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Devil’s Punch Bowl Scientific Study Area is located near Menomonie, Wisconsin. There have been a number of reports of paranormal activity Devils Punchbowl and reports that it is haunted. Unfortunately, as a frequent visitor, I have yet to see anything unusual although it is a beautiful location for photography. The Bowl itself is relatively small covering about 50 square yards.  A small stream runs through it during most of the year and in addition there is considerable water seepage along the sandstone cliffs.

Access to the area is via a steep staircase which in the winter can be treacherous. In addition, it is difficult to walk around the ice covered walls and bowl floor while photographing the area. I typically wear ice traction devices on my feet to prevent falls on the ice. I also wear a hardhat if the ice is melting because every once in a while a large section of ice falls from the wall. Using a lens cap and a plastic cover for the camera and lens is recommended because, even on the coldest days, you are likely to encounter dripping water which splatters onto the camera and lens. Toward the end of December and the first few weeks of January the sun does not reach into the bowl. At other times you will encounter the same issues you would when photographing waterfalls when the sun is out. The best light is on a cloudy or overcast day.

Diamonds

During the transition seasons fall to winter and winter to spring the water freezes. If you time your visit just right you can photograph ice covered leaves, twigs and ice formations that remind you of diamonds. This opportunity may occur for only a few days during the transition periods. If you visit during this time you should wear rubber boots because you will be walking in water and mud.

Ice Wall

In January and February the cold weather produces a large ice wall covering most of the bowl. One normally thinks of ice as a rather static element but as the weather changes the ice wall changes with it as do the photographic opportunities. The ice at Devil’s Punch Bowl also provides the chance for close-up photography of individual ice formations and on cold day’s frost covered ice.

Ice Patterns

The small stream that runs through the Punch Bowl also offers another option for photographing the stream as well as ice patterns in the frozen stream.

You can find additional photos and driving directions to Devil’s Punchbowl on my website.

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  1. […] earlier posts I provided a general description of winter photography at Devils Punchbowl and provided some winter photography tips. There are more shots of Devils Punchbowl on my […]

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