Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It's a small but incredibly beautiful world...

Some lovely little mushrooms that I found today while hiking through the forest. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

New Discoveries

I love that even after almost 43 years of living in an area and being very familiar with it, there are still countless things to be discovered.  Such as this waterfall that I saw recently for the very first time.  I explored lots of other waterfalls along the way to get here, but this one was a pleasant surprise and my favorite find of the day.  

This waterfall is buried deep within a gorge at the end of a short spur off the Superior Hiking Trail near Cascade River State Park.  I have a feeling the only reason it was actually flowing is because we had a recent spell of wet weather.  I spent about an hour here, losing myself in the aura of this place.  Then I made a couple of photographs and continued on my way.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Quiet Night at Esther Lake

Summer is ending, autumn is beginning.  Fall colors are arriving, the Milky Way core will be leaving our northern sky and soon snow will be falling.  It's a transitional time of year, and I love it :-)  

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cascade River Abstracts

Having some fun with foam, river currents and long exposures on the Cascade River in Cook County, Minnesota.  The first image was a 25 second exposure, the second image was 20 seconds.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Sunset, Hollow Rock Creek

I took a short drive up in the woods after work and came across this nice scene as the sun was going down.  

Swirling Foam Pool

A 25 second exposure makes for an interesting photograph of this pool with swirling foam on the Cascade River in Cook County, MN. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wash It All Away

My first time photographing this awesome waterfall on the Cascade River just south of Grand Marais, MN.  I love how complex it is.  It also has a very "cleansing" feel, how it is constantly washing the rock clean.  That's why I decided to title it "Wash It All Away".  Also happens to be a handy little metaphor.  Wash it all away, wipe the slate clean, fresh start :-) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fire Tower Milky Way

A beautiful summer night.   A fire tower converging with the Milky Way.  From the top of the tower it feels like you can touch the stars.  

The Cauldron

Here's another photograph of the same waterfall that I posted last night, this time zoomed in on just the lower portion of the falls.  The rocks around this waterfall are fascinating. So dark and full of texture. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cascade River Meditation

I spent 7 hours today hiking and meditating with the camera along Cascade River in Cascade River State Park, MN. It was a nice day to be on the river.  The sky was very overcast and for most of the day there was a really fine mist falling from the sky.  The conditions made for a nice moody atmosphere.  I much prefer this kind of day to a sunny day when it comes to photographing rivers.  

The normal trailside viewpoint of this waterfall is from high up, looking down on the falls.  In order to get this viewpoint I was right in the river, wading upstream.  I don't recommend doing this unless you are very experienced at walking in rivers.  The rocks on the bottom are incredibly slippery and I actually wear my winter ice cleats which helps but it's still not easy.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Storms of August

We've finally had some weather moving through the past few days giving us some much needed moisture.  This evening as I drove home from work the clouds over Lake Superior were quite impressive.  

Monday, August 20, 2018

A little slice of heaven

Summer nights in the north woods of Minnesota are something special.  On clear nights the sky is dominated by the Milky Way.  As you sit beneath large pine trees on the shoreline, loons call from across the lake while billions of stars twinkle overhead.  And it hits you: This is a little slice of heaven.  And you never want to leave.  

Friday, August 17, 2018

August Moon over the Pigeon River

Last night's moon setting over the Pigeon River in Ontario, Canada.  Sure was a peaceful evening!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Road Trip to the Stars

Last night after checking out the Dark Sky Caravan I went to a favorite spot on the Lake Superior shoreline to take in the view of the Milky Way.  The University of Minnesota Duluth brought their GeoDome Mobile Planetarium to the Grand Portage Community Center and gave a super interesting presentation. The presentation was followed by some time gazing at the stars, moon and planets through telescopes.  It was a super fun evening.  

Spending some time on the shoreline taking in the view over the big lake and some islands was a perfect way to end the fun.  In the photo the large, bright planet that you see reflecting in the lake over the right side of the island is Mars.  The light that you see illuminating myself and some of the foreground rocks is coming from a yard light on the opposite side of the bay behind me. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Free Bird

I'm going through some SERIOUS Aurora withdrawals.  The last good show I saw was back in early May.  We're definitely due for a another good one!  I've had this photo sitting on my computer desktop for quite a while with the intention of sharing it when I'm missing the northern lights.  This was on June 23, 2015 at 12:23 AM over Lake Superior and Hollow Rock in Grand Portage, MN.  I decided to title this one "Free Bird" because ever since I first looked at it I could see the shape of a large bird within the patterns of the lights.  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Two pots of gold

We had some pretty sweet thunderstorms roll through today.  When the last of them moved through this evening they left us with a sweet double rainbow over the bay.  Thunderstorms are awesome :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Celestial Alignment, Horseshoe Bay

Mars, the Milky Way and Jupiter line up over the island on the Lake Superior shoreline at Horseshoe Bay in Hovland, Minnesota. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Surprise Sunset

While tending my plot at the community garden this evening I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed the light around me increase.  The sky had been very gray but when I looked up from the plants I was shocked to see this beautiful sky full of color.  There must have been an opening in the clouds to the west.  The sun poked through and lit up the clouds from below.  The color only last a couple of minutes then it was gone.  

Friday, July 27, 2018

5 Day Flash Sale!

5 Day Flash Sale: July 27th through July 31st!

25% off all prints from my website. 

Enter code: "JULYFLASHSALE2018" during checkout.

