Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wind and Waves Sculpt the Ice

As we inch our way into spring, and the temperatures rise to 50 for the first time in months, I watch the changing ice patterns that are occurring on the Big Lake. 

Pressure ridges form from the stress of colliding ice planes thrust together by wind and wave action. 

This pressure ridge runs all the way from Lee Point to Traverse City.

Shorelines become littered with great piles of ice.

Sand mixes in with the icy heaps.

Ice caves, once strong and large enough to accommodate people, collapse in on one another.

It's all a cycle we must go through to finally say good-bye to winter.


  1. Karen, I wonder if you've been having some of the same thoughts I've had the last couple of weeks, i.e., that Michigan snow and ice in late winter and early spring provide speeded-up lessons in geology, showing us up close and personal what happens to earth forms over eons. Forces up uplift tumbling mountains! That's what I see in your photographs today.

  2. Thank you, Pamela. I see the enormous power that the wind and waves have on the ice. Once, years ago, I was kayaking on Lake Ann when the ice was going out on a sunny April day. It was a windy day and the ice shifted and I was wedged between two ice floes. It was a humbling experience on the power that the wind and waves have on melting ice. And this whole process has been going on for eons. In the Great Lakes areas, we are able to witness these geologic lessons right in our own backyards. Karen

  3. Dynamic captures of yet another aspect of this amazing winter on the Leelanau, Karen. Don't know about you, but I am more than ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

  4. Thank you, Jan. I concur: No more winter. Hopefully we are headed in the right direction with our wishes. Karen

  5. Wow! That sure looks like Polar Bear habitat.

  6. Thanks for your visit. No Polar Bears here, but some hibernating black bears on occasion.