So, where’ve I been? Well, here and there. Great non-specific answer, huh? I have been shooting quite a bit but doing less writing and trying to figure out how to rectify that, but have no answers to that, yet. So the writing may stay a bit sparse around here but I hope to do a better job of sharing new photos.
Let’s start with an overview of the last year and change. Starting with a day I spent in Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. A really cool place near the start of the Minnesota River, it is only near the start, as the start of the river has been dammed at the start. There is the classic flood plain areas that get flooded in the springtime but also rock outcrops that were exposed by the glacial River Warren, the river responsible for the carving the Minnesota River Valley.
The winter of 2014-15 was another weird one. It started cold and then it got warm, abnormally so, and then it got cold again resulting in a largely frozen Lake Superior. The frozen lake is something that I enjoy because of how much I enjoy shooting ice and its endless forms. It is a bit odd when Superior freezes enough that villages of fish houses start popping up like they do on inland lakes. Unlike the inland lakes, these houses are lightweight portable houses and not the big heavy houses that are left on the lake for weeks at a time. Even when Superior has good ice it is not stable and the wind could cause the sheets the fishermen are on to shift.
And just to continue the weird weather, Spring came and caused the snow to melt so quickly that the water ran on top of the ice on the creeks of the North Shore. The shipping season began and the ice on the lake cleared.
Summer arrived, with wildflowers blooming and quiet evenings on the beach. By this point you may be noticing that Lake Ada has gotten much bigger or you’ve realized that I may be spending more time near Gitchi Gami.
Eventually, summer gave way to fall. The birds began to migrate, the leaves changed colors, and fell from the trees.
Fall faded into winter and unlike the previous winter ice only formed occasionally on Superior. When it did I was out there shooting it but often found myself shooting rocks that in a “normal” winter would’ve been ice covered but this winter were just bare rocks.
Spring came early, or it rained in winter, whichever you prefer. This resulted in high waters on the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke, water levels that made standing on the swinging bridge a bit nerve-racking knowing that the bridge had been taken out just a few years prior after record rains.
And, that brings us to the present. We’ve raced through a year and a half or so in just one entry but we’ll look back and cover things we skipped, maybe look at the seasons on Superior in more detail, cover new trails hiked and places explored.
EAK, April 2016