Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lake Superior Ice Cover Still Remains -- Post 2

Today I will post the second half of the photos from the hike on the beach east of Grand Marais that I took the other day with Jamey and Lois.

As we walked east, we climbed the bluff a few times for exercise.

But the best part of the hike was playing with what I have always called "pencil ice."  I looked it up on the internet, and others call it "needle ice."  It forms when ice is pushed ashore where it is warmer.  The warmer temperatures weaken the ice so it splinters.

Lois had fun separating out the splinters.

Jamey had fun looking for agates.  He found the carnelian shown below, as well as a shadow and a fortification agate.

East of town there is a lot of erosion.  In some cases there are vertical escarpments of sand.

But between the layers of sand there are layers of rock.

The very large stump below was partially burned.

The magnificent stump that I documented last year is now half buried, partially eroded, and pushed up against the bank.

Here is what the stump looked like last year:

The sunset was fantastic.

As was our fire.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lake Superior Ice Cover Still Remains -- Post 1

The weather satellites that measure ice cover and other conditions on the Great Lakes have only been operational since 1980.  According to these records, this year has the most ice cover remaining on Lake Superior at this date late in May.  As of today, Lake Superior still has 2.8 percent ice coverage, according to the NOAA websites.  A close up of the satellite image showing the shoreline from Munising to Grand Marais is below, along with the NOAA map.

The other night we could see ice east of town, so friends Jamey and Lois and I decided to hike the beach and have a picnic. 

I took a quick photo before we headed down the bluff.

Floating ice just off shore...

An interesting freighter has heading eastbound.

We had a picnic before taking the hike.

Once down the beach, we headed east toward the majority of floating ice.  I took the photo below looking west.  Lots of downed trees....

Iceberg scat -- i.e. rocks, rocks, and more rocks.

Iceberg or floating dragon?

Botryoidal ice.

Bear dog didn't seem to mind the cold water.  He did retrieve the stick off the iceberg, but he didn't like the ice.  We think because the ice was moving and rocking back and forth -- Bear may have thought that the icebergs were alive.

These fishermen are crazy.  They had to steer around icebergs.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tour of the Gitche Gumee Museum

After I posted the photos of the museum's gift shop the other day, I received a request to also include photos of the museum.  Although the building is small, there is a lot packed into a small space.  The first two rooms are gift shop; the back three rooms are museum.

The Gitche Gumee Museum....

Shall we go in?

Walking through the gift shop into the museum...

A corner of the mineral room with a display on U.P. mining.

Specimens of the top agate locations from around the world.

Beach rock categories...

How to find agates display...

Mineral groups...

The other day a regular museum visitor and agate hunter came in and donated the artwork below.  He painted the museum on a large piece of basalt and made the stand out of driftwood.  Thank you Bryan Wolbrink!

A collection of antique agate marbles...

A large quartz crystal...

A fluorescent mineral display...

Michigan minerals and types of agate display, as well as some of the museum founder's funny rocks.

The Worrywort-Eater use to scare me when I was a kid visiting the museum.

The museum founder, Axel, used to wear this sign in the July 4th parade.  We called him Oxi.

The sign written in Finnish means "rock corner."

One of Axel's dancing puppets.

Grand Marais logging history.

Local artifacts.

One of the only Keating sweaters known to exist, made in Grand Marais more than 100 years ago.

The sweater knitting machine used to make the above sweater.

Memorial board for the museum founder, Axel.

Grand Marais history....

Fishing history...


Mystery items....

More fishing history...