Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Stargazing, Summer 2020

 The summer of 2020 has been wonderful for stargazing. First the Comet Neowise in July was quite spectacular. (see my previous blog, 

With clear nights and a new moon I spent the last 3 nights marveling at the celestial wonders of the night sky. It is such a special time to be out during a summer night - to listen to the sounds (crickets, loons, coyotes, frogs, water splashing etc.). I also noticed many smells and fragrances seem to be more intense compared to the day time.  

Looking up at the sky I feel rather small in this vast universe and I wonder who and what else is out there??  For a moment my earthly existence with all its ups and downs seems to disappear.

I tried to find some new locations in my area (Rusk County, Wisconsin) to capture the Milky Way with some interesting foregrounds or rivers/lakes. I had to find open areas facing towards the south east. Most of the following night photos were taken between 9:45 -11pm.

Enjoy and thanks for viewing.


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The Milky Way at the Chippewa River

St. Francis of Assisi church - with the different light sources it was a challenging situation. I noticed a small red Exit sign inside the church and due to the 25 second long exposure it illuminated the windows and door. A bit of a spooky look.

Blue hour at the Flambeau River, while waiting for darkness

Blue hour at the Flambeau River (Little Falls), while waiting for darkness

The Milky Way bright and clear at the Flambeau River. Jupiter is so bright that it reflects in the water.

Thornapple Dam and night sky, Flambeau River

The Milky Way and Jupiter, Chippewa River

The last daylight (blue Hour) at the Chippewa Flowage

The Milky Way arching across the Chippewa Flowage

The Milky Way arching across the Chippewa Flowage

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Red Granite Falls area

Nature has always been the best medicine for me. When I am troubled or need to sort things out, the best thing to do for me is to go for a walk in the woods, preferably along a river/waterfall. So that's what I did - without much thought I grabbed my camera gear and headed north. I ended up at Copper Falls State park near Mellen, Wisconsin - probably my favorite park in the northern part of the State. 
This time I explored the Red Granite Falls - a lesser visited area of the park. There is a beautiful trail through the woods along the Bad River. It was partly cloudy which is perfect for waterfall photography. On the longer exposures I used a polarizer and 4 stop ND filter. 
I so enjoyed my visit that I totally lost track of time. It was getting late and I had a 1 ¾ hrs drive home, otherwise I would have stayed longer.

The dark brown/golden color of the water is due to "Tannins".
What causes that "root beer" color in some lakes?
Sometimes described as root beer, coffee, tea, or bog stain, such coloring is natural for many waters in northern Wisconsin. The coloration is not harmful and results from incompletely dissolved organic materials, sometimes referred to as tannins, which come from the decomposition of wetland plants in the watershed of the lake. Often, the greater the amount of wetlands in the watersheds, the darker the color of the water. Since the predominant land type in the watersheds of northern Wisconsin lakes is often a mixture of forests and wetlands, this can result in many lakes having this dark coloration.

As always, thanks for viewing! Enjoy! Susanne 

Click on the photos for a larger view. 
Interested in purchasing a print? go to my website:
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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Perrot State Park, Wisconsin

When I go on a trip I always head north. But a few days ago (July 28, 2020) I went south with some friends to the Perrot State Park near Trempealeau, Wisconsin. The 1200 acres are nestled among 500 foot bluffs where the Trempealeau and Mississippi rivers meet. The park is known for its breathtaking river views from the hiking trails and its natural, archaeological and historical resources. There is a campground, biking trails and canoe rentals. The visitor and nature center were closed due to the Covid pandemic.
We hiked to an overlook, Brady's Bluff, which was a short but steep climb. But it was so worth it as the views were spectacular.  The shelter on top was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in 1935.
The steep-sided Trempealeau Mountain is to the north,  surrounded by the Mississippi and Trempealeau Rivers. It is one of only three solid rock islands along the entire stretch of Mississippi River. Standing 425 feet high, the mountain was used as an early navigational device by steamboat captains and other river travelers.
We took the scenic road (Hwy 35) home, along the Mississippi river and stopped at various places. The vegetation is so different compared to northern Wisconsin. I almost felt like being in a jungle at times. 
Near Nelson we saw a large field of sunflowers - what a beautiful sight.

Enjoy the photos from my trip to the South!

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Interested in purchasing a print? go to my website:
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Trempealeau Mountain and Winona (Minnesota) in the distance

Trempealeau Mountain and Mississippi river

Mississippi river, Minnesota on the other side

Shelter on Brady's Bluff with prairie flowers

Shelter on Brady's Bluff

Mississippi river, Minnesota on the other side

Hiking trail

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge - lots of lily pads. Yellow Lotus were in bloom but not close enough to get a good photo


Sunflowers and blue sky

A large field of Sunflowers near Nelson