Sunday, February 22, 2009

Awesome Ice!

Let the sun shine! Today was such a nice day, that I went for a walk on the ice for about 2 miles down the shore from my house. The ice is about 2 feet thick now, which means its plenty safe to walk on and what an interesting way to explore the shore! Not to mention easier. Most places along the lakeshore its difficult to walk because of all the rocks and boulders. The ice makes it much easier, because right next to shore its very smooth. About 30 to 50 feet from shore, there are ice piles here and there. Today I just wandered with the camera and when something caught my eye I snapped a picture of it.

(Above: Ice cave ceiling)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The beauty of February

We got a nice little covering of snow last night, maybe 2 to 3 inches. The nice thing about it was that it wasn't immediately followed by wind, as so often happens after a snowfall. As a result, the snow stuck to the trees for most of today, making for a nice shot looking down my driveway. The rest of the images in this post are from the ice out in front of my house, which is pretty awesome right now. There are a few places, at various distances from shore, where the ice has been pushed up into some cool configurations. Have I mentioned how much I love to photograph ice?


Monday, February 9, 2009

A couple of moonlight exposures...

After my snowshoe hike yesterday I couldn't resist taking a few moonlight exposures when I got home. It was such a sublime night.... very mild for early February, with a temperature right around 30 degrees. The image above is of my house, taken from the snowshoe trail which leads down to the lake. The image below is of some icicles hanging from a rock on the beach in front of my house. Both are 30 second moonlight exposures! Enjoy...

(Below: I threw this one in just for fun. Its a piece of ice from the Lake Superior shoreline in front of my house. Isn't it amazing how clear it is? It was about an inch thick.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snowshoeing Wauswaugoning Bay (again)

I went back to snowshoe Wauswaugoning Bay again, this time by myself. I was planning to push beyond where the 3 of us went on our last journey to the bay. We had hoped to make it to the south side of Pigeon Point, where we could get a view of the Susie Islands. As it turned out the distance was farther than we thought and our light was running out so we had to turn around before we made it all the way.

I headed out a bit earlier, hoping it would be enough time to make it. The sky was also totally clear, rather than wall to wall clouds and it was to be a full moon tonight so if I ran out of time again I would have the full moonlight to guide me back (I also had my headlamp, just in case). This ended up being the most amazing snowshoe hike I have ever been on! I made it to the Lake Superior shoreline, just in time for sunset. There were some fascinating ice formations on the shore. I even saw some wolf tracks following the shoreline. To top it off, the ice on Wauswaugoning Bay was creaking and groaning which I could hear throughout the whole hike.

It was especially eerie walking back through the woods after dark, in the moonlight, and hearing the noises of the ice as it shifted and settled. As I walked through the woods guided by the glow from the moon (it was bright enough that I never once turned my headlamp on), every now and then the ice would speak. "Booooooo.... doomp!" it cried. I would walk for another minute or two then again "Boooooooo.... doomp!" This is the best way I can describe the noise. It must be the force of the water pushing the ice into the bay, then when the force eases up on the ice, the ice settles. The pressure pushing the ice in must create the "Boooooo" sound, then when the pressure eases the ice settles down, making the "doomp" sound. At any rate, it was eerie but wonderful. To top things off, I even heard an owl hooting a couple of times as I walked through the woods, bathed in that glorious moonlight. A night to remember.

(Above: I titled this image "Haunted Forest". The surreal look was achieved by running a 2-second exposure while at the same time panning the camera slightly from left to right.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Snowshoeing Wauswaugoning Bay

Today I took another snowshoe venture with friends Shelley and Anne, this time along the shoreline of Wauswaugoning Bay. The day wasn't the best for photos, as it was very cloudy. I still found things to take pictures of, though! Namely a few interesting pieces of ice that were sticking up out of the snow in various places along the bay.

(Above: Although it appears larger, this piece of ice was only about 4 inches high!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ice piles at Stoney Point

I heard through the "photo grapevine" that some big waves had produced some HUGE piles of ice at Stoney Point between Duluth and Two Harbors. So, yesterday I woke early to drive down and photograph the ice piles. I timed it so I would be in Grand Marais for sunrise, which turned out to be a very good plan. I arrived in Grand Marais about 15 minutes before the sun was to come up, and there was sea smoke (steam) drifting in and out of the harbor. There was also a large cloud bank on the horizon, which meant that it took a while for the sun to actually come up. This didn't hurt the images I made, however. The sky had a beautiful pink glow that easily made this one of the best sunrises I've ever photographed on the lake.

After shooting the sunrise I continued down the shore, headed for Stoney Point. I arrived at the point shortly after 10:00 a.m. which turned out to be a very good time for pictures. There was still some sea smoke over the lake, but the sun was also showing itself every couple of minutes from behind the clouds. The lighting was awesome. And, the ice piles were indeed quite big! It was definitely worth the two and a half hour drive!