24 Hours

After a long week of sports photography in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, it was nice to take a break and head north for a visit home.  It’s a little over two hours from where I stay in the cities to my home in Duluth, so it’s not a big deal to make the trip on the same day if needed.  If I feel I have the time, I will sometimes use these trips to explore alternate ways of getting north or south rather than use the freeway so that I might discover new photo ops.  But not this trip, this was a quick turnaround where I would have about twenty-four hours in Duluth.  Upon my arrival, as I came to the top of the hill, which affords a panoramic view of Duluth, Lake Superior and the St. Louis River harbor, I was greeted with no view of any city, lake or harbor.  The entire lake basin was hidden by a low lying fog bank.

Besides the tasks that need to be done, water plants, do my laundry, work a bit on cleaning the garage to be ready for my car this winter, local errands, I also had plans to be on the shore of Lake Superior for the lunar events Sunday night.  As most know, there was a rare combination of a full moon, super moon and a lunar eclipse.  I have never photographed an eclipse and wanted to give it a try.  But, before leaving for the lake, I took  a bit of time to document things growing in the yard.

Since the location I had planned to shoot the moon from was being used by a group of Native American women for a ceremony, I moved down shore about fifty yards and setup my gear.  As the evening progressed, the magic of the lunar event was enhanced by the sounds and sights of the ceremonial event taking place nearby.

As I mentioned, this was my first attempt at photographing an eclipse and the intermittent cloud cover didn’t help.  I did enjoy some successes, but there were many unusable images.  However, I learned from the experience and will be better prepared the next time I have the chance to witness a celestial event of this nature again.

And now it’s Monday morning and in a couple of hours, I will be loading the car and heading back south to shoot soccer games later today.  But my time in the northland was good, as it allowed me to slow down a bit and be removed from the frenetic pace of the big city for a few hours and to spend time by the “big lake” and be reminded why I move up here and away from the “big city.”

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Tripping The Rift

Ice Date: 03.06.2015
This is the final log entry for the expedition to the frozen universe of Lake Superior’s ice for this year.  Conditions on the ice have become too unstable to continue the work of documenting the unique environment that exists between the liquid freshwater sea and the warming air above.  The rift that has developed and now divides the planes of the frozen world is becoming increasingly active as the winds shift.  New cracks are continually developing, and in the interests of safety, it is time to return to more solid surroundings.  This exploration has been immensely satisfying and the results often visually stunning.  But now it is time to turn attention to more terrestrial pursuits.  Such as spending time with my father as his health is failing.  There will be less time for photographic explorations for the time being, but there are priorities that need attending to.

Here are the last images from the voyage to the frozen cosmos, 2015.

The Frozen Cosmos

When we stare at the sky, whether with bare eyes, a telescope or even the Hubble Space Telescope, we are seeing the cosmos that surrounds us.  According to some beliefs, it is our birthplace, the source of what we are made of.  With an open mind, we can turn our gaze downward rather than upward and discover a different cosmos, a frozen cosmos.  This is a place where incredible forces hold sway, where thick, shifting atmosphere roils and churns, causing the very fabric of the seemingly solid surface to shift, crack, heave and at times, explode, allowing the viscous atmosphere below to flow forth over the frozen world above.  At these frigid temperatures, the fluids and the air collide and create new worlds, new intersections of water and ice.  The movements creating a cacophony of moans, groans, snapping, popping and grinding as water and ice move in a restless dance of adjustment to the forces of wind and cold.
And when we turn our gaze to the frozen cosmos below our feet, as we venture out upon the relatively thin meeting point of cold water and cold air, we can stare into a terrestrial cosmos, one that is no less impressive than the one above our heads, filled with stars.