Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bright red berries

Bright red berries covered with snow.
Bright red berries near Cliff Drive.

Cliff Drive is really one of my favorite places to hang around in the winter: so beautiful, so remote, so quiet... until those blasted snowmobiles come by dang noisy smelly... ok, I'm done now. I'll be back soon!

Edit: For those wondering -- nope, I didn't Photoshop the berries at all. Other than the border and text, the only editing I did was to slightly desaturate the background -- because that's closer to how it appeared to me.

These are Mountain (or Northern) ash berries, which -- believe it or not -- are edible, although very bitter. I'm planning to make some jelly next weekend!

Second edit: The jelly turned out great, although it definitely has a unique flavor. I think it would work well on meat, but it's definitely not a "bread and butter" type jelly! I used this recipe which worked pretty well, but did require extra pectin.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Four graves in one

A headstone at the Cliff Catholic cemetery

The Cliff cemeteries are beautiful any time of year -- they've been overgrown with beautiful trees which keep them shady and cool. But they're even more beautiful in the winter, when everything is covered with a layer of snow. Here is one of the headstones, under a spreading pine tree. It's actually four headstones all at once: three young children and a wife. As much as I would have loved to have seen the Keweenaw back when the mines were still going strong, I'm also very glad not to live in times when life was this hard.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Into the boiler

An orange brick wall, with a window looking into a deep blue interior.
Orange bricks, blue boiler.

The wall of the old Quincy #5 boiler caught my eye the other day -- bright orange bricks, with the deep blue of shady snow and metal showing through the window. Aren't we lucky to live in a place where you can't throw a brick without hitting something picturesque?

Edit: Updated the photo with a slightly edited version.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Leaves

Orange leaves hanging from a tree with a blue snowy background.
Orange leaves at the Cliffs.

It's -11 this morning before the wind chill. Just thought you should know.

I found these on my first snowshoe outing of the year -- up the North American gap at the Cliffs. The colors are almost exactly as they were in the original -- bright orange leaves, wonderfully blue snow behind them.

I love getting out and snowshoeing through the midst of the woods -- absolutely silent and isolated, with a little breeze and some snow falling from the high branches of the trees. I can't wait to get out again...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

4.5 Mile Point

The sloping shore near 5 mile point.

This photo is from a very rugged rest stop near 5 mile point, at the request of one of my Superior-loving friends. This was a few weeks ago; now the shore would be completely snowed under, and the rocks would be capped with ice.

Also -- a slightly new layout so that I can post larger photos. Comments?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Corn Flag

A de-kerneled corn cob and husk caught on brush at the edge of a field.
A flag of corn in the brush

I grabbed this photo downstate while visiting my parents over Thanksgiving. Farmers downstate have been leaving corn up in the fields very late this year, hoping that it will dry out on the stalk (due to the price of gas, apparently). When I was downstate, this corn had just been harvested -- and this cob had gotten caught on some brush on the edge of the field. It looks like a flag to me -- anyone else?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


A water drop just as it falls off an icicle.
Drip, drip, drip...

Here it is: proof that spring is upon us! Get ready for the spring melt, overflowing waterfalls, and look out for summer. It's just around the corner!!

... right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tech Overlook

Michigan Tech viewed from a high vantage point, with the Portage canal around it, and the Huron mountains on the horizon
Tech, Portage, Huron Mountains

Not much more to say about this one: yesterday, I got to pull out my snowshoes for the first time this year! After a quick romp around the cliffs, I headed back and saw this shot along the way. It was a particularly clear day, so you can really see the Huron mountains in the background -- they're all the way across Keweenaw Bay, in the Baraga Bump area.

Bonus points for anyone who knows where I was standing when I took this shot.