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Category Archives: Minnesota

As we finished hiking the Split Rock River Loop Trail we could see some big waves down by the lake. We drove down for a closer look and did find some big waves crashing into the shore.

The last time we drove to Duluth, Minnesota there were 40-50 mph winds blowing so we decided to continue on up the North Shore and see if we could catch some big waves. The winds were blowing from the South East and  there were no big waves. We stopped at Gooseberry Falls to check out the conditions.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

At the time I thought we should have driven to Grand Marais, Minnesota but we didn’t have time. Paul Sundberg was able to capture the furry of the storm in the harbor.

When we arrived back in Duluth after our trip along the North Shore we realized the Duluth Polar Bear Plunge was still taking place in Canal Park so we drove down to watch a bit of it. Canal Park was surreal. It was almost 60 degrees in mid February and the place looked like it does during the height of the summer tourist season. People were walking along the Lakewalk in shorts. There was no ice to be seen on the lake. In a normal year the only area of open water would be withing the area where the participants jump in. The rest of the lake would be frozen. The first photo is from an earlier Polar Bear Plunge.

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It was such a beautiful day we decided to continue on to Tettegouche State Park where we hiked out to Shovel Point. There was still enough ice on the trail that it made for some tricky going particularly when walking down the steps. As I mentioned in an earlier post there had been an ice storm but most of the ice was already gone. We had been at Tettegouche in 2011 after a fierce March storm deposited large amounts of ice along Shovel Point. I’ve included a few photos below for comparison.

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Shovel Point

Shovel Point 2011

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Schovel Point Steps

Shovel Point Steps 2011

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Gooseberry Falls State Park is a popular place for ice climbing but this is the first time I had seen any climbers. It looked to be an instructional session. This was taking place at the lower falls. The lower falls splits and this section was an ice wall and the other section was a waterfalls. More photos from Gooseberry Falls can be found on my website.

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We were wandering along the beach at Split Rock State Park when I noticed some nice ripples in the water. More Photos from Split Rock can be found on my website.

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While I was photographing the ripples over the rocks I notice the waves were backlit and had some nice color to them.

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Our goal for the day was Gooseberry Falls State Park but it was such a beautiful day we decided to continue on to Split Rock. I hopped to get some shots of the Lighthouse with lots of ice in the foreground but it looked like a beautiful summer day. More Photos from Split Rock can be found on my website.

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split-rock-lighthouse-state-park-17-2-2014There were just a few pockets of ice on the shore. This is how desperate I was to get some ice shots.

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After a brief stop in Two Harbors we headed up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. It was going to be a warm day and we hopped there would be some water running. There was a bit of water flowing but the river was mostly ice. More photos from Gooseberry Falls can be found on my website.upper-falls-gooseberry-falls-state-park-17-2-1894

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There was some nice ice out at the mouth of the river. There had been an ice storm earlier in the week but much of the ice was already melted.

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It was going to be a beautiful day so we decided to drive up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. We wanted to get an early start so we decided to stop at the Vanilla Bean Restaurant in Two Harbors for some Swedish pancakes. As we were just about to leave I noticed a Coast Guard Boat go by on the highway. After breakfast we drove out to the harbor to see what as going on. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot. Apparently the fish were biting because there were quite a few fishermen around. The Coast Guard was just putting their boat in the water when we arrived so we stopped to get a few photos. Apparently they were going out on their first training run of the year. Normally the harbor is covered in ice but not today.

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Last week we headed out on another trip to find Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Just before we reached Durand, Wisconsin I noticed one sitting in a tree along the road. We turned around and went back for some shots. This is probably the best Bald Eagle shot I’ve gotten. He was right near the road and was not obstructed by any branches.

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As we drove over the Bridge At Wabasha  we noticed an eagle sitting in a tree next to a nest just north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was too far away for a shot. We then headed up to Reads Landing. There were a few Eagles sitting on the sand on the other side of the river but too far away for any shots. We did see a pair of Mature eagles flying around. It looked like they might be getting ready to mate. About that time a train came along and I could see that the eagles had gotten close enough to photograph but by the time the train passed they were gone. We had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. Apparently it is in the process of changing hands.

We then drove north toward Red Wing, Minnesota. There are several pull offs just north of Reads Landing so we stopped to watch the eagles fishing on the open water. One of them caught a large fish before it flew off to have lunch.

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We then drove to the next turn off where another photographer was already photographing eagles. He hadn’t had much luck but just then one landed a short distance away. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by the trees.

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While we were looking at the eagle another bird flew into a patch of Sumac. Turned out to be a Piliated Woodpecker.

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A little further up the road we found a bunch of Mallard Ducks on a partially frozen pond.

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When we reached Red Wing there were no birds around so we headed home.