The Suitcase Lady


March 11, 2014, 10:08 pm

Contrary to the charming tall tale, Paul Bunyan’s footsteps did not hollow out the Great Lakes. The glaciers of the last Ice Age are responsible for the Lakes’s creation. Huge advancing glaciers acted like bulldozers and scooped out the lake beds; retreating, melting glaciers flooded the depressions.

All winter long, we have been watching ice shelves build up along the shore of Lake Michigan and icebergs float around according to the whims of the wind. But last Wednesday morning was starkly different; absolutely nothing was moving as far as we could see in every direction. We felt as if we had gone to bed in Wisconsin and gotten up in the Antarctic.

What our eyes told us about the totally frozen state of our immense Lake was confirmed later in a news report. The Great Lakes are 91 per cent frozen, a record breaker. Forecasters expect the number to reach 98 per cent in a day or two. We are living in an eerily quiet world. The ever present sound of the waves has been silenced by the ice.

We noted another previously unseen phenomenon. Some of the ice in the Lake was bright turquoise, a color of ice we only had seen previously in the Alaskan glaciers.

Every living thing around here…..people, animals and even the plants….seems to be in a supercharged state of waiting for the first chink in winter’s icy armor. We are all ready, even though the thaw might require some ark building.

Garrison Keillor describes our situation perfectly. “We don’t do hobby winters up here,” he recently quipped.

Lake Michigan

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