Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow on the mind.........

Now that we are heading toward the New Year and the real part of winter I've got something on my mind. Snow! How much will we get this year? How cold will it be?
Already we are aware winter has started stronger then years past. The Metro dome in Minneapolis collapsed due to the weight of a record setting snowfall there. Along Lake Superior we are off to a good start. According to NOAA we are in a LA Nina pattern.That means more moisture and cold then average meaning more snow. Great for winter sports and scenery. A friend in Scotland sent a picture of his driveway area after their record setting snowfall recently. They too are having some unexpected heavy snow. Bring it on I say, if it's going to be winter make it a REAL winter.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Full Moon

Happy Holiday!

"Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head
After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn
When I look down again
The whole landscape has changed
The perfect surface gone
Criss-crossed and written on
where the wild creatures ranged
while the moon rose and shone.

why did my dog not bark?
Why did I hear no sound
There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go
When the December moon is bright,
What worlds of play we'll never know
Sleeping away the cold white night
After a fall of snow."
- May Sarton, December Moon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Snow for Christmas

The live cam down at Canal Park shows a very grey scene today. It says a white Christmas is coming. The sky says nothing but snow to me. Which is what the north is all about.I'm sure somebody is getting skis for Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Copper Harbor Christmas

When it comes to lighting a Christmas tree Copper Harbor Michigan does it right. Not only do they light up the tree, they light up the sky as well. A wonderful village at the tip of the Keweenaw Copper Harbor is open all winter for X-Country Skiing and Snowmobiling. Or snowshoeing,sightseeing or downhill skiing! The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is now open in the winter as well. Two restaurants on the Main street are open all winter. Mariner and the Pines.

From the paper:
Daily Mining Gazette/David Archambeau

Fireworks, a bonfire and Christmas lights are shown at the fourth annual Christmas tree lighting and bonfire at Grant Township Park outside the community building in Copper Harbor. Between 50,000 and 60,000 lights were lit and a crowd came to watch the events.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Season

Downtown Grand Marais is looking festive, some shopping at the Trading Post and lunch at the Blue Water Cafe sure sounds pleasant doesn't it? The view from a booth of the harbor is my favorite. Always interesting people coming and going and all friendly. That is my experience when visiting. If your fond of X-Country Skiing the snow is deep and trails are groomed. The report from the Cascade Lodge is that trails are excellent.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where is the snow and ice?

I never get tired of looking at Satellite shots of Lake Superior. They are fascinating. Where is the snow and what bays are frozen? You can see the inner harbor of the Twin Ports is frozen and Chequamegon bay also frozen over. There have been some very cold nights. Everywhere in the north land has snow cover. The last time Lake Superior was completely frozen over was the winter of 2002-2003 I believe? Correct me please if I'm wrong! The top picture was 2008-09 in which the lake was just about frozen over but not quite. A open area is visible along the Eastern side of the Keweenaw. I do however recall the winter of 1979 which was brutal and the lake was completely frozen over. To this day friends and I talk about working outside in the winter of 1979 when we were young and dumb enough to work outside.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend storm brings more then snow

The end of last October a big low pressure system brought huge waves to Grand Marais Mn. This time the wind was blowing from the north and hitting Marquette Mi. breakwater. This is a good wave watching spot as the waves hit this breakwater quite often. It was howling this weekend on the open lake.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A snow event followed by a cold event

One thing that goes with the Lake Superior Region more then anything else is weather.
When you’re near the big lake you think weather, you can’t look at the big lake without thinking about wind and waves. And in the winter its snow and wind chill values. Another storm is approaching for the weekend. First comes the snow of various depths depending where you are near the lake. Second comes the wind chill on Sunday night into the next week. Cold we haven’t seen for awhile as recent winters have been mild. This is weather that makes you think of winters past. Its early in the winter and I’m still looking forward to snow and storms. I think by the time we reach February that will likely change.

