Ice Cave Evening, photo by Mark Miller
via leelanau.com who write:
It’s a frosty 3 degrees in Leland with winds whipping powdery snow around and more single digits & high winds driving wind chills far below zero coming over the next couple of days. That’s not optimal for driving, and schools across the county are cancelled. It could, however, bring to life ice formations & caves on Leelanau’s western shore like we’ve seen several times in recent years.
They’ve got past ice cave articles and will be posting updates right here! The Freep reports that Michigan is bracing for potentially record-breaking cold this week:
A polar vortex is forecast to batter the Great Lakes and Midwest regions Tuesday through Thursday, with the lowest temperatures set to occur Wednesday. Some areas of Lower Michigan could face wind chills as low as 45 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.
That would mark the most bitter cold in years for the region.
…The polar vortex is the large area of cold air and low pressure near each of the Earth’s poles. The air flows counter-clockwise near each of the poles, hence “vortex.”
“Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream,” the NWS explains.
Mark took this back in Mark of 2014. View the photo bigger and see more awesome shots in his Northern Michigan winters photo album.
Icicles in cave – Grand Island Ice Curtains on Lake Superior, photo by Craig
A little emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day!
Viewing this ice curtain from the inside at Grand Island near Munising Michigan, highlights the blue and teal hues that nature provides.
View the photo bigger and see more in Craig’s Grand Island Ice Curtains set.
Words escape me, photo by Lake Superior Photo
Words escape ME on the beauty of the video that Shawn of Lake Superior Photo shared. The ice caves on Grand Island near Munising didn’t happen this year, a very unfortunate thing for everyone in Michigan who makes their livelihood from winter recreation. However, thanks to the magic of the video below, we can travel back to 2015.
You can view Shawn’s photo from winter of 2015 bigger on Facebook and purchase the photo right here. I can’t stress enough that you should follow Shawn and Lake Superior Photo on Facebook. Please do it.
Now here’s that video. Be sure to turn your volume up and watch in HD – there’s a “boom” from the ice sheet at 4 seconds that’s incredible!
unbelievable colors in the ice pillars, Grand Island, photo by Lake Superior Photo
On March 1st, Shawn shared this shot from last March on Grand Island. We’ve had nowhere near the ice buildup this year – a year can really make a difference.
Also, I’d like to congratulate her on having (as far as I know) the most popular Facebook page for a Michigan photographer – 201,000+ fans for Lake Superior Photo! If you’re not one of those, I urge you to change that right now.
View the photo bigger and view & purchase her photos at LakeSuperiorPhoto.com.
PS: Just in case you missed it, Michigan in Pictures has a good explanation of what gives ice difference colors.
The Blue Ice, photo by Charles Bonham
The Causes of Color answers the question: What causes the blue color that sometimes appears in snow and ice?
As with water, this color is caused by the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum). The absorption spectrum of ice is similar to that of water, except that hydrogen bonding causes all peaks to shift to lower energy – making the color greener. This effect is augmented by scattering within snow, which causes the light to travel an indirect path, providing more opportunity for absorption. From the surface, snow and ice present a uniformly white face. This is because almost all of the visible light striking the snow or ice surface is reflected back, without any preference for a single color within the visible spectrum.
The situation is different for light that is not reflected, but penetrates or is transmitted into the snow. As this light travels into the snow or ice, the ice grains scatter a large amount of light. If the light is to travel over any distance it must survive many such scattering events. In other words, it must keep scattering and not be absorbed. We usually see the light coming back from the near surface layers (less than 1 cm) after it has been scattered or bounced off other snow grains only a few times, and it still appears white.
In simplest of terms, think of the ice or snow layer as a filter. If it is only a centimeter thick, all the light makes it through; if it is a meter thick, mostly blue light makes it through. This is similar to the way coffee often appears light when poured, but much darker when it is in a cup.
Click through for lots more about light & color!
Charles took this photo last March off Gills Pier on the Leelanau Peninsula when there was a whole lot more ice than there is this winter. View it background bigilicious and see more in his Leelanau Peninsula slideshow.
More winter wallpaper and more amazing ice on Michigan in Pictures.
Soul of the Yoop, photo by Cory Genovese
While our Great Lakes shoreline still holds some cool formations this winter, unlike the last two years this winter hasn’t had the very cold days coupled with high winds that combine to form truly spectacular ice caves. Thankfully, we can look back … and hope for a wintry turn in the weather!
Cory took this photo of one of his favorite little Lake Superior ice caves in a spring thaw in April of 2014. View the photo bigger, see more in his Yoop Life slideshow, and definitely follow him on Facebook at PhotoYoop for more great shots of life on the edge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!
More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures, and please consider becoming a patron of Michigan in Pictures.
munising ice caves/curtains, photo by Paul Wojtkowski
The Freep reports that El Niño in Pacific could mean mild Michigan winter:
Less ice on the Great Lakes would ease the freighter shipping industry’s logistical nightmares of recent winters. Less snow-melt runoff in the spring could forestall flooding that sends nutrients off farms and into Lake Erie, fueling its summer algae blooms. And deer populations that have dropped dramatically in the Upper Peninsula over recent harsh winters could begin to rebound.
…Over a century, comparing Michigan’s normal winter precipitation versus 10 El Niño events between 1915 and 1992, rain and snowfall was about 72% of normal in the Metro Detroit area during the El Niños; 78% of normal in the Thumb area, and in the 80% to 85% range of normal throughout the rest of lower Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula, according to NOAA.
You can read on for more. While that means that we might not have as much ice cave fun in Michigan this winter, I think I’m OK with an El Niño intermission!
Check Paul’s photo of this winter’s incredible ice caves on Grand Island out background bigalicious, see more in his slideshow and follow Paul Wojtkowski Photography on Facebook!
More ice caves on Michigan in Pictures!