Lake Superior Shorelines

•08/28/2014 • Leave a Comment

SinclairCove_LakeSuperior

 

I have just concluded a two week trip along the shores of Lake Superior. From Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay. Along with my wife Maureen, I set up base camps in various locations and explored from there. From rain that was heavy at times to cold mornings, it was still enjoyable and fun. At the Rainbow Falls Provincial Park we had a few mornings of 5 to 7 Celsius. At  Lake Superior Provincial Park it was warmer. I crawled over a lot of boulders, walked sandy beaches as well as pebble beaches. It is not hard to be awestruck by the scenes that come before you. From the vastness of Lake Superior to the land formation before you. To stand on a pebble beach and look inland to see the pebble beach extend inland for a hundred feet or more. Thus at one time in history the lake was much higher. The rocks are covered with lichen and are a grey color. You see the power of Lake superior when you observe the smoothness of the rock structures along the shores. The rocks take on many shapes and sizes creating interesting photographic possibilities. Walking in the forest along the shoreline you are greeted by many forms of lichen on the ground or hanging from trees. I was standing on a rock ledge one evening looking at an island that appeared to be not far away. A canoe glided past me heading to this same island. A while later I looked up and was amazed how small that canoe looked in the distance. The island was further away than I thought. This emphasizes the vastness of Lake Superior.

 

Every once in a while you come across a scene that just blows you away. The composition above is one such example. I was standing on the beach at Sinclair Cove looking towards the islands in front of me. This was one of those days that was cloudy and dark. The far hills were covered with mist and sombre looking. It was getting on to late evening. The sun was peaking out now and then. I attached my 70 to 200 Canon zoom lens to be able to get a compact shot. I decided not to have any water in the foreground. To me that would have spoiled the effect. I opted to show mostly sky to emphasize the vastness of this land. Which it truly is. I added a touch of yellow to the lighter part of the sky. With that I enhanced the effect that I wanted. One thing I will say is that to get these type of shots, be aware what is before you and learn to capture these moments. They do not come everyday. It is incredible when this happens. It is awe inspiring to come across a scene such as this. There is so much mood and mystery in a composition such as this. Another fact is that I have been at this location four or five times in the last two years and finally connected.

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is meeting and chatting with people I meet in my travels. I met up with a group of hikers at the Coldwater River mouth area. One of the lads sent me an email.

Hey Ken! I was part of the backpacking group you met on Lake Superior this week. I really like your work and your business cards were a real smart idea. The whole group has talked a lot about you. Well done!

So I asked the young man to send me some info on the group. This was his reply.

We did the trip through Calvin College, a Christian college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The members of our group were from various states in the US. There were nine incoming freshman and two leaders. We went on the trip to meet new people in our class, to learn more about Calvin, and to enjoy the outdoors. It was a pretty sweet trip.

It makes my day when I see young people out in the wilderness enjoying themselves and gaining valuable experience about the outdoors. The best of luck to these youngsters.

As I was putting my gear away at Katherine Cove a couple returned to their vehicle. I struck up a conversation with them. You can read Jen’s blog here. It is very witty and interesting. I am even mentioned.

http://prairiegirlgoeswest.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/from-the-soo-to-the-giant/

This coming weekend is the The Canadian Woodstock in Killarney Ontario. Watch the following video for info.

http://pierreajsabourin.wordpress.com/

Go to Pierre AJ Sabourin’s facebook page for a list of artists to be present.

https://www.facebook.com/PierreAJSabourin.Artist

While that is it for now. Until next time happy trails.

 

Wolf Lake Part 4

•08/21/2014 • Leave a Comment

WolfLake_1440

 

Monday morning dawned with no photo opportunities available.  Toasting bagels for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee sure started the day right. It was a relaxing morning. But all good things come to an end. Thus we packed up, loaded the canoe and made our way to the landing. Pulling up on shore a young couple pulled in behind us. Tim and I quickly unloaded to give them room to pull in. This was a young couple hailing all the way from Pennsylvania USA. They were on a one week canoe trip here. The  lad had ripped his knee open on the rocks somewhere. He was toughen it out though. Tim and I soon had my Ford Escape loaded with the canoe tied down. Before long we  where  at Highway 17E . Tim loaded his gear into his SUV. Shaking hands and saying our goodbyes we parted once again. A great trip. I told Tim I was stopping at the first Tim Horton’s for lunch.

