Disappearing Dune

by Pawel Grajnert

Indiana Dunes, Lake Michigan

I spent part of my childhood in the Indiana Dunes and still, to this day, spend at least part of the year living here. It’s a special place. The dunes create tiny micro-climates. So on a windward side of a dune there may be a pine forest of the North, the leeward is a desert with cacti. And on either side a prairie savannah.

The dunes have always been in some sort of transition. When I was growing up they were different and the same. They were taller and rounder. Now they are more steep and bare. The dunes are disappearing due to the changes in hydrology that human intervention along the shore line has caused. As an example, the City of Chicago lies directly across from the dunes. The city was built on a swamp that used to flood when the water levels rose. Now, the water has nowhere to go but to eat away at the sand. Still, the dunes remain a magical place.

Pawel Grajnert is a writer and filmmaker working in the US and Poland.