Current Grand Marais Scenes August 2018

This web page update covers from late April through the beginning of August.  We experienced a late winter storm in April, so there was still some ice hugging the Lake Superior shoreline.

While visiting Sable Falls with friends, we noticed a failed attempt by beavers to fall a tree.

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In the spring the deer are hungry.  When the snow starts melting in town and the grass shows through, the deer munch away.

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One of my favorite things about spring is the blooming of the trilliums.  My favorite spot to check out the trilliums is the trail between the Sable Visitor’s Center and Sable Falls.

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Once all the shore ice melts, it is always great to see the rocks along the shoreline.  This year we have more rocks on the beach than we have had for the last few years.

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One night this summer I walked out to the breakwall to enjoy the sunset.  Several people were fishing, others were walking the breakwall to enjoy the beautiful evening, and a freighter went by Grand Marais.

Although I have not gone on very many hikes this summer due to my busy schedule, I did go on one hike on the Masse Homestead trail in the PRNL.  The forest seemed healthy and happy.

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CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2018

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys.

I love taking photos in the Grand Marais area all times of the year, but I think I like winter photos the best. But the first photo included in this webpage update was taken on the south side of the Straits of Mackinac showing the blue ice. Apparently, blue ice rarely forms on the Great Lakes. The phenomenon is much more common on glaciers in Antarctica and the North Pole. It happens because of three processes. The first is that water absorbs the other non-blue colors of the spectrum. The second cause is the lack of bubbles in the ice, allowing the blue wavelengths to continue through the ice and not be scattered by the bubbles. The third factor is the ice thickness and density. All these conditions were perhaps the best locals in the straits area have seen in many, many years.

When people think about walking on the Grand Marais beach, most envision the summer beach. However, the winter beach can be VERY dynamic and beautiful.

My other favorite place to take winter photos is the Grand Sable Dunes in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I’ve taken a few snowshoes in the dunes. This time of year you cannot drive to Sable Lake, so you have to park at the Sable Lake Visitors’ Center and snowshoe to Sable Lake. To get these photos, I snowshoed from Sable Lake, across the dunes to the Lake Superior bluff, and back.

 

I am not sure how much snow we have received this winter season, but we have to be getting close to 300 inches with this late winter/early spring dumping. Here is a photo I took on Coast Guard Point showing how high the snow piles up.

Perhaps the best winter event in Grand Marais is the UP 200 dogsled race, which takes place mid-February. The race teams start in Marquette and travel on well-marked trails to Grand Marais for a required rest period before returning to Marquette. This year the weather was perfect for the race!

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2017

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between August and November.

To begin here are a couple of fall photos. The first was taken from the Log Slide area looking toward Au Sable Point in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The second was taken during a hike on the White Birch interpretive trail above Twelve mile Beach Campground.

 

While at the Twelve Mile Beach Campground I also captured a sunset photo.

 

On another fall hike in the national park from the Log Slide to the Hurricane River, I captured this picture of the lighthouse.

 

The photo below was taken on the same hike. It shows the mouth of the Hurricane River looking west. Grand Island, located in Munising Bay, can be seen in the background.

 

This year we have had more high wind events than you can count. During one storm I drove east of town, hiked to the shoreline, and captured this image.

 

The third week of October we had some of the largest waves ever recorded on Lake Superior. One wave was 28.8 feet high, as measured at a buoy located north of Munising. As a result, the shoreline erosion was intense. There are sections of the beach that are no longer passable unless you walk in the water. At other points, the driftwood just piled up as can be seen in these two photos taken at First Creek, located just west of Woodland Park in Grand Marais.

 

We have had a couple of early snowfalls, but as of the end of November, all the snow has melted. Here are a couple of photos I took just after one of the early snowfalls.

 

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2017

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between the end of March and mid-July.

First, here are a few early spring photos. The first one was taken from the break wall at the end of Coast Guard Point. The second was taken from a bluff in the Grand Sable Dunes.

During late spring when I arrived home, as I drove up my driveway I was greeted by a fawn.

In June we had a lot of rain. One Sunday Grand Marais received five inches. Driveways were washed out, my road was closed due to a sinkhole, other roads were washed out, and the cemetery east of town flooded.

As of mid-July, the level of Lake Superior is 602.89 feet above sea level. This is ten inches above the all-time average for July and only two inches below the all-time recorded high level for the month of July (1950). The current level is 31 inches above the all-time recorded low level for the month (1926). The high water level combined with the increasing number of wind events has caused extreme erosion to the shoreline. East of Grand Marais some of my favorite beaches are no longer accessible since the erosion has formed sand escarpments.

The Grand Marais July 4th celebration was again a great success. The weather cooperated with sun and temperatures in the upper 60s. It was cool enough to allow me to wear the 1800s U.S. Postal Service bear coat and mittens in the parade. The museum founder, Axel Niemi, wore the coat every year, but I only do it when it is cool enough. The firework display was also fantastic!

We have had a lot of great sunsets already this year. In the picture below I used my zoom lens to get a close-up.

I have been doing a better job this summer getting exercise than I have in past summers, but I still do not get out enough. I have gone on several hikes in the Grand Sable Dunes. The following photo was taken from near Sable Lake looking north to the big lake.


In mid-July, I went on a solo hike in the Log Slide area. Unfortunately, the erosion problems took out the platform at the Log Slide. So far the National Park Service has not made repairs. Although the trail to the platform is not open, the North Country trail east and west of the Log Slide is open. The Log Slide itself is also open, but people should take extreme caution going down since there are sections with clay escarpments. The photos below were taken during my Log Slide hike.

CITE

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2017

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between September and February.

First, here are a few fall photos.

One of the first snow storms we had coated everything with white.

