Saturday, October 13, 2012

Two flowers

Two flowers by dcclark

Two flowers entwined, neither of whose name I'm certain about. The pink one is some species of inedible wild pea (perhaps a beach pea), while the second is a common weed in the Keweenaw area.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sunrise Tree

Sunrise Tree by dcclark

This tree spends its life looking out over Mirror Lake at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's a tough life...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paavola Window

Paavola Window by dcclark

Looking through the ruined windows at an abandoned farmhouse, at the Paavola Wetlands north of Hancock, MI.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Fisher by dcclark

Another new photo from the reception tables at my wedding. This one ended up not being used (we took more photos than necessary). This is my home building at Michigan Tech -- Fisher hall. Not the most beautiful photo ever, but interestingly abstract.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse by dcclark

So, I got married recently! At the reception, we gave each table a name of a local landmark -- as well as putting some small photo cards on the table as take-home gifts for the guests. Some of these photos are old ones which I've previously posted (such as my old favorite, Fall Tram at Quincy).

But some are new photos which I took specifically for the tables. I'm going to be posting several of those, starting with this one -- Table #1, the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, now open for historical tours.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alien Boiler

Alien Boiler by dcclark

The Carp Lake mine's boiler tubes... or an ancient iron face?

OK, it's the Carp Lake mine's boiler. This is one of the least accessible ruins in the Copper Country, but also one of the most spectacular to find. It's hidden near Lake of the Clouds, far over the Escarpment Trail, down a long and rocky hill with no trail to be found. But at the bottom is the only in-place Cornish stamp mill in the Copper Country -- possibly in the entire United States!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brockway View

Brockway View by dcclark

A view towards the top of Brockway Mountain, on a hazy summer day. This was one of the photos which we used as "table cards" at our wedding reception.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bare Bluff

Bare Bluff by dcclark

The view from the top of Bare Bluff, a massive outcropping of Rhyolite (a pink mineral, hence the wacky rock colors) which is very very close to the shore of Lake Superior. It's also a Michigan Nature Association sanctuary. This bluff is amazingly remote, too, requiring a long-ish drive on rough logging roads, followed by a hike through some of the steepest and worst-maintained trails I've seen! But it's all worth it, especially for this view straight towards the tip of Keweenaw Point.

This is often misnamed "Bear Bluff" -- sure, there are bears around, but its correct name is Bare Bluff.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Winter Superior

Winter Superior by dcclark

The Lovely Sarah enjoying the view over Lake Superior, New Year's Eve, 2011. We almost stayed at a cabin right next to this spot, but the blizzard coming the next day (and my need to fly out to a conference after that) deterred us.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Split by dcclark

Shadows at a Quincy Mine boiler house. Catching up on some old posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Michigan E Shaft

Michigan E Shaft by dcclark

Yes, I'm alive! I've moved to Minnesota (relevant for this post) and am settling in. More posts on the way, I promise...

The Minesota Mine (yes, spelled that way) was one of the first wildly rich copper mines in the Copper Country. It closed, in the words of the copper handbook, largely due to management unwilling to invest the necessary money in keeping it going. It was reborn as the Michigan Mine, on a much grander scale.

When it began to play out (again), they expanded and drove new shafts, including the "E" shaft. Its fortress-like ruins still sit atop a short bluff, with its collapsing shaft recently re-capped. I have no clue what happened to these ruins to cause them to fall apart this way -- it's very unusual, even in the ruin-ridden Copper Country.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012


Conduit by dcclark

Conduits entering the Quincy #8 (Mesnard)'s small modern hoist house.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Automating time-lapse photos with gphoto

Important update, December 2023: This post is quite old and hasn't been updated in more than 10 years. It might or might not be useful or accurate. I've moved to using a camera with a built-in intervalometer.

My article on installing and using gphoto introduced a great piece of software which lets you use a computer to control your camera. 
The purpose of this article is to show you how I used gphoto to automatically adjust the shutter speed in this time-lapse video of the sun setting behind the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wavy Window

Wavy Window by dcclark

There's this urban legend that glass is actually a liquid. Then again, some people say that old glass was just fundamentally wavy. Either way, this old window looks out into the courtyard at Kloster Irsee, Germany.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Self portrait with ice

Self portrait with ice by dcclark

Each year in late winter, I try to take a snowshoe hike out to Hunter's Point, an arm of land which separates Copper Harbor from Lake Superior. The north (Superior) side of this rocky point has bedrock outcrops right up to the water, and Superior usually turns them into spectacular ice sculptures.

