Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Ice Shelf on Lake Michigan
Most people don't realize how large the Great Lakes really are. Lake Michigan is over 300 miles long and almost 120 miles wide, making its total surface area roughly 22,300 square miles! Now that we're living in California, people will sometimes wrongly compare Lake Tahoe to Lake Michigan, but in terms of surface area 115 Lake Tahoes could fit over Lake Michigan. Even though the winters on the Great Lakes are extremely cold, Lake Michigan doesn't freeze over. But ice does form on the lake. Waves and wind bring the ice to the east and southeast sides and bit by bit these pieces of ice start to form a shelf over the water. This photo was taken the first day I headed out to the beach. We were just starting a cold and snowy cycle, so there is lots of exposed sand in the foreground, which makes the shelf easier to see. This is one of the smallest shelves I've seen out here; the shelf can extend hundreds of feet over the lake. Because this ice is really a patchwork of ice chunks, it's actually very unstable. Warning signs are up all over the place for people to STAY OFF THE SHELF ICE! One final comment on the photo: the winding water in the foreground is a small creek draining into the lake. I thought it made a nice "lead in" so I photographed it too.