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Tag Archives: Ice

After watching the start of the second stage of the CopperDog 150 at Eagle Harbor we drove highway 26 to Copper Harbor and then up to the end of highway 41. Highway 26 is a nice drive along the shore of Lake Superior. This is a shot of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

We pulled off and took photographs at several places along the road. There were a number of folks out on the ice taking selfies. The second shot is a panorama looking out onto Lake Superior.

We drove out to the end of highway 41 and took some shots of the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. It was a little disappointing because there was not a lot of ice formations this year. Usually we stop at Fort Wilkins but there was not as much snow as we have seen in the past.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog we had driven over to Cornucopia to meet some friends. They were photographing some property managed by the Nature Conservancy. The process involved walking along the beach but the previous photographs taken about seven years ago were nothing like what exists today. There is no beach. We had to bushwhack or walk in the lake. I managed to get a photos of ice and items on what remains of the beach.

 

 

After the race I asked one of the officials where the brownstone caves were located. He pointed out how to reach them. We joined up with a friend from Bayfield and started walking out on the ice toward the caves. We encountered this small island before we had gone very far.

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There were some large pressure ridges on the lake and open water where they had been formed. We had to do some back tracking to find places to cross them.

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As the temperatures warmed we noticed more water on the ice. We also encountered some large cracks in the ice and decided this probably was not the best day to be making this trip. We decided to add the brownstone caves to our list of things to do on a cold winter day.

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Here are a few more ice pattern photos taken at various locations around Duluth, Minnesota.

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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.

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.

I couldn’t be out on Lake Winnebago without taking some photographs of the ice fractures.

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We hadn’t stopped at Gooseberry Falls for a while so we decided to walk around and check out the frozen Waterfalls. For the most part they were not all that interesting this winter. After looking at the waterfalls we decided to drive down to the beach and check it out. This turned out to be well worth the visit. There was some great ice in the beach area.

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