I ordered a soup and chicken salad sandwich.  As I was busy eating my lunch, I noticed Tim standing there with a very worried look on his face. Tim asked me if I had seen his camera bag in my Escape. Saying no, I headed out to check. We were worried that the camera might be back at Wolf Lake. A quick search did not reveal his camera bag. Tim then checked his backpack and there was his camera bag. So all ended well and we parted once again.

I first saw this scene from our campsite. I love it when you can find side lighting as such. It  adds such magic to a composition. What you really have to watch here is that you do not blow out the highlights on the rocks. With the rocks a light grey and the lighting being a little harsh this can happen.

This concludes my first trip into Wolf Lake. It was very enjoyable. I hope to be back soon. So until next time happy trails.

Wolf Lake Part 3

•08/14/2014 • 2 Comments

WolfLake_1367

 

With breakfast over and drinking tea made with blueberry leaves and a couple cut up strawberries, the canoe was soon gliding over the calm waters. We headed towards the landing. Tim and I had decided the evening before to haul the canoe over into Dewdney Lake for some bass fishing. I walked to the truck for our fishing gear. I saw a bag that had spices in it. Opening it I spotted the coffee and tea there. Wow that was so good.  Launching the canoe, slowly paddling the shorelines we were soon casting our fishing lines towards shore. In the process we caught and released 30 to 40 Smallmouth Bass. Most were not of any size, but a pleasant diversion for the day. After a couple hours it was time to head to shore for lunch. There was not much wind and it was getting hot. Tim commented that the sun was getting to him and I was beginning to have a headache. Not to complicate things we headed back to camp. At the campsite I laid down in the tent for a nap while Tim went for a swim. When I woke up and met Tim at our chairs we both had cooled down. Tim spoke about how cold the water was and as he dove deeper it got colder.

Evening arrived and photographic wise you could not ask for better. The wind became calm, lighting became great, just an awesome time for a photographer. We set up among the islands to capture the compositions. The one above is one of the results. Finally the wind came back, but that was okay as it was becoming dark and time to head back to camp.

Wolf Lake Part 2

•08/07/2014 • 2 Comments

WolfLake_1491

 

Having explored the campsite it was time to haul our gear into the campsite. Once the camp gear was in place it was time to sit back, relax and enjoy the grand view. A nice breeze was blowing off the lake. It being lunch time we proceeded to eat lunch. This was when I discovered that I had misplaced the tea and coffee. Tim’s Dad had been an ardent  woodsman and he taught Tim a lot about  the outdoors. One of the things was making tea from plant leaves. In this case he gathered up a bunch of blueberry leaves to put in with the boiling water plus raisins. It was not bad. Experiment and learn.

After stretching out in the tent for a half hour, we were soon on the lake exploring. Wolf lake is not a large lake. As we followed the shoreline enjoying the lake features I noticed that there was remains of trees that had burnt during previous forest fires. All the campsites had been taken. There are apparently four or five campsites on this lake. Approaching the outlet into Sylvester Lake we observed a large party at a campsite. Shooting through a narrow spot between the two lakes, the canoe glided onto Sylvester Lake. Looking around us, it was soon discovered that this lake had nothing to offer for photographing. Paddling back into Wolf Lake we followed the West shoreline to the upper end of Wolf Lake. Turning the canoe back to the campsite, returning in time for supper.

With our meal out of the way it was a matter of waiting for evening to descend upon us. As we sat in our chairs, Tim spotted a Loon across the lake with its one young chick.

I explored the shoreline near camp. There appears to be a very healthy population of Smallmouth Bass in this lake. The lake looks very healthy. There are an abundance of crayfish among the rocks. Crayfish are a favorite of the Smallmouth Bass. We managed to get some photographing that evening. Evening soon turned to darkness. Tim had a good fire going. The mosquitoes appeared. We spent a wonderful evening sitting by the fire under a canopy of stars. The moon was shining as a quarter moon.

