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Tag Archives: Fall Colors

After lunch at Mount Rushmore we decided to drive over to Sylvan Lake and then take the Needles Highway to check on the fall color. We were not disappointed the color was outstanding.

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Having taken in the Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park several times I’m beginning to question my sanity. This time we were up at 3:30am to make the drive into the park. We didn’t notice many other cars on the road and when we arrived it turned out we were 10th in line. Sunrise was around 6:50am so we had plenty of time to take a nap in the car. Generally they let the cars in just after sunrise but they let us in early and it was dark when we arrived in the parking lot. It was so dark we couldn’t find the spot we planned to put our chairs. We finally just plunked them down by the fence where we knew we would have a good view of the Buffalo. We didn’t have to wait long before the sun came up. It was generally overcast but clear on the horizon so we were able to capture a sunrise.

More photos from Custer State Park can be found on my website.

I have problems sitting or standing in one place so I wandered off to take photos and my wife grabbed a cup of coffee and headed off for her lawn chair. She was able to capture this cowboy just after sunrise.

There weren’t many cars in the parking lot as the sun hit the top of the hills.

By 7:30 the parking lot was starting to fill up.

I continued to wander around and look for photos. Smokey the Bear was in attendance. It look like he was the favorite of the adults as opposed to the kids.

 

There were long lines at the important places. They provided a nice pancake feed but we brought our own breakfast so we just had coffee. According to my wife the porta potties were not all that clean even early in the morning.

We both thought the Custer Ambulance was appropriately decorated.

We arrived at the parking lot at 6:30am and the “roundup” was not supposed to start until 9:30am. As I mentioned I can’t sit around so I continued to wander around. My wife, on the other hand, patiently sat in her chair and about the only thing she had to watch was a couple of riders go past.

The viewing area was filling up. The first shot is a rider with the north viewing area in the background. I could hear this little girl screaming from quite a ways away and went over to see what was going on. Turned out to be a temper tantrum. I can see why given the time and the lack of anything to do.

After the buffalo have been driven to the pens I like to walk over to the little knoll in the background to photograph the final drive to the pens. This year it was blocked off. Anytime someone tried to walk over there a horse rider would head them off. It took a while to figure out what was going on. As soon as I saw the line of cars driving to the area I knew that the Governor and his cronies were using the area and they didn’t want to be bothered by the riffraff attending the event. Nothing ticks me off more than government officials thinking they and their friends are better than the voters. I was heartened when I saw a couple of photographers make a break for the knoll and make it before the guards could catch them. Apparently the guards didn’t want make a scene in front of the Governor and his cronies as they dragged people away from the knoll so they let them stay. To add salt on the wound the start of the roundup was delayed 30 minutes to allow the Governor and his cronies to get in place.

They usually drive the buffalo through the area where the Begging Burros spend their time. I could see the burros standing on a hill watching events unfold. When the borrows saw what was happening they mad a dash for higher ground.

Once the drive was underway a bunch of Buffalo started to make a break for it and the riders had to try and head them off. They finally got everyone going the same direction. It was a bit dusty as 1400 Buffalo were driven past. I do have to wonder about my sanity. It was 7 hours since we headed out this morning and we watched a Buffalo Roundup that took, at best, 20 minutes if you had a good viewing point.

As the drive started I was watching this bull who was right in the way of the drive and was busy taking a dust bath. The herd was driven right past him and he didn’t pay much attention to what was going on. Apparently they don’t make much of an attempt to roundup the bulls since they can be a little on the mean side. At this time of year the rut has already taken place and most of the bulls have gone off by themselves.

As the dust settled I noticed the Begging Burrows  at the top of a ridge looking down on all of the activity.

After the Buffalo were in their pens everyone headed down to the pens where a lunch was prepared.

In the afternoon the public can watch as the park brings the Buffalo into an area and checks them and gives them shots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After leaving Scenic we drove on to Hermosa. The fall colors were very good as we approached Hermosa but due to road construction we were not able to get any photos. From Hermosa to the park the colors were also very good. More photos from Custer State Park can be found on my website.

When we arrived in the park we stopped at the new visitors center. They have an IMAX theatre at the center and the film depicting the park is well worth watching. They also have some butterfly gardens and they were attracting lots of butterflies. I believe these are American Ladies.

The leaves at the visitors center were not quite at their peak.

While my wife was filling up the water bottles I walked over to the Game Lodge Campground and took a few photos.

 

My wife printed, matted and framed six of my fall photos for an exhibit at the Menomonie Public Library. The exhibit will run through the month of October.

Bonanza Falls – U.P. of Michigan

Black River Harbor Reflections – U.P. of Michigan

Leaves Canadian Hill Farm – Menomonie Wisconsin

The Z Bond Falls – U.P. of Michigan

Lake of the Clouds Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – U.P. of Michigan

Leaf Hoffman Hills Recreation Area – Menomonie Wisconsin

 

My wife and I decided to hike up the Lester Park Bike trail a couple of weeks ago. The fall leaves were just starting to turn. It was a Monday and we were fortunate not to encounter too many bikers. It was a beautiful although warm day. Duluth is in the process of creating bike trails throughout the city and it is now a destination for bikers from around the country.

Lester River

Lester River

Bike Trail

The trees were starting to turn in Duluth.

On the return trip we walked down the Amity Creek bike  trail. This was more of a challenge for bikers and we saw a couple of then take bad tumbles.

Amity Creek

There are quite a few birch trees in the park so it should be a nice place to hike during the fall color season.

We were surprised to find a variety of wildflowers blooming along the trail. Most of them were flowers that bloomed at home six weeks ago.

We headed out early in the morning to catch the sunrise at Bonanza Falls. As I mentioned in an earlier blog there was more water than normal flowing over the falls. What really makes Bonanza falls so interesting is the large number of small waterfalls that can be found flowing over the upturned rock formations.

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After taking a few photographs before the sun came up we decided to find the fisherman’s trail along the river and look for some some more waterfalls before the sun reached the far shore. Overnight we had a chance to read the Waterfalls of Michigan by Phil Stagg and he indicated there were a few more falls to be found. We had visited Bonanza Falls many time but had never walked down stream. A side benefit of walking down the fisherman’s trail was finding an easier way to reach the river. In the past we had climbed down the steep embankment but it had become more difficult over time. We did find a couple of nice waterfalls.

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The sun was starting to hit the far shore so we walked back to the main falls area for a few last photographs.

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After getting a bite to eat we drove out to Bonanza Falls to photograph at sunset. As I had mentioned in earlier blogs there was a lot of water flowing in the rivers. Bonanza Falls also had more water than normal. Generally I like less as opposed to more water flowing because it provides more opportunities for intimate shots of the waterfalls.

 

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One of the most popular photographic locations at Bond Falls is called the Z. It provides an opportunity to capture falls reflections and an waterfall all in the same photo.

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While the main attractions at Bond Falls are the waterfalls there are also opportunities to photograph fall color reflections.

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Parfrey’s Glen is a close second for my favorite Wisconsin State Natural Area. I is located a short distance from Pewits Nest. After a stop at Pewits Nest we drove over to Parfrey’s Glen. Parfrey’s Glen is a very popular location for class trips but we lucked out. It was late in the day and raining lightly so most of the folks were leaving the Glen as we arrived. Parfrey's-Glen-14-10-_3310 Parfrey's-Glen-14-10-_2732 Parfrey's-Glen-14-10-_3343