Test Your Luck With These 7 Michigan Facts

Aye! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you lads and lasses. Celebrations around the world, and right ‘ere in Pure Michigan, involve public parades and festivals, the wearing of green attire and of course, celebrating the idea of luck!

We’ve gathered the list below that’s sure to test even the most-knowledgeable Michigan enthusiast. Try your luck at correctly guessing these Great Lakes state facts and let us know how many you got right!

1. We’ll start you off with an easy one. This university’s colors are green and white, and its mascot has origins are not far from Ireland itself! On the banks of the Red Cedar, you might be lucky enough to find yourself a four leaf clover.

Photo Courtesy of Thomas Gennara Photography

2. Bottoms up! This delicious brand of Michigan pop was made famous in Detroit after being introduced in 1866. Its cans and bottles are green, and the original mascot was a bearded gnome named Woody.  Drinking this pop is said to settle an upset stomach, so have some on hand if you’ll be drinking green beer!

3. This ‘painted’ creature is Michigan’s state reptile! With a green head, arms, legs and tail, these little fellows are probably celebrating St. Patrick’s Day relaxing on a log. Best leave them be in the wild, o’course.

4. These little green fruits, which can also sometimes be yellow, green or even light pink, are grown on rows of vines in northern Michigan. They are then crafted into delicious nodes wines and stored until the perfect time. Cheers!

5. If you’re looking for a healthier fare on St. Patrick’s Day, these vegetables, which Michigan is the nation’s number one producer for pickling, are a great option! Add them to your salad or dip them into a hummus spread. You can even pickle them in brine or vinegar if that’s your fancy!

6. Break out the ornaments! Michigan supplies three million of these fantastic timbers annually to the national market. We’re guessing you don’t have these shrubs in mind just yet, but the growers pay close attention all year long.

7. If you’re traveling to this particular destination in Royal Oak, you can find green-colored friends such as ball pythons, anacondas and toads! While you’re there, be sure to check out North America’s largest polar bear exhibit and have a picnic on the lush green grass in the summer.

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How many of these did you get right? Let us know by commenting below!

Answers: 1. Michigan State University; 2. Painted turtle; 3. Vernors Ginger Ale; 4. Green grapes; 5.Cucumbers; 6. Christmas Trees; 7Detroit Zoo;

3 Destinations to Chase the Northern Lights in Pure Michigan

Michigan is home to nearly 200 waterfalls, over 200 miles of trails and 11,000 miles inland lakes, but did you know it’s also one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights?

Without getting too technical, the Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights, are caused by the sun reflecting on particles in the atmosphere. We’re here to share three destinations within the Great Lakes state that give you a perfect glimpse of these celestial sky dances.

1. The Headlands International Dark Sky ParkMackinaw City

In 2011, the Headlands became the sixth International Dark Sky Park in the United States and the ninth in the world. This 600-acre parcel of old-growth forest sits on more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline in Emmet County. Here you will find the darkest of skies, undiluted by light pollution and preserved in perpetuity by Emmet County. Monthly, free Dark Sky Park programs and special events are held at the Beach House and on the shoreline. Signs in the park direct visitors to designated Dark Sky Viewing areas. No camping is allowed, but the park is open 24/7 year ’round, with five miles of trails throughout the property. The park provides dazzling night sky for photographers, astronomers and dark-sky enthusiasts alike!

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Jowett in Port Austin

2. Port Crescent State ParkPort Austin

Nestled in the Blue Water Area, on the tip of the Lower Peninsula’s thumb in Port Austin, is Port Crescent State Park. The park has a designated area where no electric light exists for miles, giving star-gazers an unobstructed view of the night sky. The dark sky preserve is located in the day-use area where there’s a charge for parking, but no overnight reservations are needed.  Consider a day filled with kayaking to Turnip Rock, and then sitting back and enjoying the wonders of the universe in the evening.

Photo Courtesy of Shawn Malone, Lake Superior Photo in Marquette

3. Remote spots on Lake Superior – Upper Peninsula

As photographer Shawn Malone explained  in a previous northern lights blog, Michigan has many positive factors when it comes to viewing the northern lights, the most important being:

1). Latitude

2). Relatively low light pollution

The Upper Peninsula is blessed with hundreds of miles of shoreline along the south shore of Lake Superior, which provides some of the best northern lights viewing in the lower 48 due to the very dark night skies.  When looking north over Lake Superior, one can see right down to the horizon and take in a 180 degree unobstructed view of the night sky.  Having a dark night sky with little light pollution is necessary when looking for the northern lights, as the light of the aurora is equal to the brightness of starlight.

