Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunset Ice Eggs

Happy New Year's Eve everybody!  It sure was a cold day today, so this evening I'm sharing a cold sunset photo.  When the rocks along the shoreline get coated with ice I think they look like eggs, so I call this "Sunset Ice Eggs".  Hard to believe tomorrow is 2018 already!

Brutal Cold on New Year's Eve

The cold is pretty brutal out there today.  My car was reading minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit on the way to work and on top of that it is very windy.  According to the forecast the winds are gusting to 30 MPH and the wind chill values are ranging from minus 30 to minus 40 degrees. I stopped a couple of places on the way to work to take some pictures and in one of those places I could only stand to be outside the car for a minute or two because the wind and cold were so brutal.  If you can find a spot protected from the wind, however, it's not that bad.  The location along the Bay Road in Grand Portage where I made this photo had some pretty good protection from trees behind me and I had no problems standing outside to make some photos (keep in mind I was bundled up for the occasion).  It is beautiful out there today but if you head outside make sure you have plenty of layers on!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Frosted Cliff

Sunburst Saturday!  Here's another cold, sunny image for today.  An icy, frosted cliff along the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, MN.

Ice Eggs at Hollow Rock

It's a sunburst kind of a day!  Clear and cold, beautiful blue sky and blazing sun.  And ice! Lots of ice coating the rocks along the shoreline!  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Frost Flowers

Flowers of frost on the Lake Superior shoreline.  If you look closely you can see hundreds if not thousands of tiny ice bubbles layered beneath the frost flowers.  Some of them even look like agates!

Sky Dancers

Sea smoke, clouds and sunlight make for a surreal image on a minus 20 degree morning on the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, MN. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cold Morning at Hollow Rock

Minus 20 degrees on the morning of December 27, 2017 on the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, MN.  I was going for lens flare on this one and got one of the coolest lens flares I've ever seen!

Sea Smoke and the Spirit Tree

A cold (minus 20 degrees) but beautiful morning on the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, MN. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Beauty in the Cold

This morning my wife Jessica and I bundled up and ventured out into the minus 20 degree weather to watch the sunrise over Lake Superior near our home.  Thankfully there wasn't any wind because it sure was cold!  Without the cold, though, there wouldn't be the incredible steam (or "sea smoke", as many people call it) to see and photograph.  Sea smoke is one of my favorite things to photograph.  It sure adds a lot of interest to a photo.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from High Falls of the Pigeon River!

It's Christmas Day and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I sure hope you have a great day filled with adventure, fun and family.  It's cold up here in the north woods of Minnesota, and it shows.  Lots of ice on High Falls of the Pigeon River in Grand Portage State Park!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Classic Lane and Skate Lane

Can you tell I've been a little obsessed with ski trail photos lately?  Ha ha.  So, here's another ski trail photo from our outing at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park near Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Abstract shapes and patterns really intrigue me.  When we rounded a corner of the trail and saw the light accenting the difference between the classic and skate tracks, I just had to stop and make another photo. 

Going for it!

My wife Jessica going for it and bombing one of the hills on the River Terrace Trail at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Ontario.  What a great day for skiing!

Awesome day for skiing at Kakabeka Falls!

We couldn't have asked for a better day on the trails yesterday!  December 23, 2017 at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, Ontario.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cross Country Ski Heaven

Ski conditions along the Gunflint Trail are heavenly right now!  This past week we made it up to Bearskin Lodge for a couple of days of skiing and not only were the trails in prime condition but we had them almost completely to ourselves.  We only saw a few other people out there.  There is plenty of snow on the ground for the majority of the trails to be groomed and most of the trees have a thick blanket of snow on them which makes for a winter wonderland!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Snowing on the Gunflint!

Yesterday we went up the Gunflint Trail again to do some more skiing.  For part of the time we were up there it was snowing beautifully.  The trees were covered in a fresh blanket of white.  I made this photo from the overlook on Ridge Run midway through our ski.  

