Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Time for something a bit different

We just spent a week visiting relatives back east, and it was very nice to have some family time. Sometimes I forget just how unique my parent's farm & tree nursery is, so it was nice to be reminded of how they live a little bit differently.

The second fridge, otherwise known as the cheese cave. Look at all of that beautiful Manchego!

Bear contemplating the world.

My father made this solar tractor a few years ago. Behind it you can see the solar panels that help run the household. Yes it is the middle of winter and very cloudy, but they still make energy, contrary to popular belief.

Hoop house & Garden Buddha waiting for spring

These tubes are used to heat up hot water that is pumped into the house, which is just a lovely way to heat.

Dad loading the Tarm, which is a huge hot water heater adjacent to the tubes above.

The lovely cows- and the chickens roosting above in their usual spot. Don't look up!

Somebody already got to the eggs-argh. And they were all different colors. 

The 100 ft windmill, another great way to make your own energy.

My father's lemon tree

In fact, he tries to grow a variety of tropical plants. I try to remind him that they live in Zone 3!

Flowers on the Macadamia Nut tree
more cheese

I love this wood stove, it is just beautiful

Dad's office- 30 years and it always looks like this. But we call it a "working mess"

My niece already has the north country winter look going, and she is not even two yet!

Dean loading a gorgeous pizza into the bread oven, which is in the masonry stove that heats their house. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter in Paradise (part 1)

It is hard to know how to describe winter up here on Lake Superior. Simply telling people we have "lots of snow" does not really accurately describe how much our lives revolve around this substance. Moving snow around can take up a large part of the day. Watching the snow fall slowly or quickly, vertically or horizontally depending on the wind. Looking out at the blue ice on the bay, combined with the occasional sunshine that makes us feel like it is all worth it. I must say, winter on Lake Superior is pretty wonderful. Growing up in an area that was very very cold (-40 at times) without lots of snow, I always wished for snowy, warm winters. We presently have about 4 feet of snow in the backyard, and even with the polar vortex, did not get anything close to -40. As long as we remember to enjoy the snow and leave town every once in a while, winter is a happy snug feeling season at Whitefish Point.

Pine Marten in woodshed
Our house in the snow
American Goldfinch eating snow

woodshed with a little bit of snow

Tahquamenon Falls sunset

Jack-pine loaded with snow at Whitefish Point

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's been quite a while since we were active on the blog, but we hope to start doing regular posts again. We're once again hunkered down along the shore of Lake Superior at Whitefish Point again for the winter. We headed back east to visit family for the holidays and took the opportunity to spend a day photographing along the Jersey shore. New Jersey gets a bad rap for a lot of things, but the birding is world class. We headed to Barnaget Light on Long Beach Island, a spot famous for its wintering Harlequin Ducks. Despite all the time I spent birding in Jersey while living near Philadelphia this was our first visit to Barnaget in the winter. The weather was perfect and the birds quickly showed us why this site has such a great reputation for winter birding.
Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Ducks

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Ducks

Harlequin Ducks

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Northern Lights

We had nice northern lights the other night for Chris' birthday here at Whitefish Point. We are currently owl banding, but the owls have been rather slow the last week.

Star trails & Northern Lights
reds & greens

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We are thrilled to be back up at Whitefish Point for the spring and summer owl banding season. Especially since we just bought a house up here at the Point! It is amazing and wonderful to have a home base finally, and we will still be traveling as field biologists, so our travel itch should be appeased to some extent. Here are a few photos from the first few days back up north.

Common Redpoll

Pine Grosbeak

Great Gray Owl
Great Gray Owl hunting

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We have been waiting for the sun for a while now here at Hawk Ridge. The perpetual cloudiness reminds us of the other side of the lake. Finally the sun appeared yesterday, and the hawks were moving!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm sorry it has been so long since we posted on our blog. We were not expecting to have zero days off for most of the field season. Anyway, yesterday was our first full day off, and it was very exciting...because, Chris and I saw a Lynx!! We went north of Duluth, driving along the shore and then took some of the inland roads to look at the nice boreal forest. I saw something cross the road, and we pulled up to look, and Chris spotted it just sitting in the brush about 10 ft from us! It looked at us curiously for a minute or two, then slowly walked off into the forest. And, we had our cameras on our laps- what luck! You can see the ear tufts better in the second shot.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Here are some shots of the Northern Lights taken a few nights ago at Whitefish Point, MI. They lasted most of the night and were very active. The Big Dipper is also visible in some of the shots.

Nova silhouetted by the Northern Lights.

The small row of lights in the above photo is actually one of the large freighters that regularly pass by on Lake Superior.