May 31, 2014 – A Superior Getaway: Day 2

With the threat of rain for the day, we made a quick trip to Gooseberry Falls early in the morning and found the wildly popular park, usually covered with people like ants, to be nearly empty.

The middle falls.

And one part of the lower falls, with an example of one of the most iconic and under-appreciated trees, the Cedar, its gnarly roots, holding of for dear life on the rock.

The drizzle and fog soon set in as we made the annual pilgrimage to Palisade Head.

Hiking to the north of the cliffs reveals a tundra-like landscape of rock, mosses and lichens, and small trees.

Did I say it was wet?

It was wet down at the beach as well, but as a bonus, made the rocks look their best.

We finally relented and went to Duluth in the evening and sampled some of the fare at Fitger’s Brewery – both dinner and beverage locally sourced.  I was surprised to learn they had their own herd of Scottish Highland cattle for meat for the restaurant – lots of spent grain to feed hearty northern cattle.

May 30, 2014 – A Superior Getaway: Day 1

Linda and I don’t have many chances to sneak away, but we did for a while this weekend.

split rock park beach

Of course, we headed to the big lake and explored some locations we hadn’t previously visited.  While we had visited the lighthouse portion of Split Rock State Park/Historical area, we had not explored the river portion and more remote part of the park.  The water is wonderful as it transitions from clear to turquoise to deep blue as it gets deeper.

split rock lighthouse

Here’s an obligatory view of the lighthouse.

split rock view

A vista from a hill close to shore, looking south towards Duluth.

marsh marigolds

A special shout out to my mother for remembrances of those who fetched these from the ash swamp many years ago.

eagle in tree

The trail soon turned into “animal kingdom” first with this Bald Eagle.

Then this rather skinny doe, no doubt much appreciative of the spring foliage.

ground squirrel

Look, Look, Squirrel!! I believe this is a Franklins Ground Squirrel.

split rock river

A hike up the river leads to a series of waterfalls.

split rock river

And more cascades further up the Split Rock River.

May 17, 2014 – Claire’s Graduation from Macalester

Graduation day at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

toss graduation hat, throw mortar hat


The assembled audience and graduates.

The president addresses the student body.

Claire moments before grabbing diploma.

And immediately after grabbing the diploma.

Posing for the professional photographer.

With some responsible parties.

Her dad trying to embarrass her by bringing out the Iowa State Honor cords.

Claire and Nana.

Yep, it’s got her name on it!

She wanted a shot on her summer and winter mode of transport.

On the swing at graduation…

and on the same swing at first college visit to Macalester.

In front of the wind turbine at graduation…

and again, on her first tour.

Congratulations Claire. I hope Iceland is prepared for what you bring!

May 8, 2015 – Prairie Sky

One of the advantages of living in wide open spaces, is, well, wide open spaces.


A bunch of pop-up thunderstorms rumbled around us this evening.

prairie sky
Looking west at sunset – felt like John Hiattt was here with us singing his song Lipstick Sunset.


May 1, 2014 – Doesn’t Look like Much…

The picture does not belie the effort needed to arrange the photo.

This wagon is the new home to about forty 16 foot-long cattle panels.  They were protecting small trees from grazing animals and now the trees are larger and there aren’t as many grazing animals, so it was time to take down the fences so the trees wouldn’t grow into them.  It is amazing how much grass and soil accumulated around the bottoms – in all cases the first row was buried and in some places, they were buried up to the second cross row.  Who needs a gym membership when you can instead rip these out of the sod and drag them to the wagon (uphill of course!)  The fenceposts that were pulled are in a different pile.