Windy...snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow may be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 5 to 10 inches. Highs 20 to 25. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph.
Saturday night:
Windy. Mostly cloudy. Snow showers likely in the evening...then scattered snow showers after midnight. Areas of blowing snow through the night. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation 7 to 18 inches. Lows 1 below to 4 above zero. North winds 15 to 25 mph...except north 25 to 35 mph near Lake Superior. Chance of snow 70 percent. Lowest wind chill readings 15 below to 25 below zero after midnight.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grey is beautiful

Tonight's Grand Marais live cam looks very grey and lonely. But I like it alot, grey can be very beautiful. It really has a feeling to it. It says winter and change. The light looks pretty lonely out there on the breakwater.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Northern Minnesota?

Where is this? Where is Waldo? This photo looks like it was taken in Northern Minnesota if you consider the snow depth. Perhaps near Eagle Mountain? Not really of course, it was taken today in Northern Scotland. They have been getting very unusual winter weather that hasn't occurred since 1966. Some areas got a foot of snow. That is a friend who now lives there and once used to enjoy the Gunflint Trail with his Grandfather on East Bearskin Lake. That is the connection to Minnesota and Lake Superior.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where are we?

You could play the Where is Waldo game with pictures around Lake Superior. I'm sure there are folks out there that can guess right away where pictures are taken as they are so educated about lake Superior. These shots were taken in Copper Harbor Michigan on Hunter's Point. Purchased and protected by donations this point of land is a real gem. Yes you can search for rocks. Protected from development it's a nice addition to the Copper Harbor's list of things to do.
Trails go out to the point and you can view Lake Superior to the north and Copper Harbor across the harbor. How long did it take for the waves to wear that concave shape into that very hard rock? I'm guessing the entire 11,000 years since the glaciers melted. Of course the lake level was much higher so waves weren't hitting this rock all that time. But you get the idea. For more information I found this interesting site:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Big gale brings lake effect snows to the U.P

It wouldn't be the U.P of Michigan if it wasn't for the big lake effect snowfalls during the winter.
The amounts vary from year to year from the legends of 1978-79 with 390" to last year's low amounts in the 100" range.
When you think winter in the U.P snow is the first thing on the mind. Houghton got 8 inches and Calumet up the road got 15" of snow. I find that it never seems to bother Yoopers much at all. Matter of fact some are upset if there isn't big snowfall. Snow means winter sports and winter visitors. The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is now open all season in Copper Harbor. They have X-Country trails and sledding. A nice large fireplace in the dining room. I wish I was there right now. The famous snow gauge is on HWY 41 on the way to Copper Harbor just south of Phoenix.
Phoenix is very small, a nice old white church, general store and a rock shop. I think the general store is still open? I don't know where else the people of Eagle Harbor get their milk? These are mysteries of the Keweenaw. Where do people shop? Do they really drive in the deep snow all the way to Houghton or Calumet for groceries? Of course they do! They are tough folks and have 4WD vehicles. In some Southern Wisconsin cities 3" of snow and a threat of more causes a early release of school classes! That is child's play in Upper Michigan. They call that a dusting........

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big waves

On the western end of the lake it was breezy today. But nothing like what is happening on the eastern side. It's a big lake and there is quite the gale going on from Copper Harbor to Whitefish Point. Waves to 20 feet!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The picture says it all....

Looks like fall has turned to winter for good this season. Snow for Thanksgiving in the forecast and snow on the ground this morning in Grand Marais Mn. But this means X-country skiing and Lutsen Mountain soon to open as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great Sand Bay Michigan

On the western side of the Keweenaw in the U.P of Michigan is Great Sand Bay. A huge bay that is also a favorite spot for agate hunting. It is really a great view and good place to hike on the beach. In the distance is the Monastery dome just barely visible. Many may know it for the Jampot and the great goodies the Monks sell from their store. Years ago when buying fudge brownies I asked what do you do all winter? When the tourist season is over? They said, UPS! They ship the fruitcakes and jams on UPS! Well of course I thought, how clever is that. The Jampot is now a regular stop for many when visiting the Keweenaw. Just northeast of Eagle River on M-28. This drive all the way to Copper Harbor is one of my favorites in the U.P.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Too warm to stick.....

