Winter Winds

Winter Winds Hearing the forecast of 60 mph wind gusts, I made plans to head out to the Michigan shore of Lake Michigan - hoping for high waves. When I arrived, I was not disappointed. While I can't say this was the windiest day I've seen on the lake, this was certainly one of the most dramatic days on Lake Michigan I've experienced. South Haven, Michigan still had quite a bit of shelf ice along the shore, and even large chunks of drift ice floating in the Black River. The high waves tossed the car-sized ice chunks up over the railings of the river walk. At times, it was difficult to walk and stand still because of the winds, and the sand being kicked up into your face. As usual, if you can make it close to the water, there is no sand to blow into your face, you only need to worry about the water spray on the camera lens. Arriving around 3:00 pm local time, the sky was mostly cloudy, but as I walked the beach, the sun began to peek through the clouds and illuminate the waves and spray. The scene takes on an entirely different look as the sun goes in and out, and it becomes more difficult to photograph each time the light changes. splashsm I suppose the spray will begin to freeze onto the lighthouse and catwalk surfaces if the winds continue through the night. The ice boulders have already deposited on the beach and pier, making the walk to the beginning of the pier difficult, and the walk to the end of the pier impossible - at least until the waves subside. Temperatures were in the low 30s but with the high winds, the "feel-like" temperatures were around 8 degrees. In very little time, exposed skin began to freeze, and even through gloves, my hands were numb in just ten minutes. If you've never experienced winds such as these by Lake Michigan, I encourage you to seek out days like these in the future; it's like nothing you've ever seen before.

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