Friday, December 6, 2013
Here is a shot from Wednesday afternoon, December 4th during the height of the blizzard that we just experienced. I went for a drive to take some storm photos and during my drive the wind was really blowing the snow around on the road which I thought would make for an interesting picture. Thankfully, there was almost no traffic so I pulled over to the side of the road and put my hazard lights on. I checked carefully for any oncoming traffic before quickly walking out into the middle of the road to grab this shot. We ended up getting anywhere from 12 to just over 20 inches of snow, depending on where you measured (as usual, locations along the Lake Superior shoreline had less accumulation but the worst drifting). I heard that Two Harbors, MN got the most snow accumulation at just over 40 inches! As is the norm after a blizzard, we are now experiencing bitter cold temperatures. Today the temp is barely above zero, but we have sunshine! The sun hasn't shown its face much in the past month or two, so it is nice to see it again even if it means enduring cold temperatures!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Here is another shot of the otters at Grand Portage State Park, this time from down in the gorge rather than on top of the gorge looking down into it. I figured out where the otters were most frequently coming out of the water and up onto the ice, then yesterday I sat there for a long time waiting for them to show up. I was just about to give up, thinking they weren't going to come out (or that perhaps they already had before I got there) when I noticed movement further up in the gorge.
At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. After all, there is a lot of running water and when you're sitting there staring at it for a long time the movement of the water can sometimes make you think you are seeing things that aren't actually there. But, just moments after catching that flicker of movement, one of the otters popped up onto the ice straight across the river from where I was sitting! Just moments later, the second one showed up and for the next few minutes they rolled around on the ice, rubbing their backs on the snow and grooming each other. Then, they jumped back into the water and swam over to my side of the river, then crawled up onto the ice about 150 feet upstream from where I was sitting.
I was doing my best to minimize my movements, but they still must have sensed I was there because they kept looking towards me, sometimes directly at me. They never got scared, though, and once again went back to rolling around and grooming each other. After a few more minutes they jumped back into the water and swam upstream, every now and then popping up onto the ice for a quick run, then sliding back into the water again. I sure am thankful to be able to witness these playful creatures in such close proximity. I am thinking they must somehow know that it is my birthday tomorrow and they wanted to give me an early birthday present by letting me get such nice photos and video of them :-)
Sunday, December 1, 2013
For the past few days I've been spending a couple of hours each day sitting and waiting to get a glimpse of the otter family that seems to be living in the gorge just below High Falls at Grand Portage State Park. Two days ago I got some fantastic video of the pair shown in this photo. They sure are a lot of fun to watch!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Last night I was looking through a folder of photos from October 2010 when I came across this intriguing image that I couldn't resist sharing. As I was flipping through the photos from that month this one really pulled me in. I like experimenting with zooming and panning or shaking the camera while recording a long exposure, but rarely do I combine the techniques in one shot. Well, that's what I did to achieve this look. I used a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second while zooming AND twisting the camera at the same time. I know this type of image isn't for everyone, but I sure like them :-)
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Yes! The season of ice is upon us! I love winter for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the return of one of my favorite photographic subjects: ICE. Ice comes in an infinite variety of shapes and formations and I never tire of photographing it. This particular "Wall of Ice" is the cliff face of High Falls at Grand Portage State Park in northeast Minnesota. The main channels of water on the falls are still running freely, but on either side of the running water is an amazing garden of ice. The waterfall freezes differently each year based on the water level and weather conditions. One thing is for certain, it is ALWAYS interesting and ALWAYS beautiful!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Winter is coming, which is becoming evident at High Falls on the Pigeon River in Grand Portage State Park. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon when the sky was filled with beautiful clouds. I was a little surprised by the amount of ice already forming on the face of the falls, but then I realized that it is almost December already! I just love this photo of the falls… I think it is one of my new favorites of this location. I love the clouds, the ice, the tree shadows and the light. When I first arrived at the falls the sky was almost completely clear of clouds and by the time I left the cloud cover was really heavy, with no blue sky at all visible. Everything came together for this shot, and I happened to be there at just the right time to capture it!