Along the Frozen Shores of Lake Michigan: Photo Friday

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Mar 07, 2009 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

There is something magical about Lake Michigan - it looks like the ocean, without the salt. I've swim in Lake Michigan my whole life - and it can be cold, and sometimes (though rarely) warm. You get used to it, and relish the hot sunny summer days, the sand burning your feet as you run into the water, and then plunge headfirst into the cold, clear water (for plunging straight in is the only way to make yourself do it). Soon, you get used to the cold water, and swim out to the sandbars, do handstands, play frisbee, or feel around on the bottom for huge rocks.  It is just glorious, and something to cherish during the cold winter.

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

Winter, though, at Lake Michigan is special, too. Some cold winters, the ice will form on the sandbars, and create small icy/sandy mountains along the shore. My favorite Lake Michigan beach, Oval Beach in Saugatuck, has three sandbars, and thus three icy sand mountains, interspersed with patches of frozen sandy water.  It is dangerous to head out there - it seems like every year, someone dies from falling in.

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

But if you stay on the shore, you can just see how nature flows from one season to the next. The sand is frozen, and strong winds create jagged edges. Shells hide out underneath sand overhangs.  A few stalwart seagulls scavenge for food. And when it is windy out, huge waves crash against the farthest ice hill, creating plumes of up to thirty feet, falling back again on the ice hills and creating rivulets which will then refreeze.

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

It is magic, at Lake Michigan, year-round. Sure, we have to bundle up more, and shelter in the dunes from the biting wind. But the rewards are great.

Frozen shores of Lake Michigan

 

Want more Michigan winter goodness? Read on: 

7 Fun Things to Do during the Harsh Michigan Winters

Visiting Lake Michigan lighthouses in the winter

How to Survive a Winter Beach
 

 

Photos copyright Dr. Jessica Voigts

 

 

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Comments (5)

  • peace

    10 years 8 months ago

    Lake Michigan looks like such an amazing place to visit in all seasons. Thanks for sharing these lovely winter pictures.

  • caroli7

    10 years 8 months ago

    I loved these and especially how you captured the different seasons there. It sounds like a swim in Lake Tahoe, haven't taken a dip in those icy waters since I was a kid.

  • Dominique-Midwe...

    10 years 8 months ago

    How lucky you are to be so close to Lake Michigan! We loved having the chance to get over there this winter...staying near Traverse City and driving down along the coast to Muskegon. I love taking photos of lighthouses, but I also got really enthralled with the patterns formed by the melting/cracking ice and the interplay of patterns formed by ice and sand.

    There's such a stark beauty in your photos. Summer along the lake is gorgeous, but I think I almost enjoy visiting in the winter more than I do in the summer!

     

    http://www.midwestguest.com

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    10 years 8 months ago

    thanks for all the lovely comments! yes, it was SO cold. but worth going - it is beautiful. beyond the ice mountains are lots of floating icebergs, which ride the waves. 

     

    Jessie Voigt, PhD

    Publisher, wanderingeducators.com

  • malward

    10 years 8 months ago

    Jessie,

    I love the photos. Lake Michigan is a very pretty lake in any season. I enjoyed visiting here and look forward to more photos and stories.

     Mary

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