Finally, here are some winter photos, including one photo from the UP 200 Dog Sled Race. The mushers stop, rest, and turn around in Grand Marais.

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2016

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys  . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites, to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between December and June.

First I will include several winter photos. The first picture was taken near First Creek, located on the west side of Grand Marais. The weather this day was well below zero with 40 mph winds!

 

The next photo was taken from the boat ramp on Sable Lake, located in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

 

I love exploring the Grand Sable Dunes every month of the year, but I think it is most beautiful in the winter.

 

Lake Superior did not freeze over this past winter, but there were huge shelf ice formations and ice volcanoes near shore!

 

The next two photos document how deep the snow gets in Grand Marais during the winter.

 

 

Us yoopers love the snow!

 

While skiing on the beach late winter, we came across a local resident.

 

In the early spring shelf ice hugs the Lake Superior shoreline.

 

The spring in Grand Marais is steelhead season. The photo below shows a couple of local fishermen trying their luck at the mouth of the Sucker River, located east of Grand Marais.

 

The photo below shows a pond that is located on the beach east of Grand Marais.

 

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2015

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites, to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between July and early November of this year.

Those of you who have followed my webpage and my blog know that I love being in the right place to take photos of animals in nature. During a hike in the western part of Grand Sable Dunes, a friend of mine spotted the snowy owl shown below.

 

I also take many pictures of Lake Superior sunsets. One that I took late summer is below.

 

In early September I went on a hike with friends in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We hiked the Chapel Loop, which is around 9.4 miles long. Two photos are below.

This past two years we have seen a considerable amount of erosion on the local beaches. It is difficult now to walk west of Grand Marais to the Sable River. Also, my favorite agate hunting beach east of town is no longer accessible. A photo of the bluff is shown below.

 

The fierce storms and the waves that result are responsible for the erosion. A series of three photos I took of the lighthouse at the end of the breakwall document some of these waves.

This has been the warmest and most beautiful fall since I moved to Grand Marais in 1994. Below are a few of the fall photos.


Below is another fall photo of Sable Falls.

 

Of course, I have to include a couple fall photos of Sable Lake and one of the Grand Sable Dunes.

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2015

NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures from the late winter and early spring.

First, here are a couple of photos of the outer harbor lighthouse at the end of the channel leading into Grand Marais Bay. These photos were taken when the ice around the lighthouse was at its peak in late April.

Check out this view from the bluff on the south side of the bay looking across the new breakwall toward the channel leading into the bay.

 

Late April is the best time to take pictures of the shore ice. These pictures were taken from the bluff in the Grand Sable Dunes, looking west and east.

Here are a few of my favorite photos taken also in late April. The first shows deer on the beach near First Creek on the west side of town. The second shows a still frozen Sable Lake as seen from up in the dunes.

At the end of April, I walked out onto the breakwall for the first time this year. Each spring is like a right of passage when we do a lot of “firsts” including walking the breakwall, driving the back road to Munising, accessing the bluff (used to be a beach) east of town, etc. There was still floating ice in the channel and across the mouth of the bay looking east. The sunset shows that there were also icebergs looking west.

In early May we had some warm days that melted most of the snow and almost entirely reduced the icebergs. However, you can still see the iceberg remnants in the photos below taken from the trail between the Log Slide and Au Sable Point.

The dunes with the last of the snow are shown in the picture below. I love this time of year since the snow, sand, and dune grass provide a lot of contrast.

 

If you like driftwood, spring is the best time to comb the Grand Marais beaches. Once the tourists start coming, much of the driftwood fuels beach fires (including some of ours).

Sure signs of spring – trilliums and morels.

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2015

For those of you who miss the monthly updates to this webpage and have not checked out other Internet sites at which I post photos on almost a daily basis, please check out my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com. I also have Facebook pages. Unfortunately, there are more than one. My main personal Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I have checked in the past how one can merge Facebook pages. The task is not easy if not impossible. I’ll have to revisit this again. If any of you know how to merge FB pages, please email me at Karen@agatelady.com.

For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures from the Fall and early Winter. Let’s begin with a couple of photos from the Chapel Loop hike I did with friends in October.

A fall sunset from the beach in Grand Marais.

 

Here are a few pictures I took during the early winter months in November and December. We received a huge amount of snow in December with one multi-day blizzard that dumped more than two feet of the white stuff.

One of the reasons I purchased a camera with a powerful built in zoom lens is to have the ability to quickly capture photos of animals. Below are two pictures I took of whitetail deer and one of a muskrat.

This is the third winter in a row that we have received a lot of snow. If we would not have had the partial melt in December, we would be even more buried than we are right now. Pictures took the first few weeks of 2015 show just how much snow we have received.

First, here is a formation in the shelf ice (that we locals call icebergs). These two photos were taken a few weeks apart.

More winter photos…..

The depth of the snow as of early February is shown in the two pictures below. The first photo is of a garage located out on Coast Guard Point. The second photo shows the snow depth on the south side of my house.

CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2014

I would like to thank everyone again for the positive comments about the pictures I post on the blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com, as well as those I put on my personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys?ref=tn_tnmn Sometimes, but not always, I duplicate a few of the photos between the two pages. This helps save time, plus there are different people who visit the two web pages.

For this web page update, I have selected some of my favorite sunset pictures. Beginning early spring, the sun sets far enough to the northwest that we finally get to see it peek out from behind Au Sable Point. We can seemingly see the sun dip to the horizon until the sun again sets behind Au Sable Point in the fall. This year there was floating ice on the lake into June, so I was able to get some interesting sunset photos.

The photo below shows some of the floating ice. This picture was taken on May 28th.

Many of you know that I am passionate about the Grand Sable Dunes. The picture below was taken from the middle of the dunes.

Of course, I have to include a beach photo. The picture below was taken around six miles east of Grand Marais.