Rock, Water, Sky

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Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park as seen from Palisade Head.

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A Piece of Rock

As I previously mentioned, Tettegouche is one of my favorite Minnesota state parks and one of its most famous landmarks was the stone arch.  On one of our trips to the park,  my wife and I had the chance to kayak through the arch.  However, in late August of 2010, the bridge portion of the landmark collapsed into the lake and left behind a stack rather than an arch.  Because of its location, this part of Lake Superior’s north shore is often subject to large waves from storms and when that happens during frigid winter weather, the blowing spray can create unusual ice formations along the rocky shore and on the trees.

In case you haven’t figured it out, the three bottom images are from the same day, but from opposite sides.  The first two are looking south from Shovel Point, the Watcher is looking north.

The Moody Lake

Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior’s north shore is one of my favorite places to visit in Minnesota. With the addition of the new wayside rest area, the park is open to everyone traveling along the north shore.  The park offers fantastic views of the lake, miles of hiking trails, camping and the highest waterfall contained within the borders of Minnesota.  But the lake is the big draw and no matter the season, its personality is always on display.

DCF 1.0

Minolta DiMAGE S404, ISO 64, 7.38mm, f/ 6.7, 1/250 sec, Nov. 20, 2005

Line, Shape & Texture

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Moving slowly through the two parks, I found myself seeking out lines, shapes and textures.  Nature is a master at creating all three, but humans contribute with their constructions also.  Although all images were originally shot in color, I felt switching to monochrome removed the distraction that color adds and allows the eye to more readily focus on form.  The images are from Tettegouche and Jay Cooke State Parks in Minnesota.

Mushrooms

A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. (Wikipedia)

I’ve had the opportunity to visit two Minnesota state parks this past week, Tettegouche and Jay Cooke.  Both parks have at their heart a river.  Tettegouche surrounds the Baptism River and Jay Cooke, the St. Louis River.  Both rivers have wonderful rock formations, rapids and falls.  The High Falls at Tettegouche is the highest waterfall completely contained within the border of Minnesota and is over sixty feet high.  The sharp, angular and upturned rock formations at Jay Cooke are a natural marvel and the famous swinging bridge affords excellent views of the rocks and rapids.

But, what does that have to do with mushrooms?  Nothing really, except that both parks have experienced ideal conditions for mushroom growth recently.  Although I photographed much of the other amazing scenery in the parks, I found myself singling out the mushrooms, partly because they are pretty amazing and I also wanted to document what I saw so that I could do research when I got home as to what I was seeing.  At Tettegouche I had a chance to speak with a mushrooms hunter who was very excited by the proliferation of fungus and he was kind enough to share some of his wisdom.  However, I am still hesitant to wander the woods gathering mushrooms by myself until I can do so with a qualified expert in the field of edible mushrooms.  Until then, I’ll only be collecting photos of them.

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