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Fresh snow provided the opportunity to walk around the farm to create some winter abstract photos.

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As I mentioned in an earlier blog I have a number of Tufted Titmice that have shown up to my bird feeder this year. It is the first year that I’ve seen them on the farm. They are a beautiful bird and have become my favorite bird to photograph.

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When they first turned up they were very skittish and it took almost a month before I could get a photo of them. Now they show no fear and I’ve been able to photograph them regularly.

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On a recent ski outing along the Red Cedar State Trail we noticed some interesting ice formations in the river. In locations where branches were hanging in the water or sticking up out of the water ice had formed around the branches. In some cases the water level had changes and the ice was a foot out of the water. The next day I brought my camera along to get some photos.

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When we were in Duluth Looking for the Ivory Gull we encountered a variety of birds in Canal Park.

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Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Thayers Gull

Thayers Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Mallard

Mallard

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Gooseberry falls is a short drive north of Duluth so my wife and I drove up to check on the ice in the park. There was a lot of ice but there was still water spilling out around the base of each of the falls.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

Lower Falls

Lower Falls

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It was a dreary day at Split Rock Lighthouse. There was a little ice and the waves were starting to increase in size when we arrived at the park.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

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Yesterday we had a beautiful day. The sun was out and the temperatures were near 40 degrees. We decided to drive down along the Mississippi River to look for Bald Eagles. This was our first eagle watching trip of the year.

Our first Stop was Reads Landing. In winters past we had good luck finding eagles at this location. They tend to congregate in this location because it usually has open water. Unfortunately there was a lot of open water on the Mississippi and we only found a single eagle. Normally we would have had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company Bar but it was closed. We decided to drive back to Wabasha for lunch at Olde Triangle Pub. We love their Irish stew.

This shot of two soaring eagles was taken a few years ago at Reads Landing.

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After Lunch we drove back to the Wisconsin side of the river and headed for Maiden Rock. From there we took county Road A along the Rush River. We wanted to check on the condition of the Rush River Ice Sculptures. On the way we saw 5 more Bald Eagles.

We were disappointed at the condition of the ice sculptures. They looked a little forlorn. The warm weather has not been kind to them. We need a week of cold weather to get them back into prime condition. This photo was taken last year after a patch of cold weather.

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More photo from Reads Landing and Nelson’s on the Rush River can be found on my website.

Every winter I try to drive around and photograph the ships that are spending winter layup in Duluth. This year there are seven ships that will be spending the winter in Duluth. They will remain in port until about the third week in March when the tugs will start freeing them from the winter ice. Most of them will undergo some maintenance work. This year the Herbert C. Jackson will spend six months in Fraser Shipyards where it will be repowered with state-of-the-art diesel engines.

Edwin H. Gott At Port Terminal

Edwin H. Gott At Port Terminal

 

Philip R. Clarke At Port Terminal

Philip R. Clarke At Port Terminal

 

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Paul R. Tregurtha At Midwest Energy

 

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Indiana Harbor At Embridge Docks

 

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Herbert C Jackson At Fraser Shipyards

 

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American Century At Port Terminal

Last week was my first visit to Amnicon Falls State Park this winter. There was a lot of ice considering how warm the winter has been. It has been really hard to get enthusiastic about winter this year. We really need some cold weather and a couple of good blizzards.

The unusual color in the water is caused by tannin.

Covered Horton Bridge

Lower falls and the Covered Horton Bridge

The tannin in the water also discolors the ice.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Fresh snow had fallen the night before resulting in an interesting pattern on the rock face above the lower falls.

Rock Face

Rock Face

Fresh snow made for an interesting B&W photo.

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Every time we visit Amnicon Falls State Park we drive past Three Fingers Fireworks. I cracks us up that someone would name a fireworks store Three Fingers.

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