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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Driving from the Blue Hills to Ironwood, Michigan took us through some beautiful fall colors in Northern Wisconsin.




After visiting Superior Falls we drove past Saxon Harbor and stopped to see what was going on. All of the boats were up on land. There was a bit of fall color around the harbor. The lake was brown because it had been churned up for several days by the high waves.




While I was processing this photo of the Blue Hills I decided to process the same photo several times with a different approach each time.


Blue Hills 15-10-_2867-Creative

Blue Hills 15-10-_2867-B&W


After our visit to the UP of Michigan we stopped briefly at Superior Falls. I has hoped that the water level was low enough to work my way up river to get a good view of the falls but the water was too high. Another younger photographer was able to work his way up river and managed to get some good shots.


The waves were really pounding. We had high waves for several days on this trip.


There was not a lot of color but I managed to capture what little color there was.



We made a number of stops at Union Bay in the Porcupine Mountains. The water levels are high on Lake Superior so there were no great beach shots to be found. Normally I like to walk the beach looking for sunset shots but the water levels are too high. My best photos were of things on the beach,





On our recent trip to the UP of Michigan we spent some time photographing at Bonanza Falls. The fall colors were spectacular but the water levels in the falls were very low so the waterfalls were not that interesting.

More photos of Bonanza Falls can be found on my website.









I have a photo of Houghton Falls published in the October/November 2015 issue of Lake Superior Magazine. The article is Blazing Trails: Where to Stroll When Colors Call.


We were up early the next morning. It had been blowing all night and we could hear the large waves hitting the beach. We drove down to Union Bay to photograph the waves. They were so high that they were coming over the road in a few places.

Union Bay Porcupine Mountains 15-10-_1081

Since we had already driven through the park a number of times we decided to drive out past Bonanza Falls to capture a few photos of the falls in the morning light with the clouds in the background.


Our next stop was Superior Falls just outside of Hurley Wisconsin. I was hoping the water levels were low enough so I could walk around a rocky point and get a straight on shot of the falls from the bottom. Unfortunately the water levels were too high. There were a number of other photographers there and one of them climbed over the rocks to get the shot but I’m getting to old for that. This is a photo of the mouth of the river.


It was getting late in the morning so we decided to drive over to Cornucopia, Wisconsin and have lunch. We made a brief stop at the Cornucopia Beach. There were some nice waves so we decided to drive down to Meyers Beach and walk out above the sea caves to watch the waves.


When we arrived at Meyers Beach we were in the process of filling out the parking registration when my wife recognized the couple in the car next to us. Turns out it was one of our sons best friends and his wife. What a small world.

The hike out to the sea caves has changed since our last visit a couple of years ago. The Park Service has installed a boardwalk for the first mile of the trail. It makes it much easier to walk and I’m sure it reduces the wear and tear on the trail.

When we reached the sea caves the waves had subsided a bit but it was still a great hike on a beautiful day. We hiked back and headed for our cabin in Duluth.


We weren’t sure what to expect because the weather forecast was for rain and possibly snow. Since it looked like a good day to photograph waterfalls we decided to drive down to the Presque Isle River and take the loop hike that goes for several miles along the river.

We hadn’t gotten very far when we noticed storm clouds out over the lake and it looked like we were going to be hit by a rain squall. As it turned out it only sprinkled a few times. The rest of the morning we encountered a combination of clouds and sunshine which made it ideal conditions for photographing the fall color and waterfalls. We intended to spend only a few hours at this location but it was so beautiful that we spent all of the morning into the early afternoon.


We then drove down to the Little Carp River to photograph a few more waterfalls. We discovered they had changed things around. You used to be able to drive down to the river but the parking was limited and the road was bad. They now have a large parking near the main road and you need to hike down to the river on the old road.

Greenstone Falls

Greenstone Falls

After hiking around at the Little Carp River we drove over to Silver City where we were going to stay. At this point things got a little bizarre. There was an older couple at the desk asking if there were any rooms for the night and then asking what there was to do in the area. It was strange because Silver City is not exactly on your way to anyplace. We were trying to figure out how they ended up in Silver City.

Then my wife wanted to make a call but didn’t have cell service. She stopped at the desk to ask about cell service. The desk clerk ask who the carrier was. She said Verizon. In that case you need to walk out the front door, turn right, walk to the other side of the road, stand in front of the sign. You will get two bars. She forgot to mention that you had to be facing a certain way.

We then went to eat but a quilting group had taken over the restaurant so we ended up eating in the bar. They had a green tea ice cream dish on the menu. We had to laugh because until a few weeks ago we had never heard of green tea ice cream. We were in Japan when we noticed large soft serve ice cream cones along the road and the ice cream was painted green. We thought this was a little odd but it turned out it was green tea ice cream and was very good. We never expected to see it in the states and surly not in the middle of nowhere.

This past week we took a road trip to the U.P. of Michigan. We were searching for fall colors but didn’t know where the search would lead us.
Our first night was spent in Ironwood, Michigan. The colors in the area were past peak and were mainly earth tones. When we left home the weather report indicated that we would have four beautiful days. By the time we reached Ironwood the weather report was indicating snow.

The next morning we decided to drive over to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and check out the fall color. Usually close to Lake Superior the colors turn a little later in the fall. As we drove through the Porkies we found the fall colors to be at their peak so we decided to spend our time in the Porkies.

Bonanza falls

Bonanza falls

We decided to drive over to the eastern side of the park so we could catch the morning light at Bonanza falls. As it turned out the fall colors were the best I’ve seen them. Unfortunately the drought has left the water level at Bonanza falls the lowest I’ve ever seen it.


After leaving Bonanza Falls we made a brief stop at Union Bay to photograph the high waves. This is the first time we have been at Union Bay for several years and were surprised to find that most of the beach was gone because of the high water levels in Lake Superior.


We then drove up to the Lake of the Clouds. The fall colors in the interior were spectacular although with the strong winds blowing they would not last long. We spent quite a bit of time photographing from the viewing area then started hiking along the top of the ridge toward the east end of the Lake.


We then headed back to the South Boundary Road with a stop at the Summit Peak viewing area. The trees on the way up to the viewing stand were backlit and had a beautiful yellow glow.


After hiking to the top of Summit Peak we raced back toward Ironwood and drove down to the Black Harbor which is my favorite location for taking reflection shots. I was hoping we would make it before the sun set and we did but just barely. Late in the afternoon is a great time to photograph at this location because of the late afternoon light. We closed our day photographing at Black Harbor before returning to Ironwood.Black-River-Harbor-Reflections-15-10-_2662