Friday, December 15, 2017

First Tracks on Summer Home Road

It was a glorious day for skiing this past Wednesday after several fresh inches of snow fell on the north woods of Minnesota.  Central Gunflint Ski Trails - Gunflint Trail, Minnesota. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cross Country Bliss

Yesterday we headed up to Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail to play in the new snow that fell overnight.  It sure was a beautiful day!  It was fun to be the only skiers out on the trails and to be making the first tracks in 4 to 5 inches of fluffy new snow.  I made this photo as we were nearing the end of our ski, heading back along Summer Home Road towards the lodge.  The ski tracks, clouds, sunlight and tree shadows all combined to make a beautiful photo that really summed up what it felt like to be out enjoying the day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hugging the shore

Very cool to see the Interlake Steamship Company's "James R. Barker" traveling so close to the shoreline yesterday.  It was a cold but beautiful day.  The clouds were nice for this shot and the cold air made for a nice trail of steam coming from the ship's stacks.  When I spotted the ship it's tail end was just disappearing from sight around Tamarack Point on Grand Portage Bay.  I had to drive to Horseshoe Bay in Hovland to get a little ahead of it then wait a few minutes to make these photos as it passed the bay.  

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Foggy Moonrise on the 2nd of December

After spending a few hours on the bike this afternoon and evening it was a nice treat to see the moon rising through the fog and trees.  Such a beautiful end to a nice day in the woods!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pigeon River Ice Flume

Grand Portage State Park, MN.  The ice on High Falls is always very impressive this time of year.  I find it endlessly fascinating to view the variety of ice formations that develop on the waterfall.  Every day it's a different view!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A beautiful day for a hike!

From an early morning hike recently at Grand Portage State Park in northeast Minnesota.  A cold morning with glorious sunshine!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Puffy Grouse

A couple of mornings ago when the temp was just above zero I went for a walk in the woods and came across this Ruffed Grouse.  He was all puffed up to stay warm on the brisk morning.  He sure was cute!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Early Ice at High Falls

Grand Portage State Park, MN

One of the prettiest times of the year to view High Falls on the Pigeon River is late fall/early winter, when the river is beginning to freeze.  I'm always amazed at the beauty of all the ice formations that build up around the waterfall and throughout the gorge.  November 10 is a little early to have this much ice buildup already, but it looks like it might melt as the temps are supposed to get back up to the low 40's next week.

Frosted Rocks

Brrrr it's cold out there!  Winter seems to have arrived early this year.  We already got a bunch of snow, now we're getting the cold.  This morning the temperature was barely above zero degrees, which means we're getting an early taste of winter's beauty.  The rocks adjacent to High Falls at Grand Portage State Park have a lovely frosted look today. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Skidder on Old Highway 61

I got pretty excited the other day when I was driving along Old Highway 61 in Grand Portage and saw this skidder coming down the road.  I pulled over right where there is an intersection and waited for the machine to get closer.  When it got to the intersection it turned and went West on the Old Highway.  It made for a great shot with the quarter view of the skidder flanked by the snow covered trees on both sides of the road.  

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Target Practice

Bullet scars in a road sign along Old Highway 61 in northeast Minnesota. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Early Winter Blanket

Fresh snow blankets the forest of northeast Minnesota on October 28, 2017.

Frosted Forest

Grand Portage, MN - An early snow storm blanketed northern Minnesota with as much as 8 to 12 inches of wet snow on October 28, 2017.  The scenery after the storm was unbelievably beautiful!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Winter Wonderland (In October!)

I'm still a little bit in disbelief at how much snow we received so early this year.  In all my years of living in northeast Minnesota (which in another month will be 42) the earliest I can remember getting this much snow this early is the Halloween "mega-storm" of 1991.  And that was on Halloween... this year it was 4 days before Halloween!  

That year Duluth (150 miles south of where I live) got a dumping of about 36 inches of snow.  It started snowing on Halloween night and didn't stop for 4 days.  Here in Grand Portage we had maybe 6 inches, if I remember correctly.  This year on October 27th/28th Grand Portage received anywhere from 2 or 3 inches (on the Lake Superior shoreline) to as much as 8 to 12 inches (a few miles inland from Lake Superior).  