Warmer by the lake is the reason for all the rain. A inch and a half of rain near
the shore of the town of Bayfield. Foggy over Chequamegon Bay. Inland there is heavy wet snow that is still falling. These shots from my web cam pointing toward the south overlooking Chequamegon Bay and Ashland Wi. Sometimes the web cam works, sometimes it doesn't? A mystery that has haunted me for two years.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This is November

This is more like the November I recall in Duluth Mn. The rain before the snow
and the wind blowing some rollers into the shore.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snow this weekend?

The calm before the first big snowstorm? Or is it too warm near the lake for the snow yet?We shall see this weekend and the sky on tonight's harbor cam in Grand Marais says something is coming.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It may be small but...

Copper Harbor Michigan has a great deal to offer. So much to do at the tip of the Keweenaw. It really has something for everybody. If you wish to just enjoy the scenic beauty you can just hang out and do that. The views from the shorelines and the top of Brockway Mountain Drive are incredible. You can watch the freighters on the lake make the turn and head to Duluth. Go to Hunter's Point and watch the waves crash onto the rocks. If you need more you can ride the Mountain Bike trails or hike into the pines to see 600 year old pine trees. Explore Fort Wilkins at the end of the road. You can kayak in the harbor. Take a Lighthouse tour and of course eat in the nice restaurants and bars. It has a good feel to it that makes you want to just be. You can do everything or nothing. That is a great deal for a place with a year round population of about 80.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whats new in the U.P??

HOUGHTON COUNTY -- The world’s largest piece of glacial float copper will soon be on display in Presque Isle Park, thanks to the vision of the late Upper Peninsula historian and educator, Fred Rydholm. Weighing more than 40 tons, the natural copper slab is approximately 15 feet in diameter and several feet thick. Float copper is naturally formed and has been carried or "floated" along by the last glacier. The massive piece of copper was discovered in 1997 on private property near Hancock. Rydholm, who was a founding member of the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society (AAPS), asked the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) to assist them in saving the copper from being melted down for industrial use.

Thanks to the City of Marquette, the world’s largest piece of copper will now be on display in Presque Isle Park. It’s interesting to note that in 1843, surveyors recorded veins of copper and silver at Presque Isle. Marquette was also an important shipping hub for the growing copper and iron industries. The famous Ontonagon Copper Boulder that is now housed in the Smithsonian Museum weighs in at less than two tons.

"This is really a labor of love in honor of Fred. Sharing the copper was his dream, and it’s just great to see all of these people pitching in to help make his dream come true," said Carl Lindquist of the SWP. A number of regional companies have donated their services to help with moving and displaying the 80,000 pound specimen. Companies include, but are not limited to, Lindberg and Sons, Oberstar Excavating, Nagelkirk Landscaping, Tri-Media Engineering, Gary Moyle Contracting, Holli Forest Products, Cook Sign, and the Ford Motor Company. The Ford Motor Company history division will be filming the copper move as part of an upcoming documentary about Upper Peninsula copper. The SWP is also assisting the AAPS with a community capital campaign to complete the purchase of the copper. Individuals, businesses, or corporations that are interested in helping to preserve this unique piece of Upper Peninsula natural history can contact the Superior Watershed Partnership at (906) 228-6095.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I love Grand Marais! WOW!

Grand Marais Tourist Association sent this photo on their mailing lists. Just incredible shot of the big storm driven wave breaking over the lighthouse. Their big Bluegrass Weekend is coming soon also!

And the big lake is KING! Look at those wave heights on the NOAA map! There wasn't a ship on the lake last night when I checked the real time ship tracking.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big storm tonight on the Big Lake.

Biggest storm tonight since the night of the Edmund Fitzgerald Storm in 1975. It's a monster low pressure complex. These storms just don't happen very often but when they do you don't want to be on the Great Lakes.

Storm may beat 1975 gale that doomed Edmund Fitzgerald

10/26 - Chicago, Ill. - A storm stronger than the one that sank the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 is expected to slash across the Midwest Tuesday whipping waves as high as 27 feet.

A line of severe thunderstorms driving wind gusts of 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour will arrive in Chicago before 10 a.m., said Andrew Krein, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, Illinois.

