Category Archives: Archive

Crisp Point Lighthouse Keeper

Although the primary focus of my camera may be birds, as an outdoorsman I love varied experiences which provide me the opportunity to enjoy nature’s beauty. Today as I find my planned bike touring rained out by Hurricane Nate, I am looking forward to Molly and my upcoming service as lighthouse keepers on a remote Lake Superior shore. In eight days we will find ourselves at Crisp Point Lighthouse , which is fifteen miles shy of Whitefish Point near the eastern end of Lake Superior.

Our duties are not difficult. During the day we greet guests, serve as impromptu tour guides, provide security for the site, perform housekeeping chores, and run the small gift shop. Unlike many lighthouses, there is no keeper’s residence. However, far from being a negative, having one’s own private campsite 20 miles from the nearest building of any kind is fantastic!

From a photography vantage point hanging out at a lighthouse is great. Having the combination of the largest lake in the world, Gitchi Gumi, and a lighthouse only 10 yards from the water makes for a great photo subject. My image taken last Fall and shown below is now used by the United States Lighthouses web site as the featured photo for Crisp Point. In total we will serve as keepers for just under a week, but as there is no connectivity of any kind … posts about the experience will have to wait till our return to civilization.

One final note … the Edmund Fitzgerald sank seven miles off Crisp Point … as noted in the lyrics of the song by Gordon Lightfoot.

The searches all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay
If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her

The Birds of Guanacaste – Costa Rica (pdf book)

Working my way across the USA to start a bicycle tour, but just published a small book about the Birds of Costa Rica for a very small region on the Pacific Coast. This books is a gift to my younger brother, William. This is NOT a rain forest book. Rather it is a Costa Rica drylands coastal bird book. The Birds of Las Catalinas is provided free for download, BUT is copyrighted. In other words, the book is free for your private use. Should you wish to let others know about the book, do NOT host the pdf on your web site, but link back to my Birds of Costa Rica web page.

Hosting the pdf on your own web site would be breaking the laws of the United States.

Swamp Ducks and Wildflowers!

Friday morning I took a sunrise bicycle ride in the Suomi Hills region of northern Minnesota. Boy am I glad I convinced myself to get out of bed early (sunrise is 5:15 am). The wildflowers are blooming like crazy, and the birds added a nice touch! If you have the opportunity to drive Mn Hwy #48 in the next week, make certain you slow way down and look deep into the roadside ditches about 8 miles from Mn Hwy #38. You will see thousands on Showy Ladyslippers. These flowers were just starting to bloom on Friday. Every one of these flowers was photographed within a two mile stretch on Hwy #48 (and the ducks).

Showy Ladyslippers

Suomi Hills Lutheran Church (and my bike)

Red Columbine

Wild Roses


Tiger Swallowtail

Ring-Necked Duck and Wood Duck

Ring-Necked Duck and Blue-Winged Teal (a favorite perch, perhaps?!)

Thursday evening, a thunderstorm rocked our cabin on Northstar Lake, which cleared the skies for my sunrise bike ride the next morning.

Homecoming Aurora Borealis!

After driving over 4,000 miles during the past two weeks, and visiting some fantastic locations including Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, and Durango, Colorado deep in the Rocky Mountains, Molly and I arrived home yesterday afternoon. Although I was tired from all the driving, and looking forward to a night in my own bed, when the Northern Lights numbers popped I had to head to a frozen lake and hope Lady Aurora would dance. It was a fine performance. She did not disappoint. For ten minutes shortly after 10 pm the light show was spectacular. The refrozen melt water out on the lake ice made for cool reflections.

I then move over to NW Wisconsin to the Davidson Windmill, and hoped for a repeat performance. However, when the 2 am hour approached I realized it was to be a one dance night and I contented myself with a starscape “green glow” image at the windmill.

Lady Aurora Dancing Over Boulder Lake … 25 miles north of Duluth

A Few Minutes Later … more rays / spikes but less light

Ten Minutes Before Lady Aurora Came out to Dance … intense light

The Davidson Windmill Starscape Green Glow