Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

The seasons of descent are upon us … tree branches almost bare after recent winds forced the descent of the last of the multi-colored leaves, while the hint of winter is in the air, with snow flurries descending upon us even before trick-or-treaters graced our doorsteps.  I am not quite ready to let go of my favorite season, but I do enjoy the unique beauty that each season brings.  Walking the grassy trails with the dogs recently, I noticed this single maple leaf, an isolated beauty nestled among parched aspen leaves past their golden prime.

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Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Descent” 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: The Golden Hour

Bloggers already have submitted many beautiful photos of sunrises and sunsets to illustrate this week’s theme, “The Golden Hour.”  I love the way sunlight at the beginning and end of the day plays across the water — whether it be oceans, or lakes, or rivers. But, I came inland to the forest instead, where the warm hues of the setting sun cast a golden light and cause the just-fallen leaves to glow.  So easy to take for granted, yet so important to appreciate.

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” ~ Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

"The Golden Hour" at the end of the day at the cabin

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”The Golden Hour” 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.

I Can See Canada From My Window . . .

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. . . at least I can see Canada when I am standing at the entrance to Grand Portage State Park, at the most northeastern point of Minnesota.

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Continuing on our geocaching adventures through Minnesota’s State Parks, we drove the beautiful entirety of Minnesota’s North Shore on about as perfect a fall day as fall days come in Minnesota.

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Lake Superior was a vibrant blue in striking contrast to the golds and greens of the autumn landscape.  At this overlook just off of Highway 61, the vantage point is perfect for viewing the Susie Islands near Grand Portage.

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Just as the border station looms, the visitor center for Grand Portage State Park comes into view.  Grand Portage State Park contains the highest falls in Minnesota – aptly named the “High Falls.”  The Falls usually have two or more large streams of water flowing into the Pigeon River.  With the dry spell Minnesota has seen in recent weeks, like so much of the rest of the country, the Falls were a relative trickle, exposing the interesting surrounding rock more than usual.

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The Spanish moss provided a delicate overhang as we walked the path to the geocaching coordinates. (I am always reminded of the ents in Lord of the Rings when I see Spanish moss, which is not an overly common sight in Minnesota!)

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As my son found our third “Avian Adventure” geocache, we checked Grand Portage State Park off the list (79 to go!), and enjoyed the view of the Pigeon River as we walked back to the main parking lot.

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I am disappointed we did not get an earlier start (this was the same day trip where I selfishly left a car full of hungry people in a scenic overlook parking lot at the end of the day, so I could take some pictures of the moonrise over Split Rock Lighthouse, which you can see in this post). We did not have time to spend in the exhibit hall, with its murals depicting the culture and traditions of the Grand Portage Ojibwe people. The Park is uniquely situated within the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.  Grand Portage National Monument is nearby, as well, with interesting exhibits relating to the historical fur trade between the voyageurs and Ojibwe.  And, let’s not forget a day or overnight trip to nearby Isle Royale National Park, with its unique ecosytem.  Just more reasons for a return visit to this corner of the state.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Travel Theme: Foliage

Where’s My Backpack? was kind enough to remind me of her weekly challenge (for those of us going through withdrawal since Friday, waiting for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge!).  Ailsa’s theme this week is “foliage” which has been wonderfully abundant here in northern Minnesota the past couple of weeks!

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This shot is from the Timberdoodle Trail at Judge C.R. Magney State Park along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.  The leaves may be past-peak in terms of classic fall colors, but the late afternoon sun still beautifully illuminated the color that remains.

Ciao! ~ Kat

One More Reflection of Gratitude: Nature

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir

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Just had to share one more John Muir quote with one more photo from our Sunday hike to the Tettegouche Lake Overlook (more photos and details about that hike in this post).

Ciao! ~ Kat B.