The Dynamic Duo

Dynamic Duo

It seems that the most consistent thing in my life is change.  I know that is a bit of an cliche, but true nonetheless.  There are very few things, friends, relationships and homes in my life, that have been a part of my life for more than ten years.  But as I was making my coffee this morning, I realized that these machines represent a couple of things in my life that have not changed in a very long time.  I can’t say specifically when I purchased each them, but I know I had the espresso maker back in the early 1980s and I’m sure that the grinder is of similar vintage.  They are simple, uncomplicated devices, maybe that’s why they have lasted this long.  I’m impressed that both are still operating, although the coffee maker has a knob from an old washing machine for the steam control.  That simplicity is something I really appreciate, it serves as a reminder that much of the newer, high tech devices that seem to be built with the idea of planned obsolescence in mind aren’t what we need.  They are two trusty old friends who have weathered the many transitions in my life, they have been witness to the comings and goings of a lot of people, have served up many cups of delicious coffee and made many mornings so much better.  These two machines have blessed my life for a long time and for that I am extremely grateful.

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Big Sucker Creek

Although there was a heavy cloud cover and cooler temps, it wasn’t enough to keep me from venturing out to explore a river I had not hiked before.  The destination, Big Sucker Creek, between Lake Superior and the Hwy. 61 expressway that connects Duluth and Two Harbors, MN.  The fall colors are mostly past peak, but there are still a few traces of color hanging on.  But color was not my main objective on this outing, black and white was.  I am particularly pleased with the image titled, “Bridge Framework.”  It is the result of stacking three images in Photoshop that were focused at different points along the framework.  The stacking gives the illusion of three dimensions.

There are two color images in the gallery.  When I happened upon the reddish shape imbedded in the rock, I immediately reached for my point and shoot and set it for vivid to get that shot.  The other is rather mysterious.  How Charles came to be immortalized on a piece of fur and leather is unclear.  And how this ended up in Big Sucker Creek is also unclear.  But I would imagine by now it is floating in Lake Superior.  Charles is in for an interesting adventure!

Post Industrial Fishing

Recently, while searching out a new hiking trail in West Duluth, I discovered a new fishing spot.  This is not your typical idea of a pleasant place to fish, but what it lacks in ambiance, is compensated for by the fishing.  It appears that this location had at one time been used for shipping.  There is a large boat slip that would fit the ships that ply the Great Lakes and evidence of past construction, perhaps a large warehouse.  The ships at one time would work their way up the river to these slips.  But not anymore, as they are no longer dredging this part of the river for the ships.

While fishing, one is surrounded by the sounds of boats on the St. Louis River, heavy machinery and large trucks.  Besides the industrial view, there are also views of the Bong Bridge, a power plant,  a paper mill and the wetlands of the St. Louis River estuary.  Sort of an industrial meets natural scene.

Of course, when the fish weren’t biting, I was wandering around with a camera.

Diary of a Hike

The northland was blessed with another beautiful fall day and it served as an invitation to take a hike.  The destination, Duluth’s Park Point, also known as Minnesota Point, a seven mile stretch of sand that begins at the Aerial Lift Bridge and ends at the Superior Entry ship channel.  Once you get past the small Sky Harbor airport, which is about halfway out on the point, it is an unspoiled area with beach on the Lake Superior side, forest in the middle and views of the working harbor on the other.  If you like driftwood, the beaches are covered in pieces from the very small to the very large.  You can also find wildlife, interesting rocks, bits of glass polished by the action of sand and waves, plus the usual assortment of human waste that washes up during storms.  The forest is a mix of pines and broadleaf trees, plus assorted undergrowth and wild flowers, not to mention the patches of Poison Ivy.  The area has been designated as Minnesota Point Pine Forest Scientific and Natural Area.  On windy days you can hear the sound of waves crashing on the beach as you walk through the woods.

Further out on the point is an old, crumbling lighthouse which I have photographed in the past, but now the fence protecting it has been repaired and it’s harder to get close to.  There are other reminders of human habitation on the point.  There once was a buoy tending station on the point with houses for the tenders.  At the end of the point, which is not only the channel, but also the site of the natural mouth of the St. Louis River, you can see the Coast Guard station on the Wisconsin side and the lighthouse that signals the entry from Lake Superior.  The end of the hike was blessed by a gorgeous sunset over the harbor.

Reflections On An Autumn Day

It was much too nice to be working indoors today, so it was decided that a hike was in order.  The place…Keene Creek along Skyline Parkway in West Duluth.  The day, beautiful, deep blue skies with temps in the 50s.  The trees were still putting on a show and the sound of running and falling water provided the soundtrack to the visuals.  Blue skies, moving water and fall color.  Time well spent in the outdoors.