The storm will be a cyclone, with projected central pressure, a measure of its strength, forecast to be 28.35 inches. That would make it the second most severe system to strike the Great Lakes, according to the weather service.

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank on Nov. 10, 1975, in Lake Superior about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. The Edmund Fitzgerald storm had a central pressure of 28.95 inches. The strongest storm recorded in the lakes was the “Great Ohio Blizzard” of January 1978, which had a central pressure of 28.05 inches.

The pressure at Duluth Tuesday bottomed out at 28.35 about 11:30 a.m. On vessel on lower Lake Michigan reported a wind gust of 108 Mph and pressure was reported at 28.33.

In comparison, when Hurricane Earl reached Category 3 strength in the Atlantic at the end of August, its central pressure was recorded at 28.20 inches.

Great Lakes cyclones aren’t like hurricanes, however, Krein said. The storms gather their energy from the Jet Stream and the upper atmosphere, while hurricanes draw their power from warm ocean waters and have the strongest winds wound tightly around the core.

Krein said the storm also isn’t likely to produce a lot of rain. Aside from the heavy thunderstorms that arrive with the first blast of wind, the weather will be drier and breaks may appear in the clouds.

The blue sky shouldn’t deceive anyone, he said. The storm will last at least two days and will cause a problem for ships.

In advance of the storm, the weather service has issued a high wind watch from South Dakota to Ohio. A watch means sustained winds of as much as 40 mph are possible. In addition, a high wind warning, meaning gusts of 75 mph are possible, has been issued for parts of northern Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the weather service.

Open lake forecast for the region are included below:
Lake Superior
Storm warning Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, winds building to 55 knots, waves 22 - 27 feet.
Off Duluth - Superior the American Century and Edgar B. Speer were anchored.
In the upper St. Marys River in Waiska Bay - CSL Laurentian, James R. Barker and Burns Harbor in Rabar Bay, American Mariner in Pendills Bay, St. Clair in Goulais Bay. James R. Barker departed upbound around 3:30 p.m. American Integrity was heading east bound hugging the upper peninsula of Michigan. In the lower St. Marys - Lee A. Tregurtha, Buffalo, Karen Andrie, Kaye E. Barker, Paul R. Tregurtha, Palau and Algocape. Michipicoten was tucked in behind St. Joseph Island off Bruce Mines and Algorail behind Drummond Island. In the Straits west of Mackinaw City - Alpena and Philip R. Clarke. Around Bois Blanc Island below the Straits - Wilfred Sykes, Robert S. Pierson, Samuel de Champlain, Algomarine, Joyce L. Van Enkevort. Frontenac departed Port Dolomite about 3 p.m. heading for the anchorage off Detour, the Sykes left the anchorage and headed into load. Federal Power was in Hammond Bay just north of Rogers City. Calumet came through the Straits east bound about 5 p.m. and continued on downbound.

Bloomberg News Service

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moose Madness

It was Moose Madness this weekend in Grand Marais. Wish I was there. A fellow blogger is talking about if Moose could vote. So I thought it was fitting that I posted my Moose picture.It's not a good picture as she was trotting for the bush. She snorted and was annoyed that I had bothered her as she was grazing in the ditch area. We were returning from Thunder Bay Ont.
as you can see on the sign. She wasn't the biggest cow you could see but I'd not want to mess with a Moose. Or hit one with a car for that matter. We had just commented how we would never see one. Then of course you do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The weather

Don't like the weather, just wait a day. The wind coming out of the Northeast today and it's chilly. But it doesn't stop the boat watchers down at Canal Park. Even in 48 degrees and a brisk wind they come out in number to see the big ships. The live cam at the Marine Museum is really nice. You check arrivals on the Duluthshipping news and go to the cam. You can be a boat nerd
and watch no matter where you are presently.

Friday, October 22, 2010

End of a perfect day...

