Saturday, June 24, 2017

Painted Lady on Lilac

We haven't had much sun lately but when it has been out the butterflies have been all over our lilac bushes!  This painted lady was posing nicely for a photograph.  

It must be summer!

It must be summer... road construction is in full swing :-)

Duluth, MN

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Painted Turtle enjoying the sunshine!

It's a beautiful sunny day and the turtles are enjoying it as much as we are!  I caught this cute little painted turtle sunning itself on a log on a small pond yesterday.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Superior Refraction

There have been a lot of cool clouds floating over the Arrowhead region of Minnesota the past two days.  Lots of rain off and on as well.  I love days when the weather is changing as much as it has been recently.  Every time you look at the sky there is a new and interesting view to see.  This was my favorite moment from yesterday, when a rainbow formed in a storm that was dissipating over Lake Superior.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mississippi Sunset, Crow Wing State Park

During my week in the Brainerd/Little Falls area, one day we had some pretty cool thunderheads passing over all afternoon.  While it never rained where we were, in the evening I drove up to Crow Wing State Park and it had rained there.  The park road had puddles on it and everything smelled really fresh.  The mosquitoes were also horrible.  I stood on the end of the boat access ramp to make this photograph of the clouds as they were breaking up just as the sun was going down.  I was swatting at mosquitoes the entire time, but I couldn't bring myself to leave until all the color had faded from the clouds.  It was just too beautiful to walk away from, even though I was getting eaten alive!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Storm over Palisade Head

Yesterday while driving home from Duluth the sky was incredible as a storm approached from the west.  At first, as we were driving between Duluth and Two Harbors, all we could see behind us was a big black wall of clouds approaching.  As we got a little further up the shore the clouds starting taking on all these incredible shapes and textures.  

We stopped at the Palisade Head overlook in Tettegouche State Park to take some pictures of the sky.  During that time there was a rain squall occurring over the lake, with a brighter patch of light emanating from the center of the squall.  We only had a few minutes to enjoy the view before the heavy rain hit.  We were driving the rest of the way home in some pretty heavy downpours.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sunset from Hopper Hill

A beautiful sunset from the Hopper Hill Trail in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area!

Mushroom Cloud over Pete's Island

One of the coolest clouds I've ever seen over Lake Superior showed itself behind Pete's Island at sunset on Grand Portage Bay the other day.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Early morning on the Superior Hiking Trail

About two weeks ago I spent most of the night photographing the stars of the Milky Way over Lake Superior.  It was such a good night for photography that I stayed out until the horizon started to glow with the light of the approaching sun.  I love that time as you can still see quite a few stars in the sky as dawn approaches. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hollow Rock and the Milky Way

Two of my favorite photo subjects together in the same shot: Hollow Rock and the Milky Way.  Taken during the new moon phase in May 2017. 

Shot with a Nikon D750 camera and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens.  Exposure time 30 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 6400.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Secrets in the Stars

The Universe holds many secrets and I find it difficult not to ponder those secrets while basking under the glow of the Milky Way.

Photographed along the lakewalk section of the Superior Hiking Trail just north of Grand Marais, MN. 

Interested in ordering a print of this or any of my other night sky images?  Visit the Prints page of my website for all the pertinent ordering information!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Early Summer on Mud Creek

One of my favorite roadside views in Cook County.  From the Pine Mountain Road between the Gunflint Trail and County Road 8.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


A portrait of one of the parents of the fox kits that I posted a picture of yesterday.  Such a beautiful face!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Green Glow

Here is another photo of the northern lights from the early morning hours (12:24 A.M.) of May 28, 2017.  It was such a still night, the reflections on the water were perfect.  The sound of the spring peeper frogs in this location was deafening!

The race is on!

Two young fox kits taking turns chasing each other around a pine tree :-)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Northern Lights and High Falls

There was a surprising amount of aurora activity last night!  I had no idea that any displays were possible, I hadn't been paying attention to the space weather forecasts lately.  Luckily on a whim I decided to check the aurora soft serve news website; it showed that the aurora activity was at "STORM" level!  Once I saw that I knew I had to go out and look for some photos.  I decided to try High Falls at Grand Portage State Park again.  Shooting was a little tricky because there is still a lot of mist from the falls, so I had to wipe my camera lens after every shot.  It sure was a beautiful night!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Magical Night under the Milky Way

Lake Superior along the Superior Hiking Trail lakewalk section just north of Grand Marais, MN.  An unbelievably beautiful night along the big lake in the early morning hours of May 25, 2017!  The Milky Way was reflecting amazingly in this small stream flowing into Lake Superior.  I love the night sky this time of year!

