Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013 Won't be pretty ice much longer!

I am going to add some in the larger size today, tho I know once published, won't fit inside the edges like they do so perfectly while I am writing this.  Facebook is still not allowing me, and several others around here, to add photos.  I haven't been able to add anything since Wednesday, mid-day.  This photo I took yesterday, Thursday the 28th.  Anything in the sun is deteriorating really fast.  You look at those long icicles and see how soft they are.  They were probably gone by the end of the day, yesterday, as it hit 40 degrees fairly early.  It is warming up really fast from 20 degrees toward 40 this morning too.
It was, in fact, so nice yesterday....Toby was in the water not once, but four times.  He couldn't quite make himself swim, or lay down....tho I saw him thinking about was just too cold yet.  But, you can see he is quite enjoying being in the water again.
Here you have Toby looking at the large chunks of snow and ice that are just falling off and breaking apart now.  Almost makes you think of the large glaciers calving.  Looked neat, anyway. 
Here is another shot of some of the gorgeous, a couple of days ago, icicles.....having turned soft and frosty looking.  They will be melted and gone within a day or two also.  As fun as they are to find and look gets to the point a person is ready for spring too.  The nice sunny days are welcome!
I found a shady spot with another variation of these too....on long shelf of them.  They were so pretty and as mentioned.....completely in the shade.  I will also show a closeup.  I could get closer to these so you can better see the detail.  Oops, I did the detail first and now below is the fuller view!

Anyway, this one, done up large, is quite striking with the reflections on the rocks and water.  I don't expect to be seeing much, if any  more this season.  But, the weather varies so much....never say never.  I might get a surprise.  It won't be long and I will be out finding Spring things to photograph.
Enjoy the ice......some of them are quite the works of nature's art.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013 Short and Sweet! But, still winter....

This is another Lake Superior "ice gem" I found a couple of days ago.  This past week, I have found just a few....but, the few were pretty.  It is always nice to find ice forms that are just a bit different.
Here are some more neat gems I found yesterday.  I wished I had had my macro lens along, but didn't.  Because of the where and depth of water, I couldn't get any closer.  But....they were gorgeous.  I found some very similar today but haven't sized them yet for the blog.
I found this yesterday too.  It had evidently originally been attached to the tree branches.  They were still very cool.  However, ice is getting "soft" pretty rapidly now instead of having the sharp, hard detail.  I took some photos of that today. 
However, I have to go feed the deer and get ready to go to yoga.  This was meant to be a test to see if it was only Facebook that is the problem.  I haven't been able to post a photo on FB since late afternoon yesterday.  Tried in the evening and have tried a couple times today.  No luck.  It just goes round and round and doesn't do anything. 
So....I am off and you have my test!  More soon.  :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013 No end in sight...where winter is concerned.

On Thursday, the 21st of March, our ladies group went snowshoeing again.  Some had wanted me to take them in to a creek with a tall falls east of where I live.  Well, we have had more winter in March than we had is more work now.  Since some of them aren't aren't as young as they used to be......are any of us?!.....I wasn't so sure I wanted to be responsible for making them work that hard.  That is a hike in to there....anytime.  But, especially so with serious snow conditions.
At any rate, I suggested we hike the whole section of the Lake Superior Hiking Trail,  lakewalk section and see the nice ice formations.  I figured that would be easier going.  There hadn't been anyone on it since the last snow.  So.....tho there were places we could have gotten by without them, a good share of the way did require snowshoes.  For this late in March, Lake Superior's shore had a lot of snow.  Above, shows the wolf tracks that we followed down most of the couple of miles of beach we hiked on.
Here is a photo of some of the neat designs and shadows that appeared on one drifted section of beach.  I thought it was very pretty and quite striking.  It definitely was noticeable.   We found quite a few things of interest on our  beach walk.   In fact, it was nice to see a few other people noticing and appreciating some of the details I am always on the lookout for.  There is so much there, if you can see and appreciate it. 
Below, you will notice another neat piece of standing ice.  It had such pretty markings on the ice besides the fact the shadow had a really dark outline with bright light showing inside of that.  On my Moose Valley Photography page, someone mentioned it looked like a butterfly.  I hadn't thought of that. However, everyone had a different idea of what something looks like or what they see in a given image.  I found that one so interesting I  walked all the way around it and took photos from all sides and angles.  All of them were interesting.  It just depends on what you really like.  It takes too much space to print them all to show you what I mean.  But, yes, it was a neat ice form.
Then, there was this lovely ice gem I found.  I only took three shots of this.  But, I will show you the closest up shot I took.  I thought it just lovely as did the rest of the ladies.
Sometimes, when the huge caves and icicles are melting away, some of the little details that are left are just as beautiful.  The design in this little ice gem was extremely rare to find. 
I will leave you with a photo of our group this gorgeous day.  A fine time was had by all.   :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013 More wintery weather!

