The Dormant Dunes

The Lake and the Woods Below 
 In late winter, the plant life on the dunes is still dormant and brown, waiting for a few more days of warm weather and rain to kickstart the spring green-up. Even in this dormant state, the woods and grasses are inviting, and from this elevation, they seem to go on forever. I can imagine hiking down these dunes through the woods and clearings, and walking for miles. Unfortunately, that's not allowed here, and much of the wooded areas around the park are private property. 

 It's amazing how calm and peaceful it is when you stop and look around. A large city is just up the shore, and other smaller residential areas surround the dunes on three sides, but aside from the occasional train horn and air plane, nature is all you hear. When Lake Michigan is churning, only the waves can be heard, but on this morning, it was only birds and the squeaking of the sand beneath our feet.
  The Dormant Dunes 
 Turning and looking in the opposite direction, more dunes and woods can be taken in. The views from this dune are quite expansive, and seem to go on and on. Tucked away between the dense bare trees are some homes in the distance, those of nearby towns such as Pines, Dune Acres, and Beverly Shores. They're all within walking distance of Lake Michigan and in such a picturesque, rolling dune setting. So close to the National Park, and also so close to the once booming steel industry of Northern Indiana. That industry is waning, and what remains is mostly hidden from the view of the homes by the dunes and the woods.

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