Monday, March 30, 2009

Eagle River Bridge

The wooden Eagle River bridge, running over the cold (but melted) eagle river.
The new Eagle River bridge.

I've always found this bridge to be especially interesting. This is the new Eagle River bridge -- new in a relative sense, because it was built in 1991. But as you can see: it's wooden! And not just any wood, but beautiful, darkly stained wood, built with a bit of an artistic design as well. I took this photo from the old bridge, which was an absolutely standard and boring steel and cement construction. The old bridge is still there, but only for pedestrian traffic -- to enjoy the lovely new ridge, and also the eagle river falls nearby.

Kyle and I headed out a couple weekends ago to check up on some of our favorite waterfalls up in the Keweenaw. The Eagle River falls were one of them (although they were mostly frozen still). We also checked out a few others, whose photos will be featured soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

A bright red Stop sign with a bright blue road sign above it, with the letters BWA visible, against a blue sky.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...

The brilliant colors of this stop sign and road sign caught my eye while out for a snowshoe a few weekends ago. This was at the intersection of US-41 and Ojibway road, where I was wandering around, exploring the old Ojibway Mine ruins. With that in mind...

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Heading to Ojibway,
Exploring the mine.
Stop here on the snow,
can't you read the sign?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lost Light

An abandoned lightpost against a deep blue sky.
An abandoned light post at the Centennial #6

This minimalist shot comes to you from ye olde Centennial #6 mine, which had the honor of being one of the very last operating mines in the Copper Country. As a result of its longevity (or to be more accurate, its opening as the Schoolcraft mine, its re-opening as the Centennial Mine in 1876, then its final RE-re-opening as a "last chance" mine late in the 1970's), the mine was actually fairly modern -- it even had a parking lot, with lights and everything!

This light post was in the old parking lot -- which is almost unrecognizable today, except for the excess of gravel, and these poles standing up here and there. The lot is quickly being overrun by grasses, shrubs, and small trees, all living in the shadow of the old rock house.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Photos for sale!

A collage of my most popular photos.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it has finally happened:

My photos are for sale!

Over the last few weeks, I've been setting up an online store, so that those of you who are fans of my photos can order prints of my photos. Please take a look, and perhaps order a print for yourself. You can check out my store at the David Clark Photography store.

Also, if you like what you see, please feel free to spread the word: let people know about my blog and also my photo store. If you're on flickr, check out my photostream there.

Finally, friends and family -- if you are interested in ordering, be sure to drop me a line for a coupon code. Thanks very much for your support!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ice Falls

A large cascade of frozen waterfalls, blue-green in color.
A seasonal waterfall. Apparently "seasonal" includes winter.

Last weekend, Kyle and I snowshoed at Hungarian Falls. We did something new for me: we started at the bottom of the gorge and worked our way up to the first (and largest) waterfall, following the iced-over stream. Actually, the stream was just starting to melt -- although we followed the well-established snowshoe trails, we still had to deal with a few dodgy spots and near-soakings.

Green ice in a frozen waterfall, viewed from behind.Along the way, we found this beauty of a frozen waterfall -- where no waterfall should be! This is actually a seasonal waterfall, along the side of the gorge. In this case, "seasonal" apparently includes winter. This is every bit as huge as it looks -- towering far above us and requiring a certain amount of skill to get even this close. The colors here are pretty accurate -- they're even a bit more green in real life (to add to the blue ice from Copper Harbor). As a bonus photo, check out how green it appears in the photo on the side here -- I took this photo when we'd climbed half of the way up the side of the waterfall, and found an ice cave behind the waterfall.

Finally, after viewing the main falls from below, we decided it was time to go back... straight up the gorge. As it turned out, that wasn't the most brilliant idea, and we learned the true meaning of "upclimbing is easier than downclimbing". But truly, it's not a hike with Kyle and me if there aren't a few terror-filled moments, with your entire weight supported by a sapling, 50 feet above the gorge floor, wondering just how well you really can sled on snowshoes. Ahem, Mom and Dad, don't read that previous paragraph.

