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Category Archives: Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Temperance River State Park

This past weekend we made our spring trip to the Minnesota North Shore. We like to make the trip in early June just before the motel rates go up and before everything is overrun with tourists. It sometimes makes it difficult to photograph without getting lots of people in the photo particularly if you are photographing within a short distance of the road. We were a little surprised at the number of folks at Temperance River.

Foam Temperance River State Park

I usually have a difficult time photographing at the Temperance River because it seems that every time I drive past it is a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. My preference is to photograph waterfalls on an overcast day without the high dynamic range of bright sunlight and canyon shadows. On this particular day we had limited time so I decided to take some freehand photos and leave the tripod and filters in the car.

Gathering of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails

One of the first things we saw was an unbelievable gathering to Canadian Swallowtail Butterflies. I had seen small gathering before but in this case there was easily over a hundred of them gathered along the shore. You could see them flying deep into the canyons just above the rushing water. Apparently these large groups sometimes called puddle clubs are mostly males drinking and replenishing their salt supplies which they lose during mating

Temperance River State Park

As I mentioned there were quite a few people along the trail and we seemed to walking along in a crowd so it was a little difficult to photograph without getting people in the photos, usually the same people.

Temperance River State Park

There was quite a bit of water flowing in the river. When we walked down to the mouth of the river there was someone fishing. He must have been a beginner because his line was always getting tangled up. We also encountered a kayaker who paddled up the river and landed.

More photos from The Temperance River State Park can be found on my website.

We took our spring road trip to the Minnesota North Shore this past weekend. We usually try and make the trip in early June just before the motel rates go up. On Friday we closed on a condo in downtown Duluth so we had an exciting and stressful day. After the closing we had a great pizza at Pizza Luce. We then walked over to the Sons of Norway Hall to see “Last day at Lambeau” about the divorce of Bret Farve from the Green Packers. It was one of the films showing at the Duluth Film Festival. It’s a great documentary will worth seeing if it has a showing near you. It was even a little more exciting because of the mix of Minnesota Viking and Green Bay Packer Fans in attendance.

Weed

The next day we decided to take a walk along the Duluth beach. It’s Just across the lift bridge and forms the eastern edge of Minnesota Point (known as Park Point) the point is 7 miles long and when combined with the Wisconsin Point beach forms the longest freshwater sandbar in the world. We decided this would make a nice morning hike. It was a warm day with the breeze blowing along the shore. It was even warm enough for some folks to go in swimming which is unusual for this time of year and probably for any time of year because Lake Superior is known for being very cold. Objects on the beach¬†always interest me and offer a great subject to photograph while walking along beaches.

Swallowtail and Friend

At the start of the walk we found a large dead fish. I think it was a Lake Sturgeon. It was a popular attraction. Milo, a local dog, was interested in it. What caught my attention was a swallowtail butterfly that was attracted to it.

Wood Patterns

We stopped to asked a young man some questions about the black stuff we had seen along the beach in an earlier visit. He was very helpful. Apparently it was wood chips that had washed out into the lake from the Saint Louis River or purged from ships ballasts.

Box Kite

Turns out the young man had just graduated from pharmacy school in Duluth and was starting to work at a local hospital. Soon his brother and mother came over and we talked for about a half an hour about great things to do in Duluth, hikes, skiing the senior program at the university etc. The title for the blog came from the mother who said she told her friends that she just bought a place on the beach in Duluth, Minnesota. It seems a bit of an oxymoron since most folks who visit Duluth aren’t aware there is a beach in Duluth and Duluth is not¬† associated with beach property. One of the sons and his son were flying a box kite on the beach.

Ringed-billed Gull

There were a number of birds along the beach. I took a few photos of some Ringed-billed Gulls as they swam just off shore. They can be found all along the beach.

More Park Point photos can be found at my website.