By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung

STANDING in temperatures well below freezing, these 30ft tall lighthouses are turned into giant icicles

Scroll down for the full story


St Joseph North Pier Lighthouse, displaying it's frosty coat of ice from recent storms on Lake Michigan

Ice engulfs the structures while unbelievable formations hang from railings - these stunning snaps show the incredible effect a winter storm had on Michigan in the USA earlier on this week.

With temperatures dipping to a chilly -5 degrees, millions across the US have been desperately trying to stay warm this week.

Sunset approaches as it nears the end of Grand Haven Pier

However one photographer chose to brave the frosty weather and venture outdoors to capture these stunning images of St Joseph Lighthouse in Michigan.

Sharp icicles and surreal formations can be seen hanging from the railings after strong waves crashed onto the piers.

Photographer Mike Kline and his wife stand behind the ice at Grand Haven, watching the sun go down

After each coating, the water quickly freezes to ice and the pier is transformed into a slippery, white wonderland.

The photographs themselves are difficult to take in the icy conditions as timing is everything when it comes to capturing the perfect shot.

Close-up look at the impressive ice formations on the front of the Grand Haven Michigan lighthouse

Professional photographer, Mike Kline, 46, said: “The conditions have to be right for the ice to form on the lighthouses.

Ice coats the pier structures at South Haven
A mixture of snow and ice create mesmerising patterns on the lake facing side of South Haven Lighthouse

"Temperatures have to be below freezing, and the water along the pier has to be open.

"Then there needs to be wind and waves to allow for the spray of the waves to coat the pier and structures.

"As each thin layer of ice forms, it gradually builds up to the point of majestic ice formations.”

Reflections of the sunset on the ice near the end of Grand Haven Pier

One stunning image shows icicle formations on the walkway at Grand Haven Pier, which look similar to that of a scraggly beard as boulder-like ice formations on the surface make navigation on foot difficult.

Mike said: “I have a three hour drive to get to them, and then have to wear warm clothes and ice cleats to be able to safely walk out on the pier to get the pictures.

Bails of ice float and bob in the water around the pier at Grand Haven

"To get the pictures, I just need to be committed to the time needed to get there, and willing to face the cold weather and slippery piers.

"The ice on the piers is often very uneven and craggy, so walking is difficult.”

Frazil ice formations in the water and an icy coat on the South Haven Lighthouse

Brave photographer Mike, whose wife also joins him on his icy adventures, spoke of the uniqueness of the images as Michigan has over 100 lighthouses, yet there are only a handful that have the potential to get encrusted with ice:

“Witnessing the ice up close is amazing. I have seen it several times, and it just does not get old,” he added.

St Joseph North Pier Lighthouse, displaying its frosty coat of ice from recent storms on Lake Michigan

"Nature does not create the same pattern twice, so each time is something different.

"My wife also takes pictures, so I am fortunate to have her at my side while I witness and capture these beautiful sights.”