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When we woke up it was bitterly cold out and Lake Superior was covered in sea fog. This is a phenomenon that occurs when the water is warm and the air is very cold. There have been some spectacular photos of the Duluth Harbor area with walls of sea fog out in the lake. We decided it was too cold out to go cross country skiing so we decided to drive up the North Shore and check out ice conditions. Our first stop was Stoney Point where I captured a few photos of the sea fog out in the Lake.

More photos from Stoney Point can be found on my website.

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The very cold weather we have seen the past few weeks is ideal for creating ice and frost. On an earlier visit to Paradise Valley and Devil’s Punchbowl I noticed that the small stream had overflowed and created a large amount of ice. This along with the cold weather created some ideal conditions to form frost feathers. Indeed the ice on the stream was covered with them. I took my macro lens along on the second visit and spent a couple of hours photographing them.

More photographs from Paradise Valley and Devil’s Punchbowl can be found on my website.

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On my visits to Devil’s punchbowl and Paradise Valley I like to photograph ice patterns. As it turns out this has not been the best year to do so but I managed to capture a few patterns on recent visits.

More photographs from Paradise Valley and Devil’s Punchbowl can be found on my website.

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Bird photography is a bit iffy sometimes. Actually most of the shots are not worth keeping. Here are a few near misses from the past several weeks.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Photographing leaves embedded in the ice is a favorite subject in the winter time. Here are a few examples from recent visits to Devil’s Punchbowl.

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In addition to Trumpeter Swans there were also quite a few ducks along the Saint Croix River. Someone must be feeding the ducks because this one walked right up to me. I spent more time than I intended photographing the wildlife. My wife went for a walk while I was taking photos. It was really cold out and I started to get cold even with my cold weather gear on. I thought maybe she had walked back to town to do some shopping but when I finally returned to the car she was at the car and had been for some time. A small communication problem.

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The ducks were more active than the Swans. There were multiple flights of ducks arriving at small area of open water as we watched.mallard-ducks-hudson-wisconsin-17-1-1248

 

The Trumpeter Swans have returned to Hudson, Wisconsin again this year. When we stopped there were over a hundred of them in a small area on the Saint Croix River. It was very cold out an many of them were huddled on the ice.

There appeared to be an argument going on. This happens every so often when a number of Swans head toward one another and a dust-up takes place.

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While we were watching a small flight of Swans came in. This one almost landed on top of a couple of other Swans.

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This young Swan seemed to be doing his mid-day stretching exercises.

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This swan was eating along the edge of the ice just before climbing up onto the ice to rest.

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We named our Sharp-Shinned Hawk Tony this fall. He continues to show up at my bird feeder. I occasionally manage to get a few photos of him during some of his visits.

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We made an early season visit to Nelson’s on the Rush river to view the ice formations. Some of the ice formations are in mid-season form while others seem to in the early stages. It looks like he has added a few more formations this year. With the recent cold weather they should develop nicely.

More information on the ice formations can be found in an earlier blog.

More photos of the ice formations can be found on my website.

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When it snows the birds turn up at my feeders. More winter bird photography can be found on my website.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

American Goldfinches

American Goldfinches