The blue blue ice is rumored to come but once every seven years to the Mackinaw Straits. It appeared in all its blue ice glory in the winter of 2018.
The ice piled into the Straits of Mackinaw, bringing a natural wonderland of blue prisms. To wander among these natural sculptures was way better than a trip to the museum of modern art. Just imagine a fairyland of unicorns, fairies, and sprites.
Almost all glacier travelers have stared with awe into the brilliant blue depths of glacier ice.
But why is ice blue? Is it the mermaid?
Technically, ice only appears blue when it is so densely compacted that bubbles don't exist to interfere with the passage of light. Without the scattering effect of air bubbles, light penetrates ice undisturbed. In ice, the absorption of light at the red end of the spectrum is six times greater than at the blue end. Thus, the deeper into the ice light energy travels, the more photons from the red end of the spectrum are lost along the way. A few feet into the ice, most of the reds are dead. A lack of reflected red wavelengths produces the color blue in the human eye. This dense ice piled in the Straits of Mackinaw give us our beautiful blue blue ice.
The Siren of Mackinaw is a rhyme for skilled readers. It has a glossary for any of the more challenging words for kids.
At a last year's event at the Crisp Point Lighthouse a seven year old picked up the book. I politely asked him to give it a try. He accepted my challenge and read it aloud.
To my surprise, he was able to handle almost every word. I was not expecting that, since this is a challenging kid's rhyme.
It's a dance of saphire,
aurora's night lights,
a glacier hued spectacle
of sculpted bright lights.
It's igloos and castles
with dragons and swords,
it's mountains of mischief
we're skating towards.
Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.
Lighthouse height: 49′
526 N Huron Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701 Phone: (231) 436-4100
The Siren of Mackinaw as well our other books from our Lighthouse Series is available in the Lighthouse Gift Shop.