Sunday, January 31, 2016

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Trails!

Enjoying a beautiful January day on the sublime groomed surface of the trails at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Ontario.  This photo is from a couple of weeks ago.  The past couple of days we've been experience some massive snow melt thanks to lots of sunshine and temperatures hovering right around 40 degrees. Thankfully the highs are dropping back into the low 20's and teens this coming week.  Hopefully there is still enough snow left on the trails for some decent skiing!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter's Beauty on Trout and Swamp Lakes

Remember the photo of the fire tower that I posted yesterday?  Well, here's the view from the tower, looking northwest over Trout and Swamp Lakes.  It sure was a beautiful afternoon!  What a winter wonderland, especially with all the frost on the trees in the foreground.  This is one of my favorite views anywhere in the world.  It never disappoints!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Frosty Fire Tower

The other day I went for a little biking and hiking adventure in the winter forest.  The highlight of the day was hiking up to one of the tallest hills in the area and seeing one of our local fire towers completely covered in frost.  At the bottom of the hill the trees looked nothing like what you see in this photo.  It was only along the top of the ridge that the trees were coated in snow and frost.  As I got my first glimpse of the tower through the trees I really liked the framing of the scene so I pulled out my camera and made this photograph.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rough Sunset

High winds and waves make for a dramatic sunset over the Lake Superior shoreline!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sublime Ski at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park

On one of our days off this week we headed across the border into Canada for an afternoon ski at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, followed by dinner and an evening at the movies.  The ski conditions at Kakabeka were sublime.  The track was immaculate and we basically had the entire place to ourselves.  We only saw one other skier the entire time we were there.  One of our favorite places along the trail is this beaver pond, where you ski right past the beaver lodge.  On our way back to the car it was approaching sunset and the clouds were really beautiful.  With the beaver pond and the cool sky, it was time for a photo and it ended up being my favorite photo of the day :-) 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sunrise, Red Rock Point

Not a lot of color in the sky this morning, but a beautiful sunrise nonetheless.  We have some decent ice built up along the shoreline in certain places now, something we haven't had much of this winter due to the overall warm temperatures.  The colder temps of the past week or two have been a little more conducive to ice forming along the shore.  I, for one, am glad to see it.  After all, it wouldn't be winter without some cool Lake Superior ice formations to admire!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Temporary Waterfall

A couple of weeks ago we had some very stormy days on Lake Superior.  On one of those days I spent the better part of the day photographing the big waves as they rolled into shore in Grand Marais.  One of the more unique aspects of that day were all these temporary waterfalls that were created whenever an especially large wave would hit.  

On the west side of the harbor in Grand Marais there is a high section of rock that is very exposed to the waves.  Every now and then when a bigger wave made contact with the rock, it would send huge amounts of water up and over the top of the rock.  As the water washed down the harbor side of the rock, it made all these little channels of water that looked like waterfalls.  

It was a fun thing to watch, as the waterfalls only lasted about 10 to 15 seconds.  For a brief moment it was a waterfall paradise, then nothing but rock until the next big wave hit and another waterfall paradise was created.  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Twin Peaks of Ice

I don't know why but this photo from last winter never made it to my website.  Probably because I had so many other ice pictures last year, at the time this just seemed like "another picture of ice".  This morning, however, I was looking through my album from March 2015 and this one really caught my eye.  We haven't had anything even close to this yet in terms of ice this winter, but I am always hopeful!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Winter Wave

Here's one more big wave shot from Grand Marais, MN that I'd like to share with you.  I still can't believe how much fun I had making photographs of these waves!  

Waves and Clouds - Simple Sunset Beauty

Most of the time when photographing a sunrise or sunset along Lake Superior, I like to frame an interesting piece of shoreline in the foreground.  Sometimes, though, a simpler composition works well too.  Such as this sunset on a very windy day.  I felt there was enough interest in the texture of the rolling waves to make for a nice foreground without including a piece of shoreline.  There's nothing but water and sky.  A simple shot in that respect, but still very beautiful!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wave Explosion

It seems like the lighthouse gets all the attention when it comes to photos of waves hitting the break walls in Grand Marais.  While it does tend to make more interesting photos than the beacon light on the other side of the harbor entrance, sometimes the waves are hitting harder on the beacon.  Such was the case on this day, when it seemed every other wave hit with explosive force.  I really liked this shot, where I caught the spray dissipating after the main wave impact.  I like how the beacon seems to be peeking out from within the cloud of spray.  

