Blue and Gold #09649

Matted, canvas, & super high gloss prints available. Questions?


The Story

On Lake Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a very small rolling wave comes onto the beach powered by a very slight breeze. There, as on all lakes, the wind makes the waves and this was a rather still evening. The low warm sunset light glanced off the surfaces as I shot this colorful close-up in blue and gold, the light turning the sand more deeply golden while the water stayed full blue.

Interestingly, the little waves each left a fine line in the sand before retreating, some delicate reminder of it having moved the sand just a little. It’s only a small example of the power of water over the earth, the erosion that has constantly changed the earth throughout millennia, day in and day out.

Although this picture can appear to have been taken from a height like an aerial view, I was in close while gathering those fine details. And it was the wonderful contrast of blue and gold that compelled me to make this image that evening, some peace along the moving water.

There is also a curiosity here, something unique to Lake Michigan. Behind the moving edge of the wave, there is something that looks like oatmeal in clumps under the blue water. That is sawdust from over 100 years ago.

At the turn of the last century in the early 1900s, Michigan produced more board feet of lumber than any other state. At the same time, the USA cut more lumber than any other country in the world. Of course, that means mountains of sawdust, and how do you get rid of it? Dump it into the lake from barges! There it sinks to the bottom. Lake Michigan is very cold and the sawdust never rotted away. So today, over 100 years later, it will still come to the surface and float into shore.

Location: Lake Michigan on the Great Lakes in the Upper Peninsula at Manistique, Schoolcraft County, Michigan. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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