When we woke up the next morning the lake was still with mist. I captured the above scene by using the boulders as my foreground and to direct your eye through the V. It helped to eliminate a lot of water from the scene. You can see a small ridge in the background along with what I believe is Wolf Mountain.

I will be posting more work of this trip in the future. I am heading up North of Sault Ste Marie to Lake Superior for a weeks photographing. So until next time happy trails.

Wolf Lake

•08/05/2014 • 2 Comments

WolfLake_1345

 

I met my cousin Tim Bennison at the Kukagami Lake turn off at 8:00 am Saturday morning. While I was waiting for Tim I was able to have a good discussion  with a local gentleman who has spent his whole life in this part of the country. We talked about Wolf Lake and surrounding lakes in the area. He mentioned travelling with his grandfather to the various lakes as a kid. We spoke about the damage that Inco and Falconbridge  had done to the lakes back in the fifties with the acid rain. He confirmed to me that Wolf and Sylvester Lake were now fish sanctuaries. The MNR have planted Lake Trout in these two lakes over the past two years.

With Tim’s gear now loaded into my Ford Escape, we were soon heading North to Wolf Lake. Upon arrival we soon discovered that Wolf Lake is a popular destination for canoeing and camping. As a matter of fact there were even a number of American folks here. A couple of older gentlemen were hauling there gear to the road. We managed to have a chat. They told us where they had been camping. With that in mind we waited until they were finished hauling there gear up. Tim and I began unloading and carrying our own gear down to the lake. It is about 100 foot trip to the lake shore. Pretty easy compared to what we usually do. Heading out on the lake surface we certainly had an awesome view before us. Lots of rock structures and small islands. A spattering of cliff faces. Very nice. The rocks are light grey in color that really glow in the low light.

We headed the canoe across the lake to were the parting gentlemen told us that they had camped. Beaching the canoe in a shallow indent on the far shore, we walked the trail up to the campsite. This turned out to be a wonderful location with a gorgeous view over the lake. We were to be camped on a low ridge over looking the lake. I will take a moment to tell you how clean this campsite  was. There was no garbage to be found anywhere. For an unsupervised area this has to be impressive. The campsite and trails are very well used. Which would mean a lot of campers come here. We discovered the boom box behind the campsite. It was in very good shape. All in all you can not ask for better. I have been at other lakes where the garbage is slewing everywhere. So hats off to the many people that travel here. Keep our wilderness clean.

I will continue this journey in my next blog. It has been a long day. So until next time happy trails.

 

 

A Thought

•08/01/2014 • 2 Comments

FentonLake

 

To destroy is to lose

To preserve is to enjoy

 

 

Early Summer

•07/28/2014 • 2 Comments

_MG_6861_1180

 

It is early summer

In the Northern wilderness

Of the Boreal forest

A clear blue sky

Not a cloud in sight

The sun is descending

On a quiet evening

 

A small swampy lake

Surrounded by Black Spruce

That are stunted and dense

The lake shoreline abounds

With white clustered flowers

Of the Labrador Tea

 

Cup shaped yellow lilies

Perched on long stems

Above the lake surface

Are found in clusters

In the shadow lake

Two quaint  islands dot

The lake’s South end

A beaver house hugs

The smaller island

 

Dragonflies skim the surface

Feeding on the mosquitoes

That are abundant here

Small birds hurry everywhere

Feeding just hatched young

A small sparrow alights

On a grey branch

A momentary perch

Before arisen to flight

 

A Wood Duck hen

Glides along the shoreline

Then rises in flight

Landing near the far shore

 

A Ringed-Billed hen

A rich brown coloration

Appears from a cove

Soon joined by its mate

Gleaming black, grey, white

In the evening light

She dives from sight

While the alert male

Keeps a constant watch

As the hen feeds

They have soon passed from sight

 

A bull moose emerges

From the forest shadows

Its antlers flattened and tined

Are covered in velvet

To stand knee deep

In the calm waters

Eating submerged aquatic plants

The shadows are becoming long

The sun behind the western horizon

The lake is reflectively calm

Darkness descends upon the land

 

I spent a wonderful evening along the shores of a lake in Lake Superior Provincial Park. Just sitting there observing life happening around me.

 

Until next time happy trails.

 
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