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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Searching for Bald Eagles

Yesterday we ventured down to the Minnesota River to see how the eagle activity was and we were not disappointed! When we arrived there were at least 10 eagles (adults and juveniles) flying around and perching in the trees above a few small open places in the river. Of course they have excellent hearing and sight so there was no chance to get close to them. It's always a learning experience and it usually results in me needing a longer lens!

I believe these are marks in the snow from an Eagle swooping down and grabbing a rabbit out of the fresh snow, what a find but I wish I would've seen it happen!

A few spots in the river were open and the water was rushing under the ice pretty rapidly and the sun was going down so I was able to capture water motion and colors ion the same image, one of my favorite things to do!

This is a view east up the Minnesota River as the sun was setting showing the large trees that the eagles like to sit in and search for food in the river below.

Close up of ice and water movement.

Juvenile Bald Eagle in flight

Adult Bald Eagle in flight

Artistic rendition of two juveniles interacting

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best images of 2014

2014 started out strong with beautiful sunsets and lots of bird activity. Barbed wire reminds me of rural life and hard working farmers.

This Red-Bellied Woodpecker comes around to our feeders often but doesn't come very close when we are near with our cameras.

This miniature rose is a couple years old now. I've been cutting it down and bringing it in my bedroom when the weather gets cold. One of my favorite techniques is close-ups (macro) of my subjects, usually flowers.

The Wood Duck is easily the most beautiful and recognizable of all the ducks. To get a photograph of one is a treat for me!

The Morel Mushroom is one of the most sought after mushrooms in the area. Many people look but few people find them. I finally got a photograph of one this May with a little help from a friend!

Summer thunderstorms always get us excited! Chasing and photographing them is a fun hobby but we always keep a safe distance away as they can be very dangerous and unpredictable!

Watching this small rainstorm move in was a treat and we didn't get wet this time like we usually do!

Seeing a rainbow is usually a sign that a storm has passed and the sun is coming out. Always a treat to see!

This fall we made a trip to the north shore of Lake Superior to take in the fall colors. We spent most of our time in and around Tettegouche State Park. This is a view of Tettegouche Lake.

I waded into the Redwood River to get this shot in Camden State Park. Always a beautiful park to enjoy the fall colors with its maples and oaks.

We had some early heavy snow in November this year. In this image I caught a Bald Eagle soaring over the Redwood River bottom at sunset after some of the snow had started to melt.

This December we had a heavy ice storm in the area and some of the ice was 1/2 thick on the trees! It hung around for a few days until the temps started to rise.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lake Superior Fall 2014

Sunrise Duluth Harbor Sept. 25, 2014. As you can see the sun did not show up but any day in Duluth is a good day! As soon as it got brighter out the red light shut off in the north lighthouse.

We always stop at Lester Park in Duluth. This stone arch bridge spans the Lester River and is so photogenic.

Beaver River flows down from the hill towards Lake Superior and runs through the city of Beaver Bay.

Glen Avon Falls is up the Beaver River a few miles from Hwy 61/North Shore Drive. It has many sets of cascades, rapids and falls. This is a new one for me and it was awesome. I met another photographer from the twin cities there and he was photographing it for the first time also.

Illgen Falls is located in Tettegouche State Park. It is near a camper cabin on Hwy 1 and is not easily accessible. I had to climb along a cliff to get this angle but it was well worth it!

Manitou Falls is located in George H. Crosby Manitou State Park and is only accessible from Lake Superior. It is not well known but well worth the effort to get there!

Cross River Falls

Temperence River

Temperence River Foam Swirls

Splitrock Lighthouse Sunrise

On Friday Sept. 26, the sun finally showed up and we drove to the Caribou Trail to the SHT trailhead. We hiked up the STEEP trail to White Sky Rock and photographed Caribou Lake.

Then on the way back we took the trail to Lake Agnes, thanks Paul Sundberg! It was a fairly challenging trail with one section requiring climbing up a log with steps cut into it along with a railing made of smaller logs. Of course when we got there it was amazing! I met a painter from Minneapolis who had hiked in that morning and was camping down below. He was set up with his painting supplies at the overlook and had a good start painting the scene that I was photographing. A great afternoon in the north woods for sure!

