“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.” Yes, it’s a line from the holiday standard, “Let it snow,” but it also applies to this story. As we wrap up 2022, we’re looking back at the top social stories of the year and weather is among the most popular topics. For this year-ending Top 10 list, we’re looking at the Friends Facebook posts and related stories that reached the most people and sparked the most interest.
At number ten on the list, “Talk about a beautiful sight. Today is #WorldWaterDay 2022.” Our Facebook post featured this satellite photo showing the Apostle Islands locked in ice, surrounded by open water for the vast majority of big, blue, beautiful Lake Superior in March of 2022. (Click to enlarge any photo in this story.)
If you’re on Facebook, be sure to follow our page and choose “favorite” in your follow settings to stay connected to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
At number nine on the list, “The break-up is happening now! What a difference two hours makes.” March 22nd was a big day at the mainland sea caves. As we wrote in our Facebook update, “At 2 p.m. today, the ice looked solid. By 4pm, we see a giant jigsaw puzzle of ice and open water. What’s moving the ice? Waves estimated to be running a bit more than 2-feet-tall. “
At number eight on the list, “Just in time for the weekend, the buoys are back in town.” It’s no surprise this post and news story did well. The seasonal network of buoys provides realtime wind, wave and water conditions in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It’s vital information for paddlers, sailors and power boaters of all kinds. Read our story about changes to the WISC-Watch buoy system for the 2022 season. During the summer, you can monitor the buoys here.
At number seven on the list, “What a difference a year makes. Compare today’s satellite image showing most of the Apostle Islands still locked in ice, to the way it looked a year ago today – with open water everywhere!” You can track the transition from water to ice and back using NOAA satellite images here.
At number six on the list, “Congratulations, Dave. We share your love for the history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and your passion for documenting and preserving it for future generations.”
Read the story here about the award-winning work of NPS Archeologist and Cultural Resource Manager Dave “Coop” Cooper. He’s a big reason the cultural landscapes and historical resources within the park are so well documented, preserved and shared.
At number five on the list, “Well, will you look at that! A couple of days ago we posted photos of the ice breaking up the mainland sea caves. Since then the cameras have been fogged up. Until now.” Whether it’s ice-in or ice-out, people always want to know about big changes on the lake. It’s been years since the mainland ice caves have been open. We’ll keep you posted on what happens this winter. Check out the camera at the mainland sea caves.
At number four on the list, “It sounds like science fiction. Starting next week bright orange sailboats like this one will be exploring the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and beyond.” This was the first in our series of stories about the use of high-tech sailing drones to study fish populations in Lake Superior. Read the story here.
At number three on the list, “It’s show time! We hope you’ll join us at Canoecopia – the world’s largest paddlesports show, in Madison, Wisconsin.” Public outreach is a huge part of what we do and Canoecopia is a great place to spread the word about the Apostle Islands. Read the story here. We’ll be there in 2023 doing presentations and answering questions at our booth. Canoecopia 2023 runs March 10-12 in Madison. See you there!
At number two on the list, “Tomorrow is launch day! Learning about the fish populations in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and beyond.” Our coverage of a high-tech science mission to study fish populations using crewless sailing drones generated a lot of interest. The on-the-water part of the mission wrapped up this fall. Read the story here. Scientists are crunching the numbers now and we’re working on a follow-up story to learn what the research revealed.
And now, our number one Facebook post of 2022. “Most of the midwest is sweltering hot but Lake Superior’s air conditioning is definitely set on high. Northeast winds blowing across the lake are bringing cool conditions to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.” Yes, the weather outside was frightful that day. Frightfully hot. Except for those who enjoyed the cooling effects of Lake Superior. No matter what the weather is, there’s a lot to enjoy and experience in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. We hope you’ll make our website and the Friends part of your next adventure.
Editor’s note: To be fair, we still have a couple more weeks in the year. Our story on the Hokenson dock restoration is close to breaking into the top ten. As we wrote on Facebook, “Fishing is a big part of the rich history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. That’s why so much effort goes into protecting and preserving places like the Hokenson Brothers Fishery and telling the stories of the people who made their livelihoods on the water.” Read the story here.
During the year ahead, we’ll be working hard to deliver compelling, useful information to help you make the most of your next adventure in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, as we work together to protect and improve the park we love. Thank you for reading. And thank you in advance for your support.
Jon Okerstrom is a Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore board member and digital and social media volunteer with a background in digital and television journalism, photography and graphic design.