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Category Archives: Apostle Islands Ice Caves

The photo shown below was used by Travel Wisconsin for an article on the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.

This is a big winter weekend with two of my favorite events taking place. Just down the road in Hudson, Wisconsin is the Hudson Hot Air Affair. They typically have a large number of hot air balloons at the event. More photos of the Hudson events can be found on my website.

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While in Hudson you can also visit the Trumpeter Swans on the Saint Croix River.

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Another option is to drive over to Willow River State Park and cross country ski or walk down to Willow Falls.

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Up north is the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. This is always a fun family event. In my opinion it is one of the better sled dog races for spectators because all of the races are out and back so you can watch the entire event from one location. We usually watch the start of the race then head off for some lunch and then return to watch the racers return. More photos from the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race can be found on my website.

 

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Off and Racing

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In the afternoon we drive down the Meyers Beach and walk out to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. It doesn’t look like you will be able to walk out to the caves on the ice this year but there is a hiking trail above the ice caves that provides some nice views. More photos from the Ice Caves can be found on my website.

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Apostle Islands Ice Caves

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore taken from a small boat on a beautiful calm day on Lake Superior.

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Winter at Bond Falls in the UP of Michigan. One of my favorite winter waterfall locations.

Bond-Falls-15-1-_2254Sunrise at Badlands National Park.

Badlands-National-Park-15-6-_3306Crex Meadows after a summer storm.

Crex-Meadows-15-10-_3706Ice Caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

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Red Bull Adventure published my photo of the Apostle Islands Ice Caves in an article entitled “7 of the most amazing ice caves in the world”

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One of the problems with winter is the vast array of photographic opportunities. February is especially busy time of the year. More things to photograph results in a large number of photographs. In going through my photography files I realized I only processed a small number of this years photos from the Apostle Islands Iced caves. Here are a few of my favorite lost photos.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.

As people walked around through the uplifted ice pieces would break off and get scattered around. Some of them made beautiful subject for photography.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.

 

The clear ice at the Apostle Islands in addition to providing some nice ice fractures also provided some really interesting ice patterns. I also spent a considerable time looking for interesting ice patterns.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.

Ice fractures are a subject that I love to photograph but all too frequently can’t find during the winter. Conditions have to be just right to find them. There has to be a stretch of cold weather that freezes the water. There can’t be much snow, no sleet or rain nor can it thaw and freeze. This year things came together at the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. There was open water followed by a very cold stretch and no snow to speak of. While everyone else was wandering around looking at the ice caves I was spending time looking for beautiful examples of ice fractures. Given the amount of clear ice they were not hard to find. The ice was so clear in some spots that I could see the bottom of the lake.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.

Here are a few more photos from my trip to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. These were taken along the shoreline. We found that the ice close to Meyers Beach was not as good as it was a mile or more down the shoreline.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.

 

When we were at Meyers Beach the first weekend in February there was open water at the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. The following weekend strong northwest winds on pushed the ice onto the south shore along the ice caves. The bitterly cold weather following the storm solidified the ice. The National Park Service opened access to the caves on February 28th.

We made our visit on Monday March 2nd. We were returning from a trip to Calumet, Michigan and drove down to Ashland, Wisconsin so we could get an early start to the caves. When we arrived at 8:30am we were surprised to find that the parking lot was already full. We ended up parking along the Meyers Beach Access Road.

We were prepared for a difficult walk out to the ice caves. This year, for the first time in my experience, there were large patches of bare ice on the lake. In addition to the bare ice there were areas along the shore where the ice had been pushed together an lifted up. It looked like someone had broken glass and stuck it up from the ice. As a result both my wife and I were glad that we had ice cleats and trekking poles for the walk to the caves.

When we arrived we found that the ice was not nearly as impressive as it was last year. The first shot is from last year and the second shot from this year from approximately the same location.

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However, as we continued to walk along the shore the ice formations became more interesting. We actually walked further along the shore that we have in past years and only stopped when the jumbled ice made it difficult to get through.

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With the large amount of bare ice I was able to take many photographs of ice fractures. Ice fractures are one of my favorite winter subjects but it’s rare that I can find them. Usually the ice is covered with snow and you can’t see the ice fractures. The last time I found them at the ice caves was 2007 and there were only a few of them to be found.

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In addition to ice fractures there were some beautiful ice formations in the ice. It looked like the ice had broken up then refroze with the broken sections imbedded in the ice at various levels.

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Another interesting subject were pieces of ice that had broken off and looked like small diamonds.

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This was the first year that I saw an airplane land by the ice caves. It made several passes out on the lake before landing on the smooth ice. Soon two people got out and walked over to the ice caves.

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A number of people took advantage of the large amounts of smooth ice to ice skate out to the caves. Several of them skated way out onto the ice. This year it was probably one of the better ways to get around on the ice.

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More photos from the Apostle Islands Ice Caves can be found on my website.