Sunday, May 27, 2018

Island in the clouds

Grand Portage, MN - A thick fog bank makes it look as though Pete's Island is floating on top of the clouds. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Living in a Foggy Dream

That's what it has felt like the past few days, like we're living in a foggy dream.  There has been so much fog on Lake Superior the past few days and it never seems to burn off.  It's there during the day and it's there at night.  Yesterday as I was driving home from work the fog was thick but low and as I drove Highway 61 up the Mt. Josephine grade suddenly I was above the fog.  I pulled over at the Susie Islands overlook and made this photo.  The islands are down there, hidden underneath the fog.  I loved the layers of the fog and the soft blue of the sky above.  A magical scene.  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sawbill Trail Roller Coaster

I love this section of the Sawbill Trail in Cook County, MN.  It reminds me of a roller coaster.  Which is ironic because I am not a fan of roller coasters.  But I do love twisty roads with lots of hills!

The Handiwork of Nature's Architect

An impressively large beaver dam dominates the landscape near the Pigeon River in Ontario, Canada.  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

My first wild Lynx sighting!

So last night after my bike ride I was driving around on Arrow River Road in Ontario, Canada when I came around a corner near a beaver pond and there was a Lynx standing in the middle of the road!  Once he saw the car he ran quickly off the road.  I backed up a bit, then positioned the car so I could photograph him if he came back out, then turned the car off.  After about 10 seconds he came back out into the road and sat right down in the middle of the road and looked at me.  Apparently deciding I wasn't a threat, he disregarded me after that first look and went about his business.

After a few moments I realized he was intent on watching the few ducks that were on the beaver pond and at one point I thought he was going to try and catch one.  He hunkered down and just like a house cat wiggled his butt and his tail started flicking back and forth.  The ducks never got close enough however and eventually he started walking very slowly down the road away from me.  It sure was a cool experience and a great way to end a day in the woods!

The next two photos are a little blurry but I still like them because of his posture as he walked across the road. 

Beaver Pond Sunset, Arrow River Road

Last night's sunset was pretty sweet overlooking a beaver pond along Arrow River Road in Ontario, Canada.  This sunset came after a super fun adventure bike ride where I saw 2 Sandhill Cranes, 4 Black Bears, 6 Garter Snakes and a Lynx!  What a great day :-)  

Monday, May 21, 2018

Spooky Birch and the Milky Way

I made this photo while wandering around in the woods all night last night.  It's kind of spooky but also wicked cool.  That's the galactic core of the Milky Way behind the trunk of the tree.  A group of coyotes were yipping and howling in the distance as I photographed this tree.  Their sounds just added to the memory and the spookiness of the scene.  

Stargazing Gulls

I went out last night after the moon dropped below the horizon to capture some more Milky Way images.  My first stop was Hollow Rock in Grand Portage.  I got a kick out of this photo because there are a couple of gulls sitting on top of the rock and it almost seems as though they are enjoying the view of the Milky Way as much as I was.  I didn't even know they were there until I looked at the photo on the camera's LCD screen after taking it.  I could these two white spots on the top right of the rock in the picture, but when I looked at the rock it was really hard to make them out because it was so dark.  The long exposure makes them show up nicely, as the camera can record over time more light than our eyes can see in an instant.  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Milky Way Meditation

Last night sure was a beautiful night to be outside staring up at the Milky Way.  A nice cold night too (temperature right around freezing) which always seems to make the Milky Way easier to see. I feel like I could stare at a sky like this for the rest of my days and never tire of it.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Spring Green

Leaf-out is definitely something to look forward to each year.  The lush green of the first leaves is always a beautiful sight to see.  Taken between Lester River and Amity Creek in Duluth, MN.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Egret Watching

The other evening I watched this Egret fishing along the edge of a small lake near my home.  Over the course of about 30 minutes I watched him catch and eat roughly a dozen minnows.  It was such a calming experience to share time with this majestic animal.  It really made my day. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Spring Sunset on the Pigeon River

I love this spot on the Pigeon River.  It's always beautiful, but especially so when there is a blazing sunset happening!

Spring Sunset over Partridge Falls

A beautiful May sunset over one of my favorite waterfalls.  Located in a remote corner of northeast Minnesota at the end of a rough 5 mile logging road.  This river is also the international boundary between the U.S. and Canada.  

