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Monthly Archives: May 2015

The next morning there wasn’t much of a sunrise in Grand Marais so we headed up to High Falls in Grand Portage State Park. The Pigeon River acts as the border between Minnesota and Canada. Given the low water levels we had seen in the other rivers we assumed that the water flow would be relatively low. In fact it was the lowest I’ve seen it on any of my visits. Typically it is difficult to photograph the falls because of the heavy spray falling over the observation points. It is particular the case in the spring when there is generally a heavy water flow. On this day there was no spray at all. In talking with the ranger, later in the day, she said that it was a very early ice out this year and a low flow spring.

High Falls

High Falls

High Falls

High Falls



Our last stop of the day was in Grand Marais, Minnesota. After a quick dinner we headed down to the harbor for some late afternoon and sunset shots. The sunset was not the best and it was a little early for any boats in the harbor but it was still a nice evening. One thing we did notices is that the lake is really high and many of the shots we used to take on the walk out to the lighthouse are now covered in water.





Our last waterfalls of the day were found on the Cascade River. These are some of my favorite waterfall along the Minnesota North Shore. Normally I like to photograph here last in the day or early in the morning when the falls are in the shade. On this beautiful sunny day we were a bit early and the sun was still peaking though on the walls along the falls.




After a visit to Tetegouche State Park we headed for the Caribou Falls State Wayside and a short hike to the base of Caribou Falls. The one thing we noticed as we visited the waterfalls along the North Shore was the low water flow. It had been a very dry winter and spring.




After our visit to Split Rock State Park We headed to Tettegouche State Park. Our first goal was to hike to High Falls. It was still a beautiful day and not overly conducive to photographing waterfalls but it is what it is and it was still a beautiful day for a hike. As we approached the top of the falls we encountered some interesting foam patterns.


After photographing the foam we started across the suspension bridge at the top of the falls on the Baptism River.


While walking across the bridge I notice some interesting patterns in the river and stopped to take a few photographs.


Once across the river we stopped to take a photo of High Falls from the top of the falls. This show really called for a wide angle lens but I don’t have a variable neutral density filter for my wide angle lens. The sunny day required a variable neutral density filter to slow down the water.


We then walked down the many (I didn’t count them) steps to the base of the falls. It was an unusually warm day for early spring so there was some effort to get back up the stairs.


Unfortunately we had decided to drive to a parking lot that we thought was closer to the falls. As it turned out it would have been easier to hike to the falls from the visitors center. The hike would have been shorter and there would have been less of an elevation gain. When we reached the car we drove back to the visitors center where we headed out to Shovel Point.

Our first stop was to photograph the rocks in the lake. These always make for a beautiful photo. Unfortunately to new Shovel Point trail makes it a little more difficult to photograph them.


After a short walk we encountered some interesting looking lichen.


At the end of the trail we found some lichen and grass growing on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the lake.


More photos from Tettegouche State Park can be found on my website.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to take a road trip up the Minnesota North Shore. Our final destination was the Canadian border. Our first stop was West Split Rock River Falls.West-Split-Rock-River-Falls-15-4-_2360

I knew it was going to be a difficult day for waterfall photography. Ideal condition for waterfall photography is an overcast day. It looked like our entire trip to the Canadian Border. The bright sunlight creates dark and light areas around the falls. It also made it difficult to slow the speed down to create the silky feel to the waterfall that I like. There was a small rainbow at the falls.


In order to photograph the falls I decided to bracket my photos of the falls in order to better capture the dynamic range in the scene. I would later merge these three photos in Photomatrix Pro. The second problem required the use of a variable neutral density filter in order to slow the speed down to create a silky feel to the water. I wasn’t totally happy with the overall results photographing waterfalls on a bright sunny day is difficult at best.


More photos from Split Rock State Park can be found on my website.

The Federal Kushiro anchored in Duluth Harbor for several days before coming into the harbor to load grain. I captured it in the background.


Later in the day I noticed it was heading out into the lake to turn and make its way into the harbor.



As with many foreign ships the tug boats come out into the harbor to help them into the docks. In this case two tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company were assisting the Kushiro.


Early on a cold morning I walked around Canal Park at Sunrise. The first thing I noticed was the harbor lights reflecting in the ship canal.


I walked under the bridge and photographed the Docks in Duluth harbor before the sun came up.



This is a shot of the South Breakwater Light taken from the South Side of the Duluth Lift Bridge.


One of the things my wife and I love to do in the spring is watch the Canada Geese at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area. Most years a pair of geese build a nest on one of the ponds. We can usually predict fairly closely when the hatch will occur.


We have been watching this pair for a month now. One of the geese will be on the nest and the other will be hiding in the reeds away from the nest.



Yesterday we were out checking to see if anyone had hatched yet. When we first check on her she was still on the nest. When we walked by a second time I notice that she seemed to be squirming around on the nest. A closer look showed a couple of goslings had just hatched. One was peeking out under the adults wing and another one was peeking out above the wing. We watched them for a while and decided to stop back the next morning to check on their progress.



Overnight we had a terrible storm with over 2 inches of rain in a short period of time. We wondered how the young goslings had fared. When we arrived we found that in all six goslings had hatched. We watched them swim around with their parents. After about an hour of swimming around they went back to the nest and disappeared under one of the adults.


I spent the better part of an afternoon watching the ships enter and leave the Duluth Harbor. The Cason J Gallaway came in fighting heavy waves.


While wafting for the next ship I spent my time watching the Gulls flying around in front of the Maritime Museum.


When the James R. Barker exited the harbor the waves were almost breaking over the bow