Monday, March 8, 2010

A Morning on Wauswaugoning Bay

It has been a few months, almost 5, since I was last at Wauswaugoning Bay. Wauswaugoning Bay is located on the north side of Hat Point on the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe Indian(s) reservation. The reservation lies at the tip of Minnesotas arrowhead bordered by Canada, to the north, and the great Lake Superior to the east.

Wauswaugoning Bay is the home of Manido Gizhigans, Spirit Little Cedar Tree. I was in Grand Portage for the weekend during the opening of the North Shore Photography show in Grand Marais, 40 miles to the south. Four photographers, including myself of course, rose early Saturday morning to shoot sunrise at the Spirit Tree.

The Spirit Tree is sacred to the Ojibwe people. The trip always starts with an offering of tobacco. I carry tobacco in my camera bag for these times, not all of which occur at the Spirit Tree. It is a special place, a source of positive energy and strength from the many people that have passed before me. A time for quietly reflections.

The sunrise this morning was especially eventful. The soft pastel colors in the sky glowed on the horizon and cast beautifully warm colors on the lake. The morning was very calm, absolutely no wind. Lake Superior was calm as well seemingly taking slow breaths as it slept with the ever so slow rise and fall of the ice.

The ice on the lake was quite thin. As the lake took each breath the ice by the shore would softly creak. But out away from shore where the ice could bend with the lakes movement an eerie 'wooshing' sound could be heard. I had never heard this sound before. It was mezmerizing. I simply stood still listening to the music the ice was playing to us that morning. My friend Travis had told me about the music and I was so much hoping to experience it. I got lucky this morning. The winds came up later in the day and blew all of the ice on to shore. During this weekend it was a one day event.

Turn your speakers up and go listen to the sound at Ice Music.



  1. Awesome pictures Roger! Have you gone to Isle Royale yet? That's a goal of mine.

  2. These are incredibly beautiful and it is so wonderful that you have so much respect for the area and it's peoples traditions. I have never seen the Spirit Tree and I have never had a guide and didn't want to trespass. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Haven't been to Isle Royale yet Carol, someday.

    Tammy, you can see the Spirit Tree without a guide from the observation deck. Last year a path was cleared so you get a good look at it. You just can't go down to the tree itself.