Most of the snow fell overnight between the 27th and 28th.  I spent the majority of the day on the 28th driving around up in the woods making photographs of the fresh winter beauty.  Speaking of which... it's still more than 50 days until winter officially arrives!  Kind of hard to believe...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bald Eagle and Blowing Snow

I was lucky yesterday to see this immature bald eagle soaring around near the tops of some spruce trees right as some wind gusts were blowing the fresh snow off the trees.  The blowing snow caught the sunlight and really made for a cool image.  One of the most unique bald eagle photos I've captured!

After the first snow - October 28, 2017

It sure was pretty up in the woods yesterday!  We received the earliest snowfall that I can remember in a loooooong time.  There was about 6 to 10 inches on the ground, depending on where you were.  The clouds parted enough mid-day that there was some blue sky which always adds a nice touch to fresh snowfall.  This photo was taken along Old Highway 61 in Grand Portage, MN.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Beautiful October Snow!

So I was in the post office today and there was a woman at the counter talking with the postmaster and every word coming out of her mouth was about how much she couldn't stand the winters here (for those that don't know, we had some nasty weather the last few days which left us with some really beautiful snow).  She actually said "Who would want to continue living in this HELL???"  I looked at her and said "Ummmmm.... I do... it's beautiful here!"  After that encounter I took a drive up in the woods and within 10 minutes of leaving the post office I came across this beautiful scene with the sun shining through the trees blanketed in snow.  If hell is this beautiful, heaven must be AMAZING!  

Friday, October 27, 2017

It's that time of year again!

Winter weather today meant that the plows were out! Which means that it's plow truck photo season again! Ha ha ha... those that know me know that I have an obsession with taking photos of plow trucks in action.  This guy was really flinging the snow today!

Autumn Sunrise over Isle Royale National Park

A recent beautiful sunrise over Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior, taken from Grand Portage, Minnesota.  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall colors at Mile 148 on Highway 61

Thanks to some pretty stiff winds the past couple of days the fall colors are now past their peak along Highway 61 in northeast Minnesota.  I meant to post this photo before the leaves were past peak but I missed it. I shot this on my way to work on October 16th.  The location is just a couple of miles south of the Canadian border.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hanging On

Fall color season is almost over for this year, but there is still a lot of color to be seen out in the forest.  Some trees are hanging on, savoring the nicer weather we've had this week.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Camp 20 Sunset

I was treated to a beautiful sunset this evening as I rode my bike down Camp 20 Road in Hovland, MN.  It was great way to end a superb day of riding!

Golden Tamarack

While out bike riding yesterday I saw a lot of really beautiful tamarack trees along my chosen route.  They are such beautiful trees!  The tamarack is a deciduous conifer, which means that its needles change color and fall to the ground each year.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sunset Rays

A simple yet beautiful cloudless sunset that I captured while on one of my bike rides back in September.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Maple Leaves on the Forest Floor

Maple leaves litter the forest floor after a rainy day in the Minnesota northwoods. 

Autumn on Cascade River

I went for a drive in the woods yesterday followed by a bike ride in the woods.  This photo was taken as I was driving out to the area where I wanted to bike.  It's the Cascade River in Cook County, MN photographed from the County Road 45 bridge that spans the river.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Glow

The Northern Lights came out for a surprise show last night!  While I missed the "best" part of the show, which occurred early in the evening (before 9:00 PM), I did still catch them glowing nicely between 11:00 PM and midnight.  It had been quite windy during the day yesterday but after nightfall the wind died down to pretty much nothing.  This made for some nice reflections of the stars in the water on this pond.  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Partridge Falls

Partridge Falls of the Pigeon River in Grand Portage, MN.  It's one of my favorite waterfalls.  I never tire of visiting it or photographing it.  Such a magical place.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 1st Sunrise at the Spirit Tree

It had been a long time since I'd been down to the Spirit Little Cedar Tree so last weekend I decided to head down there for sunrise.  I picked a great morning to go as there were some really nice clouds just as the sun was coming up.  Nothing quite like watching the sun rise over Lake Superior :-)