This, is an ice volcano on the shore of Lake Superior.  If this weather continues, we will have some interesting ice formations on the shore for a while to come, yet! 
This morning was almost 20 degrees.  However, the wind is fierce out there....combined with about 5" of fresh's a pretty blustery, wintery day.  Sunday morning I had -20 below 0 again.  At least on Sunday, when I took this photo, and a few others I will was sunny and warmed up fast.  It made 0 in a couple hours and was around 12 degrees in the afternoon when I headed out with Toby for adventures on the shore.
Here is Toby in one of the larger ice caves we discovered.  It was a bit farther in from the lake as more ice had piled in on the lake side.  It was easy to walk down onto the flat and in to the cave.  He didn't argue about getting in it for a photo.  He generally doesn't like going in them at all. They are always so pretty with the turquoise and aquamarine shades the ice picks up on shore.  Love them!
Here is a snowscape that starts right where the right hand side of the above ice cave is .  I thought it was kind of neat to have just ice, snow and sky.   Lay down on your belly and you can get some different perspectives on things......  Then too....sometimes when I do that, I manage to get my horizon line all out of kilter.  I didn't on this horizontal photo.  I also tried a couple of verticles and I got both of them way crooked.  They showed more of the glorious blue sky.  Oh well.....that's life!
There was just enough plate ice moving in along shore to make for some fun shots too.  I always enjoy finding this.  Sometimes, the pieces can be pretty big.  They were just all average sized this time.  Since it was later in the day, I didn't get quite as many shades of color in them either. 
At any rate, I may have a few good days of hunting ice to go yet.  Thursday is the ladies' hiking day again.  I think, for a change, we are going to hike on the Lake Superior shore.  I mentioned a spot and none of them had ever been there..... So, I am hoping for a nice day so they can enjoy it.  I sure always do, any season.
I will leave you with a shot of some ice caves that were pretty much in the shade, not to say, right on the waters' edge.....on Sunday.  I had hoped to go back for some sunrise shots of these and some other things, like the volcano, which had developed a small hole in the bottom lake side.  However, both yesterday and this morning were completely cloudy.  Usually, these nice formations don't last long.  That is one thing about lake ice on Superior, they are forever changing and finding a nice formation that can last very long isn't easy.  So, we will see what the next sunny morning I can go out on can bring.  Enjoy the winter weather........while it lasts!

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013 Interesting Discussions......

Since it is rather greying up out there,  I decided we needed another day brightener at the top of this.
Another of my currently blooming orchids! I do love my orchids and they usually please me by blooming at least twice every year.
The other day when I was out hiking with Toby to a place to photograph ice and explore a bit, we came across a serious blood trail crossing the path we were on.  Toby, was of course, fascinated by this and the smells.  We had been following several large wolf tracks and there was plenty of fresh wolf scat too.  They had been busy.  I told him to come on and we continued on our way.
Toby hasn't gotten to see a lot of that type of thing....or shall I say smell it.  Some of my other dogs did and quite often.  It isn't something you run on to every day; however, sometimes, it can happen a lot in a relatively short time frame.
One gal wanted to know how I dared walk all the places I do with Toby....since, most who know me know I am usually by myself.  I told her, I go prepared.....for whatever.  The "whatever" being wolves a majority of the time.  For all the up close and personal encounters I have had, with and without my dogs, with and without a gun, I have never had to use it.  A couple of times.....I gotta tell was  tempting.  Wolves that behave in that manner make people nervous.  I have had them at 10 feet or less, more than once.....again, with and without dogs.
One big issue for me, even if I really wanted to pull that trigger.....and actually was within my rights....even tho it hadn't attacked, yet...... well, I have always had bird dogs.  Hunting dogs in other words!  If I had shot that would have meant, to the dog, fair game.  They would have, from that point on, chased that smell......which I had previously trained them to a "NO" on, even going so far as to use a shock "tree it"....or something, so I could shoot it.  Did I want that to thank you.
One of the hairiest, I think, was when Casey, my lab/golden mix, was 4 months old.  Willie, my black lab, a hundred and ten pounds of solid muscle, was leading.  It was a Columbus day holiday so I was off work and clear back in the sticks on a deer trail hunting grouse.  Casey, such a cute little squirt, was learning the tricks from pro Willie!  Anyway, as we were moseying down this deer trail, all of a sudden a deer come flying down the trail right at us.  She barely ran around us and didn't even slow down.  Here come the wolf.....right behind it.  Oh crap!  I grabbed Willie by the collar, pretty much sat on Casey, ....he was between my legs and I was trying to keep him any rate, and had the shotgun in my other hand.  A single shot .410 shotgun.  Wow!  So, you picture sitting on the puppy while holding the collar of a mad black lab with my left hand and the shotgun in my right hand, with the safety now off.  The wolf was at 10 feet and still coming at this point.  Then, Willie couldn't stand it any longer and with a mighty pull jerked free of me.  He tore after that wolf, which was luckily a youngster....tho by October, decent sized...and it ran.  I yelled at Willie who finally came"did I do good, or what!"  Well, I guess he did.  Everyone was safe and sound.  It didn't mean we didn't have a few moments there.....
One other time was after Casey was full grown, with Willie, and we ran in to one in November.  Both dogs got on either side of the big old lone wolf.  I could have whacked that wolf with my rifle.....
Oh my word.....can I yell if I need to.....and I did.  I told those dogs to get over here  NOW!   And, they did.  Drop my teeth!  (Not really....mine are my own.....but, you get the point!)  I never, to this day, know what transpired there.  I never heard a sound out of the wolf and the dogs came and stood by me as the wolf walked off.  But, evidently someone gave off some vibes that said everyone better mind their Ps &Qs.
So.....two of the times, with dogs along, that turned out well.  It happens.  I am thankful for that.
We ended the conversation with maybe she should try that so she could go more often too.    And, you know what....usually....I said USUALLY, it turns out ok.
This is one of the photos I took after crossing the blood trail and getting to the beach.  It was such an absolutely gorgeous day out there.  I broke a few icicles getting in this ice cave.  I could have used just a bit more room.  Oh well....I fit!  :)   Toby was on top of it, waiting for me.......   :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013 March Funk!