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Morro Bay Egret

An Egret fishing in the surf at sunset in Morro Bay, California. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sierra Foothills Moonset - Sequoia National Park

The moonlight sure is beautiful in the mountains...

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Milky Way over the Sierra Foothills

While I didn't do as much photography on my recent California trip as I have on past trips, I did still do some and I do have more images to share from that trip.  So, on occasion I'm going to jump back and post an image or two from California.  Like this photo of the Milky Way over the Sierra Foothills in Sequoia National Park.  This was taken from the General's Highway at Amphitheater Point.  The moon was still up but very low in the sky and about to drop behind the mountains behind me.  The moonlight is what's illuminating the mountains in this photo.  It was kind of an unfamiliar experience for me to be hanging out in 60 degree weather at night in April, but hey, that's California for you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

McFarland Lake Aurora

Here's one from the peak of the aurora storm late Saturday night.  Taken just 5 minutes before midnight on McFarland Lake at the end of the Arrowhead Trail in northeast Minnesota.  

Spring Ice under the Milky Way

So I had this super interesting (and slightly scary) encounter the other night while photographing this scene. I was standing at the end of the short dock on Chester Lake under the glow of the Milky Way in Grand Portage State Forest, MN.  As you can see from the photo, it was an incredibly calm night.  So calm the stars were reflecting almost perfectly in the water.  This meant that I could hear every little noise in the forest.  

When I arrived at this location there were a couple of rabbits that were running around in the brush near the shoreline.  I saw them in my car headlights when I first pulled up to the boat landing.  As I absorbed the scene and planned out my composition I could hear them chasing each other back and forth in the woods.  After a while they either got tired or left the area as there was no longer any sound.  By then I was making my first exposures and getting my composition dialed in.  

By the time I had everything just right, I could once again hear rustling in the woods behind me.  Only this time it sounded different.  This time it sounded like a much larger animal.  I turned and faced the shoreline but it was much too dark to see anything.  The noises kept coming closer.  I heard a couple of twigs snap, then I could hear the animal breathing.  I turned on the soft red light of my headlamp and there was a moose standing there near the edge of the lake, about 30 feet away.  

All of a sudden I got very nervous, but I stood still and tried not to make a sound.  I turned off my headlamp and the moose turned and started to walk through the brush along the water's edge.  It walked right past the end of the dock and through the brush for about another 50 feet along the lakeshore then turned and headed back inland.  Once I could hear that the moose was quite a ways away, I let out a sigh of relief and went back to photographing the scene.  I never saw or heard it again that night.  A little while later when I left to visit another location, I could see its tracks on the gravel road as I drove away from the boat landing.  Standing under the glow of the Milky Way in such a beautiful location is special enough, but having a wildlife encounter such as this makes the night even more memorable!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A more productive night!

Last night was quite a bit better than the previous night!  The aurora put on a nice show just after midnight on McFarland Lake in Cook County, MN.  There wasn't any wind to speak of either so the stars and lights were reflecting very nicely in the water.  It's always so magical to be outside at times like this!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dim Aurora over McFarland Lake

Apparently I should have gone out shooting earlier than I did last night.  It sounds like the best of the lights occurred before 10 PM.  Still, I enjoyed a beautiful view of the night sky over McFarland Lake at the end of the Arrowhead Trail in Cook County, MN.  There was just a touch of green behind some clouds on the horizon but the stars were pretty amazing!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Pismo Beach Sunset

There's nothing quite like a California sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Moonlight Yucca over the Kaweah River

Sequoia National Park, California

I haven't had a post on my photo page in a while as I was in California on vacation. It was nice to get away and not really pay much attention to online posting for a while.  But I'm home now and reviewing some of the images I made on the trip!  

While I was in California the nights were filled with some pretty glorious moonlight.  The foothills of the Sierras were alive with plants and flowers blooming everywhere.  The yucca in particular was incredibly beautiful.  I had never seen it in bloom before and it was impossible to miss it on this trip.  Some of the plants were HUGE and the blooms were visible from quite far away. One night I went out to capture the blooms in the moonlight and came away with some of my favorite images from the trip.