It Was So Cold…

This past Thursday, Feb. 3, I had to take a trip to west central Minnesota. When I left Duluth, the temp was -17F. As I traveled west, the thermometer in my car started reading even colder temps, with the lowest reading at -32F. The cold, dense air created a thermal inversion which blocked warmer air from rising. This effect was best illustrated by the smoke from wood fired boilers rising about 30-40 feet above ground and stopping as though it had hit an invisible ceiling. If you were to travel further north, you could have experienced even lower temps, some lower than -40F.

American Larch aka: Tamarack

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Tamarack Trees
American Larch

The American Larch, also known as the Tamarack, is an abundant tree in northern Minnesota. In the fall it adds it’s brilliant yellow color as it mixes in with the now barren trees of late autumn.

Icy Chains

Along the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior at Gooseberry Falls State Park is a line of stone posts and chain barrier. When winter winds kick up big waves, the rocks and chains become collecting points for ice.

For the Birds

On May 11th, I joined a group of birders at the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center in northern Minnesota as part of the Document Spring project.  The group had started out earlier to identify as many birds as possible, I believe it was around 70, before the Document spring group arrived.  We went on a short hike during which I tried to take photos of birds that are not willing models.  I also offered advice to the group on camera settings and technique.  I also spotted what I thought were interesting subjects.

A Lovely Day at the Beach

There’s nothing like a little sun, a lot of water and some time to wander the shoreline.  Even in the cold of northern Minnesota there is reason to explore the nooks and crannies of the rocky shore of Lake Superior.  Being an ice hunter, I go searching for the creations of nature while they persist, but knowing that what exists today will be gone tomorrow.  However, in it’s place will be new creations formed by wind, water and cold.

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Revisiting Last October

Last October I captured an image of a row of birch trees that I really liked, but when I got home and viewed the image on my computer, I noticed a wire running through the image.  The updated Adobe Photoshop 2019 has an improved “Content Aware Fill” feature that seems to work much better than past versions and I gave it a try on the image.  I came away pleasantly surprised by the end result.  Is it absolutely perfect? No, but it’s pretty darn good and I would be willing to print the result.  My plan is to print it on canvas which should aid in softening any residual effects of the process.

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Canon 5D Mk ll, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM, ISO 50, 70mm, f/16, 1/30 sec.

Down to the Lake

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At the end of the road is the boat launch, will have to return on a better day with a boat and fishing rod.

At Risk

There are those who would like to profit from mining adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Doing so puts one of the worlds premiere wilderness areas and an extensive watershed at risk for contamination from toxic runoff.  For those who have visited the area, the resort owners and outfitters, it would be a terrible catastrophe.  Not to mention the millions lost in tourism.  If the corporation really believes their methods are safe, I suggest that it be required that every investor and politician who supports the mine must sign a document that entitles the government to take everything they own to pay for any damage to the environment if their “safe mining” fails.  If they want it, they have to be responsible for it out of their own pockets, not the taxpayer’s.