20 second exposure at f/2.8 and ISO 12,800.  Shot at 20mm with a Nikon D750 camera and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A touch of color over Hollow Rock Creek

After my bike ride last night I stopped by Hollow Rock Creek and caught this subtle yet beautiful sunset over the meadow.  The spring peeper frogs are out in full force and their song was deafening in this location!  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Swamp Tea

Labrador Tea or "Swamp Tea", as it is known to some, is a beautiful plant but one that I find very difficult to photograph. While out and about in the rain yesterday I came across a huge area that was full of it and just begging to be photographed.  The forest is so beautiful on a rainy day!  I set up my tripod very low to the ground to get this angle of the tea and also show a hint of the trees in the background. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Treat

Here's a throwback to Mother's Day 2016 and the incredible aurora storm that graced our sky on this most special of days.  Hope all the mother's out there are having a wonderful day!

Four Fox Kits

Here's another photo of the fox kits I saw earlier this week.  There was a 5th kit just outside the frame, off doing his own thing while these 4 climbed all over each other at the entrance to the den.  So hard to get a good shot of all of them together!  They are usually running around so quick they don't gather together like this but for just a few moments at a time.  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there :-)

Friday, May 12, 2017

May Sunset, Northern Minnesota

The clouds sure were pretty the other night as the sun was setting!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


The spring babies are starting to show up!  These fox kits were being adorably cute yesterday as they played and cuddled at the entrance to their den.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Reliable Rainbow

Grand Portage State Park, MN - When the water is high and it's a clear, sunny day you know there's going to be a fantastic rainbow at High Falls! (or two... see the double rainbow?  It's faint, but it's there!)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beautiful End to a Gray Day

It seems like we've had a lot of dreary weather lately.  Lots of rain, snow accumulation on a few occasions and even some ice build up preceding one of our snow storms.  This past Friday evening, though, the pattern changed.  It rained all day long but as the day drew to a close the rain stopped and the clouds started to break up.  As the sun dropped below the horizon a beautiful sunset was revealed.  Now this weekend the weather has been beautiful!  We'll see how long it lasts :-)  I love all the changes in weather that we experience, though.  Without those changes photos like this would be much more difficult to come across!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Spring on the Fall River

It's waterfall season and I've been out photographing a few waterfalls the past couple of weeks!  This one is on the Fall River just west of Grand Marais, MN.  A short walk from Highway 61 leads you down to this beautiful waterfall just a stone's throw from Lake Superior.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Abstract River

Grand Portage State Park, MN: A close-up shot of foam on the Pigeon River makes for a very abstract image.  I made quite a few photos of the foam as it drifted past.  No two photos were alike as the patterns were constantly changing.

Spring Foam on the Pigeon River

Foam floating downstream on a spring day in Grand Portage State Park, MN.  The Pigeon River never fails to fascinate.  It has so many different moods and characters.  In some places it is wide and meandering, in other places it is wide and tumbling down rapids and in other places it is narrow and plummeting over dramatic waterfalls.  One of the widest sections of the river is just downstream from the High Falls gorge.  I find this area of the river super fascinating to photograph in all seasons. The other day it presented a view which is rarely seen.  A large section of water was filled with some of the most intriguing foam patterns I've ever seen.  It was a calm spring day and the water was flowing slowly past this location along the shore.  I was mesmerized by the constantly changing patterns in the foam. I could have easily watched it all day long :-)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Rush

Last week I spent about half a day exploring both sides of the Cascade River between Highway 61 and County Road 45 in Cook County, MN.  I had been to both ends of this section many times before, but never hiked all the way up one side of the river and all the way back down the other side.  It was a cool hike and a challenging one.  My GPS showed a distance of about 9 miles with a total ascent of just over 2,000 feet.  I photographed several waterfalls along the way, some (like the one shown here) I had never been to before.  I also recorded a lot of video segments which I've put together into a video compilation.  I will be sharing the video later this evening. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring at High Falls

The conditions at High Falls were awesome today.  Snow and ice, blue sky and a rainbow! Grand Portage State Park, MN

Friday, April 28, 2017

Scorpion VS. Grasshopper

Call me odd, but I love the strangeness of the desert.  

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California. 

High Falls through a Window of Ice

Grand Portage State Park, MN - Fascinating conditions right now at High Falls, thanks to the ice and snow storm we just had over the past couple of days.  Once again we are subjected to the beauty of winter!  Only it's not winter... right?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Whiteout!

