Autumn hits the north shore


North Shore Lake Superior, October 2010

This was taken standing out on the rocks along the shore near Grand Marais, Minn. I was facing the sun, experimenting with shadows and direct light. Then I adjusted the sharpness, boosted and removed some color, eliminating the sun flare but turning it all silver and black, which is how the lake really looked. And using a multi-frame shooting mode I was able to capture one of the big sprays.

Recharging my batteries

Sometimes getting out of town can be a peaceful and relaxing way to be get re-energized, and being in a beautiful natural setting can be really refreshing. We’ve left town for a few days and headed up to the north shore of Lake Superior – one of my favorite places. I grew up alongside another great lake, and as a child we vacationed in fishing country, and I’ve always been drawn to lakes.

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This lake, Lake Superior, is amazingly beautiful at times. Right now, it’s a picture perfect shade of blue, and mostly

calm with just a few little whitecaps appearing here and there in various places. The sky is clear of any clouds, and there’s a slight breeze.

Earlier this afternoon we went for a short hike in the woods, alongside a creek. I brought my camera along and snapped various pics of the little falls, the rapids, a moss covered bench. Just different things that I thought might make an interesting picture. They’re ok. Unfortunately I discovered my batteries were going low, and only about half the pictures turned out to be on the card when finally looked at them.

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This is an old shed-like structure we spotted as we returned to the lodge’s grounds. It’s actually still in use. That’s why the door’s open. I love old, decrepit buildings like this, and try to snap pictures of such places when I can. They have their own history and value. I imagine how excited or proud the person who built it was when it was finished, and what a great addition it was to the property or business.

Being up here in the north woods is its own kind of inspiring locale. I always feel compelled to write some fiction novel, full of the people I meet in the shops and restaurants in these small towns. I always wonder about some of them – like the guy who stopped off at the general store to buy bait, and left his truck running and his baby daughter in the cab. I was waiting in the car (ironically, because we weren’t going to leave our dog alone in the car while shopping) and I wasn’t even aware there was something there until he spoke baby talk about the minnows and worms and said, “I’ll be right back” and went in to the liquor store for a case of beer. There are tourists coming through town, people you don’t know, and you leave your truck running and the kid inside? Guess we’re not in the city anymore. Then there’s the waiter at Angry Trout, a dockside restaurant. I’ve been coming here long enough to know he’s no townie just by listening to him talk. What’s he doing here? What’s his story? And there’s the guy who just this moment walked past my window. Probably mid-50s, wearing hiking boots, khaki shorts, and a bright green, long-sleeve dress shirt.

I’m sure any story I could write about these people would be horrible, boring, trite stuff, like some horror flick. And I’m no Stephen King. Of course, the only way it would work would be if I could live up here for about six months straight—not really an option.

So I’ll settle for coming up a few times a year to be recharged, and re-inspired by nature.

Moonlight and Calm

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It’s a rainy, cloudy, damp day. A good day for soup or chili, or sitting on the couch reading a book. Outside there was a bit more of a chill than the past few days, but there was a new scent in the air that smelled earthy….the kind of smell you experience when digging and planting in your garden. Or, how the leaves in a forest smell on a cool, early summer day.

It made me think of nature. Of being outdoors up North.

After the hectic past week, and the crazy few days to come, it seems peaceful should be the theme for today.

So I’m posting this picture of the moon over placid waters. I took it several years ago, on the north shore of Lake Superior, near Grand Marais, Minn.*

The moonlight can be so bright at night that you can see a long ways out, even while there are stars up above.

* One of my favorites places in the world. For now, at least. I haven’t quite seen it all.