Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March Milky Way over Hollow Rock

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.  

Moonlit Trees, Starlit Night

Trees illuminated by the light of a rising crescent moon as the stars shine brightly overhead. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tranquil Night on Lake Superior

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

Milky Way over the mouth of the Temperance River

Surreal sky over the mouth of the Temperance River along the Lake Superior shoreline in Tofte, Minnesota. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Alone with the Universe

I find the night sky to be very therapeutic.  The experience of spending a beautiful night outdoors is unforgettable.  Last night was one of those nights.  I didn't want it to end.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Subtle Sunset Color

Nice subtle color in the clouds this evening as the sun was going down.  Great way to end a two hour fat bike ride.

First Light on Lake Superior Plate Ice

Lake Superior ice is always so beautiful, even more so when bathed in the warm glow of first light on a calm March morning!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Celestial Fantasy

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.  

Milky Way over Red Rock Point

Last night's view of the Milky Way over Red Rock Point in Grand Portage, MN at about 4:30 AM.  

Dawn Moonrise, Lake Superior Shoreline

Yesterday morning's rising moon at dawn on the lake walk section of the Superior Hiking Trail just north of Grand Marais, MN.  It sure was a peaceful morning!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The sight of the stars makes me dream

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!

Sunrise, Red Rock Point

Grand Portage, MN - This morning's sunrise sure was a beautiful one.  I made this photograph after spending a couple of hours enjoying an incredibly peaceful night on the shoreline while photographing the Milky Way over Lake Superior.  

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Snowshoeing Mt. Josephine

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

Fat Biking on Cascade River

Exploring Cascade River via fat bike.  After skiing the Picnic Loop today I went for a bike ride on Cascade River.  What an awesome day!

First time out on the new Fischer Twin Skin skis

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

Snowmobiling the Moose Ridge Trail

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

Back on the bike!

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

Winter Ice on Wauswaugoning Bay

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

Snowshoe Trail - Northeast Minnesota

There are few things as inviting as a nice snowshoe trail through a forest with snow-covered trees!

Ice Line off Pete's Island (Grand Portage Island)

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

Balancing the Moon

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.  

Drift Lines, Mt. Josephine summit

While exploring the summit of Mt. Josephine yesterday I found a lot of really fascinating patterns in the snow that were caused by the wind.  The lines here really draw your eye into the scene.  I was mesmerized by it. 

Moon Shine on the Susie Islands

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

Mt. Josephine snowshoe hike

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

Working in tandem

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. 

Moon Ring and Spruce Tree

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!  

February Moon Ring

Super awesome ring around the moon last night!  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Biking through the Mt. Josephine rock cut

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

Welcome to Minne-SNOW-ta!

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

Zen Aspen

Sunset last night as I drove along Old Highway 61 in Grand Portage, MN.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lake Superior Circle Tour with Lego Sno-Cat Adventures!

See Lake Superior's ridge-top views in a unique way, via tracked Sno-Cat with Lego Sno-Cat Adventures!  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A beautiful day for a ski!

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

February Afternoon, Mt. Josephine

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.  

Golden Sunset, Grand Portage Bay

Amazing winter sunset over Grand Portage Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Grand Marais Sunset

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

Pigeon Bay Rock Arch

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

Wall of Ice

A sheer wall of ice coats the side of Hollow Rock on Lake Superior in Grand Portage, MN.  Taken just before sunset.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Black-backed Woodpecker

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

Sunset on the Maple Loop

Sugarbush Trails - Cook County, MN

Nearing the end of an almost 27 kilometer ski today and this happened.  Came around a corner in the trail and the sun was just blazing through the trees.  The perfect ending to a great day in the woods!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Brighton Beach Ice

A beautiful sunny day shines down on a pile of ice that got pushed up onto the shores of Brighton Beach in Duluth, Minnesota. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Lake Superior Sunset Ice

This evening's sunset over the icy Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, MN.

Cross Country Paradise

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

Otter Trail on Sixmile Creek

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.