Mother Nature’s Carnival

It has been an “El Nino” winter and as I post these old photos most of the ice is already off the Great Lakes. The contrast between the warmer ‘El Nino’ winter and a ‘normal’ winter are quite stark.  These are from Valentine’s Day, 2012. They were shot in Grand Haven, Michigan, a very popular summer tourist town.

Families sliding down the ice at the base of the Lighthouse:


I had been monitoring the weather cams and NOAA reports for days and finally decided conditions were as safe as they were going to get. I knew if I wanted shots I should get on down to the beach before the wind and temperatures broke up the solid ice pack. This is the vista that greeted me as I stood on the top of the small dune by the State Park parking lot:


It was surreal. People were strolling with their children, walking their dogs, and climbing over the ice mountains and outer range light. Everyone was joyous and smiling and having a great time. The last time I had seen such a large group of happy families in one place having a good time I was at Disney World.


Three people fell through the ice in the Grand River channel that weekend. One was a photographer saved only by the fact he was hanging on to his tripod. He is very lucky it had jammed across the top of the hole. Surreal.


Everywhere were people taking photos:


Lots of people taking lots of photos:


It was an impromptu festival and some people were taking souvenirs:


Some people were taking a picnic. Check out the folks in the lawn chairs:


Some people were taking advantage of prospective frozen customers in need of a delicious hot drink after their afternoon ice walk. (Yeah..this is the detail I can’t believe happened.):


When I started this blog I had intended it a blog of place. I wanted to show outsiders the things that make West Michigan unique.  We value our riparian rights here. We have had access to and been walking the beaches and piers for centuries and get right testy and litigious if anyone tries to stop us. Winter is long and gray but we make the most of it and sometimes, sometimes all the elements of Mother Nature line up and give us a holiday.

8 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s Carnival

  1. Wow, exciting photos! I bet it can be dangerous! A real photographer is ready for many things just to catch the perfect moment! Place is really great. I have never been in that part of the world and you present me a unique opportunity to have a look at this charming place. I would love to be there, I adore snow!

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