Friday, March 29, 2019
I went for a super nice 5 mile hike after work today. It got fairly cold last night and our high today was only about 38 degrees so the snow on the trail stayed nice and firm. This made for great hiking (I did have to wear yaktrax on my boots though). I was thankful that the snow was hard and not soft, because the snow depth still ranges from 15 to 20 inches. I never would have done this hike today if the snow was soft and slushy. At any rate, the trail I hiked was the Middle Falls Trail in Grand Portage State Park. I arrived at Middle Falls just in time to catch some really nice clouds over the river.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
I'd been sort of saving this image to post, because I was hoping to get some better ones (by "better" I mean more of an open sky with less clouds). Of course, better is subjective and I do really like this photo with the stars peeking through the clouds. But now all the ice is gone so there isn't a chance of getting any more photos like this until next winter. This is a pile of ice that was built up near shore just north of 5 Mile Rock near Grand Marais, MN. I had photographed this location a few times during the day and knew it would make a good spot for some night photos.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
The sun has been shining more and more lately and I've been loving it. Most of the ice is gone now from the lakeshore and soon we'll be seeing green again! Here are some cool clouds I saw over the lake the other day as I was driving to Grand Marais.
Monday, March 25, 2019
I took these pictures a week ago... this ice is all gone now. It sure was pretty while it lasted. Now we're in the midst of seasonal change once again. We saw the temperature reach 50 degrees on Saturday, but it's still getting cold enough to freeze overnight.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
A recent afternoon/evening snowshoe hike led me to this beautiful view. I snowshoed for an hour to get to this spot just in time to see this nice view of the sun poking through the clouds. A week earlier I had been standing on top of that ridge watching a pack of wolves playing down on the ice of Wauswaugoning Bay. What an amazing place to live. Forever grateful :-)
Barely two weeks ago the winter conditions were pretty much perfect. We had a lot of snow and that snow was of a good quality for winter activities. Then we got a bunch of rain. That was followed by a slight dip in temperature, enough to turn our snow hard and crunchy. Now we've got temperatures that are warm enough to make what remains of the snow a soft, sloppy mess. Where there isn't snow, there is mud. I know, I know... most people don't like winter and are ecstatic at the thought of summer coming. I love summer just as much as the next person, but I also love winter. And I wasn't quite ready for it to be over yet. Here are a couple of photos of one of my snowshoe trails back when the snow was awesome. On the up side, soon it will be time to break the ECR (my bike) out of storage and start riding again :-)
Monday, March 18, 2019
The snowshoeing has been pretty great lately, mostly because the temperatures have been milder and it's starting to feel like spring! We've been experiencing more blue sky too which is nice, especially after a very long winter with lots of cloudy days. Here are a couple of photos from one of those recent beautiful days.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
What a beautiful afternoon it was today! I spent a couple of hours snowshoeing up along my favorite ridge and was treated to some amazing views of the sky. The rays of sun shining down on the snow-covered hills made for a magical scene.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Friday, March 8, 2019
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Piles of Lake Superior ice stacked up along the north shore remind me of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. I draw strength from spending time in places like this. Something about being immersed in the beauty of the natural world... when I am there I feel a sense of calm and peace unlike any other, and I come away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Found some super cool ice formations along the shoreline today! Small but beautiful. They didn't look like much from a distance but once you laid down on your belly and crawled up to within a few inches of them, their unbelievable beauty was revealed.
Sunday, March 3, 2019
This is probably my MOST favorite view in the whole wide world (and I have a lot of favorites, so that's saying something!). The summit of Mt. Josephine in Grand Portage, MN. Lately it's been my getaway, my escape if you will. In the past 3 weeks I've snowshoed up to this spot 8 times. I try to do it at least twice a week. It's about 3 miles round trip with around 700 to 800 feet of elevation gain.
Every time I go I see something different. For the most part the most interesting thing to observe (up until this last time I went) are the ever-changing ice conditions. This last time, however, I saw something extraordinarily cool. If you look closely to the right of the taller tree in the lower left corner of the photo, you can see some dark dots on the ice. That's a wolf pack! The first time in 43 years of living on the north shore that I've seen an entire pack of wolves at once! It was such a cool experience. I got to hear them howling and watched them play and frolic on the ice before bedding down for a nap. I was able to watch them for almost 30 minutes before it got too dark to see them, then I had to head back home.
For my blog and photo journal I mostly like to post pictures that I just took or took very recently. Sometimes, though, I'm looking through pictures taken a while ago and find one or two that I really like that were never shared. These are two such images. The photos you see here were taken at Tettegouche State Park on April 16, 2018.
Every now and then there are large enough waves that come out of just the right direction to create massive amounts of freezing spray when they crash into the cliffs at Tettegouche. The freezing spray then flies way up into the air and the wind carries it inland, coating all the trees within reach of the windblown spray. After the windy weather passes what we're left with is a magical frozen forest.
One of the coolest Lake Superior north shore experiences is to wander through this area when it looks like this. Footing can be VERY tricky though (you are walking on extremely uneven ice, after all) so be sure to wear some ice cleats on your boots!