Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flood stage on the St. Louis River

Taken during our trip down the shore to view the rivers at high water levels after the heavy rain. According to the USGS site, the water was flowing down the St. Louis at a rate of approximately 20,000 cubic feet per second when these photos were made.

Afternoon Sun over Caribou Falls

Taken last Tuesday during our impromptu 'waterfall tour' down the shore. We stopped at a few different waterfalls that day, but Caribou Falls is always a highlight. Not very many people visit this one compared to many of the other north shore waterfalls, which means that you usually have some time to yourself to enjoy this beautiful drop in the river. We were lucky and got there just as the sun was dropping down behind the trees.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Temporary Lake

Thanks to the heavy rain from a couple of days ago, new "lakes" have popped up in areas that are normally dry. This field is a perfect example. While this is normally a somewhat wet field, it almost never has standing water in it. Right now, though, it looks like a lake. I was pleasantly surprised the other evening when I drove by this location and found the 'new lake' with the amazing cloud reflections!

Friday, May 25, 2012

High Water at High Falls

High Falls at Grand Portage State Park on May 25, 2012 - The Pigeon River has risen 5 FEET in the last 24 hours from yesterday's heavy rainfall!

Flood stage at Gooseberry

Heavy rainfall on May 24, 2012 brought the Gooseberry River up to flood levels the morning of May 25th.  I was only able to spend about 2 hours photographing the river this morning, but could have easily spent 2 or 3 more hours.  It was amazing!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thunderstorm over Wooly's Bluff

Taken last night at the end of the Arrowhead Trail at McFarland Lake.  We were hoping for clear skies to try some star trail photography over the lake, but with the forecast calling for rain we knew it wasn't a good chance of clear skies.  On the other hand, we knew that with the forecast being what it was there was a possibility of seeing some lightning if the thunderstorms that were forecast arrived early enough.  Sure enough, not long after we arrived at the lake it was very cloudy and we saw some lightning flashes across the lake.  Before long we were seeing lightning bolts coming down on the far shore.  It made for a fun show for about an hour, then the rain came and we had to pack up our gear.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fire Tower Star Trails


Here is a 43 minute exposure of the night sky taken last night, May 18, 2012.  There was supposedly a 40% chance of minor geomagnetic storms last night, so we went out to watch for the northern lights. We never saw any northern lights, but the stargazing was amazing.  There also was a line of thunderstorms moving across Canada about 20 miles north of where we were.  Since we were on top of a large hill with a good panoramic view, we were able to watch the lightning flash on the horizon while the sky directly above us was flooded with stars.  No northern lights, but still a beautiful night!

(P.S. The lightning was all to the north, and this photo was taken looking to the west, which is why you cannot see any of the lightning in this photo).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great Blue Heron Rookery

This week we went to visit a Great Blue Heron rookery with 17 active nests.  This was my first time seeing a heron rookery and I was fascinated by it.  The birds were pretty active, with the adults changing places on the nests quite frequently.  It wasn't until late in the evening when we finally noticed some babies in one of the nests.  At one time we could see three individual baby heads sticking up out of this nest.  It sure was a fun day watching these birds and I can't wait to hopefully go back in a couple of weeks and see the babies when they are bigger!




Above is a photo that shows almost the entire rookery which has 17 nests.  If you look closely you can see several of the nests have herons standing in them.  This sure was a beautiful place to watch the sunset!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fox Family

I spent most of today photographing a family of fox in the Minnesota Northwoods.  The day started with the alarm waking me at 4:30 AM.  I was facing a two-hour drive in order to get to the fox den for the early morning light.  After a quick breakfast I was on the road and by 7:00 AM I was at the fox den.  When I arrived the mother was curled up on the ground near the den.  Just a few minutes after my arrival she went into the den and came back out with the kits following behind her.  For the next 45 minutes they played and wrestled with each other, then mom gave them a quick feeding before putting them back in the den and trotting off for her morning hunt.  I sat and waited for her return, thinking she might be gone an hour or two.  It was just over 5 hours later when she finally returned and once again brought the kits out to play and exercise, this time in the afternoon sun.  I sure had a lot of fun today watching these critters.  I've never seen fox so young before... they sure are cute!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Moose

I saw my first Moose of 2012 today.  It was along Highway 1 near Finland, MN.  We stared at each other for a couple of minutes before the Moose decided I was of no interest and wandered off into the woods.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spring Wash

A choppy spring day on Lake Superior brings some waves crashing over the rocks of the shoreline just west of the Grand Marais harbor in Northeast Minnesota.