Well, today was certainly an interesting weather day!  Following immediately after a 24+ hour period of freezing rain/sleet, we were hit with an intense snowfall all afternoon.  About 4 inches of new snow fell on top of the layer of accumulated sleet from the previous 24 hours.  Hard to believe that May is only a few days away!  In this photo a Minnesota Department of Transportation highway plow is clearing the way for traffic just before the Minnesota/Ontario border in Grand Portage.  

Bee Fly on Cholla Cactus

When we visited the Cholla Garden in Joshua Tree National Park it was literally buzzing with life.  There were thousands of native bees (and bee flies) all trying to take advantage of the blooming cacti.  We love bees so as you can imagine we loved seeing so many of them here.  We read that Joshua Tree has over 500 species of native bees!  Very cool :-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Winter has returned (again)

Winter has returned yet again to northern Minnesota.  We are currently experiencing a weird mix of rain and sleet.  The forecast was calling for pretty significant ice accumulations but so far that hasn't happened (not in Grand Portage anyway).  I just went out for a short drive to check the conditions and see if there was any ice buildup on the trees anywhere (makes for GREAT photos!) but there was little to be found.  The roadways are more slushy than anything.  As always, our local plow crews are out making sure the roads are in the best shape possible considering the conditions!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mojave Desert Bloom

Woolly Daisy

Perhaps the coolest thing about my trip to California this spring was the desert bloom.  Thanks to a wet winter and spring the desert flowers were blooming like crazy everywhere!  Much of our visit to Joshua Tree was spent admiring the countless flowers that we came across while exploring the park.  It seemed like there was something fascinating and beautiful to see around every bend of every trail that we hiked!

Ocotillo Bloom

Blooming Barrel Cactus

Barrel cactus are so pretty, even without flowers!

Mojave Mound Cactus

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ocotillo and the Hexie Mountains

Driving south through Joshua Tree National Park the terrain transitions from the high Mojave Desert to the lower Sonoran Desert.  The vegetation also changes and as soon as you leave the Joshua Trees you come into the Cholla Cactus Garden and the Ocotillo Patch.  I found the Ocotillo to be a very fascinating plant.  We were lucky to see it while it was flowering.  The plant has beautiful blooms and is quite tall, some of the examples we saw were about 15 feet high.  According to an NPS interpretive sign, Ocotillo is able to shed and re-grow its leaves up to 5 times each year depending on the availability of water or lack thereof.  The desert is so fascinating!

The Break of Dawn

There are so many cool locations to photograph in Joshua Tree National Park, it was hard to pick just one spot for sunrise.  In the end we settled on an area just a few minutes away from our campground. We arrived in plenty of time to find a good tree to photograph with the colors of sunrise. For about 15 to 20 minutes the colors in the clouds were beautiful, then the color faded and seemingly out of nowhere the sky was filled with jet contrails.  I feel very fortunate to have gotten this photograph with the nice colors before the contrails took over.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April Aurora over Hollow Rock Creek

I'm taking a break today from photo posts of my California trip.  Why?  Because we had northern lights last night!  The display of lights was quite good from about 11:00 P.M. until 2:00 A.M.  I went up to Hollow Rock Creek on Old Highway 61 to photograph the lights because I knew the meadow was flooded thanks to recent rainfall we received.  Typically you cannot get reflections this good at this location because the meadow usually has nowhere near the amount of water as seen in this photo. I love making photographs of the northern lights, especially when you catch them reflected in the water.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Joshua Tree Sunset

I sure do love sunsets in the desert.  Even without much for clouds to accent the sky they are still impressive and beautiful, especially with mountains and Joshua trees in the foreground!  This photo was taken in the Sheep Pass area of Joshua Tree National Park.

Sentinels of the Mojave

Joshua Trees sure are fascinating.  According to the national park literature the trees do not have any growth rings so it's really difficult to tell just how old they get.  They certainly don't get very tall (the tallest trees are around 40 feet high) but they have an infinite variety of interesting shapes. I find them incredibly fascinating to photograph, especially when highlighted with the colors of a Mojave desert sunset!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sunrise at the Cholla Garden

Joshua Tree National Park - Here's another photo from the Cholla Garden, this time showing the sun as it tried to break through the clouds.  What a beautiful place and what a beautiful morning!  I can't wait to go back :-)

Dawn at the Cholla Garden

I think the Cholla Garden was my favorite place in Joshua Tree National Park.  They are so fascinating, but also very dangerous!  You really have to watch your step when exploring the Cholla Garden because there are spines everywhere.  Luckily during our morning at this location we had some nice, colorful clouds to make the photos even more interesting.  We spent a couple of hours exploring the garden but I think I could have easily spent the entire day there!