Inspired to begin your Aurora hunting? You’re in luck! March is one of the best months to see the northern lights because of its long, dark nights. There are even rumors that the beginning of spring brings greater solar activity as temperature begins to warm. Good luck, and be sure to share your northern lights photos on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels!

Where have you seen the Northern Lights in Pure Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Decorate Your Home With These 9 Michigan-Themed Items

For those who live in or come from Michigan, the Great Lakes state is a source of pride. We love to show where we live on our hands, brag about the Great Lakes and root for our home sports teams. Why not show off this pride in our homes? Here are a few home-décor items that could be a daily reminder of why you love Michigan.

Tiger's TilePewabic Pottery Detroit Tigers Tile
Pewabic Pottery is a Detroit gem and national historical landmark. The unique art form of these products was created in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry Stratton and continues to be made today right here in Michigan. Pewabic pottery makes a great home décor item that will last for years to come. There are several styles and themes to choose from; such as Detroit sports, Michigan-themed or just decorative styles that will fit in with any interior design.

wall clock

Lake Art Clock
Lake Art is a family-owned business located in Harbor Springs. They offer customizable products that focus on the beauty of the lakes, oceans and rivers that surround us. This wall clock has a unique design element where the water is stained blue and is actually recessed below the rest of the wood. Every piece is made from scratch using Made in America materials.oven mitt

 

Salt Labs Mitt-chigan Oven Mitt
Salt Labs is a design studio in Farmington Hills that creates textiles and paper products for the home. They also make pillows, wall art and maps with cool designs. These oven mitts would make a great addition to the kitchen, especially if you’re cooking a pie made from Michigan berries!

Michigan Mapleworks Cutting Boardcutting board
Michigan Mapleworks is a company based in Gaylord that uses northern Michigan maple or cherry wood to create accessories primarily for the kitchen. Each piece is hand sanded and dipped in mineral oil. This cutting board is a very functional, but stylish piece that would go very well with your new Michigan oven mitts!

vaseThe Henry Ford Museum Carousel Vase
The Henry Ford Museum is a must-visit locale in Dearborn. Both the Greenfield Village and Museum have a staggering amount of history and knowledge about American life and Henry Ford’s legacy, but did you know they also have a huge selection of decorative items?  They sell several home décor items like this Carousel Vase that are created by their glass blowing artisans. Check out all of the other beautiful glasswork on their online shop!

 Heart of Michigan Mackinac Island Pillowpillow
Heart of Michigan is based in Howell and sells a huge variety of products. They can range from beer and wine to jewelry and accessories. This Mackinac Island pillow, made in Harbor Springs, is a practical product that can decorate your home, cabin or cottage! There are several other lake options, so you can get your favorite lake decorated on a pillow.

coasters

Pure Michigan Michigan Map Coasters
These Pure Michigan coasters are the perfect way to show off your Michigan pride in your home. When put together, this practical product creates a map of our beautiful state and doubles as a piece of art. Check out the website for more Michigan pride items.

wood flush

Iconic Detroit Detroit River Rocks Wood Flush
Iconic Detroit is based in Royal Oak and has a ton of art and design products. Showcase your Detroit pride with this black and white wood flush mount. This ornamental piece would make a wonderful addition to any room in your living space. There are several other decorative options related to Michigan, like Faygo, Comerica Park, Eastern Market, Buddy’s Pizza and more.

candlePure Detroit Soy Woodwick Candle
Pure Detroit has three locations: the Guardian Building, the Fisher Building, and the RenCen. They are a lifestyle brand that has come to represent Detroit with their Detroit-focused products. They sell many different goods from seatbelt belts and bags to gear for your dog. This Woodwick candle is made with frosted glass and has a subtle toasted marshmallow scent. The glass around the candle is safe to use after the candle is finished so it will still make for a long-lasting product for your home.

What are your favorite home décor goods that show off your Michigan pride? Share with us below!