A week before winter weather returned to Northwestern Indiana, it felt more like late spring, as the setting sun illuminated the dry, dormant Marram grass with a warm amber light. I generally hike the dunes in morning, so it was a treat to see them during the golden hour.
This young dune was at the top of a blowout, a bare area of a dune where no vegetation grows. The lack of vegetation encourages erosion by the driving winds off of Lake Michigan. The sand is blown up and over the top of the blowout, where it accumulates, forming another dune.
This dune appears to be only a few years old, and is one of the smallest living dunes I've seen. A living dune is one that is growing and moving - all due to the wind and erosion. The sand blown over the top settles on the other side, making the dune move inland. On its slow journey inland, everything in its path is buried.
Posted by Tom Gill at Wednesday, March 15, 2017