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Monthly Archives: January 2014

We woke up with the intention of going cross country skiing but saw that it was going to be a warm day. The day before it had been -10 but this morning it was pushing +20. I happened to notice that the U.S Coast Cutter Alder was out in the harbor breaking ice so we put the skis into the car and drove over to Superior to see if we could catch the ice breaker at work.Alder-14-1-_0372

It was a frustrating experience. The Alder was really moving it out and by the time we reached Barkers Island it was already down at the Superior entrance to the harbor. We waited for it to come back but it then went out into Lake Superior. We thought we might get a photo of it coming back into the harbor and started driving over to Wisconsin Point. It soon became obvious that it was traveling too fast and would be back in the harbor long before we reached Wisconsin Point.Alder-14-1-_0400

We then headed back down to Barkers Island to see if we could get a photo of it passing Barkers Island. It turned out to be a race because the ship was moving faster than we could drive through traffic. We quickly pulled into a parking area before Reaching Barkers island and I was able to get a few shots of the Alder as it passed. It was a strange sight with the ice breaker breaking up the ice and people fishing and driving cars on the ice just a few yards from the ice breaker.Alder-14-1-_0405

We then noticed that the Alder heading up the Saint Louis River to break ice by the taconite loading docks. We drove down to Rice’s Point to try and get a few photographs as it came down the Saint Louis River into Duluth Harbor.

We spent our morning chasing an ice breaker. By the time we finished with the ice breaker it was time for lunch. We decided it was too warm to go cross country skiing, it was pushing +30 so we decided to go for a walk instead. We ended up in Canal Park watching the ducks floating on the ice in the ship canal.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck

Mallard Ducks

Mallard Ducks

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck

When the Baie Comeau exited the Duluth Harbor last week the Heritage Martine Tugs helped it get through the ice. They broke up the ice around the dock and then assisted it as it turned down the St. Louis River toward the Harbor.

Nels J

Nels J

The Helen H and the Nels J raced up and down the river to break up the ice. The Ice Breaker Alder was in port so the tugs had to undertake the ice breaking operation.

Helen H and Nels J

Helen H and Nels J

As the Baie Comeau reached the Harbor it had to make a left turn toward Duluth. The two Tugs spent considerable time breaking the ice prior to the turn. In a couple of cases they seemed awfully close to the Baie Comeau.

Helen H

Helen H

After the ship turned the two Tugs spent time breaking up the Ice in the harbor before the Baie Comeau exited through an ice free ship canal.

Helen H

Helen H

Helen H

Helen H

A week earlier I happened to be down at Canal Park when the Baie Comeau arrived in Duluth. The Baie Comeau the last of four Trillium Class self-unloading ships of the Canada Steamship Lines .Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0080 A week later my wife and I planned to go cross country skiing but it was -10 degrees with a additional wind chill so we decided to kill sometime in the morning by driving around Duluth and Superior looking for possible photo locations in the dock area. Our first stop was Rice’s Point Under the Blatnick Bridge. We walked out onto the old wooden Arrowhead Bridge which sticks out into the St. Louis River and took a few photos.Arrowhead-Bridge-14-1-_0464 Just as we were leaving we notice a tug boat upstream from Rice’s Point. It seemed to be working around a ship leaving the docks. We walked back to the car and drove to a better vantage point. There were two Heritage Marine tugs, the Helen H and Nels J, breaking ice and helping to turn the Baie Cameau.Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0465We watched for a while then drove back to the old Arrowhead Bridge where we could get some close-up photos of the tugs and the Baie Cameau as they navigated down the Saint Louis River under the Blatnick Bridge. The tugs were working hard to break up the ice ahead of the ship.Heritage-Marine-Tug-Nels-J-14-1-_0477 Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0963 Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0498 We then drove back down to Canal Park to watch the ship exit the harbor and sail out into Lake Superior. It was one of the last ships to leave port. The shipping season ended a few days later.Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0568

This past week we drove down to Brighton Beach in Duluth to photograph some of the ice. I would have like to capture it with a nice sunrise but there was no sunrise but there were some nice clouds.Brighton-Beach-Ice-14-1-_0450

When we drove into the area we notice a truck that was blocking the road to the north east end of the beach so we parked and photographed along the shore. We also encounter another photographer that was stuck in the parking lot but were not able to get her out. A little cat litter would have worked wonders.Brighton-Beach-Ice-14-1-_0458

As I walked along the beach I noticed a police car and several other cars driving into the blocked off area. We later learned that a young man had committed suicide by walking into the lake. The found his wallet and car keys on the ice and later found his body in lake.Brighton-Beach-Ice-14-1-_0452

I drove down to Canal Park a few weeks ago to watch the Baie Comeau arrive in port. It was -26 with a wind chill that was even colder.Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0085

There were a few brave people around to watch the ship come into the harbor. Most of the folks weren’t aware there was a ship about to arrive until I told them. Unfortunately the fog was so thick that we weren’t able to see the ship until it reached the ship canal entrance.Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0086

The Baie Comeau was accompanied by a couple of Great Lakes tugs that would help it get through the ice to its dock.Baie-Comeau-and-Great-Lakes-Towing-Tug--14-1-_0098

Most of the ship canal as well as the harbor was covered in ice so when the Baie Comeau broke up the ice even more steam rose from the harbor.Baie-Comeau-14-1-_0107

It was a bitterly cold morning in Canal Park as I waited for a ship to come into port. The fog was so dense that I couldn’t see how far out the ship was so I spend some time capturing scenes from around the park. There was only one other photographer braving the cold weather.

Aerial Lift Bridge

Aerial Lift Bridge

North Breakwater Light

North Breakwater Light

Aerial Lift Bridge

Aerial Lift Bridge

 

 

After the fireworks my wife and I decided to make one last visit to the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. It was bitterly cold so the crowds dissipated quickly after the fireworks. We were really cold after walking around the lights and taking a few photos.Bentleyville-14-1-_0252

Bentleyville-14-1-_0242

Bentleyville-14-1-_0239

Bentleyville-14-1-_0237

More Bentleyville Photos can be found on my website.

On the last day that the Bentleyville Tour of Lights is open they have a fireworks. This year the Tour of Lights remained open into January because December had been so cold that they were forced to close a number of times. We happened to be in Duluth this past week when the fireworks were being held. It was a very cold night so we drove the car down. A lot of other folks had the same idea so we just made it into the parking lot when the fireworks started.

Bentleyville-Fireworks-14-1-_0194

Bentleyville-Fireworks-14-1-_0204

Bentleyville-Fireworks-14-1-_0185

With the cold weather the birds have been flocking to my feeder. These photos were taken during the past week after a fresh snowfall.Downy-Woodpecker-13-12-_1205

Blue-Jay-13-12-_1148

Northern-Cardinal-13-12-_0996