John L's Old Maps / Supplementary Pages:

 Views of the Apostle Islands 

Page VIII: Shoreline Photos

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SITE CONTENTS:

Old Map Collection – web version 4.2 (5/24/07):
  Part 1: c.1710-1857
  Part 2: 1873-1920
Supplementary Pages:
•  Evolution of Northwest Territory
•  Photos:  Source of Brule & St. Croix Rivers
•  Photos:  Sources of the Mississippi River
•  Photos:  Railroads and Trails

•   Photos:  VIEWS OF THE APOSTLE ISLANDS
    See the MENU here.

•  References


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Photos 1-22:  Big Bay on Madeline Island – March, 2006 to April, 2007.

A visit to the beach at Big Bay always reveals something not seen before and possibly never to be seen again. It could be a fresh assortment of agates to examine or a brand new outlet of the lagoon at the north end of the beach. Perhaps a brand new island to jump around on before it disappears.

1–2: Waves from an offshore storm are crashing onto the beach, causing considerable rearrangement of the sand and rocks. On this day I had planned on joining a field trip to the lighthouses on nearby Long Island, but it was called off due to the weather. With all the surf noise, one would not have been able to hear the narration anyway. The car ferries could still run between Bayfield and Madeline Island and remain amazingly stable in the water – just gently pivoting fore and aft in the big waves. Click on the movie still here. (Sept. 22, 2006)

3: On a quieter day, the waves acted as prisms, reflecting the bottom as they rolled in. (Oct. 28, 2006)

The increasing drought-like conditions in recent years contributed to the lower water levels in the Big Bay Lagoon and Lake Superior, although the lake level at any given location frequently rose and fell due to atmospheric pressure. So when the lake rises along the shore, it's a seiche rolling in rather than a tide. This causes the lagoon outlet to sometimes become an inlet – if the bulldozing effect of the waves has not blocked it altogether!

4: Here the flat beach is blocking the outlet of the still ice-covered lagoon altogether. (March 12, 2006)

5: Kids often have fun constructing canals between the lagoon and lake. It is hard to tell, but in this instance the lake is running into the lagoon. (Aug. 4, 2006)

6–7: Here the waves are sliding over the flat beach into the lagoon. (Sept. 22, 2006)

8–10: The lagoon appears at a higher level in Photo 8 (Oct. 28, 2006) and lower in Photos 9 & 10 (Dec. 27, 2006), and there is neither inlet nor outlet.

There must have been some terrific water activity just before visiting the area again on April 2. Comparing Photos 10 and 11 – taken about 3 months apart and each from the footbridge – one can see a channel has been cut through the beach between the lagoon and the lake.

11–12: Views of the new outlet of the lagoon, running swiftly into the lake and depositing sand at least 80 yards from the shore. There would be no way to walk across this without getting your boots full; most likely one would fall over and suffer hypothermia. (April 2, 2007 for Photos 11-15)

13: A cross-section of the beach. Like geological strata – only reflecting deposits laid down and covered up over months rather than eons – layers are seen on the north bank of the channel. A closer view is shown here.

14: Looks like a "ripple effect" is seen in this photo taken through shallow water near the shore where – in each ridge – darker material is separated from the lighter sand. Some classic insight into ridge formation can be found here, and probably the Brazil Nut Effect applies as well.

15: The recent storm(s) had messed up the even shoreline of Big Bay beach with small bays and peninsulas and also this new island a few yards from shore. In Photo 15 – a gallery of stills from a movie taken by Kellie with a tiny digital camera – we see a fairly solid island whose exploration was exceptionally quick and thorough. On the way out and back, I felt a strong lateral current (from south to north which is from right to left in the photos) and the depth was about 18 inches at its maximum – just enough to get inside the boots. As a seiche rolled in, the island became inundated (footprints and all) as we see here. This all happened very quickly. Note the same cloud pattern in the background. The tiny waves continued to roll in – but now upon a raised level of the lake.

16: Here's a sunken island that has pushed up daisies.

17–18: Beach stones. On some of the submerged rocks seen in Photo 17 are patches of filamentous green algae which appear to thrive in the cold winter water. (Dec. 27, 2006)

19–22: Large rocks seen along the shore just north of the beach at Big Bay. Exceptionally low water made it easy to see what generally had been submerged. Another view of the large lichen-spotted rock seen in Photo 22 is here. (Dec. 27, 2006)

Photos 23-25:  Meyers Beach – October 6, 2006.

A walk in an easterly direction along Meyers Beach on Mawikwe Bay gets one closer but not quite to the sea caves. Eagle Island is off in the distance, and – like anywhere in the area – the evening skyworks tend to be unique and often spectacular.

Photos 26-30:  Washburn – April 2, 2007.

26–29: A few views along the shoreline north of the Washburn city boat dock. An interesting chunk of ice is shown here.

30: A distant telefoto view of a small sea stack just off-shore. More such things are seen here.

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 More Apostle Islands photos:
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