Everyday Adventures: Chicago in Winter, the Coastline Landscape

17 December 2017
Photo of Chicago Beach in the Winter
Photo by Ellie Thompson

I find myself returning east to Chicago by mid-October. I would hate to miss a Chicago winter! 

Now, that it's December, I am full of joyful anticipation!

The leaves have fallen off the trees now, leaving the view from my "beach house" studio clear to the crashing waves on the beach. The waters stretch further up on the sand, reaching the tall grasses. Soon enough, as the lake chills further, these more powerful swells will toss frozen, tumbled chunks of lake water up on the beach. These giant orbs will pile up creating huge dunes of hard water and sand. The waves will flow over these bricks of ice, freezing, building the winter dunes ever higher.  Some nights the water's violence will create a roar that lasts til dawn. The morning following is colder, crisper, brighter and somehow full of promise... 

But today, the earlier snowfall, long melted off, and temperate air has given way to grass that is greening. Greening up just 8 days before Christmas. I impatiently wait for snow and a crisp arctic wind to create the drama of Lake Michigan in winter. I look forward to walking in the transformed landscape, my boots keeping me warm and dry, as I wander and wonder until my face stings with the cold, my spirit invigorated.


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