Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

Ice and snow are beautifully monochromatic.

Beautiful monochrome on Lake Superior

As beautiful as it can be on Lake Superior, hoping that winter is still a few months off!

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  “Monochromatic” is this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Reverse) Symmetry

With this week’s photo challenge theme in mind, I headed out to the ice … the colder temperatures of February have created icebergs on Lake Superior and a solid pile of ice slowly building out from shore.  It was 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 Celsius) as I parked the car late afternoon yesterday.  By the time I left over an hour later, my gloved fingers were starting to go numb and the sun was setting.  The beautiful changing light of the sun playing across the ice is always hard to leave (check back later this week for more from this afternoon excursion onto the ice).

For now, though, this is my take on “Symmetry” – the crystal ball’s image of the ice shards pushed up by the force of the continually moving water under the ice-covered shores of the Lake, reflecting an exact symmetrical view but on a totally different scale — a reminder that the raw beauty of Mother Nature is rarely even and orderly.

Ice of Lake Superior through the crystal ball

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Symmetry” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

I know, you’re thinking, “Oh no, not another ice and snow post!”  I promise this will be the last one for awhile.

The powers of reflection and refraction create one of nature’s most appreciated displays …

lake superior ice 16 2_23_14

… the rainbow!

lake superior ice 16a 2_23_14

Rainbows need not be large to be appreciated – this miniature one lurking amongst the ice pile on Lake Superior was a little treasure!

lake superior ice 16a 2_23_14 (2)

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Reflections” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Put On Your Big Girl Mukluks and Enjoy Winter’s Beauty

Even with one moosehide mukluk topped off with black duct tape since my dear four-legged companion found it to be a delicious, albeit expensive, chew toy (leaving the entire boot liner and bottom 2/3 of the lovely chestnut exterior intact), I have been “enjoying” our never ending stretch of sub-zero temps this winter (day 64 and counting …).  As an aside, isn’t that a testament to the wonder of the Steger mukluk? Unrivaled winter footwear after 20 years of living up north, keeping my toes toasty warm, enhanced by stick-on toe warmers only in the most brutal of temps (which, I admit, we’ve had a lot of this winter – did I mention, this is Duluth’s 64th day with a recorded sub-zero temp this winter?!?).

But I digress … as I shared with you in this week’s Photo Challenge response, the frigid temperatures have produced some amazing photo ops on the frozen expanse of Lake Superior.  Last weekend, the sunny skies produced a stunning blue reflection in the ice piles, created by the powerful force of Lake Superior’s shifting waters.  The ice cover on the Lake is the largest in decades, so one must be mindful that these scenes may be decades in coming again.

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

Drawing closer to the large pile of broken ice shards, the bluish hue became more intense, waxing and waning with the sun as the clouds drifted across the sky.

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

The depth and breadth of this particular ice upheaval is hard to capture in a photo.

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

Upon close inspection, the pile appeared to be manmade, as if a snowplow had come along and pushed a long band of broken ice together to clear the flat expanse of the Lake beyond.

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

The blues were amazing …

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

One could be lulled into a false sense of security, seeing the shoreline so close, the apparent stagnant pile of ice melded together, and the thick ice cover below.  Mother Nature reminded me that even on a beautiful, blue-sky day, the wind can whip up the powdery blanket, and cause the water and ice to creak and groan like an awakening giant.

Wind-whipped Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

Walking back to shore, the ice pile receded from view, and I was more cognizant of the living mass beneath my feet.  Signs of life were evident, from a large, winding fissure that had opened and closed over time …

Ice Fissures on Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

… to a fresh hairline crack in the snow with gurgling water fighting deep underneath the frozen surface to try and break free …

Ice Fissures on Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

… Lake Superior was sending a reminder that Spring may be a long way off, but she won’t be frozen forever.

Ice Fissures on Lake Superior ~ Duluth, MN

With the winds and periodically “warming” temperatures (I think we hit 20°F (-6°C) once in the last week or so), the large plates of ice shift, and open water appears here and there even as the temperatures battle to reach double digits in recent days.  The day after taking the photos above, I headed up to the Hawk Ridge overlook and saw the hint of open water (or at least more tenuous ice cover) in the distance.

Winter view from Hawk Ridge ~ Duluth, MN

Has it been a long winter?  Certainly, but with warmer temps these ice-covered postcard scenes will melt from view.  So, in the meantime, put on your big girl mukluks; get out and enjoy Nature’s wonder.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

My blog has been neglected of late, as the cup of life overfloweth.  My camera has been busy, but it has been at high school Nordic ski races, music concerts and the like.  So, I intentionally set aside a few minutes today to tackle this week’s Challenge:  the three-picture story.

With a fresh foot of snow and new round of bitter wind chills, and Lake Superior nearly frozen over, the story up north is the weather.

1.  An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.

Catching the last light of a February sunset on Lake Superior, looking toward the City of Duluth, Minnesota.

Frozen Lake Superior ~ Duluth, Minnesota

2.  A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.

The wind is not always easy to capture in still photos (in hindsight, I wish I would have thought to take a short video clip instead), so you need to expand your senses for this shot.  Imagine, a cold winter wind whipping across the ice, fingers turning numb in thin gloves (to make it easier to handle camera controls), and then listen closely … think of the sound of sugar pouring into a mixing bowl, and now transfer that sound to the photo below:  it is the sound of powdery snow and ice pellets skimming across the frozen expanse of the ice-covered Lake.  The fine particles create the illusion of a low-lying, fast-moving fog bank.

Wind-swept Lake Superior ~ Duluth, Minnesota

3.  A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.

From a distance, the shore-to-shore ice cover of Lake Superior may appear uniform, but the beauty lies in the details.

Lake Superior ice formations ~ Duluth, Minnesota

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Threes” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.