Friday, January 31, 2020

Winter Night Sky, Northern Minnesota

Clear, cold skies over the boreal forest, no light pollution and stars so big and crisp it seems as though you cold reach right up and pluck them from the sky.  As a night sky photographer, these are all things that I love and are ideal conditions for making photographs. 

Winter on the Cross River

A peaceful winter's day on the Cross River along the Gunflint Trail in northeast Minnesota. Snow was gently falling all day long, making for postcard-like views everywhere.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gunflint Trail Pines

Cook County, MN - A drive up the Gunflint Trail last week on a snowy day revealed a lot of beauty in the forest. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sky Watcher

"You are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive."

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

I went out for a bit early this morning (around 3:00 AM) to enjoy the night sky and take a few pictures.  I couldn't help but think of the above quote as I took in my surroundings.  The wind was kicking up as I stood on Old Highway 61 gazing up at the heavens.  Because of the wind and the cold (it was barely 5 degrees above zero), many people would probably think it was a miserable night to be out.  

While the weather did make it a little uncomfortable to be out there, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the beauty of the sky and the snow-covered trees.  I could have easily let the cold wind destroy the experience for me. Instead I focused on perceiving the awesomeness of what I was looking at, thus creating for me an intensely positive experience. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Snowy Winter!

It sure has been a snowy winter so far.  Last night and today we got about a foot or more of new snow.  Plow crews have been out working all day to keep our roadways clear.  So thankful for the job that they do!  Here is a MNDOT plow clearing TH 61 over Mt. Josephine in Grand Portage, MN.  The photos were taken from the safety of a scenic overlook pullout along the highway. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A nice day for a drive up the Arrowhead Trail!

Hovland, MN - I took a drive up the Arrowhead Trail today and boy was it ever a beautiful drive!  Snow was coating all the trees and cliffs making for some really cool views.  

Friday, January 3, 2020

Gunflint Fox

I had a nice visit with this little guy up near the end of the Gunflint Trail today...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Ravens and Mountain Ash berries

My favorite photo from today.  It snowed hard for a while this morning and I was out driving around during that time.  In the ditch along Highway 61 was a deer that had been hit by a car.  The deer had already been worked over pretty well by scavenging animals and the only critters still hanging around were some ravens.  I stopped to take some pictures and of course they all flew off into the trees.  Luckily, a couple of them didn't fly too far away and they landed in this mountain ash tree.  I really liked the red color of the berries in contrast to the dark black of the ravens and the white of the falling snow.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

First Night Sky of 2020!

2020 is off to a great start for the night sky!  Cold temperatures last night made for some awesome star viewing.  The temp was about minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit and thankfully it was a nice calm night with only the occasional slight breeze.  

I made this photo along Old Highway 61 in Grand Portage, MN. There is so much going on in the sky here... I couldn't believe it when I saw how this photo came out.  Orion can be seen very clearly just above the tree line a little to the left of center.  Normally the constellations don't show up this well on such a wide angle shot (in this case, 14mm on a full-frame camera).  Last night, however, the air quality was just right to make the brighter stars really pop out from the rest of the sky.  

If you've never gone out on a cold winter's night to gaze at the stars, I urge you to do so.  Stargazing is one of my favorite things to do.  I've loved it ever since I was a kid.  Thankfully I live where the views of the stars are almost completely unaffected by artificial light.  Once again I am reminded of my all time favorite quote:

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." -Vincent van Gogh