There are always fantastic photographic opportunities in all seasons here in Door County, Wisconsin. Our peninsula extends into Lake Michigan, so water in many forms is always nearby and a constant source of potential. But of all the seasons, winter is my favorite. That does not mean it is always easy or pleasant to photograph at this time, and this image is a perfect example.
I am always waiting for the annual ice machine that turns on early in the winter while the bays are still unfrozen. The conditions needed are strong northwest winds and temperatures of 10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. This causes heavy spray that sweeps on shore driven by breaking waves and the winds. The frigid temperatures mean the spray will freeze on contact wherever it lands, leading to fantastic shapes. This set of conditions only occurs at the beginning of winter because the bays are freezing, and once they freeze over, the ice machine is done until the beginning of next winter.
This year is so far experiencing conditions very favorable to ice formations. These rocks were clear two days previous, but the winds picked up to 40-50 mph with near zero degrees Fahrenheit, so the ice machine started with a vengeance.
This composition was made on Christmas day, 2022, and there is no snow in this image but only new ice thickly covering everything in sight.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor