais Part 3)

June 2010
(Box of Rocks Gets Diploma)

July 2010
(Shipwrecks at Agate Beach)

August/September 2010
(1958 Detroit News Article about Axel Niemi)

Fall 2010
(Reprint from the Douglas Houghton Expedition)

Winter 2011
(Old Postcards and Pictures)

Spring 2011
(1905 Grand Marais Article)

September 2011
(Michigan Log Marks)

March 2012
(John Keating)

January 2012
(Axel Remembered)

March 2012
(John Keating)

June 2012
(The Shark: Post 1)

September 2012
(The Shark: Post 2)

March 2013
(The Shark: Post 3)

August 2013
(All That Glitters. . .)

November 2013
(Excerpts from The Grand Marais Herald)

April 2014
(Souvenir View Book of Sault Ste. Marie)

September 2014
(Michigan Beach Stones)

February 2015
(Michiganís Mystic Dunes)

June 2015
(Vintage Grand Marais Photos)

November 2015
(Gitchee Agomowin)

June 2016
(Grand Marais Poems)

March 2017
(Logging Era Photos)

July 2017
(Jonas Hill Letters)

December 2017
(Seagull (Lost) Island, Grand Marais Bay)

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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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