Winter View of the St. Joseph Range Lights

Winter View of the St. Joseph Range Lights

Taken on the beach, a bit farther away from the river, the shelf ice near the shore provides a bumpy foreground to the St. Joseph, Michigan lighthouses. Still forming, the shelf ice will eventually all but block the view of Lake Michigan and the lighthouses from the beach - unless, of course, you walk up the dune where you can see over the mounds.

I'm always amazed at the power of the lake - some of these ice chunks are almost three feet in diameter, and are found on the pier, and on top of 15 foot tall mounds. They were carried there by the waves during rough weather. Once deposited and frozen in place, they take on the look of a lunar landscape.

Closed for the winter, the north pier (where the lighthouses reside) attracts visitors viewing the ice build-up on the catwalk uprights. Probably closed because of the remodelling being done, some visitors ignore the fence and venture out anyway.  You can see two in this photo - they give some scale to the ice formations.

Most years, the ice forms all the way to the top of the outer lighthouse.  This hasn't really happened yet this year, but there's still time.

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