Trail to Lake Agnes

Hygrocybe coccinea

This photo is from Tettegouche State Park. It's an overlook of Tettegouche Lake with Lake Superior in the distance. It was an easy 1.8 mile hike gradually climbing the first mile on a wide root-free path. The entrance we choose was on the back side of the park on Lax Lake Road. We went in at 4pm and were treated to a perfect view. Thanks go to Paul Sundberg for his photo on his website from this location. It was the inspiration for this hike. There are 23+ miles of trails in this park and is full of these maple covered hills. I can't wait until next year so we can explore deeper into the interior of this park!

We left for our north shore vacation on Wednesday Sept 24th at 4pm. I check the aurora borealis forecast everyday and it is very rare to see them in SW Minnesota. The forecast was at a k4 for the north shore on Fri. Sept. 26th so it was in the back of my mind. Friday night at 10pm, there were reports starting to come in of northern lights sightings so I left the hotel and went to Palisade Head to find a good viewing location. The gate up to the top was locked so I stayed in the lower parking lot. This photo was one of the first ones I took after my test shots at ISO 6400. This was a 5 1/2 min exposure at f2.8 at ISO 100. There was a fair amount of traffic so I decided to go to a darker location but I didn't know of any off-hand so I came back to Palisade Head.

Watching the aurora is so mesmerizing and exciting and relaxing all at the same time. At midnight I was thinking about calling it a night and all of a sudden at 12:21am the lights started to dance and pulse and intensify quite a bit. There were red and orange pillars shooting up out of the green.

I spent the next hour trying different compositions and ISO/shutter speeds and this is the best of the night. What a great way to cap off our last night on the north shore!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012: A year in review - Images of the Month

2012 was a great year of photography for me. It was full of challenges but I met them all head on and succeeded. I only got up to the North Shore of Lake Superior once which forced me to dig deep and look closer locally and I learned a lot.

January did not have a lot of snow (all winter we were without) but, there was ice and that presented a subject that changed everyday. This image was taken in Camden State Park in the Redwood River. I was drawn by the teeth-looking icicles on the edge and the movement of the river close by. A long shutter speed was used to blur the movement of the water, which is a favorite technique of mine.

February brought a wonderful day where everything was covered in a thick hoarfrost. With no snow there were brown grasses along with white frost and a bright blue sky to use as contrasting color elements.

March brought an early spring with trees budding and showing their bright new yellow and green colors.

April is one of my favorite months when the grasses green up with the most brilliant and brightest greens possible.

All the previous images were taken in Camden State Park. The month of May brought a partial solar eclipse which I photographed over Goose Lake.

In June, the Minnesota state flower blooms, the Pink and White Showy Lady Slipper. I have a semi-secret spot near Sauk Center, MN that I have been visiting the last few years where there are literally hundreds of these orchids blooming in a wet boggy area. Another favorite place to view and photograph these, as well as the yellow lady slipper, is in Itasca State Park and Lake Bemidji State Park.

In July, a local pond reflects the sunset like a mirror. Water is one of my favorite subjects because of it's reflective qualities and the life that it has inside and around it.

These White Pelicans made for a perfect subject in this August sunset on a local duck puddle.

Fall is my favorite time of the year because of the changing leaf color and the cool air. This September image was made in Camden State Park right next to the lower campground. I used a reverse graduated neutral density filter to balance out the bright sky with the trees and river in the shade.

I love the little things that you see along the trail that you just can't see unless you SLOW down. This October image was the last of the color for the year.

November is one of the toughest months for photography. My attention usually turns to birds and other wildlife because you can see them easier with all the leaves off the trees. This is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker that visited me while I was hanging out in my blind in Camden S.P.

My last favorite image of the year is of the Mississippi River near Baxter, MN in December.

I hope you enjoyed these photographs as much as I enjoyed creating them. Best of luck to all of you in the new year!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2012 Summer

July 4th celebration in Marshall. My favorite shapes and colors.