North Woods Adventure

posted in: Ely Adventure, Photography | 3

North Woods Adventure

I spent President’s Day weekend near Ely, Minnesota. It was a beautiful weekend with weather in the 40’s and 50’s. Although there was probably at least 18 inches of snow left on the ground it was melting fast.

I’m heading up to Ely next week to house-sit (for my husband’s cousin and her husband) and photograph the north woods for about 3 months from March – May. My weekend trip was my opportunity to learn what I need to know while I’m there and get a better sense of the lay of the land.

 The property where I’m staying (80 acres) has a trail through the trees along the Burntside river. The trail had been packed down earlier by Dennis snowshoeing over it. Sunday morning before the snow was too soft we went for a hike down the trail. Only occasionally did one of my boots break through the packed trail to sink almost up to my knee in the snow.

I found this beautiful birch log leaning on a lichen covered rock in the woods. I love the muted colors along with the intricate beauty of these tiny organisms.

The view from the deck of the house with trees and a cabin that the family lived in while they built their lovely home along side the Burntside River.

There is a tree visible from the house and deck where one of the resident bald eagles often perches. I shot this from the deck hand-holding my camera with a 100-400 mm lens set at 400 mm with a 1.4 tele-converter (effectively 560 mm).

The eagle must have seen a glint of the glass from the lens because as soon as I aimed my camera in its direction it took off. This was the second shot I managed to take. This shot is also cropped significantly—area shown is probably 1/4 of the frame I shot.

On a walk a little before sunset, the sky was bright and dramatic.

From our hike in the woods Sunday morning. My husband’s cousins led the way. I followed more slowly pausing to shoot frequent photos. The trees around us were mostly red pine, white pine, jack pine, balsam, birch and aspen.

A view of the Burntside River Sunday. The river ice was quickly melting and the open water area grew rapidly.

Sunday just before sunset we went for a walk on the gravel road that leads to their home. Flock after flock of ravens began flying overhead to an area of sheltered pines near the road where they would roost for the night. We couldn’t believe how many ravens there were. My cousin’s husband estimated that there must have been about 150 of them. I love these birds!

I shot this photograph of a raven from the car Saturday as they were showing me places I where I can go hiking later this spring.

I am very excited about my upcoming north woods adventure (and a little nervous). When was the last time you headed out on an adventure that stretched you and helped you grow?

May you walk in beauty.









3 Responses

  1. Joanne Engelking

    Lovely photos, Marilyn. How wonderful that you will be staying in the Ely area for three months. Your photos reminded me of excursions to Ely in the winter when my children were young. We would stay at Burntside Lake during the winter to dogsled, x-country ski, and enjoy a sauna followed by a dip in the frozen lake. I look forward to seeing your excursions in the snow and the awakening of the woods to spring.

    The photo of the eagle is great. How lucky to capture it so close. Last April, the day after Prince died, I was getting out of my car at Lake Harriet when Harold, the lake’s resident eagle, swooped across the lake and landed in a pine tree in front of me. I had seen Harold several times on the lake but never so close. Deciding this was a sign from Prince, I took a picture with my cellphone of Harold as he flew from the tree to return to the lake. My picture looked just like yours, except that the sun above him was too bright for a simple phone lens. Needless to say, it wasn’t worth saving. Yours, however, is a keeper.

    Have a great adventure!

  2. musicallysoundhotmailcom

    Heavenly!! Gorgeous pictures from your weekend!! I am excited to see what 3 months produce!! Enjoy the beauty and peace!!

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