This weather won't last forever of course. I believe we are all aware of that fact. I see many people today doing alot of walking and enjoying the lovely day. October has been wonderful to say the least. I can't recall a better October at all. So warm and sunny. Looks to be a chance of rain and a change coming in the weather this weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grand Marais sunset

Really nice shot tonight on the Grand Marais live cam.
I was just there a week ago but still visiting via the Internet.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Late fall trip up the North shore.

The leaves went fast this year but there was still some color to be seen in areas. The weather has been fantastic this fall with warmer then average temperatures and clear skies. Perfect for touring around the North land. And after a nice meal you watch the twilight at Grand Marais harbor and go make a fire in a historic cabin. You can stay in one of the newer condo resorts with all the extras but it won't give you that real feeling of the North shore. The cabin was built in 1922 and has been restored very nicely. It should last for years to come. As you can see the stream that runs past the cabin was almost dry. The Arrowhead region has a drought. Perhaps they will get some heavy snows this winter that will also keep the cross country trails open
and Lutsen Ski Resort busy. Grand Marais is a wonderful small town with about anything you could want. Plenty of good places to eat,shop and be entertained.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boundary Waters

While enjoying fall colors in the Boundary Waters a fox came right at the car. He had apparently done this all summer to tourists and knew he would get a treat. He had next to no fear at all.
He got a nice pretzel that was honey flavored which I'm sure was a real enjoyment to him. What could be better? I have no idea what a mouse or rodent tastes like? But he really likes the handouts better judging by the way he rushed the car.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The big picture.....

I’m not sure what it is about a place that resonates within a person.
The big lake that reminds us that everything is small in comparison. The Saw tooth mountain ridge with views and hawks flying south in the fall. The endless scenery on the drive north to Canada. Being around like minded people that seem to think correctly in a ever changing crazy world. The awareness of the seasons and weather that you don’t get in a city setting. The timeless feeling that a wild area gives you when you understand your only here for a tiny period of time and that rock your standing on is millions of years old basalt. I’m sure it’s a combination of everything stated above. Our daily concerns are really nothing. The big upset at work or home is nothing but a minor hiccup in time. Get in the car and drive up the North shore and see the colors and feel the crisp clean air. Yes I’m more then ready for a drive to the border and back this coming week. Photos are provided thankfully by the local live cams which provide wonderful views while your at the desk doing the daily grind on the computer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Color time is the best!

Where are the colors? There are many web sites telling of the color at a percentage and will peak at this date or that date. But want to know right now where the colors are??? Look to the NOAA Satellite shot of the Lake Superior Region. Nothing is more COOL then a shot of the earth from space and what is more COOL then Lake Superior. Next week I'm off to the North Shore of Minnesota and excited about it. Colors look to be peaking on the ridges but will be changing soon along the lake shore. There is not much better then a cruise up HWY 61 in cool weather with colorful leaves on one side of the road and Lake Superior on the other side. I'm thankful to be able to do it and have the time. The car is serviced with a new set of radials, I'm ready to go.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Copper Harbor Michigan

Had a wonderful September week in Copper Harbor Michigan. The weather was wonderful after a gale just before our arrival. The power had been out for 36 hours which was a real problem for local restaurants. We had one windy night and then very great weather. You could see all the way from the Keweenaw to the Minnesota North shore from Brockway Mountain Drive. On the way down I took this shot of the Village of Copper Harbor. We hit each restaurant and each shop.Visited Fort Wilkins State Park and the Lighthouse. We did our part to keep the economy of the U.P going forward. I was proud to buy some souvenirs and some great books at the local shops. I took hundreds of photos and will post them in the coming months. But first its off to the North Shore of Minnesota again for the fall colors. Again taking more photos for posting this winter on the Blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The fall to come

There is alot of talk about that it could be a outstanding fall for color this year. The leaves are beginning to change already but it's awhile before peak. Moisture and other conditions are factors to the good leaf color. I make my best guess and hope we hit the peak on our planned trip up the North Shore of Minnesota. Then you hope for a cool crisp sunny Autumn day. Click on the link below for the fall color report.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Make a run for the border............

Not to Taco Bell for dinner, how about running to Grand Portage for the Grand Opening of the new Visitor Center! And of course High Falls and wonderful fall colors.