My Top Ten Winter Photos of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located in Leelanau and Benzie Counties in Northwestern Michigan. As a resident of Leelanau County, I never tire of spending time hiking the dunes or enjoying the beaches. Here are some of my favorite photos. I hope you enjoy the tour.
North Manitou island From Sleeping Bear Dunes
The Manitou Passage
The photo above shows the seven miles of open water between Sleeping Bear Dunes on Michigan's northwest shoreline as well as North and South Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan. The area between the islands and the mainland is known as the Manitou Passage. While there is plenty of deep water for the large Great Lakes freighters to navigate the passage, the shorelines of the islands and mainland are littered with great boulders which have caused many shipwrecks over the years.
One such wreck was known as the Rising Sun, which went down in 1917 just offshore from Pyramid Point which is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Divers and snorkelers are able to explore sixteen of the wrecks, while there are 45 or more wrecks which have not yet been discovered. The deepest place in the passage is 335 feet or 102 meters. The average depth of Lake Michigan is 287 feet or 85 meters.
Shalda Creek on Her Way to Lake Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes In Winter
The Ecological Importance of Dune Grass
Dune grass is important to Sleeping Bear sand dunes as it reduces wind erosion of the sand. In the winter, snowshoers and cross country skiers can travel across the dunes at will, but in the summer, it is best to stay on marked trails in order to preserve the dune grass.
Sleeping Bear Bay, Lake Michigan
The Beautiful and Graceful White-tailed Deer
A Confluence of Water, Rock and Ice
A Serene View of Grand Traverse Bay and Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Snowy Owls, majestic, two foot tall creatures are normally found in the arctic tundra, but many are being seen farther south this winter. The reason, according to scientists, is that the main food source for snowy owls, lemmings, were plentiful last summer. This allowed the adult birds to raise more young, so they are spreading out in search of food. I was very happy to have gotten to watch these two birds for several minutes as they searched the dunes for unwary rabbits and mice.
The Sleeping Bear in Winter
Thanks for stopping by and looking through my favorite photos so far of the winter of 2013. I have another hub about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan, and I hope you will visit it as well, if you have not done so already.