I am fortunate to live in Wisconsin at the tip of an 80-mile-long peninsula that extends out into Lake Michigan. There are wonderful photographic opportunities in every season but my favorite time is winter when ice creates magic in many forms, but big ice shoves are what I always anticipate the most. They occur almost every winter but rarely in the same place. In the late winter, usually late February to early April, the bay ice sheet begins to break up. The conditions needed for ice shove formation are a strong wind which breaks up the ice and sets it in motion. The mass and momentum of the ice are tremendous and when the front of the moving ice is stopped by the shore or a shallow reef, the ice behind keeps moving and it begins to pile up into a shove. They form in a matter of just a few hours and may end up being just a few feet high or up to 40 feet high of very unstable ice. To me, they are highly photogenic but just until the next snowstorm covers them so the window to photograph them might be very short.
In February 2022 an extensive ice shove formed on a reef next to the Little Sister Islands. These ice shoves were one of the most impressive I had seen in many years but a big drawback was that they were only available to drone photography as they were over a mile from shore and surrounded by open water or dangerous ice. For a couple of weeks, I explored them with my drone every late afternoon until dark whenever the weather and wind were favorable. I ended up with many images from my trips out to these shoves. I noticed this little pond on the shoves early on and ended up photographing it each time I was out there and saw how it changed each time I visited.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor