Fall Flow

NVM_0034-Edit-Edit

A moment of serenity in autumn along Keene Creek, Duluth, Minnesota.

Canon 5DS, ISO 100, 35mm, f/6.3, 1/30 sec and a few artistic touches.

Advertisements

Being One With the Flow

NVM00006

Light changes

Water flows

Each moving with a rhythm tied to nature

A lesson for us to observe.

Marching Onward

My month long visit home has ended and I have returned to Minneapolis again.  Sports photography begins at the end of next week and my sister is arriving from Florida later today.  She claims she likes taking a break in cooler weather, but she may get more than she bargained for on this trip.
During the month of March I was able to accomplish many things that had been awaiting my attention, however, there is always much more for when I return home next.  I managed to sneak in a few photo trips while home, some of the results were shown in previous blog posts.  As I was kind of quiet during the past month, I thought I would share a few glimpses of how I spent some of my time in the Duluth area.  The image with the blue bridge highlights my upcoming summer adventure.  I will be a seasonal operator of the bridge, which opens to allow the tour boats, fishing charter boats and private craft to pass on their way out to Lake Superior.  Part of the job is to be an ambassador for the city of Duluth.  You can be sure I will always have a camera with me on this job.

 

Coming Home

When people think of home, it usually is their house, a family home or perhaps their hometown.  I arrived back in Duluth late last Friday night to my house, but wasn’t truly “home” till the next day when I was out enjoying nature.  As I walked the trails along the St. Louis River as it passes through Jay Cooke State Park, I came to the realization that this was part of my true home.  Not just this park, which is quite beautiful, and not just northern Minnesota, but all of nature.  It is the place where my spirit resides and is renewed after absences.  As I look back at the past year, a year that started in early March when I got the call from my father’s doctor informing me of his hospitalization, followed by three months in hospice before he passed away which lead to spending a lot of time at their home.  While there, I began doing sports photography on the side and as often as possible, I would head north on weekends to be back in Duluth for a couple of days.  As I think back, I realize that one of the first things I would do upon my return north was to head out for a visit to Lake Superior, a hike along a river or into the forests or perhaps just climb the hills near my house and sit on a rocky outcropping and enjoy the view.  Those are the moments when I feel at home.  No matter where I am, I know that I am never far from home.  I can see it as I drive along the Great River Road of the Mississippi, the scenic back roads of pre-freeway America, driving through a national forest or sitting at a roadside stop with a view of the countryside.  The place my spirit calls home, is everywhere, it can’t be contained in a man-made structure, it’s far too vast for that.  Perhaps those places are good for being with others who share your belief, but so are the places I go to commune with spirit.  I know that many I pass on the trail share a similar belief, but in a much larger cathedral. Our altars are waterfalls, giant redwoods, dense pine forests, winding rivers, shimmering lakes and granite cliffs.  Our pews are fallen logs, rocks, flower filled prairies and sandy beaches.  We tithe by supporting our parks and natural areas, picking up trash as we hike, by taking nothing but photos and leaving nothing but footprints.

All images are of Jay Cooke State Park, February 27, 2016

“The Silence”

During my brief visit home this past weekend, my wife and I took a trip up the north shore of Lake Superior to check out the ice formations at Gooseberry Falls and to do a bit of XC skiing.  As always, the frozen forms of Gooseberry Falls did not fail to impress, even though it’s obvious that the water levels were not as high as some years when the freezing process began.
After Gooseberry Falls we travel a bit further up the shore to a Superior National Forest ski trail near Tofte.  The trails were beautifully groomed and even though it was overcast, the weather perfect for skiing in the woods. The trail system is extensive, I circled the small portion we skied in yellow, but as you can see, there is so much more to explore.  After we had skied about half way through the loop, we stopped for a moment to soak in the beauty of where we were.  And, as wonderful as the view was, what was really impressive was not what we were seeing, it was what we weren’t hearing.  It was totally and completely silent.  There was no wind, no birds singing, no traffic, no planes overhead, no other people on this part of the trail…just total quiet.  I think we stood there for about ten minutes, listening to absolute silence.  I can remember only one other time I’ve experienced this kind of silence.  That was also while XC skiing, that time on Lake One outside of Ely, MN.  So much of my life is spent in urban areas and even when I escape to nature, it’s usually still too close to the effects of human generated noise.  In milder weather there are more bird sounds, the rustle of leaves or perhaps the sound of water running or lapping at the shore.  But, in the depths of winter, on a calm day, in a snow softened forest, you can find, “The Silence.”