Monday, August 31, 2009


A colorful metallic object with a hole in it, through with a valve is visible.
It's ultrawiiiiiiide!

The Redridge Dam is a really fun place to wander around with a camera, especially if you have an ultrawide lens. Since I just received my shiny new ultrawide in the mail, I headed out to enjoy the lines, angles, and textures of the old dam. This is one of my favorites -- one of the old valves which controlled water flow through the dam. Over the years, the valves have become stuck, and during the spring the water often flows right over them. That's what has happened to this valve, which has gone decidedly askew.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Red and Green

Two bright red berries on a branch, against a brilliant green backdrop.
Bright red berries, bright green leaves.

These photos come from my own "back yard" -- my favorite spot, the old Quincy Mine. I'm not sure what they are (they were very small for cherries). I enjoy the color contrasts you can find at this time of year, when bright berries and flowers are competing with the last of the green leaves for attention.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Douglass Houghton Falls

A double streamed waterfall viewed from below, with its mist hilighted by bright sunlight.
Douglass Houghton Falls! At last!

Of all of the waterfalls in the Keweenaw, Douglass Houghton Falls may be the trickiest to get to. It's not actually difficult to get to the waterfall (unlike, say, Montreal Falls or some of the unnamed falls far back in the trackless wilderness), but this waterfall is on private land and the owners do not encourage visitors. Several years after my summer of waterfalls, I finally was able to visit the very last named waterfall in the Keweenaw, with permission.

Douglass Houghton Falls are, by far, the best waterfall I've seen in the Copper Country. They are extremely tall and extremely beautiful, and I can only imagine how amazing they would be in the spring melt, or even frozen in the winter.

Please do not trespass!

Monday, August 24, 2009


A side portrait of Sarah with an arm over her face, only one eye peeking out.
I see you!

I'm not normally a portrait photographer, but my lovely girlfriend Sarah has made me start to rethink things. We had a lot of fun up at Quincy, wandering among the abandoned buildings and trying out funny poses. This is one of my favorites -- hopefully there will be more to follow!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Falls Abstract Redux

The rocks under a waterfall's edge, sharp and jagged.
Canyon Falls in the summer

This is the second in a series of photos from Canyon Falls, a lovely waterfall just south of Baraga. The rocks underlying the waterfall have a sharp, clear edge which is visible under the rushing water. My original Falls Abstract shot from the spring was taken during the melt, while this one was taken after a long dry spell. I hope to find another season, such as late autumn, to complete the series.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quincy & Torch Lake #6

An old steam engine, with many rusted parts, viewed at a sharp angle from the side.
The Quincy & Torch Lake #6 engine is finally back in the Copper Country!

The Quincy Mine now has three of its old steam engines back. The most recent addition is this massive iron beast: the old Q&TL #6. The train was taken away (for restoration) decades ago, but just sat rusting somewhere in New Jersey. Recently, the Quincy Mine Hoist Association was able to return the engine to its old stomping grounds. It's now on display in front of the old roundhouse, hopefully to be restored along with the surrounding area.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bricks and Stones

An abstract composition of broken red bricks and dust.
The remains of the Tamarack #3 Hoist.

Today's photo comes to you from atop a massive rock-and-brick structure: the Tamarack #3 hoist foundation. The Tamarack mine was, once upon a time, the deepest mine in the world. The Tamarack shafts were so deep that they were used by physicists at MTU to attempt to measure the effects of gravity deep within the earth.

Nowadays, very little is left. This particular ruin is made up of massive cement and poor rock walls, lined with bricks (for heat resistance). Over time it has been ground down into dust and chips -- and this is the result.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foggy Barn

A foggy, abandoned barn at the far edge of a freshly cut field of grass.
An abandoned barn in the fog.

This barn caught my eye for many reasons. The first was the fog: when I drove past this barn, it was almost disappearing into a thick fog on the hills above Hancock. Another were the textures: the prickly grass and the old abandoned wood. Finally, old barns are fairly common, but actively tended fields are somewhat unusual in the Keweenaw. While there used to be a fair number of farms to support communities, there aren't all that many crops which grow well in our cool, short growing season. The freshly cut field in front of this barn was a bit of a surprise, and probably was used to make hay for the horses living next door.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


A small cement building with a curved roof and doorway, hidden among overgrown weeds and daisies.
The old Tecumseh Mine's Powderhouse

This photo comes to you from one of my recent adventures: exploring the old Tecumseh Mine with the infamous Copper Country Explorer. These old mines are really surreal -- huge amounts of poor rock spread all over the place, not in piles, but in huge fields.

One of our other finds was this old powderhouse. It is a poured cement building with a curved cement roof, hidden among the overgrown weeds and flowers. This building would have been used to store explosives (probably black powder) used in the mine. It sits here all alone next to an old trail, slowly being taken over by nature.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dead River Rainbow

A view from the top of a rocky waterfall, looking downstream, with a rainbow visible in the mist from the fall.
The Upper Dead River Falls

On the 4th of July, I took a most excellent trip to Marquette to visit a certain special someone. Sarah and I spent a lot of the day hiking up and down the Dead River, which is virtually made out of waterfalls. This was one of our favorites -- one of the largest drops on the river, but also impressive for the rainbow visible in its mist. I highly recommend the trip for any waterfall fans, but beware -- the hike can be very tricky at times. You'll have to be in good shape to do some of the balancing and climbing!