Ice boulders wash up on the shore of Lake Michigan


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Man, those things look filthy. Is Lake Michigan really that bad? Or are we seeing ones that rolled around in the mud first?

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How big are they?

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There’s also some delightful ice rings, or ‘donuts’ that show up near the shore when it gets really cold too.

I always wondered whether IKEA made their delicious metballs from scratch or shipped them in frozen. Now I know.


Further south (say, Mason, Oceana, Muskegon counties) on Lake Michigan, we used to see “mortars” and “cannonballs” form. As in the paper on Lake Superior icefoots, a good cold winter would leave the inshore area iced over; sometimes the ridge-and-plain ice would extend out half a mile. At the seaward edge of this ice, wave action would start piling up slabs and eventually one of the slabs would tilt forward/shoreward. Smaller chunks (cubic half-yard or so) would be slapped up against the tilted slab by waves. With luck, a channel would form, and the chunk would be delivered to the same point on the slab, again and again.

Over the course of a day or two, the wave-slapping action would tumble the chunk into a spherical form. At the same time, the slab would begin to develop a hole where it was being pummeled by the chunk. If the wave action held steady, there would eventually be a great moment where the newly-formed cannonball would pop through the mortar-tube worn into the slab – big excitement!

I said “used to see” because it’s been 20 years since winter was cold enough to sustain well-packed inshore ice ::sigh:: And lest you think us hicks spent entire days doing nothing but smokin’ down and watching a cannonball form, observation periods were punctuated by recreation…dragging some plywood out onto the moonlit ice and firing up the grill. Or taking a coal shovel up to the top of a frozen, bare-faced dune, seating yourself with handle between legs, saying a quick prayer while pushing off, and letting gravity have its way. (Bog, I miss being young ; - )


this is awesome!

I would liken this to the formation of hail as opposed to reverse sea glass. But maybe that’s just me.


So this is basically hail formed in a hydrogen dioxide atmosphere, rather than in a primarily nitrogen atmosphere?


I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!


You just dated yourself right there…

You know it! 60 winters under my belt, and I feel fine! (Hell, growing up with duck-and-cover, the brown acid, and Vietnam…I never thought I’d live past 30; every day is bonus.)


Next time I’m in FL I need to stop in Lowes and ask for a “coal shovel.” Most of them have never even seen coal. I guess the short handle is for tight spaces. A longer shovel with a smaller square blade is a “transfer shovel.”

Unavailable due to a copyright claim from Christina Ramirez?

I have no idea who “Christina Ramirez” is. Here are some other uploads that appear to be the same thing:

The photographer who took the video and apparently didn’t agree to it being passed around the internet without attribution.

The take down of the video is very strange. It was featured on The Atlantic Cities website and was taken by a photographer near me in Glen Arbor, Michigan. I even checked with them that The Atlantic Cities website had permission to use it. They informed me the video was being promoted by Storyful. It’s now missing from The Atlantic Cities website as well. You can check out their work here

@chgoliz I thought that maybe she might actually own the video, but the problem was that I was unable to find an original “ice boulders” video under her name. I tried searching for her name and Michigan/Glen Arbor, but I am still having trouble finding search a person.

@lakelady So, Glen Arbor Artisans includes Paul May and his wife … search for his name and something like “ice boulders” and you see the video credited to him while being promoted by Storyful: MSN, AOL, etc.