Cracking Ice

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Cracking Ice, photo by Jerry James Photography

Jerry writes: As I stood on the Ice waiting for the sun to set ( we was 1 1/2 hours early ) I could here all the ice around me cracking. talk about being paranoid, I wasn’t out to deep but it was still pretty cold and I wasn’t dressed to get wet. but everything ended good though, I stayed dry.

Always a good idea to be careful and know what’s below you when the temperatures rise.

View his photo from Muskegon bigger, see more in his slideshow, and follow Jerry James Photography on Facebook.

Ice is Nice: Tracking Ice Cover on the Great Lakes

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Shoreline Ice, photo by Mark Swanson

Ice on Michigan’s Great Lakes has become something of a phenomenon in the last few years, attracting photographers and thousands more to see the ephemeral beauty created by wind, water, and freezing temperatures. But ice has other important purposes, as NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory page on Great Lakes Ice Cover explains:

Ice formation on the Great Lakes is a clear signal of winter. Looking back in time, the lakes were formed over several thousands of years as mile-thick layers of glacial ice advanced and retreated, scouring and sculpting the basin. The shape and drainage patterns of the basin were in a constant state of flux resulting from the ebb and flow of glacial meltwater coupled with the rebound of the underlying land as the massive ice sheets retreated.

Heavy ice cover can reduce the amount of evaporation from the Great Lakes in the winter, thus contributing to higher water levels.

In bays and other nearshore areas, ice forms a stable platform for winter recreational activity such as ice fishing. This stable ice also protects wetlands and the shoreline from erosion.

  • 94.7% ice coverage in 1979 is the maximum on record (data began in 1973)
  • 9.5% ice coverage in 2002 is the lowest on record
  • 11.5% ice coverage in 1998, a strong El Niño year
  • The extreme ice cover in 2014 (92.5%) and 2015 (88.8%) were the first consecutive high ice cover years since the late 1970s.

NOAA pegs the current ice cover at 9.9% and you can also watch an animation of the last 60 days of ice formation. You can check out satellite images of the Great Lakes for current ice cover and also this cool animation of Great Lakes ice cover from 1973 – 2016.

Mark took this photo a little over a week ago at Lincoln Township Park near Stevensville. With the warmer weather, there’s probably less. View his photo bigger and see more in his Michigan Winter slideshow.

Turtle Club

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Turtle Club, photo by Andrew McFarlane

“Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club?”
-Dana Carvey, Master of Disguise

Pretty sure it’s just sleeping.

I took this photo last weekend on a walk along Lake Michigan in the Leelanau Conservancy’s Whaleback Natural Area just south of Leland.

View it background big and see more in my Lake Michigan, Pearl of America slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Golden Light at the Lighthouse

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Golden Light at the Lighthouse, photo by PhotoJacko – Jackie Novak

View Jackie’s photo bigger, see more in her Winter slideshow, and be sure to follow Jackie Novak Photography on Facebook.

PS: You can do a little Throwback Thursday to January 12, 2015 and the Polar Vortex at the St. Joseph Lighthouse.

Suspended

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Suspended, photo by paulh192

Paul captured this very cool ice formation along the shoreline of Lake Michigan last week. View it photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Warren Dunes in black & white

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Warren Dunes, photo by Mark Swanson

Warren Dunes State Park has three miles of shoreline and six miles of hiking trails on nearly 2000 acres. It is open year-round, and the centerpiece is the dune formation that rises 260 feet above the lake and offers spectacular views. It’s also our busiest state park!

View Mark’s photo bigger and see more in his Michigan – Black & White slideshow.

More about Edward K Warren & Warren Dunes on Michigan in Pictures.

11th Anniversary of Michigan in Pictures!

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Water Spray, photo by Sandy Hansen Photography

On December 30, 2005 I posted the first photo to Michigan in Pictures. 11 years later, it’s still going so I guess I must be doing something right. Thanks to all you photographers and fans for being a part of Michigan in Pictures!!

I figured Lake Michigan popping its cork would be better than champagne.

View Sandy’s photo bigger and see more in her Northern Michigan slideshow.