Click here for more purchase information:

This is a great chance to pick up one of my night sky metal prints!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Awesome after-work ride

Awesome ride this evening.  I was "in the groove" and my bike and I seemed to float effortlessly over the gravel terrain.  Very therapeutic, just what I needed today.  Caught a beautiful sunset as well at the turn-around point.  Exactly one month ago today my life completely changed on this road. Everything happens for a reason... my optimism is high and from here on out anything is possible!

Mesabi Miner

Tettegouche State Park, MN - Interlake Steamship Company's "Mesabi Miner" rounding Palisade Head at sunset on Lake Superior on July 18, 2018.  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On the Shore of the Cosmic Ocean

Spent last night basking in the glow of the Cosmic Ocean with friends both old and new.  I took the time to make a few images but mostly just sat and enjoyed good conversation.  So nice to share such a special night together. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Universe Speaks

Basking under the glow of Mars, Jupiter and the Milky Way on a warm July night on the Lake Superior shoreline in Grand Portage, Minnesota.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Milky Way Ride

For my blog post today I'm going to borrow some words from Dwayne Johnson, better known as "The Rock".  The other day on Instagram he wrote something that is good for all of us to remember:

"We've all experienced that 'cloud' that consumes us.  Times in life when things are hazy and unclear. Emotionally, mentally, physically.  That's when I call on my anchors - the things I trust.  the gym, my family, loved ones, my pancakes and tequila ;-) "

"Do your best to find & identify those anchors in your life.  They'll help you push through those clouds to greater clarity, balance, harmony and positive results.  Life's clouds & haze will always come and go.  Find your anchors to help you push through."

As I was out photographing the other night I realized what some of my anchors are.  The night sky, biking and photography.  All 3 are represented here with this image I'm sharing with you today.  

For me, my greatest moments of clarity, balance, harmony and positive results come when I'm basking in the glow of the night sky, cruising through the forest on an epic gravel road bike ride, or practicing the art of photography. All of these things anchor me and bring me joy, which is why I put so much energy into them.  

So, like The Rock, I wholeheartedly recommend that you find your anchors and embrace them.  Your life will be all the better for it.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tuesday Ride - CR 45/Bally Creek/FR 161/Murmur Creek

Today was a great day. Such beautiful weather, perfect for riding.  Did a nice 32 mile loop of which 99% was on gravel roads.  Love my Tuesday Rides.  My day of therapy.  The best day of my week :-)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Here comes the storm

Last night there were thunderstorms rolling past Grand Portage just to the north.  We had the rare treat of being able to watch the lightning without any real concern for getting caught in a downpour of rain.  

My crazy cousin and I were out driving around until 2:00 AM watching the storms from different vantage points.  Our favorite spot of the night was this location overlooking Teal Lake.  I don't even remember how we got on the subject but as we sat in the car watching the lightning we were listening to The Doors on the car stereo. The first song we listened to was "The End", a 12 minute "psychedelic rock epic" according to Rolling Stone magazine.  Over the years I've listened to this song countless times but as seems to be happening lately the lyrics at the beginning of the song really struck a chord with me.  In the case of "The End", it goes like this:

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend
The end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes again

It's odd how these songs are popping up in my life these past couple of weeks.  After listening to The End by The Doors we listened to another one that has resonated with me recently, Eye of the Storm by Godsmack:

Whistle blow down spirit, you're crawling in the middle
Don't you point your finger at my face
'Cause every bad decision that you made you're living with
And everyone else is to blame, here we go

In the eye of the storm I make my stand
But I'm not waiting for the walls to close in
I just brace myself for the winds to change their ways
In the eye of the storm I'm making my stand

Anyway it was cool to connect with my elder cousin as we sat there and shared this music while watching flashes and bolts of lightning dance across the sky.  After a while I got out of the car and set up my camera to try and capture the show.  I was able to catch one good blast of lightning on the far side of the lake and somehow it seemed to be the perfect image to go along with the mood and feel of the music we had been listening to.  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Arrow River Falls

Yesterday my good friend Roger and I crossed the border into Canada and did some off-trail hiking to this waterfall on the Arrow River.  I have been to this waterfall a few times before but it was Roger's first time seeing it.  It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've photographed.  

Not an easy hike to get to it though.  The distance is not all that much but the woods and brush are very thick. And yesterday the temperature was in the mid 80's so it was pretty warm.  Thankfully there was a strong breeze to keep the heat (and bugs) somewhat at bay.  Even though we were there in the middle of the day I used my 6-stop ND filter so I could make some long exposures and smooth out the look of the water. An exposure length of 1 second was all I needed to create a nice silky effect.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Pigeon River Moonlight Abstract

Grand Portage State Park, MN

The top of Middle Falls of the Pigeon River glowing in the light of a full moon.  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 4th Fireworks

Another spectacular fireworks show in Grand Portage this year!  There was fog in the bay which added a unique look to the display (and it helped keep the bugs down).  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Tuesday Ride 2018-07-03

I've been doing a fair amount of biking this year but I haven't been posting much about it on my blog.  Decided to change that this week and post some photos from yesterday's ride.  It had rained all morning and the weather was clearing during the ride which meant it was pretty muggy.  The horse/deer flies were also pretty horrible.  But the route is a favorite and rides really well.  As always saw a lot of neat things along the way!

The lesser-traveled roads are my absolute favorite. 

Gravel doesn't get any fresher than this!

Cook County sure has some awesome gravel routes!  So lucky in that regard...

Labrador Tea