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Mt. Baldy, a "living" sand dune in Michigan City, Indiana, is on the move. Winds off of Lake Michigan carry sand grains from the windward side of the dune (facing Lake Michigan) to the leeward side (away from Lake Michigan), in effect, moving the dune south at a pace of a couple feet per year.
Over the past four years, I've taken photos of the trees on the backside of the dune. The movement of the dune can be seen by looking at the branches of the tree in the center of each image. The pine tree was completely covered by 2010.
Following the windstorm last week - from Hurricane Sandy - the dune seems to have buried the tree two or three additional feet.
Dune restoration is in progress, but the storm was a set-back. Tens of thousands of marram grass plants were planted a few weeks back. The grass holds the sand, and prevents it from blowing away. Unfortunately, the 60mph winds of the recent storm uncovered the newly planted marram grass, threatening the success of the restoration. Last weekend, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park officials and volunteers picked up all of the uncovered grass plants and replanted them in hope they will remain, take root, and keep Mt. Baldy from literally blowing away.
Posted by Tom Gill at Monday, November 05, 2012