Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow: Lake Michigan

                                            photo by Barbara Spring

On the Beach in Grand Haven, MI: February 
Confessions of an Ice Watcher

As I walk out on the icy shoreline on a cold February day, the wind blows through my wool balaclava and my foot slips on glazed patches on the sand.
My leather gloves are not warm enough to keep the wind from freezing my fingers.
My long down coat though is keeping me warm enough to hike along the shoreline.

I pull my Canon (camera that is) out of my pocket. I didn’t want my camera to freeze.   Ice fascinates me.  My distant relative, Roald Amundsen was a polar explorer from the north of Norway who studied ice and figured out how to reach the South Pole with dog sleds.  Maybe that explains my fascination.  Maybe.  Or it may be that the way the wind and waves change the ice patterns every day is the fascination.  From my perch on the dunes, I watch.

In mid-February of 1979, four of the five Great Lakes froze all the way across. This was the first year this had happened in the recorded history of the National Weather Service.  For years the harbor has not had fast ice where the Coast Guard Ice breaker had to try and break through.  Link to my author page on Amazon
I watch. I walk and I watch some more.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Biophilia: the love of nature and living things.

I have had a great love for the Great Lakes since the moment I saw them as a child. Magnificent Lake Superior was the first Great Lake I saw, the greatest of them all.  I was on a road trip with my family and my uncle was telling a story in the car about “old foamy”, the fish he was going to try and catch. It was quite a fish story.

Then we reached Duluth and I was in awe at its size and beauty. The roar of the waves, the deep blue color and the rocky shores.  Up until then I had lived inland and had only experienced small lakes and streams.  When I grew older I visited all of the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls.  Each of the Great Lakes has its unique features: Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario.  I set out to learn important facts about the five lakes and what I might do to preserve their beauty. The Earth, the air, the waters and their living things are all connected and I am connected to them.

When you love something, you are compelled to care for it.  How can I care for the Great Lakes?  First I can learn all I can about them and let others know.  In a small way I am hoping I can help to keep the Great Lakes great.

I must have a serious case of biophilia: the love of nature and living things.