Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter, real winter!

Lighthouse Wrapped for the Holidays
Photograph by Mark Duncan, AP

It's not a wedding cake, an ice sculpture, an ice hotel or Snow Miser's palace—just a lighthouse at the entrance to Cleveland Harbor in Ohio, as seen enrobed in ice on December 16.

Spray from Lake Erie and below-freezing temperatures turned Cleveland's West Pierhead Lighthouse into a Popsicle last week, leaving the Coast Guard to worry that any stubborn skippers braving the lake this time of year would miss the shoreline. The light's lens, as well as the rest of the building, is completely iced over—and will be for months.

Mariners have been issued warnings to exercise extra caution around the harbor entrance, though most boat traffic has already stopped for the season, said Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener, who serves with the U.S. Coast Guard's Cleveland-based Ninth Division.

On the bright side: There's no lighthouse keeper shivering inside the icy tower. The facility has been automated for decades.

—Rachel Kaufman
Published December 23, 2010
National Geographic

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