This year was no exception, and I hiked all the way to the end of Porter's Island (right off the tip of Hunter's Point), where a huge wall of Copper Harbor Conglomerate faces the fury of Lake Superior. Standing high up on this ice-covered wall, I took this photo of the mini icebergs already forming in the warming lake.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Graffiti Heart

Graffiti Heart by dcclark

Graffiti in an old boiler house at the Quincy Mine. This is the older graffiti, as opposed to the newer stuff which has been in the news lately.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rust Pools

Rust Pools by dcclark

On the bat cage over an air shaft at the old Petherick Mine, Copper Falls, Michigan.

This "bat cage" is a repurposed vat of some sort, turned on its end and capped with a big cage which allows bats to escape (but makes humans stay out). It was once blue, but those days are quickly coming to an end...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Curving Road

Curving Road by dcclark

The view from a high point along the Cliffs, looking towards the ghost town of Phoenix. No, not that one.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blue Ice Abstract

Blue Ice Abstract by dcclark

It's been a while -- I've been out photographing, but being slow to upload!

I took my yearly trek out to Hunter's Point in Copper Harbor last weekend. One side of this point faces Lake Superior, and the rocky shore collects some beautiful ice formations. This trough was layered over massive outcrops of conglomerate and basalt. Yes, it really was that color!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mesnard Basement

Mesnard Basement by dcclark

The "maintenance corridor" which surrounds the outside of the old Mesnard mine's giant cement hoist foundation. The Mesnard was also the site of one of the last hopes for the Copper Country's copper industry -- the Homestake copper exploration of 1976. They searched but didn't find enough to keep going. Now all that's left are foundations and a giant steel headframe.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lookout View

Lookout View by dcclark

The view from "The Cliff Lookout" aka "The Anvil" aka many other names -- a lookout along the Cliff Range. I snowshoed up to this lookout by following the ridge line (visible here) all the way from the North American mine.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Champion Rock Bins

Champion Rock Bins by dcclark

Underneath the massive -- but slowly decaying -- Champion #4 rock house. This photo shows the path of the old rail spur which lead under the rock bins, where train cars could pick up copper-bearing rock to take to the mill.

This photo was taken as part of a tour on the Copper Country Explorer weekend, 2010.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Switches by dcclark

Some sort of mechanical-electrical switches at the Champion #4 hoist building.

We gained access to this building as part of the Copper Country Explorer weekend tour in 2010. The building originally housed a giant steam hoist for the Champion #4 mine, but in its later years it was scaled down to a much smaller electrical hoist -- leaving an awful lot of empty space.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stope Hole

Stope Hole by dcclark

Catching up: Here's an old shot from the Delaware Copper Mine, and excellent self-guided mine tour up in the Keweenaw Peninsula. This is a stope hole (possibly better called a "winzie") which connects the 1st and 2nd levels of the mine. The hole connects to the top of a "stope" (an area of copper ore which was removed) which is now filled with water.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

C Shaft Hill

C Shaft Hill by dcclark

The beginning of the tram road from the C shaft of the old Minesota mine's tram road -- yes, that's spelled right -- at the top of the cleverly named C Shaft Hill.

The Minesota was one of the richest mines in the Copper Country -- in its time. But it mined a special type of lode which had huge chunks of pure copper, and which (like most lodes of that type) ran out fairly quickly -- nothing near the 100+ years that Calumet and Hecla or Quincy would survive, working low-grade lodes filled with tiny nodules of copper. The lode mined at the Minesota was right on the face of the bluff, and so the rockhouse and other parts of the mine had to be below the bluff face.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


De-fense! by dcclark

You may have noticed that I suddenly slowed down, and then totally stopped, posting photos recently. Well, I had a good excuse: I was going through a butterfly-like transformation and becoming Dr. Clark!

This photo, taken by one of my colleagues, is from my dissertation defense -- a presentation made to my advisor, a committee of professors, and anyone else from my department who cared to come. I presented on and answered questions about my last 5 years' worth of mathematical research. After some grilling by my committee, the deed was done: they agreed that I would be a doctor of mathematics!

Anyhow, the long and short of it is that, in preparing for this day, everything else took a back burner. After that, the combination of finishing up the final details of my dissertation, moving into a new apartment, and the holidays generally kept me from editing and posting photos. More later, I promise!