The "Hoodoos" of St. Joseph Michigan


The St. Joseph, Michigan Hoodoos

Like miniature versions of the sandstone formations of the Badlands and Brice Canyon, Utah, these formations look a lot like "Hoodoos." These particular formations, however, are only temporary features of the Lake Michigan shore. 

Winter does some incredible things to the beaches along the shore of the Great Lakes, but in addition to the ice and snow, small details often get overlooked. When water falls on sand, it seeps down to the layers below; in cold weather, the water turns to ice. Along the beaches, winds hit the shore and slowly move sand away from the lake, but the frozen portions don't wear away, they remain. These remaining formations are incredible little sculptures I call Hoodoos.
The Hoodoos of St. Joseph

I've seen these formations for years in other places. Usually, they are formed when wind mixes the snow with sand, and the snow begins to melt, then freezes again. I found hundreds of these in Silver Lake, Michigan in 2017, and blogged about them in my Huffington Post blog: Click here to view that post. The ones in St. Joseph, Michigan this year are much smaller, and confined to a rather small section of the beach, but they are a bit more consistent in style.
Field of Hoodoos

I was surprised to see quite a few kids and families were exploring the Hoodoos in the bitter cold wind. In years past, I was often the only person on the beach in the winter; it's good to see people getting out to explore and come across things they never imagined, like the interesting Hoodoos of St. Joseph, Michigan.

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