Tuesday, March 20, 2018
It sure has been a great week for photographing the Milky Way! Mostly clear nights and cooler weather which means the stars have been seemingly jumping out of the sky at us. This photo was taken at Hollow Rock in Grand Portage, MN.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Here is another photo of Lake Superior and the night sky from this weekend at Temperance River State Park in Tofte, Minnesota. For this photo I chose to look away from the galactic core of the Milky Way. The big lake was so incredibly calm that night and many of the stars were reflecting nicely in the water. Such placid nights on Lake Superior are few and far between.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
I love the night sky... especially the brightly lit ribbon that is the galactic core of the Milky Way. Even more so when it is shining brightly over the light of a rising crescent moon and the frozen shoreline of Lake Superior! What an amazingly beautiful place to call home.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Well, last night was an unforgettable one! I spent a couple of hours hanging out on the Lake Superior shoreline along the lake walk section of the Superior Hiking Trail just north of Grand Marais. It was a clear, cold night (about 8 degrees) which meant the view of the stars was incredible. Just before 4:00 AM (or 3:00 AM if you hadn't set your clocks ahead yet), the thin crescent moon rose above the horizon. The subdued moonlight behind the island made for a surreal glow with the ribbon of the Milky Way stretching across the sky above. There was absolutely no wind and the air was extremely quiet. A thin layer of ice had formed on the surface of the water and I could hear its crunching noises as the lake currents moved it around further out from shore. Nights like this are some of my favorite times to be outside!
Saturday, March 10, 2018
It's another beautiful weekend out there! This photo was taken last weekend but we have very similar conditions today. There is still a lot of snow to play in, so get out and enjoy the snowshoes, skis, fat bikes, snowmobiles (or whatever else you like to enjoy the snow with) while the conditions are still good! This photo was taken from the summit of the Mt. Josephine hiking trail in Grand Portage, MN.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Sugarbush Trails - Cook County, MN
What a great day to break in the new skis on the Picnic Loop! Every year following the Sleeping Giant Loppet, the outdoor store Fresh Air in Thunder Bay has a sale on all their ski equipment. I scored a sweet deal on a set of Fischer Twin Skin Pro skis. Today I tried them out for the first time and they worked GREAT! Instead of using kick wax each ski has two thin strips of mohair which acts as the kick wax. I was skeptical but after skiing 14 miles on them I can honestly say that they performed flawlessly!
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Grand Portage, Minnesota has a nice network of snowmobile trails and yes, we still have plentiful snow cover up here! Get up here and ride while the riding is good. This time of year the days are typically sunny and beautiful, perfect for getting out and enjoying the north woods scenery.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
It's cooled off a bit the last few nights which means the trails are once again firm enough for good fat biking. Yesterday I got out for a nice 3 hour ride and along the way was treated to this incredible view of Lake Superior and Isle Royale National Park on the horizon.
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Summit view from one of the toughest but most rewarding snowshoe hikes along the Minnesota shoreline of Lake Superior: Mt. Josephine in Grand Portage. Not an overly long distance to snowshoe, but lots of vertical elevation gain. 700 feet in less than a mile. Elevation at the trailhead is just over 600 feet above sea level, elevation at the summit is just over 1300 feet. The dramatic elevation makes for some jaw-dropping views from the summit! This view is looking east over the Susie Islands and Pigeon Point, the northeastern tip of Minnesota.
Friday, March 2, 2018
The lake has been so calm lately. The other day when I was snowshoeing along one of the local ridge tops this view in the distance caught my eye. I really like the way the ice was flowing like a ribbon behind the island.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
As the sun was getting low in the sky yesterday the moon was getting high in the sky. It just so happened that while I was snowshoeing I looked up at just the right time to see the moon near the top of this tree. I maneuvered into position to photograph the moon where it appeared to be balanced on the tip of the treetop.
