Thursday, July 9, 2009

Playing Tourist - Part Two

Another stop on our day trip was Seul Choix Point Lighthouse, on the northern shore of Lake Michigan.

The light was placed in service in 1892 and is now a lovely museum, you can even climb the tower. Walking the shore quickly demonstrates why the light was and is a necessity - a huge limestone shoal surrounds the point.

A variety of wildflowers manage to survive on the rock, despite the lack of soil and baking in the sun.

We were surprised at another aspect of the beach - the huge piles of zebra mussel shells.

The piles were three feet thick and stretched for dozens of yards. Apparently, wind and current can cause them to accumulate in certain areas. Zebra mussels are an invasive species thought to have been introduced to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of foreign ships. They are incredible prolific and are negatively affecting the ecological balance of the lakes.

It was quite odd to walk the beach accompanied by the crunch of shells, but it's a beautiful place to visit, both for the inherent natural beauty and opportunity to support historic preservation.

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