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Outdoors Posts

Selective Focus: Travis Novitsky

When you get away from city lights and can look at a clear night sky, it’s remarkable how much is up there. Travis Novitsky takes this experience even further with his photography, showing the amazing detail of stars, the milky way and auroras that shine down on our world every night.

TN: I have been making photographs for over 25 years, specializing in images of Lake Superior and the Minnesota North Woods with a passion for the night sky. A self-taught photographer, my knowledge about photography has come primarily from reading books on the subject and from countless hours of experimentation with the camera. I “got my start”, I guess you could say, early on in high school. My first camera was a very basic point-and-shoot Pentax film camera. After that I graduated to a Minolta X-700 SLR film camera which I used until purchasing my first digital camera in 2001. Since then I have used a variety of camera brands including Olympus, Canon, Nikon and Sony. All have helped me create unforgettable imagery. What’s more important than what camera you use, however, is your way of looking at the world around you. How you interact with that world and how you choose to photograph what is around you.

Video: Lester River Race 2018

Video of last weekend’s Lester River whitewater kayak race by Blue Forest Films.

Selective Focus: Run Smelt Run

Sunday, May 13, is the annual Run Smelt Run Parade. If you’ve never witnessed or been a part of the parade, it’s a blend of art, absurdity, puppets, community, ecology, humor, music, dancing and things that sparkle.

The festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. near the Aerial Lift Bridge and north pier, on the lawn in front of the Maritime Museum. Look for the people on stilts.

Snowshoeing in Mahtowa

I went snowshoeing in Mahtowa this weekend.

Snowshoes are a gentle miracle of physics. At first it’s disconcerting to walk alongside a tree or a shrub more than a foot above the ground. I’m not supposed to be up here, and my poles are proof of this, as they press deep into the snow to bite the frozen earth.

Lake Superior Ice Stacking 2018

It’s almost an annual tradition. When the conditions are just right, small waves push sheets of Lake Superior surface ice to the shore, causing them to break into plates that stack and crackle in a way that’s both visually and aurally fascinating. Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery recently captured the phenomena in this video.

Lake Superior Aquaman’s Duluth

Explore this interactive map for the bounty of our Northlandic Atlantis. Containing hundreds of photos, video and links, this is a virtual tour of the area with a focus on water, wildlife, history, and recreation.

Sea Smoke Sunrise over Lake Superior

Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery captured the Dec. 26 Duluth “sea smoke” sunrise in this video.

Video: Boreal Owl on Duluth Lakewalk

The Minnesota Christmas Bird Count is underway. The Audubon Society uses information from more than 1,000 members of the public for its annual census of birds.

This video by Milton Blomberg shows off a boreal owl on the Duluth Lakewalk.

Videos: This Week in Duluth Snowy Owl Rescues

Richard Hoeg spotted a snowy owl on Duluth Harbor ice this morning and at first didn’t think it was out of the ordinary. Returning a few hours later, he noticed the owl had only moved a few feet and didn’t flush when a pair of dogs were checking it out. So with the help of a fish net, wood and duct tape, he pulled the owl in and passed it along to Wildwoods Rehabilitation. Hoeg tells the full story on his 365 Days of Birds blog.

Selective Focus: Dudley Edmondson

Dudley Edmondson is a photographer, videographer, writer, and a proponent of the great outdoors. This week in Selective Focus, he talks about what drives him to dig into a project, and some of the special projects he has worked on.

DE: I like to think of myself as working in many mediums from video, still imagery, written and spoken word. Media is my medium. I have always been a visual learner though. It’s very obvious to me that my brain translates a lot of things I hear or read into images for me to be able to fully understand and comprehend. I particularly like good writers (Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut) who can create visuals in my brain with their writing style. Unfortunately I don’t think I have that gift yet but I am always working on it.

The Slide

“Are you the announcer or something?”

Corey was standing a few feet from the sled run when she spoke; one hand on her hip, her other mittened hand trying to wisp away the strands of hair run renegade from under her cap.

Corey was 8. She often cut to the heart of matters with me, her nattering uncle — curt queries snapping her into adult demeanor, leaving me bemused and suddenly self-conscious.

“I’m just trying to make this more exciting, like we did when I was a kid.”

Corey only half-listened and then belly-flopped onto her plastic glider, tucking the tow rope under her purple parka. “Push me far this time,” she gasped. One-two-three and she zoomed off.

Her cousin was trouncing up the hill, excited for another run.

“Did I get the world record? Is that the farthest anybody got ever?”

“Ever. Now get snug to the front. Josh, you’ll never beat Corey with your rope hanging out like that. You gotta be smart. It’s the intangibles that get you to the top.”

He only winced. Another three-count and Josh grinned as he slid away. Corey was still at the bottom of the hill, eating snow while flat on her back, feet kicking in the air. I was happy to see her once again acting her age.

Video: Amity Creek Gray Foxes

This 15-second clip shot by Richard Hoeg out his living room window shows two gray foxes feasting on sunflower seeds, cracked corn and apple slices.

“This canine pair generally hangs around for 15 to 30 minutes,” Hoeg wrote on his 365 Days of Birds blog.

Damage Report

The lake ate big chunks of shoreline yesterday. The fort on Park Point survived the storm, just barely, but the huge white pine that stood next to it didn’t make it.

The Duluth Hard Enduro

The Duluth Hard Enduro is coming up on Oct. 28. It is a big-mountain style all-day epic enduro race across the city of Duluth hitting all of the raddest trails from fast and flowing to rocky techy gnar!

Moose and Wolf Battle – Drone Video

Drone photographer Dan Nystedt caught an epic moose and wolf fight on camera while shooting scenery in Ontario yesterday.