Once a week, I take all my orchids to the sink for maintenance and such.  It is such a grey, snowy day, I thought I would try using my macro lens to photograph a few.  Well.....low light, etc.....I should have used a tripod.  I didn't.  Most were just a tad blurry because shutter speed was so slow.  I have quite a few blooming right, they look cheerful, spread around the house. 
Anyway....speaking of "funk" ......   well, it's been just grey and snowy or both the last number of days.  It isn't like the snow is bad.....we can use the moisture in the ground.  When the snow starts to accumulate this late in the season, at least the wildlife doesn't have such a bad time.  My deer "herd" was most certainly ready for breakfast this morning.  I got up to at least 50 standing around the yard looking for me.  "Skinny Butt" had his spot scraped clean of snow and was standing by it, waiting expectantly.  He is living up to his name these days.....he can eat, when he is eating....but, having a hot girl around has most certainly made him run his butt off again.  Being the biggest and oldest male in the area, he has to defend his title....I guess.  Things are quieting down again in that respect anyway.  So.....I can work on putting some meat on his skinny butt again!  :)
Back to the photography, Sunday morning was just like a black and white photograph.  I kind of like the look of those days.  Everything is a black and white ........ without even trying.  
Toby and I had really been on a roll, exploring and photographing....really getting out there.  Then this grey took over.  I think even he has been a bit disappointed.  You should have seen how excited he was when I got out the camera this morning.  He thought...oh boy, this is it.  Then.....I just stayed inside photographing flowers!  How disappointing was that.....
Red Rock Bay.

Here are a couple of photos I took on Friday.  Red Rock Bay I took on the way to Thunder Bay.  
The sun was out at the time and it looked to be a beautiful day.  By the time I was coming home, 
the sun had gone away and the clouds were out heavily.   Hollow Rock will always be pretty.  But,
it would have been much more so with a bit of color.  The hole on the west side was completely iced 
in.  I had never seen that happen before.  But, I don't get there that often either.  Need to go there in the kayak again.  That is always a fun trip.  But, it's a while til kayak season on Lake Superior yet.
I will leave you with a hazy sunset from a couple of nights ago.  I almost headed to the shore of Lake Superior.  It maybe would have been bright enough to color the lake a bit.  You never know with sunsets.  They are always fun to watch.                                                                                                

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3, 2013 The days are getting longer......

It's this kind of a day out.  Clear, sunny, was -10 below 0 this morning but quickly made its way up to the usual 20 degrees we have been having lately.  I took this one yesterday; but, I have been looking at a lot of these pretty views lately.  Always chasing the interesting ice bridge or cave.  I haven't found any I could get in to when I was at them this year.  The two I did find were on days the lake was too rough to try it.  Not to icy it is on these edges trying, anyway!
Here is a neat ice tunnel I found in a rather unlikely spot yesterday.  I took this one standing up, looking through it.  I took another while laying on the ice looking through it which really gave it a kind of eerie look.  I suppose it was about 4' through.  It wasn't, unfortunately, as  close to the water as I would have liked.  It also wasn't pointed in the right direction to catch either a sunrise or sunset coming through it.  Oh was still pretty neat. 
Now, that our days are getting longer, we have to stay out a lot later to catch a sunset.  So, this time of year the chasing photos can get me a bit off schedule.  Of course, it means getting up earlier all the time to get someplace on time too!  Then, weekend....just when we are getting used to the more light in the mornings...we have to switch to daylight savings time, already!  I still think that April is early enough to do that, myself!
Here is one from a couple of mornings ago when I wasn't going anywhere before dawn.  I got up and realized we were having some fantastic sky over our yard and didn't even take the time to get dressed first and put on socks.  Bare feet and out the door I went....and, oh what a pretty sight.  I also was thinking....jeez, it's cold out here.  I looked at the thermometer when I got in and it was below 0.  No wonder!  It had been around 15 degrees each morning when I had gotten up, lately.  But, I got the shot.  If I had waited until I was all set for outside, I'd have missed it.  They don't last forever.......
Well, back to finishing chores.  By then, maybe I will decide what Toby and I should go check out today!  Adventuring dog needs his know!   :)