Sunny, icey, beachless, water way out Now the big lake is barricaded behind twenty foot frozen waves, you can’t see it anymore without climbing over two chasms of permafrost tundra — the shoreline itself has vanished and the beach looks like a lunar sea — solid water and craters of wind-swept, sand-ice aggregate. It’s walkable, but I cracked through a few times, and decided to make avant-garde ice sculptures (ha) with the broken geometry of the ice pieces. It made me think of James Turrell and his obsession with light in huge spaces, and the elegance of shadows, as well as the light thrown from the natural contours of the land. Art that is ephemeral and hand-wrought. But wait! Getting off the frozen beach and on to the short and slippery light house pier reveals that the water IS still there: open water, looking more arctic than great lakesian, you can see the coldest bluest lake water ever!
The designs of cold-molded ice recall the undulations of the Honeycomb in Chicago in Lincoln Park, which is itself a winter showplace right now, on the other side of the Big Lake:
On another recent day in Southwest Michigan on the shore line of the eponymous lake, patterns in the ice emerged from the brief warm spell we’ve had (temps in the upper 30’s!) and the slight melting, then the nightly cool downs causing contractions of air bubbles and frozen water, shallow pools of the lightest blue water — the color of Charleston porch ceilings, no, the color of museum glazed pottery, no, the color of the Bahamas tidal pools in a lava flow/e landscape:
Behind the mounds of snow and sand, about 100 yards out, is the Lake. A purple storm is readying from Illinois. It does not care what it throws at us, howling across the 100 miles of shared open water.