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sunset Splash

A large wave explodes in front of the setting sun along the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Marais, MN.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Crash Course

This wave appears to be on a crash course with the Grand Marais lighthouse!  If I remember correctly the wave actually passed just off the end of the break wall without actually hitting the lighthouse. The compressed point of view from the telephoto lens, however, makes it appear as though the wave is going to collide head-on with the lighthouse.  Any way you look at it, it sure is a big wave!

Winter Beauty - Junco Creek

A supremely beautiful winter afternoon along Junco Creek near Grand Marais, MN.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sunset over Superior

We sure have had some nice sunsets already this year!  This one was taken the other day from the shoreline in Grand Marais, MN.  It was a VERY windy day, as you can see from the waves along the bottom of the photo.  The sunset was one of the most surreal that I've ever witnessed over Lake Superior (and I've seen a LOT of them over the years!).  The waves, the clouds, the colors, the sun... it was all simply amazing!

Super Skier

We enjoyed another awesome day of skiing yesterday on the Central Gunflint Ski Trails!  While the weather this winter has made it difficult to find places to ski, it has also made skiing much more comfortable than the past two winters.  We are definitely getting spoiled by the temperatures this year.  Yesterday we enjoyed temperatures of 22-23 degrees during our 3-hour ski.  Very nice!  As always, the trails surrounding Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge are amazing and great fun, as you can see from this photo of Jessica cruising one of the downhill sections.  I used a slow shutter speed to make the trees blurry as we skied past them, giving this photo more of an "action" feel.  Looks like we're in for some colder temperatures beginning this weekend, so if you want to enjoy a nice warm ski better get out and do it in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January Sunset - Grand Marais, Minnesota

After a fun-filled day of wave watching on the Lake Superior shoreline, we were treated to one of the best sunsets I've ever seen.  The clouds lit up like fire and stayed that way for a long time.  The shape of the clouds was really interesting too.  The awesome sky combined with the rough waters of the lake made for quite the scene. I can't imagine the day could have ended any better than this!

Ka - BOOM!

The lighthouse and wave lovers are gonna like this one!  I made this photograph yesterday morning in Grand Marais, MN during the height of a strong blow on Lake Superior.  The winds were blowing in from the southwest and the wave watching was glorious!  I stood on the shoreline for about 4 hours yesterday trying to capture big waves such as this.  There were plenty of big waves, but only once about every 15 minutes or so would one explode up into the air like this.  I got extra lucky and captured a gull flying by just as this wave blew up behind the lighthouse.  I hope you enjoy viewing this photo as much as I enjoyed making it!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fuzzy Mink

I'm not sure what this little animal was after, but it was trying to dig through the hard packed snow on a roadway within the Superior National Forest.  It was so intent on what it was doing that I was able to sneak up to within 20 feet of it to take its picture.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cross-Country Paradise!

You would never know it by looking at the Minnesota shoreline of Lake Superior right now, but it is in fact a winter wonderland in northern Minnesota.  Especially up along the Gunflint Trail, where they have plenty of snow.  Almost everywhere you look along the Gunflint the trees are covered with snow.  It is white pretty much everywhere you look!  And, it has been that way for at least a couple of weeks.  

The initial snow that fell up there was very wet and must have been followed by some pretty cold temperatures, as it is literally stuck to the trees.  Often after a snow storm we have wind and that wind will knock most of the snow from the trees.  But, that hasn't happened yet.  The wind hasn't been strong enough to knock the stubborn snow from the trees. It sure makes for a beautiful environment, especially when you can get out on some skis or snowshoes!  

This photo was made on New Year's Day on the Bearskin Lodge trails.  First tracks of the new year!  Do yourself a favor and take a drive up the Gunflint.  Bring your skis or snowshoes and go on an adventure in the woods.  You won't be disappointed!  Hats off to the staff at the resorts for getting out and working hard to clear the trails.  Thanks to that heavy snow, countless trees and branches were bent over the trails, completely blocking the route in many places.  Thanks to their hard work we are able to get out and enjoy the beautiful trails!

Just in case you're wondering, this is what a lot of the trails looked like before the crews got out to clear them:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Power of the Wind

Here is another Lake Superior wave photo to bring in the new year.  This photo was captured in Tofte, MN from the public water access.  The waves sure were crashing into the shore in an impressive way and I had a blast capturing them with the camera!  I loved the way the wind was pushing the spray back from the crest of this wave.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lake Superior Rip Curl

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve.  Here is a photo from earlier this week, a very rough day on Lake Superior where I had a lot of fun photographing the waves as they approached the shoreline.  There were a few spots where the waves would develop these beautiful rip curls for a split second before the wave broke.  It was a difficult moment to capture, as it only looked this way for an instant.  This was my best "curl capture" of the day.  Enjoy!