Winter’s Beach: North Shore Ice Formations

Ice does some interesting things on beaches when winter threatens to thaw.

Icicle Tunnel 1

Winter’s beach being the far less frequented destination that it is, we often find ourselves alone combing snowy shorelines around northwest Michigan. (Which means I can position myself shamelessly for shots like the one above.)

We reveled in that awesome king-of-the-world feeling that comes with realizing the beach is yours, and yours alone, at a new favorite spot twice within the past couple of weeks and all I can say is:  wow, what a difference two weeks makes.

Icy Beach
Thawed Beach

Quite a bit of snow and ice managed to merge back into Lake Michigan between our visits. Our latest trip’s blue skies and water deceptively suggested ‘warm’ until we turned back to the ice poised like massive turtles on the sand.

Beach Ice Formations

Equally deceptive were the sand shelves masquerading as solid ground, supplying 2-8 extra inches of unanticipated space between what looked like beach and the actual ground. Fortunately, embarrassment over my lost footing quickly veered to delight in spotting snow accumulated like a geode inside the tiny sinkholes.

Snow Geode

Just up the street, closer to home, the slower-rocking waters of the more insulated West Bay have rendered volcano-like ice formations along the outskirts of the ice shelf that still extends a good 25 feet into the water. Here is a shot of that and a few other ice formations we’ve recently ooh-ed and aah-ed over:

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I know that soon enough Spring will be here, followed by Summer, and we’ll be flanked by fellow beach-goers again. Come late spring, I’ll be okay with swapping personal space for a chance to take an actual dip in the lake. For now, though, I savor the rapture of the lonely shore – and it’s quirky ice. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Winter’s Beach: North Shore Ice Formations

  1. Tara says:

    Very cool.

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