For non-Yoopers, Hungarian Falls are a series of some of the largest waterfalls in the Keweenaw, all collected together in a deep and very steep gorge. The gorge and falls complex also included a large reservoir used by the Calumet and Hecla mining company to power its mills (including the Ahmeek Mill right downstream from these falls). They're also right in the town of Tamarack City, easy to access and a popular place for Michigan Tech students to go hiking.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Almost... there...!

A drop of water barely clinging to the end of an icicle.
Spring's coming... one of these days!

I keep telling myself: it's nearly spring. Look, you can see the icicles melting! Wait... we had a high of 10 with windchills around -20? Then why is the ice melting? Ah, because it's bright, sunny, and clear... which means an even colder night. Dangit, so close!

I spent the better part of an hour standing outside my back door with tripod and long lens, trying to get just the right photo of the icicles melting. My housemates were starting to wonder what in the world I was up to, when I finally caught this drop, just barely ready to fall! The focus isn't perfect, but the shot was too cool to toss -- so, enjoy, and think warm thoughts!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sticks and Stones

A tree with roots crawling along the ground. It has managed to pick up a chunk of red Copper Harbor Conglomerate as it has grown up.
Roots with rocks
Prints of this photo are available!

Here's another stop on our Grand Tour of Hunter's Point and Porter's Island (in Copper Harbor). This beauty of a tree grew up on the conglomerate rock of Porter's Island, and its roots managed to slowly tear up a big chunk of rock as the tree grew.

Everything in sight along this part of the harbor is either red conglomerate rock, or huge black rocks jutting out of the lake. The geology of this area is amazing, and I need to learn more about it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cat Tracks

Cat tracks in the snow on Porter's Island, an island in Copper Harbor
A bobcat?

As promised, here are the first set of cat tracks: the illusive bobcat. At least, I think so: they seem to fit the shape and size for a bobcat, and bobcats are at least somewhat common in the UP. We found these tracks on the inland side of Porter's Island, out beyond the end of Hunter's Point at Copper Harbor. The tracks extended for quite a way along the shoreline, but we never found any signs that it had been hunting -- at least successfully.

Any of my friends who are more familiar with tracks than I am -- feel free to correct me about the identity! I'm certain that these are not wolf tracks -- too close to town, and wolves are pretty uncommon on the mainland. But if there's something else I haven't though of, let me know.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Standing tall

A photo of Kyle standing in silhouette, on snowshoes, looking across the frozen Copper Harbor.
Looking across the frozen harbor
Don't miss my Flickr photostream!

Here's another photo from last weekend's outing to Hunter's Point and Copper Harbor. This is the view across Copper Harbor, from the area right by Porter's Island. As you can see, the harbor is thoroughly frozen. In fact, apparently Lake Superior itself is frozen over -- for the first time in about 6 years, which accounts for our strange lack of snow lately.

On the way around the island, we followed some very interesting animal tracks. They looked like a big cat, so they were probably from a bobcat, looking for food. Our trail followed another sort of cat later on -- the elusive Arctic Cat, which had made some big tracks along the edge of the point. More on those later!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blue Ice

Blue ice on a rock, with sky.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Prints of this photo are available.

Last weekend, my friend Kyle and I made the trek all the way north, to the northernmost part of the northernmost town in Michigan -- Copper Harbor! We snowshoed out on Hunter's Point, a spit of land enclosing the harbor. The land was once nearly turned into a new subdivision full of expensive houses. Luckily, a combination of conservancy groups and locals managed to save the land and turn it into a park.

The point borders on Lake Superior, which means awesome ice formations in the winter! We were actually snowshoeing out on the frozen lake (near the shore) for much of the trip. This was just one of many blue-colored ice formations along the way, formed on the rocks in and near the shore. We also crossed a short bit of ice to Porter's Island, an island in the middle of the harbor which was the site of the original government office responsible for leasing land to early copper miners.

This was a great trip, and I had a chance to try out an ultra-wide lens. This photo is one example, but I have some more... interesting... ones coming up soon!