Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ghost Forest of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

All photos by Jonathan Schechter  March 10, 2013
                     NOTE: These photos are meant to accompany my featured hiking column in 
the Sunday, March 17th edition of The Oakland Press

The ghost forest is a hauntingly beautiful  habitat within Sleeping Bear Dunes National
 Lakeshore. Sand dune migrate to the east from the wind-swept shores of Lake Michigan 
and  have swallowed forests and reshaped the landscape. As the dunes continue to move once 
buried trees are exposed again; thus the name ghost forest.  This ghost forest is found along the Sleeping Bear Point Trail that overlooks the Manitou Passage.

Several hundred yards from the leeward side of the ghost forest is a rich habitat of cedar and hemlock; a perfect place for porcupines to rest and dine.

After hiking up hill and passing through the cedar-hemlock forest the dunes are reached.

Six foot tall blue marker posts show the trail location, a trail of shifting sands

High winds have caused dune  blow-outs. Heavy winter rains filled them with water.

 Red fox are very much at home in the dune landscape

Deer live in the dunes and ghost forest habitat

As the dunes shift and move to the east, once buried forest emerge again

Dune grasses struggle to stabilize the shifting sands

Look closely, the six foot tall blue trail marking sign is buried by a dune on the move

Fresh shifting sands have buried a section of the trail----

--- and is setting the stage to create a new ghost forest.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really fascinating. I have lived in Michigan all my life and have never heard of this phenomenon. Jonathan, your articles allow me to travel and enjoy nature even when it's not physically possible for me to do so. Keep up the good work!

March 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM 
Blogger Jonathan Schechter said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! Sleeping Bear Dunes is really just wonderful and no two days are ever the same.

March 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM 

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