Monday, August 23, 2010

A Weekend Up North

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It was the night of the Perseid Meteor shower peak. The meteor shower was supposed to start after midnight. My buddy and I were in a great spot for some meteor shower photography. There was just one problem. As you can see there were a few clouds handing around. In fact so many clouds in fact no heavenly bodies were to be seen. However the glow from Thunder Bay some 30 miles away was providing some interesting silhouettes and colors. All was not lost, photographically, and there is always next year.

Up Stream Glow On the Pigeon River Grand Portage Indian Reservation, Minnesota (5II-17030)

The Pigeon River was calling so on Friday evening we paddled four miles up stream enjoying a wonderfully calm evening with the sights and sounds of the northern Minnesota wilderness. It's quite interesting paddling these waters and envisioning the history of this river. The Indians have used this waterway for centuries before the time when the Europeans came when they guided voyageur and the transportation of pelts then on to the lumber days when stands of trees were felled and floated down the river to Lake Superior. It's almost overwhelming contemplating these historical events as you paddle down this quiet river.

Face of Partridge Partridge Falls on the Pigron River Grand Portage Indian Reservation (5II-17136)

The Pigeon River was running very low that weekend. A lack of recent rain has caused everything to slow down. This includes Partridge Falls. My experience with Partridge Falls from the last few years has been one of thunderous high energy. One could hear the falls from a distance and you could feel the spray when beginning the decent to the base of the falls. That was not the case this weekend. Partridge Falls showed what was behind it's veil of water.

Partridge Falls at SunsetAlong the Pigeon RiverGrand Portage Indian Reservation(5II-17116)

So low was the water flow we were able to step across the Pigeon River at this spot. The rock on the left side is the US and the right side is Canada. It's pretty amazing to be able to cross the Pigeon River with one big step.

Stars, Clouds and the Spirit Tree Grand Portage Indian Reservation Grand Portage, Minnesota (5II-17152)

A constant draw for night time photography, actually any time of day photography, is the Spirit Little Cedar Tree. This was a particularly important weekend since the annual Grand Portage Pow Wow was taking place. Indians from all over Minnesota, Canada and surrounding state gathered for the Pow Wow. No doubt this was an important spiritual place for these Native Americans to spend time and make offerings. We stayed away from the tree during the day so as not to interrupt anyone's quiet time with the tree and only went down long after the sun had set.

The Spiritual Tree Grand Portage Indian Reservation Grand Portage, Minnesota (5II-17155)

It is a special place the Spirit Tree. This is without a doubt my favorite place on the North Shore.


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