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Tag Archives: Duluth Minnesota

A few shots from several visits to the Duluth Rose Garden.

 

Around the end of December a pair of Ivory Gulls were spotted in Duluth, Minnesota creating a major stir among bird watchers. According to the Cornell Lab they only rarely come south of the Bering Sea or the Maritime Provinces. The Ivory Gull is native to the High Arctic and has only been reported in Minnesota about a dozen times in the last 70 years.

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One of the Gulls died shortly after arriving in Duluth but the other bird has been spending time in Canal Park. When my wife and I arrived in Duluth we drove down to Canal Park to see if it was still around. I walked around and didn’t see it. When we arrived I noticed a photographer with a big lens walking back to his car. I went over and asked him if the Ivory Gull was around. Turns out I it was around I just didn’t know what I was looking for. It was sitting out on the North Breakwater all by itself. It looks to be the size of a pigeon but with a longer wing span. Birders said this one was probably about a year old. It still had black on its wings and around the face. The adult bird is totally white. Of course I didn’t have my camera along so I assumed I would never get a shot of it.

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We came back the next day and there were quite a few bird watchers around. The Gull was still sitting on the North Breakwater. I managed to get a few shots of it. Apparently people have been feeding it salmon fillets and tuna. It was cold enough for ice to form on the lake so photographers were baiting the bird by tossing food onto the ice so they could get a good shot. Everyone was a little concerned that it would eat so much it wouldn’t be able to fly.

 

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We returned on the next morning looking for the Gull. It was the weekend and there was a large crowd on hand with their big lenses and scopes. The bird was perched on the South Breakwater and was out of range of my large lens. We watched for a while then headed over to Amnicon Falls to take some photos.

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On our return we were photographing ships at Rice’s Point when we encountered another bird photographer looking for Snowy Owls. He said the Gull had flown right up to him earlier in the morning. We decided to go back to Canal Park and try for some more photos.

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When we arrived there was still a large crowd around. I was trying to find the Gull when if flew right up to us. It flew around for a while before landing right in the middle of a group of photographers. One photographer was about four feet from it. I don’t know what kind of shot he got because he has a 600mm lens on .

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The bird sat on the North Breakwater among all of the photographers and bird watchers for quite a while. When it went to take off it seemed to be having some problems. I gather they are not very graceful on land with a big body and short legs. At any rate it flew around some more and landed briefly in the water before flying away.

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Quite the experience. As one birdwatcher put it this is the rarest bird you will ever see.

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Every summer Thomas the Tank Engine visits Duluth Minnesota to provide rides for kids. There are all kinds of activities for kids at the North Shore Scenic Railroad depot during the weekend. I usually try and walk down to the depot to check on the activities.

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Pier B Resort is being built next to Bayfront Park on the Duluth Waterfront. I happened to be in Bayfront Park early in the morning and took a few photos of the activity.

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I was particularly interested in what they were doing at the boat slip. The John R. Asher was moving barges of dredged material over to the slip and a crane was dumping the material into the slip. At the time I couldn’t figure out what they were doing but found out later that the soil under the slip is contaminated so they are putting dredged material from the harbor in the slip to provide a seal the contaminated material.

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John R. Asher

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With the heavy surf on Lake Superior I thought it would be fun to try using my variable neutral density filter to see if I could slow the shutter speed down to create a different look. In spite of the fact that it was a bright sunny day the filter did a great job and I managed to get some interesting shots.

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As I mentioned in yesterdays blog there were some large waves on Lake Superior over the weekend. This is a shot of the waves hitting s line of rocks just offshore.

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The waves were so large that they were coming over the Lakewalk.

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The waves were so large that they exposed the pillar that had fallen into the lake earlier in the year. When it fell in it turned upside down and you can see the wood foundation sticking out of the water between the swells.

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After photographing the waves coming over the breakwater I walked along the lakewalk. There were a bunch of kids on the lakewalk waiting to get hit by the waves.

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The day after the big waves in Duluth Harbor I walked along the beach photographing the ice that had been driven up onto the beach. The large waves had thrown large chunks of ice on the hotel side of the Lakewalk.

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It had been raining in Duluth, Minnesota for almost a week and I had been under the weather so I hadn’t gotten out much. I noticed the Presque Isle was going to be leaving port. It was still raining out but thanks to the sky-walk system in Duluth I was able to walk down to the harbor in comfort. I was able to watch the Presque Isle make the turn for the Lift Bridge while still in the DECC. I walked over to the Lift Bridge to take a few photos of the ship leaving the harbor.

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That’s when I heard the roar of the waves hitting the beach. When I reached the beach I noticed that the strong winds had blown ice from the lake into shore and the high waves were coming over the breakwater. When the waves hit the shore the water was way above the breakwater. The water would fall onto the breakwater then chunks’ of ice would fall out of the sky. It was a little dangerous because some of the ice chunks were as big as softballs.

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Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

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I was only able to visit Bentleyville once this year. As I mentioned in an earlier post I contributed over a dozen photos to a souvenir booklet about Bentleyville. There were a few new exhibits along with old exhibits rearranged.

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More Photographs from the Tour of Lights can be found on my website.