I made this photo last night just before heading back from the summit of Mt. Josephine on my snowshoe hike. The camera was mounted on a tripod, and this was a 1.6 second exposure of the moonlight reflecting on the surface of Lake Superior. The silhouette of Isle Royale National Park can be seen on the horizon in the background. I am so lucky to have such beauty so close to my home.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
I just wrapped up an awesome afternoon and evening spent snowshoeing. I broke trail all the way to the summit of Mt. Josephine in Grand Portage, Minnesota and sat at the top waiting for the sun to set. There wasn't anything for clouds but the moon sure was beautiful as it rose over Pigeon Point (the northeastern-most point of Minnesota) and the Susie Islands. Once the sun went down I really enjoyed snowshoeing back in the moonlight. The moon is so big and bright tonight, I could see my shadow in the snow from the moonlight even before the last of the daylight had faded from the sky.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
So I got lucky today and was able to capture a couple more interesting plow pictures. I was driving to Grand Marais late morning and along the way saw a MNDOT grader and plow truck working to wing the snowbanks back along the shoulder of the highway. The grader was using its wing to push the bank back and the truck that was following was cleaning up the shoulder behind the grader.
My favorite image from last night. The ring around the moon was incredible and HUGE. Here I've framed the moon behind the top of this large spruce tree in my yard, creating a sort of "halo" effect around the top of the tree. So much beauty in this world!
Monday, February 26, 2018
After receiving roughly 30 inches of snow in the past week and daytime highs above freezing this week, the trails are going to be too soft to ride for awhile. So, I'm looking back at past rides this winter and dreaming of hitting the trails again when the weather turns colder and things firm up. This photo was at the tail end of a 30 mile ride, as I was passing through the Highway 61/Mt. Josephine rock cut just a couple of miles before arriving back home.
Friday, February 23, 2018
We sure have gotten a lot of snow in the past week. Close to two feet I think. And it sounds like we're in for more of it this weekend, with another foot possible by Sunday. It's about time... this is what winter is supposed to be like! Here's a photo of a Minnesota Department of Transportation plow clearing Highway 61 near the U.S./Canada border in Grand Portage, MN.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Norpine Ski Trails - Cook County, MN
Today I got out and enjoyed a beautiful 15 mile ski on the Norpine Trails near Deer Yard Lake just west of Grand Marais, MN. The Deer Yard Trails always make for nice photos and today was no different. We're under a Winter Storm Warning for tomorrow with 6 to 10 inches of new snow possible. I sure hope we get it... we haven't gotten any significant new snow for several weeks now. Some new snow sure would be nice!
Friday, February 16, 2018
The culmination of a long day spent out in the woods, exploring some dramatic terrain via fat bike. The day ended with high visual impact as some very cool clouds moved in just in time for sunset. The last two hours of the day had magical light and great photo opportunities.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Nothing overly creative or outstanding here, just a nice sunset that really caught my eye as I was passing through town yesterday. I shot this from the car, through my open driver's window as I was pulled over in the parking area for the Cook County Visitor's Bureau visitor center.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
I love winter so it's not often that I long for the warm days of summer. Every once in a while, though, I do. Last night I was looking through some photos from 2009 and came across this one that I had never done anything with. This small island is in Pigeon Bay on Lake Superior near Grand Portage, MN. It's one of my favorite places but not one that I photograph often because it's difficult to get to. It's always a joy to see it though and last night when I came across this photo it brought a smile to my face.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Earlier this week while out on a bike ride I saw this beautiful woodpecker. To the best of my knowledge, I think it's a Black-backed Woodpecker. From what I could find the Three-toed Woodpecker looks very similar but has white specks/spots on its back. This guy didn't have those, his back was very black. It sure was a cool sighting on a cold winter day!
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Friday, February 9, 2018
Thursday, February 8, 2018
I've been on the road much of the past week and a half for meetings and trainings and haven't been able to spend as much time out in the woods as I'd like. During these stretches I'm lucky to have lots of memories of great outings on the skis or the bike and photos to accompany those memories. This photo conveys what my daydreams consisted of over the past week or so...
Sunday, February 4, 2018
It was a beautiful day for a ski yesterday in the Superior National Forest near Tofte, MN. The temperature was right around 5 degrees and a light snow was falling all day. We saw a lot of animal tracks throughout the day in the fresh snow, but the highlight was seeing this otter trail going right down the middle of Sixmile Creek.