July Fourth on the Water

We were in Traverse City, Michigan, during last year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks over the Grand Traverse Bay have some added drama, but the area is so far north (and west in its time zone) that the sky still hadn’t fully darkened.

Bicycles, Boats, and Explosions

After the main show has finished, private citizens produce their own displays up and down the beach.

Stochastic Trajectories


A Visit to Albion Equestrian Center

Albion College’s Equestrian Center sits on 340 acres near the outskirts of campus. In addition to fields and paddocks, the manor house of the land’s previous inhabitants sits on a nearby hill, overlooking the goings-on.

Albion Equestrian Landscape

The facility has a lot of hay storage.

Hay and Lots of It

Inside the facility, the region’s Pony Clubs were holding a rally. This particular pony looks pretty surprised to be finding themselves in the wash stall.

Wash Surprise

Beach Fireworks

After the big Traverse City fireworks show over Lake Michigan, Americans on the shores continue to set off their own fireworks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is pretty much the equivalent of kids in the movie theater parking lot hitting each other with plastic lightsabers after a Star Wars movie lets out.

Beach Fireworks

Tug Boat & Fireworks

Part of me wants to imagine that watching fireworks from the stern of a WWII-era tug would be a perfect summer experience… But another part wonders about the chipping paint and rust, hard corners and suspects that there might be some subtleties to perfecting the viewing location.
Tug Boat & Fireworks

Fireworks by the Grand Traverse Bay

More than any of the other Traverse City fireworks shots I’ve presented so far, I think this one captures the essence of summer: little Lake Michigan waves lapping at the shore, soft beaches, boats moored to piers, and the pair of people relaxing on the rocks in the foreground. They’re the most intriguing part of the image, to me: when everyone else is looking to the sky, what is interesting them more than the fireworks?

Fireworks by the Grand Traverse Bay

Thanks, TC Boom Boom Club

When the previous sponsor ended their support for Independence Day fireworks in Traverse City, Michigan, a group of locals formed the “TC Boom Boom Club” to keep the tradition going. That name is really something, but silliness aside, there are some northern Michigan challenges kind-hearted locals can’t fix—like the remaining sunlight in the sky, even after 10:00 PM.

Thanks, TC Boom Boom Club

Carleton Brooks

Today’s subject is trainer Carleton Brooks of Balmoral, here training his newest hunter, Carleton Z (coincidental naming).Old School Rider

Chaps are not common English riders—britches are more common. The back of his chaps, where one might normally put identification information, is instead emblazoned with the phrase, “You Know My Name” in red. Click through to the full-sized version of this image to see for yourself.


This particular weekend was a bit of a miniature family reunion, as Carleton’s brother (far right) was up to visit from Indiana.

The Family That Rides Together

Waiting for the Big Fireworks Show

Spending Independence Day in Traverse City, Michigan meant experiencing the TC Boom Boom Club’s (yes, really) annual fireworks display from the beach of the Grand Traverse Bay. Before they began, however, the families on the beach were making their own shows.

Waiting for the Big Fireworks Show